The Know It Guy

Tips for small enterprise owners in 2018

NEW YORK — Small commercial enterprise proprietors have entered 2018 with many questions about how big their tax bills can be, however they’re also optimistic approximately making the most of a robust economic system. And aside from financial subjects, proprietors with employees should stay mindful approximately one of the troubling problems of 2017, sexual harassment.

Here are 5 matters small commercial enterprise proprietors want to know approximately or do in 2018:

TAXES

The new tax law adjustments prices for lots small commercial enterprise owners, whether or not they’re sole proprietorships, partnerships or businesses. But the blessings aren’t throughout the board: Some owners will lose out on financial savings due to the fact they’ll end 2018 with earnings above thresholds set out in the regulation, or the paintings in fields which includes accounting, law or consulting.

Many commercial enterprise owners aren’t certain yet how the law will have an effect on them. Although accountants and different tax experts may have given owners a few well-known ideas about the effect, the IRS needs to still write policies on the way to spell out what taxpayers can do below the regulation and the way they ought to comply.

 

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Some things are recognized. The Section 179 deduction that small companies can use to get a right away break on purchases of system ranging from computer systems to automobiles to production gadget doubles this 12 months to $1 million.

And separate from the tax invoice, the IRS has set the same old mileage fee for commercial enterprise use for a car at 54.5 cents per mile, up 1 cent from 2017. The charge is one of the techniques for accounting for the way lots an owner spent on the usage of a vehicle for the enterprise; the second one is to deduct the actual charges for the automobile. Under the actual expense technique, a proprietor must calculate the share of miles the automobile is driven for business, and follow that percent to prices like lease payments, gasoline, upkeep, repairs, insurance, and depreciation.

THE ECONOMY

If the economy keeps the sturdy expansion it confirmed in 2017, proprietors’ earnings and their optimism need to grow as well. But that might not translate into extra jobs.

In multiple surveys remaining 12 months, proprietors indicated they’re usually sticking to their conservative hiring patterns. Job advent plans ticked higher in a fourth-region survey through researchers at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp., with 42 percent of small commercial enterprise owners pronouncing they’d add one to 2 staffers in the next six months, up from 38 percent in the 0.33 area.

Owners have said a huge sales growth might persuade them to lease. For many, that might rely on whether patron spending stays strong. The government’s figures on retail income and customer spending display Americans have been feeling great about spending as 2017 ended, a signal that enterprise will be suitable within the new 12 months. Retail income rose 0.8 percent in November after a zero.Five percent gain in October, consistent with the Commerce Department. Overall consumer spending rose zero.6 percent in November after rising zero.2 percent in October.

Many small groups are dependent on purchasers, among them eating places, outlets and service vendors like hair salons. Consumers might also feel like spending if the inventory marketplace extends its big 2017 enhance; the Dow Jones industrial average rose 25 percentage, giving many humans with 401(k)s and other money owed a more potent feel of economic properly-being.

Unpredictable events such as blizzards and hurricanes can hurt spending, and gradual the economic system. But if clients regain their confidence quickly, small organizations are probable to shrug off any dips.

HEALTH CARE

Most companies’ fitness care plans are set for 2018, however, there might be a few changes whilst it comes time to pick guidelines that begin later this year or in 2019.

Owners who need to enroll in institution insurance via the government’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, now have to do so via a medical health insurance agent or broker or without delay via an insurance company. They’re no longer capable of the sign on through the authorities website, www.Healthcare.Gov. However, they are able to go to the website to get information.

The new tax regulation has ended the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance beginning in 2019. Some very small commercial enterprise proprietors had stopped offering fitness plans while the Affordable Care Act changed into enacted due to the fact their staffers have been capable of getting coverage thru health insurance exchanges. While groups with fewer than 50 personnel aren’t required to provide insurance, some can also discover their staffers are interested in group insurance.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Human assets specialists commonly propose enterprise proprietors to update their employee handbooks early in the year. It’s a venture that’s extra of a priority at many groups this yr following a chain of reports of administrative center sexual harassment.

“Every employer needs to have a coverage in their manual that makes clear that sexual harassment is not welcome and that defines sexual harassment,” says Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO, an HR provider based totally in Hollywood, Florida.

Owners can discover templates for sexual harassment guidelines on line. Whether they’re developing a coverage for the first time or already have one, they need to have it reviewed with the aid of an HR expert or a lawyer with know-how in sexual harassment or employment law.

Companies might also want to consider schooling periods to teach staffers and managers approximately harassment — what it is, how to apprehend it, how to record it to proprietors or senior executives.

Owners who don’t have employee handbooks have to reflect onconsideration on developing them. Besides harassment regulations, they ought to incorporate the organization’s guidelines on discrimination, area, holidays, overall performance reviews, ethics and use of business enterprise computers, amongst many other issues. They need to additionally include statistics on benefits. Owners can locate templates online.

MINIMUM WAGE RISES

Eighteen states have better minimal wages as of Dec. 31, 2017, or Jan. 1.

Laws were passed boosting the salary floor in 10 of those states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington nation.

Eight states see will increase due to the fact their minimums are tied to the inflation charge. They are Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.

Small companies inclusive of eating places or meals carrier groups are maximum probably to now be paying their employees extra below the higher minimums. Three-fifths of all employees paid at or under the federal minimum salary of $7.25 an hour are in the enjoyment and hospitality industries. Almost all of those are restaurants or food provider companies, according to the Department of Labor.

Jessica J. Underwood

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