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Checkbook startup blues?

I've seen this many times. A guy or gal has a business idea. It's a great idea and there is a real demand for their product or service. They start out fast and get plenty of business but don't separate the business activities from their personal ones. They use their personal card and checking account to fund their startup.

Fast forward 12 months. They are doing really well with more business than they can handle but taxes come due. They take their shoe box full of receipts to a tax profressional and discover that they should have been using business acounts. Sorting this all out between the business and personal tax return is a mess and runs up a big tax preparation bill and, worse, take a lot of time away from the business. Also, there can be a tax shock that the business owner didn't prepare for and causes a cash flow crunch.

A few hours of preparation early on could have prevented this all too common occurance. <list of things to do> You can do these yourself though a professional that has done them before will take a lot less time and understand what is (and isn't) needed.

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