Starting a Home Health Care Business? Here’s How To Set It Up In 10 Steps.

Opportunities to start a home health care business are more abundant than ever before and is one of the largest growing industries. This is mainly due to the increase in elderly population as well as the baby boomer generation. It is expected by 2020 that nearly seven million people in the US will be over the age of 85. These individuals are preferring to be cared for in the comfort of their own homes. But to do so, many will need help with the daily tasks of living. This is where home health care businesses come to the rescue.

Home Care Related Businesses include:

• Non-Medical Home Care Agency
• Home Health Care
• Home Hospice Agency
• Non-Medical Transportation
• Geriatric care management
• Senior relocation services

No matter which of these entrepreneurial ventures you’re interested in, you can be sure that as baby boomers continue to age, the demand for home health care services will continue to rise.

Here are 10 Steps to set up a Home Health Care Business:

Step 1: Choose a Business Structure

Your home health care business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business entity you chose will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes. You may choose an initial business structure, and then reevaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change. Depending on the complexity of your business, it may be worth investing in a consultation from an attorney or an accountant to ensure you are making the right structure choice for your business.

Step 2: Draft and Sign Your Operating Agreement

An operating agreement set out the rules and procedures that will govern the company and its owners. If your business has just one owner, your operating agreement can be short. If it has multiple owners, it likely will be longer and include issues like economic rights, voting rights, management rights, transfer restrictions and more.

Step 3: Register Your Home Health Care Business Name

This is the first step toward making it real. Your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Once you chosen a business name, get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to identify your business. You will also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. There may be city, county or state regulations as well.

Step 4: Plan Your Finances

Starting a home health care business doesn’t have to require a lot of money nor you certainly don’t need to join a franchise to provide in-home care, but it will involve some initial investment. To provide this service, you’ll need to be bonded, if you’re transporting seniors in your vehicle, you’ll need liability insurance, as well as involving some initial working capital to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. There are a number of ways you can fund your home health care business: family and friends, grants, small business loans, angel investors and crowdfunding.

Step 5: Open a Bank Account

It is important that your business maintain its own bank account separate from your personal accounts to avoid issues with commingled assets. Banks will require your ID, a copy of your Article of Organization and, EIN letter in order to open an account. Some banks will require all or portions of your operating agreement.

Step 6: Choose Your Accounting System

Home health care businesses run most effectively when there are systems in place. One of the most important systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, track your expenses and profits, conduct business with others and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork. If you set up your accounting system yourself, you should purchase a subscription to a cloud-based accounting platform such as QuickBooks, FreshBooks or Xero. They will make tracking income and expenses easier and will save you all kinds of headaches come tax season.

Step 7: Hire an Accountant

It is important to understanding the numbers involved to help make smart business decisions and have the expertise of moving your home health business forward. Warren Buffet said “Accounting is the language of business.” Using a software program is a great start to getting your records in order; however, an accountant with expertise in working with home health care businesses will help ensure you are taking advantage of every tax incentive and deduction, as well as keep you in compliance with the latest rules and regulations. You will also have the added assurance of knowing your taxes are prepared accurately and on time to avoid late filing penalties.

Without financial and tax planning, you increase the chances dramatically that you’ll run out of money far quicker than you ever thought. Working with an accountant year-round not only allows for a smoother and more accurate income tax return process, but also to help determine your timeline to profitability through careful budgeting and planning.

Step 8: Set Up Your Business Location

Setting up your place of business is important for the operation of a home health care business whether you will have a home office or private office space, or a brick and mortar location. Make sure your business location works for the type of home health services you will be doing. Although many business mistakes can be corrected later, a bad location is sometime impossible to repair.

Step 9: Get Your Team Ready

Build a staff of key employees. Make sure you take the time to outline the positions you need to fill, and the job responsibilities that are part of each position. Don’t be afraid to hire out the payroll work. Wage and hours laws can be confusing. You aren’t running a home health care business because you want to spend time tracking the employment laws affecting the company, but not following them can put you out of business. If needed, get help from a qualified advisor who can help you navigate these and other complex employment laws to avoid costly mistakes. This will help improve the overall health of the business’s short-term and long-term goals.

Step 10: Promote Your Home Health Care Business

Marketing is critical to your long-term business success and growth. You will want to start with creating a marketing plan and explore many marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your home care business. Create a plan focusing on strategies that work for home care businesses use as using social media, establishing professional relationships and attending health fairs. In addition to creating your own business materials such as a logo, and business cards.

6 Reason Why Small Businesses Should Keep Good Records

Everyone in business must keep records.   Record keeping is not solely about fulfilling regulations or legal requirements.  Record keeping is also about understanding your business, to monitor the progress of your business, now and in the future.   In addition, good records can increase the likelihood of the success your small business.

Here are 6 Reason Why Small Businesses Should Keep Good Records:

Detail Tracking of Business Income Expenses.  As a business owner, you will receive income such as money or property from many sources and business expenses which can range from advertising to utilities and everything in between.  It will require you to track a significant amount of information and documentation, to properly identify your customers, sales, inventory and deductible expenses.  By keeping track of all business expenses, you can take the largest tax deduction you are entitled to.  Without a proper record keeping system, tracking important details of your business may be impossible.

Keep your books up to date.  Small business owners need to know where their company stands daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.  Without this knowledge you have no control over your business.  Keeping your books up to date and accurate is the best remedy for your business’ financial health.  A bookkeeper can help manage your business and keep your finances on track.



Prepare Financial Statements.   Small businesses need good records to prepare accurate financial statements.  These include income (profit and loss) statement and balance sheets.  These statements can help you in dealing with your bank or creditors and help you manage your business. Financial Statements also can convince lenders, crowdfunders, or investors to fund your small business.

Growth.    Small businesses often operate with plans to eventually grow.  Start by committing time to outlining a  business plan for your business to grow and update your plan on a regular basis to address any changes.  A business plan is a road map and can help you find more growth opportunities and avoid common mistakes.

Legal Compliance.  Numerous federal laws require employers to create and retain various forms of employment records and in some instances, to make filing with governmental agencies.  The more employees a company has, the more record-keeping laws it will be obligated under.  The business owner is responsible for meeting your monthly, quarterly and annual federal, state, and city tax obligations. Your small business must file timely monthly, quarterly and annual tax returns.

Tax Preparation.   You need goods records to prepare your tax returns.  These records must support the income, expenses, and credits you report.  Generally, these are the same records you use to monitor your business and prepare your financial statements.  If the IRS examines any of your tax return, you may be asked to explain the items reported.  A complete set of records will speed up the examination.

8 Steps On Starting Your Small Business

You have finally decided to go on your own.  Congratulations!  Now what is your plan?   Do you have an accounting system in place?  How are you organized for tax purposes?  Do you have an updated business plan?

Here are 8 Steps on starting up your small business:

 Create a Plan and Write It Down: A plan can help you move forward, make decisions, and make your business successful. You might develop a fairly simple business plan at first as you first open your small business than elaborate as you prepare to approach bankers and investors.

Decide on a Business: When deciding on a business name research availability for that name then choose a business structure. Your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Depending on the complexity of your business, it may be worth investing in a consultation from an attorney or an accountant to ensure you are making the right structure choice and help to iron out all the details. This is not an area you want to get wrong.



Register your small business: This is the first step toward making it real. Get a Employer Identification Number (EIN) to identify your business. You will also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. There may be city, county, or state regulations as well.

Plan Your Finances – Starting a small business doesn’t require a lot of money, but it will involve some initial working capital to cover ongoing expenses before you are turning a profit. There are a number of ways you can fund your small business: family and friends, small business loans, angel investors and crowdfunding.

Choose Your Accounting System: One of the most important systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, track your expenses and profits, conduct business with others and file your taxes. You can set up your account system yourself, or hire an accountant to take away some of the guesswork.

Set Up A Bank Account: One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and tax reporting to the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds. Using a business account for all business transactions will eliminate that possibility.

Set Up Your Business Location: Whether you will have a home office, private office space or retail location, setting up a place of business is important. Make sure your business location works for the type of business you will be doing.

Promote Your Small Business: You will want to start with creating a marketing plan and explore many marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business.

It’s a terrifying experience if you don’t have the support you need, hire an accountant to be your trusted advisor.

Are there Tax Breaks for Military Families?

There are some special tax breaks for members of the military and their families. If you’re in this group, here are some tips:

 Moving expenses. Service members who are on active duty and move because of a permanent change of station can deduct the reasonable unreimbursed expenses of moving.

 Combat pay. Enlisted persons and warrant officers who serve in a combat zone for any part of a month can exclude all military pay for that month from their income. Officers also can exclude a limited amount of pay.



 Joint returns. Spouses who are not available to sign a joint income-tax return due to military duty may use a power of attorney or IRS Form 2848 to file the return.

During the transition to civilian life, you may be able to deduct certain job search and/or moving expenses. You should also remember to meet with your financial professional to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

For more help with individual or business taxes, connect with us today. Our team can help you with all your tax issues, large and small.

Tax Time: Plan Ahead for 2018 to Avoid Refund Delays

Take steps now to ensure smooth processing of your 2017 tax return and avoid a delay in getting your refund next year.

Gather Documents
Making sure you have all your documents before your file your return, including your 2016 tax return. This includes Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Forms 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the Premium Tax Credit. Doing so will help avoid refund delays and the need to file an amended return later. Confirm that each employer, bank or other payer has a current mailing address.

Typically, these forms start arriving by mail in January. Check them over carefully, and if any of the information shown is inaccurate, contact the payer right away for a correction.
Taxpayers should keep a copy of their 2016 tax return and all supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Doing so will make it easier to fill out a 2017 return next year. In addition, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their 2016 return to properly e-file their 2017 return.



Renew Expiring ITINs
Some people with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may need to renew it before the end of the year. Doing so promptly will avoid a refund delay and possible loss of key tax benefits.

Any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years will expire on Dec. 31, 2017. Similarly, any ITIN with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. Anyone with an expiring ITIN who plans to file a return in 2018 will need to renew it using Form W-7.

Taxpayers who fail to renew an ITIN before filing a tax return next year could face a delayed refund and may be ineligible for certain tax credits. For more information, visit the ITIN information page on IRS.gov.

Expect Some Refunds to Be Held
As always, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to rely on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Though the IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, some returns require further review.

For a Faster Refund, Choose e-file
Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Nearly 90 percent of all returns are electronically filed. There are several e-file options:
• IRS Free File,
• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs,
• Commercial tax preparation software, or
• Tax professional.

Use Direct Deposit.
Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account. There’s no reason to worry about a lost, stolen or undeliverable refund check. Direct deposit saves taxpayer dollars.

6 Best Practices Using QuickBooks

Even if you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a long time, it’s good to step back and evaluate your actions.

“Best practices” aren’t enforceable rules. They’re simply guidelines businesses commonly follow in one area or another. If you’re in retail, for example, one best practice might be to always ask customers checking out if they found everything they were looking for. This serves two purposes: It conveys a feeling of concern for the customer’s shopping experience, and it may also lead to increased sales.



QuickBooks Online has many best practices, some of which may serve multiple purposes, including these:

    • They keep your company data safe and clean.
    • They provide insight on your financial status.
    • They save time.
    • They can lead you to better relationships with customers and vendors.

Are any or all the following common practices for your business?

Reconcile accounts regularly.

One of QuickBooks Online’s most useful features is its ability to connect to your financial institution’s websites and download cleared transactions. QuickBooks Online also offers tools to help you keep your accounts reconciled online, like you used to do every month when your paper statement came. Reconciling accounts can help you uncover errors. It gives you a truer picture of your cash flow, and it improves the accuracy and timeliness of some reports.

It’s not a particularly pleasant process, but you should be reconciling your accounts regularly in QuickBooks Online. We can help.

Clean up your lists.

Some lists in QuickBooks Online aren’t overly long. You don’t have to worry about, for example, Payment Methods, Terms, or Classes. Your lists of customers and vendors, products, and services, on the other hand, can grow unwieldy over the years. This means it can take more time than it should to scroll through lists when you’re using those entities in transactions. It also puts unnecessary stress on your company file. If you can’t delete any, at least make them inactive.

Never leave QuickBooks Online open when you leave your work area.

This goes for everyone, even people who work alone and don’t access their company files away from their work areas. The obvious reason is to keep someone else from getting in and authorizing payments, for example, or otherwise compromising your financial information. It also protects the integrity of your data file in case your internet connection suffers some kind of outage.

Keep track of 1099 vendors.

Whether your company uses 10 vendors or a hundred or more, you may have to supply at least some of them with an IRS Form 1099 at about the same time you’re preparing W-2s for employees. Your 1099-related tasks will be much easier if those individuals and/or companies are earmarked. If you think vendors might need 1099s when you create their records in QuickBooks Online, click in the box to the left of Track payments for 1099 in the lower right corner. Not sure? Ask us.

Classify everything with care.

Every time you have to create a record or transaction where categories are involved (i.e., Classes, Customers and Vendors, Territories), check and double-check that you’ve assigned them the correct classification. Errors here can result not only in problems with daily workflow, but your reports will not be accurate. A related best practice: Create a meaningful group of Classes, and use them faithfully. They’ll help you make better business decisions.

To create your list of Classes, click the gear icon in the upper right and select All Lists | Classes | New.

View reports on a regular basis.

There are some advanced financial reports in QuickBooks Online that we should be creating for you on a regular basis, either monthly or quarterly. These include Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. The mechanics of creating them aren’t difficult, but analyzing them is. You should be running reports on your own at frequencies that you think would be helpful, like A/R Aging Detail, Unpaid Bills, and Sales by Class Detail.

If you’ve been using QuickBooks Online for a while, you could probably come up with your own list of best practices. If you’re new to the site, consider scheduling some time with us to go over more of them. Develop good habits from the start, and there won’t be nearly as much need for troubleshooting down the road.