3 Essential Financial Reports Small Business Owners Should Understand

Successful business owners use their financial statements to guide the management of their business. These statements show the flow of money into and out of the business, provide a snapshot of the business’s financial health, and guide the identification of trends within the operating activities. Without understanding them, it’s impossible for business owners to know if they are earning a profit or have the funds to keep up with their business expenses, as well as to plan for any future growth or opportunity.

Startup Basics: Federal and State Tax ID Numbers

State and federal tax ID numbers (also known as an Employer Identification Number or EIN) are like a personal social security number for your business. They let your small business pay state and federal taxes.

A federal EIN is used by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to identify a business entity. This 9-digit number is required to pay federal taxes, hire employees, open a bank account, and apply for business licenses and permits.

Accounting vs. Bookkeeping

As a new business owner, you may hear the terms bookkeeping and accounting used interchangeably. While both bookkeepers and accountants work with financial data and help business owners manage their finances, they have complementary but different responsibilities. This blog post will distinguish between the functions of each and their respective roles in a business.

Risk, Insurance, and Small Business

Owning a business presents opportunities for personal financial success and satisfaction in a particular occupation. However, it also comes with several different types of risk. These include economic, compliance, security and fraud, operational, reputational, financial, and competition risks. Risk managers are engaged in identifying risks and deploying proven techniques to treat each of these types of risks.

Taxes and Small Business

Taxes are important to consider when starting a business. Business owners must know the types of taxes that may apply to their business and understand the requirements and processes for paying them. It is also important that owners account for these taxes in their operational and financial plans. In this post we will discuss several types of taxes, how they are calculated, and how to pay them, as well as advance planning considerations. Please note that this information is not intended to be tax advice or guidance, nor is it a comprehensive coverage of tax issues.

4 Steps to Starting a Business in Illinois

You have assessed the feasibility of your business idea and created a plan to get started. What comes next? How do you turn your idea into a legally recognized Illinois business? Here are the four things you should do first.

1. Choose an organization structure for your business.

There are several ways to organize businesses in Illinois, each with its own legal and tax implications. Your form of business determines which income tax return forms you must file. 

The most common forms of business are: