Monday, October 10, 2011

Babies and Taxes

Opening your own business is a lot like having a baby. It really is like first-time motherhood when you worry over every little thing and can hardly sleep at night whether baby is sleeping or not. It's always on my mind, I'm always working, I never have a day off, even on my day off (today).

And, like having a baby, there is a huge learning curve. From how to price to what to put on my shelves and how to put it there to encourage my customers to buy it, to liquor laws and of course, inevitably, taxes. Yes, I have to learn about taxes. I am not naturally gifted in this area, but I've generally managed. When I was a student I did my own with those blissfully easy online services like Turbo Tax. That was very useful when I lived overseas as well, especially because you could easily file tax extensions online (by the way, if you've done so, your deadline is looming!). Which I always did. Since coming back to the States and having children we have filed promptly, if not early, for that beautiful refund check.

But, I won't be seeing one of those for a long time! Now I have to learn about sales tax and business tax and which items to tax and how to get an exemption for non-taxable items and tax this and tax that. My state has plenty of rules for me to learn about. And even though I now have an accountant to guide me in the right direction, I still have to understand everything to be able to give him the information he needs and comply to all the rules. All this while trying to learn as much as I can about every other aspect of business, including my product!

And that's the best part. The bit that helps me relax and smile even with all there is to do. I'm in the business of wine, and it's always enjoyable learning more about that!

Hard at work: Studying the color of a lush red wine

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