Editor’s Note: Paula Powers is a single mom raising a young autistic son. Our family’s story about starting Geek Club Books inspired her to want to start her own company to employ autistic adults. She wants to part of the movement to empower through meaningful autism employment! Starting a company is no small undertaking. There are highs and lows, milestones reached and setbacks too—it takes patience, persistence and determination to make it happen. Since Paula is starting at ground zero, we asked her to chronicle her journey as we can all learn from this impassioned entrepreneur.
Hello again. It’s been quite a while. The last time I was here I was in the process of registering my business name and figuring out what type of entity I should go with. Well, I’ve finally got that figured out. It took me some time because I had to schedule a meeting to speak with an accountant at the New Jersey Small Business Development Center to see what my best option was in regards to personal liabilities, tax breaks, etc. After doing so I decided to start a limited liability company since I am the sole owner, not having co-owners, investors or shareholders. The accountant explained that I will have to file quarterly tax with New Jersey. In addition to filing quarterly I will have to pay out 7-8 % of my total earnings to Uncle Sam since social security wages will not automatically be deducted like when you work for a company and it is deducted for you. The upside though is that when I file my annual taxes, as a business owner you deduct business expenses first and only pay taxes on what’s remaining, not right off the top like when working for a company.
So, after registering my business, I applied for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) via the IRS website. The process was simple and I received my EIN within minutes. After receiving my EIN I registered with the New Jersey Division of Revenue for tax purposes. After registering, I received my business certificate and sales tax certificate in the mail within about a week.
Now onto my next step, setting up a business checking account. I went online and researched several business banking options and after careful consideration of fees and balance requirements I decided to go with the Bank of America Business Fundamentals checking account. This account comes with a free debit card, business investment savings account at no additional cost, 200 transactions per month and no monthly maintenance fees, as long as you spend at least $250 on business and personal expenses using a Bank of America business credit or debit card that is linked to your Business Fundamentals account. And no worries if you don’t make the $250 of qualifying purchases right away, the first two months of having the account, the monthly maintenance fees are waived.
Next, the business credit card. Well, for myself not having a stellar credit history and having filed bankruptcy back in 2008, I was initially denied a Bank of America business credit card. I was offered the same card and benefits as long as it was accompanied with a certificate of deposit, a set amount of money that would be held against the account for a year and after that time passed, my account would be reviewed, and if payments were made on time and no discrepancies occurred with the account, I would be refunded my deposit money back.
My next challenge will be finding affordable business liability insurance.
Until next time, be well and prosper.
Did you start or know someone who has a business that hires autistic employees? Please share the story with us!