For Entrepreneurs A Simple IRA May Be Best

Written by Tim Knox

Q: I own a small decorating business and Iíll berepparttar first to admit that I donít know anything about taxes or retirement plans. Iíd like to set up a 401(k) or an IRA or some other kind of retirement plan for me and my three employees. What arerepparttar 150886 various retirement plan options available for a small business owner and in your opinion, which would work best for me? -- Wanda S.

A: Wanda, I appreciate your confidence in my humble opinion, but asking me for financial advice is like asking Donald Trump for a recommendation on hair care products. I can tell you what works best for me and my business, but youíll need to do your homework and seek professional advice to figure out what would work best for you. As a side note, I hear that Donald Trump is coming out with his own line of hair care product soon to be called ďBig Head.Ē The formula is 1% mousse, 1% liquid nails, and 98% hot air. It should be a big seller amongrepparttar 150887 high brow, comb-over crowd.

Hereís my best advice on retirement plans: find yourself a financial advisor (or financial planner) who is has experience working with small businesses and have him or her explainrepparttar 150888 options available and make a recommendation as torepparttar 150889 type of plan best suited for you and your business. When I say ďfinancial advisorĒ Iím not talking about your know-it-all brother-in-law or your accountant. Iím talking about a broker or financial planner (or other licensed professional) who has a proven track record of making his clients money and is an expert on IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, etc.

The best way to find a good financial advisor is to ask for referrals from your most successful friends and associates. Findrepparttar 150890 richest, stingiest man in town and ask who his advisor is. Meet with several advisors, explain your situation, and ask for their recommendations. You should also make surerepparttar 150891 advisor is a good fit for your personality and your business. If all goes well you will be doing business with this person for many years to come, so make surerepparttar 150892 relationship feels comfortable to you and that you are confident inrepparttar 150893 advisorís ability to manage your money.

Let me give you a quick overview of a few ofrepparttar 150894 retirement plans available to small businesses so you at least have an idea of whatís out there before you start your search for a good financial advisor.

As a small business you basically have three types of retirement plans that you can take advantage of:repparttar 150895 Self-Employed 401(k);repparttar 150896 Simplified Employee Pension Plan or SEP IRA, andrepparttar 150897 Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees or SIMPLE IRA. Each allows you to make pre-tax contributions torepparttar 150898 plan, which lets you save for retirement and lessen your taxable income byrepparttar 150899 amount ofrepparttar 150900 contribution. Your investments also grow tax-deferred until withdrawal.

A Self-Employed 401(k) is an option for self-employed individuals or business owners with no employees other than a spouse. The business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation, including S corps. You can make salary deferrals to this type of plan of up to $14,000 for 2005.

Next isrepparttar 150901 Simplified Employee Pension Plan or SEP IRA. A SEP is an option if you earn a self-employed income from a full or part time business, even if you are covered by a retirement plan at your fulltime job. A SEP allows you to contribute up to 25% of earned income, up to $41,000 for 2004 and $42,000 for 2005.

Small Business Checks Ė Money Saving Options

Written by Robb Ksiazek

When you go into business for yourself, there are many things to consider. What you donít want to worry about is spending too much money on unnecessary items. Business checks are one of those things. They donít have to be expensive. Your bottom line keeps your business going, and it is important to keep it that way.

Gettingrepparttar most out of your office supplies means checking outrepparttar 150839 best vendors. Small businesses haverepparttar 150840 opportunity to haverepparttar 150841 control in most situations. You get to makerepparttar 150842 important decisions, and get to takerepparttar 150843 fall when they are bad.

Checks are notrepparttar 150844 most complicated supplies in your office, but they will save you money versus hiring a company to handle it for you. There are some good ways to go aboutrepparttar 150845 process of setting up your accounting department, even if you arerepparttar 150846 whole department.

There are some pretty basic options with business checks:

  • Desk set checks. These arerepparttar 150847 basic three-to-a-page sheets usually placed in a binder. They work for payroll and other payables, but donít offer much for tracking.
  • Computer checks. Many of these checks allow you to print them fromrepparttar 150848 computer using financial software. You buyrepparttar 150849 check paper and they get printed withrepparttar 150850 click of a mouse.
  • Continuous Checks. These are also printed fromrepparttar 150851 computer, but are utilized for larger quantities. Depending on your business, continuous feed checks be useful.

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