Is Your Hustle A Business Or A Hobby?

IRS, SBA, and SBDC does not consider your hustle a business because you are not doing the below things.

  • Time Keeping: You do not keep track of your time. You’ll need to prove that you are actually working on a project, client, general administrative tasks. You need to know how long you have been working on the task.
    • Refer to DCAAM 7641.90, paragraph 4b-d for audit compliance.
    • Look for free or inexpensive time keeping apps like AllHours and MyHours.
    • Use an excel worksheet.
  • Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): You do not have policies or SOPS created.
  • Revenue: You do not have any revenue and you can’t prove that your business will generate revenue in coming years. Keep the below on line.
    • Profit & Loss Statements (P&L)
    • Client/Customer List (This is secure document and needs to be handled via the Privacy Act.)
    • Bookkeeping System
      • Wave Apps: Free book keeping system
      • Quickbooks: Most used book keeping system
      • Xerox: Another common book keeping system
  • Operating Agreement: You do not have an Operating Agreement.
    • Seek the advise of an attorney, especially if you are apart multi-member ownership.
    • Legal Zoom
    • Rocket Lawyer
    • Legal Shield
  • Insurance: You do not have insurance to protect your business. Look to your industry or sub-industry associations. Most will have partnerships with insurance companies to provide comprehensive insurance for your business.
  • Corporate Minutes: You are not keeping copies of your corporate minutes.
    • Should be done no less than once per quarter.
    • Should include all major decisions of your organization
    • Should be filed in a secure place with limited access
  • Membership Certificates: Owners of your organization do not have membership certificates. Obtain a corporate kit that will have certificates, a binder, a stamp, etc.
  • Legal Registrations: You do not have the basic documents to establish that you are a legal entity.
    • Business License/ Articles Agreement (The name will depend on the state)
    • EIN: This will be issued by the IRS. You need to keep the original document.
    • State/County Auditor Tax Filing: Some states require a resale license. Check with your state how to obtain one.
  • Resume: You do not have a resume outlining your qualifications to run your business.
    • Credentials and Training
    • Past work experience that contributes to your current business

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