The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Business Start-ups

How Do I Pay Myself?

If you are incorporated, you are deemed a employee and should be included on a payroll system. S corporation owner shareholders need to take a "reasonable" salary. Only begin a payroll for yourself when you know your business has the cash flow to allow you to regularly and consistently take a check. The amount of your check will be net after withholdings. If you never have had any experience running a business, you definitely need to retain a CPA to advise you about payroll reporting requirements for yourself and your workers. You are personally liable for any payroll taxes you do not pay in a timely fashion or those you fail to report, even if you are incorporated. Some CPAs will recommend a payroll service company.

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