You’ve been chugging along as a sole proprietorship for a while now, but you’re beginning to realize that might not be the best idea to protect your business. So you’re considering converting your sole proprietorship to another structure, specifically the S Corporation.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if now is the right time to convert your business structure.
1. Do You Want to Bring on Investors?
Maybe you bootstrapped your business, but now you’re ready to take the company to the next level, and to do that, you need investors. This is an automatic reason to convert to an S Corp because investors rarely want to invest in a sole proprietorship (it puts their assets at risk).
If you want potential investors to take you seriously, change your structure to an S Corp. That way, they aren’t liable for your company’s debts or legal fees, and they’re more likely to give you the money you need.
2. Are You Worried About Protecting Your Personal Assets?
Did you realize that as a sole proprietor, the law sees you as an individual as the same as your business? That means if you are ever sued, you may have to shell out from your personal savings to cover legal fees if your business doesn’t have the funds.
Incorporating, on the other hand, separates you from your business, providing a legal shield around you that protects your assets and finances from being taken for the business.
3. Are You Looking for Some Tax Relief?
While incorporating won’t magically eliminate your taxes, there are some pretty great tax perks, like only being taxed once (versus twice like with the C Corporation) and being able to report your business profit and loss on your personal income tax forms.
4. Do You Want to Reduce Your Likelihood of an Audit?
Sole proprietors are nine times more likely to get audited than corporations. What does that tell you? It’s time to change your business structure! Being audited can be a paperwork nightmare that can eat up precious time you’re better off spending running your business, so if a simple switch of business structure could reduce your chances, go for it.
5. Do You Plan to Sell Your Business?
Whether you want to sell in a year or 10, the S Corp is the ideal business structure to make that transition a breeze. Because you can’t transfer ownership of a sole proprietorship (it’s tied to you and only you), the S Corp is a better entity to package up and hand over to the new owners.
If these questions made you realize that, yes, you do need to convert your sole proprietorship to an S Corp, now’s the time to do it. As long as you file File Form 2553 by March 15, 2016 (or let CorpNet do it for you), your business will be treated as an S Corp for the 2016 tax year.
Don’t delay! Get your S Corp Election order processed now with CorpNet so you can reap the tax benefits for 2016.