In a recent blog post I discussed assessing one’s skill set. Life, whether as a mom or office assistant, may have equipped you with the skill set necessary to be a virtual assistant. If you want to take the next steps towards the goal of working from home as a virtual assistant, there is a lot of work to be done in getting your ducks in a row.
You see, anyone can put up a sign and claim to be a virtual assistant. The right way is to line up your ducks before scrambling to convince potential clients that your ducks are where they are supposed to be! A little extra research, planning and preparation will make all the difference in getting started on the right foot. My goal with this blog series is to guide you through setting yourself up as a virtual assistant using my experiences as a trail map, and marking certain pitfalls to avoid.
Right now you may think you are ready to put out that sign and start taking on clients. I thought I was, too. Personal experience has taught me that the more research and duck tending I do, the smoother the transition. You see there are so many things to consider, including your business name, your business and tax classification (i.e.: Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Corporation, Incorporation), what account your funds are paid into, legal factors and so on. All this can be completed while you prepare your resume and portfolio.
Your business and tax classification are very important. Many virtual assistants are too eager to get started and neglect this important step. To their dismay, they end up paying a higher tax rate on their earned income than they would have if they had done their homework ahead of time. Such is the case if you don’t protect your business by making it official and creating either a Limited Liability Corporation or Incorporating. There are many factors to consider. As you consider what to do, read up a little on the differences, in fact – here’s where you can get started: http://sbinformation.about.com/od/ownership1/Ownership_LLC_Inc_Partnership_Sole.html.
Once you have your business name and type in place, the next thing you need to do is to open a business checking account. All transactions for your business needs to go through your business account and transferring from a personal to business account sends up red flags to the IRS that there might be some fraudulent activity going, so keep it legit!
Putting your ducks in a row will go a long way in setting up shop and getting you ready to put out that sign announcing your business for the entire world to see.