Written by Jennifer Johnson

According to a new survey carried out by Alliance & where ID_NUM=9270; Leicester, one in five small business owners view tax as their greatest concern. The Chancellor has announced in his last budget that companies with profits below œ10,000 will not have to pay any corporation tax with effect from 1 April 2002. The question to be asked is: does that announcement make incorporation a more attractive option compared to being a sole trader?

The answer is that from a tax point of view, it is advantageous to trade through a limited company as long asrepparttar income is drawn fromrepparttar 124467 company byrepparttar 124468 owners as dividends from their shares andrepparttar 124469 amount of dividends drawn is restricted belowrepparttar 124470 40% band rate (i.e. œ31,063 for tax year 2002/03). That way,repparttar 124471 owners have no further personal tax ("income tax") to pay. Moreover, dividends are not subject to national insurance contributions. This is excellent news of course. But, if dividend income falls withinrepparttar 124472 higher rate bracket of income tax (i.e. above œ34,515), they will be taxed at 22.5% onrepparttar 124473 excess, which of course will increaserepparttar 124474 tax burden. The company profits are subject to corporation tax rates. Those are lower than income tax rates.

The most catastrophic scenario is whenrepparttar 124475 director takes his reward fromrepparttar 124476 company as salary. Then his/her salary is taxed at income tax rates (like a sole trader's income). That is because, unlike sole traders,repparttar 124477 tax system treats companies as separate from their owners because a company is a separate legal entity. The problem is thatrepparttar 124478 income taxes are higher than corporation tax rates. On top of that, they will be subject to employee and employer national insurance contributions, which of course increaserepparttar 124479 tax burden and render his position worse than even an unincorporated business ("sole trader"), because NIC Class 1 on payroll are higher than NIC Class 2 paid by self employed.

In contrast, a self employed person ("sole trader") is taxed at income tax rates onrepparttar 124480 profits from his business, which are added to his other sources of income. As it has already been mentioned, income tax rates are overall higher than corporation tax rates. On top of income tax, national insurance contributions class 4 are payable onrepparttar 124481 business profits within a specified band (7% on profits between œ4,615and œ30,420). National insurance contributions Class 2 are also paid by self-employed people, although those are lower than those payable by company directors on their salaries.

To illustraterepparttar 124482 above, let's take a simple example. We have a limited company and a sole trader. They both make œ60,000 profits each inrepparttar 124483 tax year 2002/03. We assume thatrepparttar 124484 company director takes a salary equal torepparttar 124485 amount of his personal allowances (untaxed income) of œ4,615 andrepparttar 124486 balance as dividends. The company will pay corporation tax at 19% equal to œ10,523 and nothing else. The sole trader will pay income tax œ16,542, National insurance Class 2 œ104 and National insurance Class 4 œ1,806. Total œ18,452. The bottom line is thatrepparttar 124487 person that has incorporated his business into a limited company will make a tax saving of œ7,929 compared to a sole trader! Isn't that fantastic?

Somebody might be wondering: why is this entire happening? The official explanation is that, this government, to helprepparttar 124488 economy grow, encourages people to leave as much profits within their businesses to be reinvested, instead of being taken out and spent.

The "unofficial line" is that, as a matter of fact, for yearsrepparttar 124489 Inland Revenue has tried to reclassifyrepparttar 124490 self-employed. The 1% in NIC hike on staff salaries aboverepparttar 124491 NIC threshold from next April adds to bothrepparttar 124492 employees' and employers' tax burden and may more than offsetrepparttar 124493 saving fromrepparttar 124494 corporation tax zero rate onrepparttar 124495 first œ10,000 of profits.

Thirty Creative Ways to Use Business Cards

Written by Linda Elizabeth Alexander

Onrepparttar Back

1. Print a team's sports schedule onrepparttar 124466 back. Fans will keep them handy and keep your name in front of them

2. Print a special discount offer or coupon onrepparttar 124467 back. People will keep it because they intend to userepparttar 124468 coupon.

3. If you do seminars, print key principals onrepparttar 124469 back. Your attendees will refer to them later and think of you.

4. Hand write onrepparttar 124470 back your "unlisted" 800 number. This adds value to your card, making people keep it longer because they don't want to loserepparttar 124471 special number.

Ad Specialties

5. Makerepparttar 124472 business cardrepparttar 124473 ad specialty: Print your company information on letter openers, CD openers, magnets, pens, highlighters, keychains, mousepads, mugs, luggage tags, and other items that people will keep because they are useful.

6. Attach a business card to an ad specialty: For example, give business card holders as a thank you gift and place your business card in asrepparttar 124474 first one. Or, have your card designed as a Rolodex card

7. If you routinely give out seasonal gifts or specialties, attach your business card. Examples: candy canes at Christmas, heart shaped containers filled with candy for Valentine's Day, or even a sandwich bag of candy with a card stapled to it.

Unique Places to Put Them

8. Tuck them intorepparttar 124475 product before delivery: If you are a florist, cut a hole in it and tie a ribbon aroundrepparttar 124476 flowers and throughrepparttar 124477 business card. If you sell gift baskets, Tuck one insiderepparttar 124478 basket before delivering it to your customer. The same goes for Mary Kay or Avon Cosmetics - place your card inrepparttar 124479 bag. You've seen how some restaurants staple a menu to their bags for takeout; if you use bags, staple your card torepparttar 124480 outside ofrepparttar 124481 bag.

9. Send a business card in every piece of correspondence - letters, invoices, even your electric bill. Sooner or later, those cards will be used.

10. If you are crafty, incorporate them into your designs: embellish them with rubber stamps, or blend them with other art projects. You can also mount them to greeting cards you create and send to customers and prospects.

11.When mailing out information: Take a number 10 envelope, facing you and upside down. Foldrepparttar 124482 envelope in thirds. When you turn it around, there is a little pocket to tuck your card in. Include it inrepparttar 124483 mailing. Using a colored envelope makesrepparttar 124484 presentation even more dramatic.

12. Scan your card in and use it as a graphic for when you exchange links with other websites. The other site can use your graphic asrepparttar 124485 link.

13. Place them in library books as if you used them as bookmarks. Visit bookstores place them in books related to your business.

Keeping Them Handy:

14. Use them as bookmarks so you'll always have some readily available if you meet someone at school, inrepparttar 124486 library, onrepparttar 124487 bus, or atrepparttar 124488 park where you like to read.

15. Have your spouse, family, and friends carry some of your cards with them in case they meet someone who might be interested in your product or service.

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