Arguably, two of the most important financial responsibilities of a business owner/lead are budgeting and tax planning. Budgeting, particularly monitoring cash flow, keeps your business from overspending and getting into trouble with making payments. For a young business, you certainly do not want to get off on the wrong foot with your vendors and the tax authorities.
Although different types of businesses have different expenses, here is a list of the most common expenses which most businesses must pay. Don’t forget these common business expenses in your budget and tax planning.
- Location Costs
Rental: If you are renting a building or commercial space for your business, you can deduct all the costs associated with the rental.
Utilities and Computer Expenses: your business must pay the cost of utilities being electricity, water, and other services like waste management. If you are renting a location, some of these costs might be included in your rent. Also, remember the costs of office phones and computer Internet lines.
Other Services and Maintenance Expenses: Other costs which most businesses incur are maintenance costs on equipment and general building maintenance.
- Wages, Salaries, Payroll Taxes, and Benefits
You will need to pay employees according to a payroll system that has been set up, including employee benefits and payroll taxes. You may want to look for a company that provides payroll management services to help you with all the complexities of this system.
- Supplies and Other Office Expenses
Every month you will probably need to replenish supplies, including office supplies and materials and special supplies needed for your type of business. You may need to keep an inventory of supplies if you have a lot of them and also keep track of the amounts you pay for outside services like professional services, or internet support. If you pay a supplier or service provider GHS 2,000.00 or more during a year, you must withhold taxes on payments
- Professional fees
Set up a category for professional fees, including those paid to your accountant/tax advisor, lawyer, and other professional consultants. You may not pay these people every month, but budget money in this category just so you are covered if the need arises.
- Loan Payments
Monthly payments on loans and lines of credit, should be included in your business expenses and it is in your best interest to keep track of the interest on these loans for tax purposes.
- Advertising and Marketing Costs
Include monthly costs for advertising including social media marketing and other marketing and promotion activities, such as newspaper ads, billboards, and online advertising. You could include costs incurred on web maintenance here or put them under office expenses.
- Business Club Association Fees
Dues for your membership in a professional association or business group should be included here. You can’t deduct costs for social but only those that are directly necessary for your business.
- Travel Expenses
For these expenses, you will need to keep track of air travel, hotels, and meals while you travel.
- Do not leave them out of your monthly list of expenses for budget purposes and
- Keep good records to demonstrate the business purpose for each during tax time.
- Tax Expenses
You will need to set aside money to pay income taxes by sending in quarterly provisional tax assessments.
- Miscellaneous Expenses
Remember to include an amount for sundry expenses in your budget and your tax planning. You never know what might come up, and you will need money to pay for unexpected expenses.