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Five Reasons Not To Combine Your Small Business And Personal Banking

May 27, 2008
When starting a small business one of your primary concerns should be the banking services you employ. Those who are starting out often think that by mixing their personal and small business finances they will have greater efficiency and far less stress. Many part time business operators often use their personal account to carry out their business banking functions but on the whole, this kind of strategy should be avoided.

There are many reasons to have distinct personal and small business banking options for your company. A common misconception is that by combining finances it will be possible for your business to cut out extra banking charges that come as part of having a small business account. In effect however, while you may be avoiding the odd charge, you could be hurting your financial position.

The first reason not to mix your personal and small business banking is down to expenses. Government legislature makes it quite clear that it is only possible to write off expenses if the company has a business account. By keeping you finances in your personal account it will seem that your business is purely a hobby. The longer you do this, the harder it will be for the government to recognise the validity of your company and hence, harder to retrieve expenses and VAT charges.

The second reason is down to transparency during the tax calculation period. When you have to declare income and earnings you will have to spend a considerable amount of time separating all of your personal transactions from those of your small business. This can be a major banking headache and the time you spend combing your statements could be better spent devoting your energies to improving the profitability of your company. A separate business account will make the position far clearer and easier when it comes to the time of tax returns.

Thirdly, while there may be no law enforcing that a small business must have a specialist banking solution, it is not always advisable to ignore the benefits in terms of record keeping. You must have accurate records of your transactions throughout the year. These records must be complete and show the income and expenditure of your small business. Once again, a specialist account will mean that your records come in their own statement and hence are clear and transparent audit trail will be created.

Fourthly, your business could be harmed when mingling your finances by missing deductions that you may be entitled to. The statements of a combined account will be a mess of transactions and the chances of you missing a transaction that you may have given you a deduction is quite high. These can be detrimental to your profits and when you consider the time and energy either you or your accountant will have to spend raking the records, highly wasteful.

Fifth and finally, it may seem a minor point but by not having a separate account for your business, the professionalism of your services can be seriously affected. For instance, a customer writing a cheque to your business in your name may eventually see your company purely as a part time operation. Even if it is part time, do you really want your customers thinking that?

Taking the time to look into specialist banking services for your small business will be ultimately rewarding. Remember to research different account packages and find the one that most suits your type of company. The question you need to ask yourself is that while you may think that combining your finances is a good idea, can you really afford not to keep them separate?
About the Author
Financial expert Thomas Pretty looks into why small business banking services should be heavily utilised for success.
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