For a lot of people starting their own business is a huge barrier to overcome, but it may also be that, in your industry, you have no other choice. In any case, being an entrepreneur yourself is not the same as working as an employee. A lot is arranged for you when working for an employer which goes unnoticed, such as insurance, administration, accounting, and taxes. As an entrepreneur, you will have to arrange this yourself. In this blog post, we will look at how you can do this yourself and what you should think about.
This blog post is not intended to provide advice on specific providers of financial services. The names that come up illustrate options and are the result of our own experiences. We are not paid for this session by the names mentioned in this article. You should discover which banks and accountants suit your needs yourself and get professional advice on the choice of specific financial products.
We start at the beginning, what legal form do you choose? There are a lot of them, but the "sole proprietorship" and the "B.V." (a private company) are the most obvious forms. It is good to get advice from a bookkeeper or accountant, but there are also some rules of thumb.
The big difference between a sole proprietorship and a B.V. is that, in a sole proprietorship, you have to add all profit (turnover minus costs) directly to your income, over which you will pay income tax every year. This is not the case with a B.V. The money remains in the B.V. unless you transfer it to yourself. You also pay tax on this, but you have more control over when you want to pay that tax.
You would think: Why shouldn't I use a B.V.? With a B.V., you incur a lot more costs and more administrative burdens, such as having an annual report drawn up. Just like the choice for a petrol or diesel car, there is a tipping point somewhere. This shifts every year, depending on new tax rules. For 2021, this tipping point is around €104,000 PROFIT per year. So if you're well below this, a sole proprietorship is economically more advantageous.
(Note: revenue is what you get, profit is what you keep!)
In any case, talk to a bookkeeper or accountant about this if you're in doubt since there are even more differences between these forms, such as how you're liable, a sole proprietorship is your personal entity, a B.V. is a new legal entity. Furthermore, this tipping point depends on your own situation, what other income you have, deductions, etc. In this article, we will assume the sole proprietorship scenario.
💡Calculate yourself which is cheaper, sole proprietorship or B.V., on berekenhet.nl
Business bank account
Now that you have chosen the legal form, it is time to open a business bank account. For a B.V. this is mandatory, for a sole proprietorship it is not. Even if it is not mandatory, we definitely recommend that you use a business bank account for a sole proprietorship as well. This way you keep work and private life separate.
We find it useful to choose a bank that allows you to spread the money of your business over different pots. For example, bunq offers a bank account for one price per month in which you can open up to 25 extra IBAN accounts, without paying more. With Knab, you can open 5 IBAN accounts and unlimited savings goals.
The only thing that is still missing to be able to receive money from your clients is a way to invoice. There are a lot of tools available, luckily you don't have to do this with Microsoft Word itself. There are also requirements related to an invoice. A nice all-in-one tool that we are a fan of, is Moneybird. This is a user-friendly accounting platform, in which you can create your invoices, keep track of invoices and receipts and see whether your invoices have also been paid through a bank link.
Many bookkeepers are picky when it comes to accounting software. It's a chicken and egg situation. If you would like to work with a certain accountant, they will probably come up with a preference for certain software. If you would like to work with Moneybird, it is useful to find an accountant via the Moneybird site who already likes working with Moneybird.
Great, the company has been founded, a business bank account has been opened, and invoices can be sent. Time to make money and keep going! Yes, this is how a lot of entrepreneurs start in the first year, but unfortunately, we are going to burst your bubble right now: not all the money that comes in is yours.
As a sole proprietor, there are two types of taxes that you have to deal with. These taxes are VAT, which you must pay quarterly, and Income Tax, which you must pay once a year. Watch out: you do not file for the income tax for this year until April next year. If you haven't set some money aside, you have a problem.
Many entrepreneurs get into big trouble in the first few years because they don't have enough money to pay the Income Tax. Therefore, be wise and make sure you have this aspect well taken care of. If you want to be sure that you have set aside enough VAT in a separate bank account and if you want to free up time by doing this automatically, download the Flow app.
It works like this:
- Download and install the Flow app
- Make sure you have linked all your bank accounts to Flow
- Use the money method: VAT Buffer
- Whenever money comes in, VAT is automatically reserved.
Want to get even more out of your business? Then we recommend taking the Flow+ for Business, powered by Profit First subscription. This includes a 10-part video course, an audiobook, and a free consultation to set up your company according to the Profit First method. With this method, you will get the most out of your company, without any extra time or effort.