Why it’s essential to separate your business and personal expenses
4 minute read
During the early phases of starting up a business, many entrepreneurs tend to treat their personal life and business as a single entity, funnelling money where they need it. This can bring on a bookkeeping nightmare when it comes time to do your financial year end and a rude awakening when it comes to tax filings when you are slapped with a higher tax bill!
This guide breaks down why you need to avoid mixing your business and personal expenses.
Why is it essential?
Mixing the two will only create complications and leave a lot of money on the table when you are not optimising your tax positions. As a business owner, it’s crucial to treat your business as an independent entity from you. Below there are 5 reasons why you should keep them separate.
To qualify for tax deductions, it’s essential to have all your business expenses during the financial year fully substantiated.
Having records that differentiate your personal and business expenses will save your time, and extra panadols when it comes to random tax audits conducted by IRAS.
Protects your assets from business liability
Separating your personal and business finances will work to your advantage should your business default on loan payments. For example, if your business is registered as a Pte Ltd company, it means that if your creditors take legal action against you for not paying off your debts, your personal assets cannot be claimed to satisfy the obligation.
Builds business credit
Good credit ratings qualify you for substantial loan amounts and with better repayment terms. A perfect business credit gives you access to large business loans and helps you get lines of credit without much hassle.
The best way to grow your business credit is separating your finances, and registering your business in different credit bureaus where all your transactions and debt payments will be reported.
Save time and money
Separating the two accounts can help you save time when doing your accounts or pay a smaller amount instead if you decide to hire a bookkeeper or accountant. Having clear records will help reduce the billable hours and reduce your reliance on them to only when necessary for example during tax periods. It makes it easier for you to track your income and expenditure without getting it mixed up.
Tips on keeping both expenses separate
Below there are 4 tips on how you can keep both accounts separate and how your startup company can benefit from it tremendously.
Register your business as a separate legal entity
The first step to raise your business profile is to register your business as a separate entity. Take a look at our article on different business structures to learn more here.
Open a separate business account
It is important to have separate bank accounts for your business and personal expenses. It is advised to open a business bank account with another bank instead. By doing this, you can avoid transferring funds from your personal account to your business account, or the other way around.
Have an accounting system in place
While a separate checking account helps you keep track of all business income and expenditure, a proper accounting system and strategy will provide more help in managing your finances.
This is the reason why many people hire a reliable bookkeeper and accountant, who can ensure that you do not mix both your expenses up and can keep track of all the records.
You can also subscribe to accounting software like Xero to raise invoices, record payments, manage payrolls, and record all business transactions.
Set a budget
It is good to always set a budget for your business so that you can avoid pulling out more cash from other accounts. Setting a clear budget that is based on your company’s current earnings will help keep your personal and business finances separate.
Separating your business and personal expenses will not only help you track your business income and expenditure, but it will also significantly improve how you run the business.