STARTING A HOME BUSINESS ONLINE BY GRANT LEISHMAN
Bureaucracy and all that Bull****
Now, we’re all set to hit the publish button on our website and there you have it – you’re in business.
I’m not going to give you any particular advice on what you need to do to satisfy the never-ending bureaucrats and their relentless machinery of rules and regulations, because that is going to be totally dependent on where you live. You may be subject to taxes (state and federal, if you’re in the U.S.) or if you’re in England, it could be VAT, in New Zealand – GST. Every country has their own rules to make running a business difficult and to collect their share of the pie, so my only advice to you is to find out what these are in your locale and to follow them. There would be nothing worse, in my opinion, than for you to be successfully running your online business only to discover you have fallen foul of the authorities and suddenly you are being charged all sort of back taxes and of course possibly penalties and fines. So, do your research (we are so blessed today to have the infinite power of the World Wide Web at our fingertips – SO USE IT). Don’t get caught out later for not having complied with your bureaucrat’s legal requirements.
One way to find out the requirements for running a business in your locality is to talk to other people who are also doing what you are doing. They’ve been there and they’ve done it, so they can be a veritable goldmine of information for you, not just in this area, but also in many other business related areas, such as Marketing, Social Media, SEO Optimisation, Best Practices, etc. etc. Many localities may require you to have a license of some type or require you to register with a business authority of some description. You cannot afford to ignore these requirements and you will do so at your peril.
My best advice in dealing with bureaucracy is simple: IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE! Most, if not all, authorities consider ignorance of their rules, laws, and regulations to be inexcusable. Remember always, that you are the one responsible for running your business and it is your responsibility to ensure that your requirements and duties to the appropriate authorities are met. I know we all hate bureaucrats, but the reality is they are here to stay and they usually want to know what you’re up to and they want “their” share of your entrepreneurship.
Now, there is one BIG potential upside to these nosy bureaucrats. Many authorities want to encourage your business and your entrepreneurship and so they offer incentives to business people, especially with regard to taxation and you can take advantage of this. In most systems, expenses incurred in the production of business income are deductible, before tax has to be paid. This is going to vary, depending on where you live, so get professional advice.
Many people starting out in business will say; “Oh, I don’t need to worry about tax. I’m not going to be making that much.” There are two problems with that mindset: 1/ How negative is that? You’re following your dreams here – you are dreaming big, so why would you want to limit your expectations. You should be thinking, saying, and expecting your business to be a roaring success and make you a veritable fortune. I always say, “I’d love to pay the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) 10M Pesos tax a year, because that would mean I was making at least 30M Pesos a year in income”. DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF. 2/ Many tax authorities will allow you to earn up to a certain threshold without having to pay any tax and if you can use your legitimate business expenses to keep your income below that threshold, then you are definitely saving yourself some money. Again, you will need to seek professional advice on this issue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR GRANT LEISHMAN
I am an expatriate New Zealander, living in Manila, The Philippines, with my wife and two daughters.
At age 55, after careers in Finance and Journalism, I have finally discovered my true passion in life - writing and I'm now "living the dream", writing full-time.
My first novel was a romantic, fantasy, adventure about the return of Jesus Christ to modern-day Manila to try and sort out the problems of the world - yet again! "The Second Coming", which was published by Pentian in June 2015.
My second novel "Just a Drop in the Ocean", a romance/adventure that spans a generation and two continents, was published in October 2015 and is available exclusively on Amazon and is free through Kindle Unlimited.
I have also published an anthology of paranormal/horror short stories in association with my son, Chris Leishman, titled Paranormal Alley, in December 2015. This is available exclusively on Amazon and is free to download through Kindle Unlimited.
The sequel to "The Second Coming" - "Rise of the AntiChrist" was published in January 2016 and is available at all the usual outlets.
The final novel in The Coming Series - is "Holy War."