Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

3 Tax Things to Know When Starting a Business

February 2nd, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Patrick Sanders

Starting a business is an exhilarating venture, brimming with the promise of freedom and the potential for success. Yet, it's also a journey filled with complexities, especially when navigating financial and legal obligations. Among these, managing taxes is a formidable challenge, often causing stress and confusion for many new entrepreneurs. Dealing with taxes can overshadow the excitement of business growth, turning what should be an adventure into a task.

However, with the right expertise and guidance, this challenge can be transformed into an opportunity for establishing a robust and compliant foundation for your business. This is where Payday HCM comes in. With decades of experience, we will guide you into demystifying the tax-related aspects of starting a business, focusing on three critical areas. By arming yourself with knowledge and leveraging expert resources, you can easily navigate these obligations, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters — growing your business and realizing your vision.

We are going to provide you with a clear, comprehensive overview designed to remove the stress and uncertainty that often accompany these tasks. With a focus on education and simplification, this will make the complex world of business taxes accessible to everyone, regardless of prior financial expertise. Below, you will learn:

  • Obtaining the Appropriate Tax IDs
  • Understanding Employer Taxes
  • Managing Employee Taxes

1: Obtaining the Appropriate Tax IDs

The Foundation of Your Business's Tax Identity

The first step in your business journey involves securing the appropriate tax identification numbers, which serve as the bedrock of your business's tax identity. The most critical of these is the Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The EIN is akin to your business's Social Security number, serving as a unique identifier for a range of essential activities, from opening a business bank account to filing tax returns.

The necessity of an EIN transcends the mere operational aspects of your business; it's a legal requirement for any business that plans to hire employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, or meet specific IRS filing requirements.

Its role is pivotal in delineating your business finances from personal finances, thereby enhancing your business's credibility and simplifying tax reporting and compliance.

How to Obtain Your EIN

Obtaining an EIN is a straightforward, cost-free process that can be completed online through the IRS website. The online application system is designed for ease of use, allowing most applicants to receive their EIN immediately upon completion.

This immediacy is crucial for maintaining momentum in the early stages of business setup, as the EIN is often a prerequisite for many subsequent steps, such as applying for business licenses and setting up payroll systems.

For businesses not eligible to apply online or those preferring a different method, the IRS also offers options to apply via fax, mail, or, for international applicants, by phone.

Regardless of the method chosen, securing your EIN early in the business setup process is essential for a smooth transition into operational status.


2: Understanding Employer Taxes

The Responsibilities of Being an Employer

As an employer, you're entrusted with a responsibility that goes beyond the mere operation of your business. This includes withholding the correct amount of income tax from your employee's wages based on the information they provide on their W-4 forms.

You're required to contribute to Social Security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), which involves withholding a portion of these taxes from your employee's wages and matching that amount as the employer.

Another responsibility is paying the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes, which are solely the employer's responsibility and fund unemployment compensation for workers who have lost their jobs.

Navigating Your Tax Obligations

Effectively managing your tax obligations involves staying informed about the current tax laws and rates, which can change. Utilizing technology, such as payroll software, can automate much of the tax withholding and payment process, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Seeking advice from tax professionals or Human Capital Management (HCM) firms can provide you with expert guidance tailored to your business needs, ensuring compliance with tax laws.

Regular reviews and audits of your payroll processes and tax filings are essential to catch any discrepancies and ensure ongoing compliance.

Integrating tax management into your business planning and budgeting can help you prepare for these financial obligations, allowing you to make informed decisions about hiring, compensation, and business growth.

3: Managing Employee Taxes

Withholding and Reporting

Managing employee taxes begins with accurately withholding federal, state, and sometimes local taxes from your employee's wages. This includes income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes under the FICA.

Employers must also handle the proper reporting of these withholdings to the appropriate tax authorities, which involves submitting regular payroll tax reports and providing employees with annual W-2 forms that summarize their earnings and the taxes withheld throughout the year.

Ensuring accuracy in withholding and reporting is paramount. Errors or omissions can lead to penalties and interest charges, harming your business. It requires meticulous record-keeping and understanding of the ever-changing tax laws and withholding requirements.

Simplifying the Process

Many businesses turn to payroll and tax management services to streamline the process of managing employee taxes. These services can automate the calculation of tax withholdings, generate necessary tax forms, and ensure timely submissions to tax agencies.

By leveraging technology, businesses can reduce the risk of errors, save time, and ensure compliance with tax laws.

Consulting with tax professionals or HCM firms can provide valuable insights and guidance.

These experts can help navigate the complexities of tax laws, offer advice on tax planning and optimization, and assist in the event of audits or disputes with tax authorities.


Path to Compliance and Success

Your exploration of the essential tax responsibilities for new business owners shows that the path to successful entrepreneurship is both challenging and rewarding. These responsibilities, while complex, are manageable with the right approach and resources.

Business owners must remember the importance of diligence, accuracy, and proactivity in managing tax obligations. Tax laws are ever-changing, and staying informed is key to ensuring compliance and optimizing your business's tax strategy.

As the following steps, business owners should evaluate their current tax management processes, identifying areas for improvement and ensuring compliance. Exploring payroll and tax management solutions. We help numerous businesses stay on top of things and can help you, too. Read how we can be a solution in your journey.

Patrick Sanders

Patrick has worked for Payday HCM since 2012, with a career that has spanned multiple responsibilities in the sales arena. He now maintains a 300+ client portfolio with a 98% retention rate. Patrick works diligently to determine the optimal utilization of our software, manages ongoing quality assurance, and brings best practices to Payday HCM’s clients. Patrick graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. Having spent the decade since graduating meeting and partnering with entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico, Patrick firmly believes Payday HCM brings national Fortune-500 level service and technology to the New Mexico marketplace.