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So You Want to Launch a Remote Business? Here’s What You Need to Know

3 Mins read

Running a remote business has become a rapidly growing practice. Many companies are adopting all-remote teams and shifting to an online-only presence.

Although this is inarguably trendy, it’s not without purpose. Remote businesses are efficient and cost-effective, and statistics show their workers are more productive.

You can run just about any service remotely. If you’re not sure what type of business you want to start, you’ll find some lucrative remote-business ideas here.

If you’re ready to get started, here’s what you ought to know about running a remote business.

Choose a niche and stick with it all the way

You might feel inclined to experiment with various business ideas until you find one that works, but that approach will probably be costly. A remote business won’t entail the overhead of a brick-and-mortar business, but this approach is like to fail for the following reasons:

·  You have to invest substantial time and money to generate leads/clients/customers. There’s honestly no way to “dabble” lightly in a business to see if it’s worth pursuing. You have to go all-in to find out whether it’s going to be viable. If you don’t go all-in, you’re unlikely to get results and you’ll risk abandoning what could have been a great business idea.

·  Dispersed energy will produce poor results. If you try several business ideas at the same time, your effort toward each will be diluted. When your energy gets dispersed between multiple efforts, you won’t have the laser focus that’s required to get results.

·  You might give up too soon. Nearly any endeavor can be successful given the right strategy. If you’re trying out an array of business ideas and your energy gets spread out without a strong focus, you’re apt to give it up too soon.

Avoid experimenting with multiple businesses to find the right one. To get solid results in any niche, you have to be committed to your venture from day one.

Go all-in with whatever business you choose, but do the appropriate research first. Make sure you’re up to the task.

Remote employees are still employees

You’ll be required to follow all the laws that apply to non-remote businesses that have workers on site. As long as the people you hire are genuine employees and not contractors, you’ll be responsible for the following:

·  Providing sick pay according to state laws

·  Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance: Even remote employees can become injured on the job; for instance, musculoskeletal injuries are common.

·  Payroll tax withholding: You’ll need to pay state and federal taxes, which means withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes from your employees’ paychecks. This is not a requirement for contractors.

·  Obtaining unemployment insurance where required by law

·  Paying your employees in accordance with federal and state minimum wage laws

·  Allowing proper rest and meal breaks: You can’t require employees to work all day without breaks. They need to be able to take proper breaks the same way they would in an office.

These are just some examples of compliance requirements for your remote business. You should check with an attorney to make sure you cover the bases since state employment laws vary.

Avoid misclassifying your employees as contractors

Some businesses intentionally misclassify employees as contractors, but it doesn’t usually take long for them to get caught. Other business owners misclassify employees unintentionally.

But either way, you don’t ever want to be in that position, because all it takes is one disgruntled employee to file a lawsuit and you’re in deep trouble. If they win (and many do), you could end up owing that employee thousands of dollars; and at that point, you’re instantly at risk for other employees filing similar suits.

Make sure you properly classify your workers and follow all state and federal laws pertaining to employees. It may be ostensibly cheaper to classify people as contractors, but it’s way too risky.

If you’re not sure about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, consult an attorney to make sure you get it right.

Track your expenses

When you run a remote business, you’ll have plenty of tax-deductible expenses. If you’ve owned a business before, you’ll be familiar with the basic deductible expenses.

However, if you’re not familiar with this, you can generally deduct the following expenses:

·  Office space

·  Office supplies, including furniture

·  Utility and Internet bills

·  Laptops and computers

·  Mileage for business use of your vehicle

These are some of the items you may deduct as a business expense. For a full list, consult with your tax preparer.

You can create a successful remote business

Owning a successful remote business won’t happen overnight. You’ll have to put in plenty of hard work, time, and money to get results. Once you start seeing them, however, you may be able to ride that momentum and create the success you desire.

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