I was The Ice Cream Man! That’s right; my 1st real business was driving an Ice Cream Truck during the summer before my last year in college. I had to save enough money from my company to last the whole year. I say “real” because my social life would be directly affected by how much cash I could save for the coming years fraternity/college activities. Let’s say the business was a smashing success because my final year in Oswego, NY was off the charts. I proved that I was no fluke and my accounting career would follow suit.
About a year into my CPA journey I received a shocking notice from NYS. A tax warrant was filed against me! My accounting career was over before it even began and all the money I had saved would have to go to a tax attorney if I was going to survive. Those are the first thoughts that went through my mind. That lasted about 15 seconds. I was lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of accountants that I showed my official NYS Tax Warrant too. It had a big red seal on it and much official language that sounded like I was in trouble. It also had a phone # on it that the accountants pointed out and suggested I call. It turned out that when I leased the ice cream truck, I had to apply for a sales tax certificate because I was a reseller. I bought the ice cream wholesale and sold it retail. All I had to do was fill out a few sales tax returns and mark the last one final and mail it in with the official NYS certificate of authority they sent me, and I had luckily saved.
I tell this story because it’s true and it’s also typical of what happens to almost every entrepreneur. Luckily, experienced accountants that knew what to do were all around me. Had I not been, I probably would have picked up the yellow pages (this was way before the internet) or found a local CPA that I didn't know. This was a simple solution that didn't cost me anything to fix.
Unfortunately, I have seen far too many instances where business owners were not so fortunate. Why did this happen to me and why does it happen to so many other business owners? Because when we start a business, we don’t know what we don’t know.
This site is devoted to helping new business owners learn what they don’t already know about starting a business.
The 1st thing to do is determine how to build your Foundation.