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    8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2008 11:56 PM by intechspecial

    Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?

    wazzan Newbie

      I was wondering is there anywhere I can find tax records that businesses in my community had filed to IRS to get an idea of how much money small business's make and how they are being taxed in regards to how they are set up (sole,partner,LLC,S corp). I would like to learn and the best way for me to learn is by looking at what other people did and their mistakes.

      Also, if I was to acquire a franchise would the branch I operate be listed as an LLC or s corp or what exactly?

      I would appreciate if anybody can direct me to resources or books that I can read into.

      Thank you!

        • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Tax records?? Welcome Moe

          Hi, Who are you?? Where is your community??
          Are you in College?? What is your Major??
          What kind of business?? What Franchise??

          Tell us more.
            • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
              wazzan Newbie
              Virginia Beach, VA, Old Dominion Univ,I graduate next semester with an Business admin degree IT Major. I like both IT and all aspects of business. Recently I have become really interested in owning a business so I have been trying to read and research as much as possible.

              My ultimate plan is to operate several local business including a restaurant although I want to start with a restaurant. So I was trying to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of starting from scratch or getting a franchise to learn all the in's and out's of a restaurant business ( I see it as a safety net)

              Which is why I wanted to understand the basics, this is stuff we didn't learn in Accounting or Finance classes (for example how S corps are taxed in comparison to an LLC or partnership, benefits of either one regarding on the situation)

              And if I was to get a franchise locally never mind which one it is, how am I linked to it, am I free to set it up anyway I like (s corp c corp llc) or will there be rules depending on the franchise it self.

              If I operate more than one different type of business will I be taxed on each businesses' income separately or will it all be combined into a larger tax bracket?
            • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
              GrowthCurve Adventurer

              Generally speaking, tax returns are not public record. Possible exceptions are non-profits, charities, etc.

              If you want to see how other companies are organized, you could possibly go to your state's corporation commission (most have a Web presence) and look up the business. However, I don't know what value that will be to you, as the decision to go S-corp, C-corp, LLC, or sole proprietor is unique to the business and the people involved.


              If you buy a franchise (whether new or existing), the entity will be as you choose, unless you buy the shares of the existing entity, should it exist.


              If I were you, I'd focus first on what kind of business you want to own, then worry about the administrative and tax-related issues. I think you might be putting the cart before the horse here.


              In some cases, a franchise can be easier to finance because lenders and investors can look to existing franchises and see whether the concept is sound and if they are making money, etc. However, a new franchise -- one with few, if any, existing franchisees -- is going to be looked at the same as any other startup. And even if you want to buy a rock-solid franchise, you will still need capital and some relevant experience to have an easier time borrowing money.


              Please keep us up to date as to what kind of business you think you'd be successful at.


              Good luck.
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
                  wazzan Newbie
                  I am planning to go with a special foreign cuisine targeting minorities in the local area and people who like to try non traditional healthy but good quality and tasty food. Something which there is not much competition here but pretty easy to get repeat customers if the food is right; not a full service restaurant, more like come up and order, grab your food and either take out or dine in.

                  My main problem is I am somewhat of a perfectionist which is why it seems like "I put the cart before the horse", thats why I read into taxes, what type of business to form etc.

                  At the same time I want a realistic non dreamy approach of what to expect, wether I would have to hold a some sort of job while trying to run a business. Which is why I was looking for availability of tax forms.

                  I have lived abroad nearly all my life and came back to the States on scholarship which is why I have to read about everything since I did not really need to work while I am in school, so I did not experience the day to day activities of regular businesses.

                  I just finished reading an IRS publication '583' (starting a business and keeping records) I just have this deep desire of operating a Business and implementing all aspects of a business activities (accounting, marketing, finance etc) at the same time I do not want to be naive thinking everything is simple and just any business concept is going to work.

                  Thank you for your replies
                    • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
                      GrowthCurve Adventurer
                      Anything food-service related is going to be a struggle. I really can't think of a more complicated, more challenging small business to go into. Retail is hard enough...add in the fickle nature of food customers, the spoilage, the problems finding good takes a special person to want to be in that industry.

                      I do not suggest that you try to start this business on your own, at least not yet. I most certainly don't think you can hold down a different job while trying to start and run this business.

                      I think it would be a very good continuation of your education to pursue a management career in a business similar to the one you want to open one day. Put in three years doing that, and then you will be much better prepared when the time comes. You will also have an easier time finding capital because you will have some experience, and you'll have saved a few dollars along the way. (Right?)

                      And who knows, you may determine that you really dislike the business, in which case you haven't lost any of your own money. Sometimes thinking about running a small business is more fun than actually doing it.

                      Please let us know what path you take.
                  • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
                    NoBullFunding Scout
                    Franchises are required to provide something called an FDD, which outlines everything about the franchise including the success rate of that particular franchise.

                    Growthcurve is 100% correct...find what you want to do, then learn everything you can about it before doing it full time. All the administrative BS (business plans, incorporation, accountants, lawyers) are irrelevant if you aren't in the right business.

                    When I was fresh out of college, I got the best piece of advice with regard to entrprenuership: once you figure out what you want to do, just start doing it and the pieces you need will fall into place. If you make widgets, sell them on ebay before you open a widget store. If you want to have a restaurant, cater parties for family and friends. The point I'm trying to make is that if you have an idea, take some baby steps first to see if its viable...worry about the details once they are worth worrying about.

                    Private tax record are not available. Lenders use something called form 4506, which they use to verify that tax returns they have been supplied with are what was filed with the IRS, but the tax filer need to consent to that.

                    You seem to like record return preparation is a stable way to earn income, perhaps you should take a tax course and give it a try. If you are this diligent now even before graduating, I suspect you'll do great!
                    • Re: Fresh undergrad interested in SMB, tax records?
                      intechspecial Ranger

                      To my knowledge tax records are not public record, unless there is an ongoing investigation.

                      At the point a criminal investigation is started, the authorities might choose to disclose certain documents to the media.


                      I am no authority on this of course, but it would seem to make sense.