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dwolla for freelancers Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘dwolla for freelancers’ Category

4 Financial Tips for Freelancers

Freelance

Some may think of freelancing as an easy job—you’re just going to do what you love every day, and be your own boss. However, as any seasoned freelancer knows, there are many business elements to manage in order to make it a profitable and successful full-time job.

One of the most important skills you’ll have to develop is learning how to manage your money. Below we’ve outlined a few items to take into consideration when planning your freelance venture.

Track ALL of your expenses

A very basic rule of finance is to keep the books in check; getting paid and making payments should be tracked and monitored diligently. However, this isn’t always easy when you’re operating solo. While it’s not the most exciting task, it’s important to set aside time each day in order to avoid letting it slip your mind or fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

Tracking expenses is critical to ensure that you’re earning more than you’re spending; be sure to track any and every business and personal expense (did you buy a latte before working today?). This will give you control over your financial profile and make you stay the master of your money.

While there are popular platforms available to help track financial accounts (Mint.com) and invoicing (Xero), there are also tools to help you manage all of your paper receipts and bills. One tool, with it’s clever name, Shoeboxed, allows you to scan, digitize and organize receipts or bills. Make the most out of these tools so tracking becomes more manageable.

Expand your client base

Sometimes there’s a slump in business and you need to expand your client base. One thing to try is offering up your writing service for free. Going pro bono once or twice is a great way to get your foot in the door with a new client.

To get going, find a few publications you’re passionate about and write a handful of very polished articles.

If you’re looking for another way to gain clients and boost revenue, get active on sites like oDesk and Elance. oDesk allows freelancers to build out profiles and browse through thousands of job postings. Search by category or skill set, and then apply right there on the site.

oDesk Bonus: If you get interviewed or hired, you can track your hours and project status on oDesk.

Be diligent with the boring stuff

As a freelancer, you enjoy the freedom of managing your own income, you get to set your own rates, and determine the workload. However, that’s no excuse to not to have rock-solid business practices.

Be sure you build a budget. It’s not exciting and it’s not flashy, but it’s a must have. For more on budgeting as a freelancer, check out this article from Forbes.

Beyond the budget, there are other must-dos to keep your freelancing finances on track. Even though working for yourself offers a new level of freedom, income taxes are still part of the process. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers freelance-specific advice on how to calculate estimated tax payments here.

Along those lines, you’re going to need to fill out some paperwork. As a freelancer, you’re responsible for completing W-9 forms for new clients and reviewing 1099 forms from those high-paying clients. Just remember, maintaining absolute diligence will put your financial plan on the path to success.

Tune up your business skills

To make the most of every penny, tune up on your business know-how. This includes being effective in negotiations, contracts, and payments collections.

First, hone in on your negotiating skills. Being a freelancer gives you the opportunity to set your own prices and expectations; don’t let your opportunity for profit fall short. Some tips on stepping up your negotiating game: Don’t take the first offer without question and don’t take less than you genuinely expect. Setting standards like these are bad practice; you want to show that you believe in the value of your own work.

Also, be sure to get a contract in place, and discuss terms upfront. Being transparent is also good practice in freelancing. The mobile app Shake is a tool that can help you with your basic contracts or agreements quickly and easily.

Finally, be savvy on how you collect payments. Choose a processor that puts the most money in your pocket. As a freelancer, you can’t afford high interchange fees. Be diligent and do research on the best way for you to get paid.

While freelancing offers a certain level of freedom, there are still financial practices to adhere to. Be diligent in tracking expenses or maintaining a steady client base, and you’ll be closer to financial success.

4 Legal Considerations For Your Freelance Work

The legal information* comes from guest author Vincent DiForte. Vincent is a Legal Fellow at Priori Legal, where he works to transform how small businesses find a lawyer and afford high-quality legal services in New York, California, and more. Vincent graduated with honors from Brooklyn Law School where he served as an Executive Editor of Brooklyn Law Review.

4 legal considerations

According to a Freelancer’s Union survey, “there are 53 million Americans—34 percent of the U.S. workforce—working as freelancers.” These self-starters fall into two categories: millennial or Gen X professionals going down the road of self-employment or retired baby boomers looking for more flexibility later in their careers.

If you are working as a freelancer or considering it, knowing about these four legal areas will help protect you, your work, and your income.

1.  Contracts

Using a lawyer to draft a contract for your freelance business is critical to ensure you get paid and prosper. A contract not only sets clear expectations for you and your client, but also creates the framework for how courts will interpret the agreement if a dispute arises.

It’s intuitive that a contract needs to state the parties bound to it, the scope of the work and the payment terms. There are, however, a number of other clauses that every freelancer should consult a lawyer about including in their contracts.  For example, a lawyer may recognize that your contract is missing a method of delivery and acceptance clause, an intellectual property rights clause, or a termination/dispute clause. For a contract to properly protect your freelance business, it must be tailored to your industry and specific circumstances.

If you are looking to keep costs down and make legal a one-time expenditure, talk to your lawyer about the concerns your clients typically have so they can draft boilerplate “fallback provisions.” Or, if you already use a contract, ask a lawyer whether it would be more cost-effective to revise it to meet your specific needs, instead of drafting one from scratch.

For an in-depth discussion of the legal do’s and don’ts of freelance contracts watch this Skillcrush webinar with Basha Rubin, CEO and Founder of Priori Legal.

2. Taxes

Along with the independence of freelance work comes the added responsibility of making sure you comply with tax law. Like an employee of a business, freelancers must pay income tax. Unlike employees who receive a W-2, taxes are not withheld from freelancers’ paychecks to cover the employee’s half of income tax, Social Security, and Medicare. In addition to making sure they pay appropriate taxes that were not withheld, freelancers must also pay the employer’s half in the form of self-employment taxes on Form SE.

Moreover, freelancers cannot wait until April 15 to pay all their taxes from the previous year.  Rather, they must pay estimated taxes quarterly.  This means that freelancers must pay taxes four times a year for the money they earned during that particular period. Paying estimated taxes does not constitute filing your tax form, but the estimated taxes will be filed as taxes paid on your tax form for the current year.

Although taxes may seem to cause freelancers many sleepless nights, the easiest way to ensure compliance is to diligently keep track of all your income and expenses. Business expenses for freelancers get deducted from their income on the Form 1040, Schedule C.  For example, if you are working from a home office, this may mean that part of your rent or mortgage payment qualifies as a business expense and deduction from your income.

3.  Intellectual Property

For most freelancers, protecting or preserving intellectual property rights is the lifeblood of their business. Ensuring that you do not transfer ownership rights in the work you create can have a dramatic impact on your career and earning capacity.

As a freelancer, you must take the necessary steps to ensure you retain intellectual property rights. Disputes frequently arise over ownership of the intellectual property (websites, logos, designs, articles and other creations etc.) when ownership rights are not clearly outlined in a contract or agreement. If a client hires you to create something for them, you may transfer all intellectual property rights in that creation upon payment. You can consult a lawyer about the various options you can take to protect yourself from relinquishing these rights. This may include contractual language that states you retain all intellectual property rights or that you grant the client a license to use your intellectual property for the agreed payment.

If a client, or someone else, violates your intellectual property agreement or fails to pay for use, you should consult a lawyer to determine your best recourse.

4. Business Entity

You may want to consider forming a legal business entity.  By forming a business entity you can protect your personal assets from any liability your freelance business incurs. In addition, choosing the right business entity may also add tax benefits and a level of professionalism to your freelance business. You should consult a lawyer about whether forming a single member LLC, sole proprietorship, or S corp is right for you.

No matter how big or small your freelance business, there are always legal regulations and liability to consider. Taking a few precautionary steps can make all the difference in protecting your freelance business, mitigating possible financial and legal problems and avoiding future stress.

*This blog post is legal information, not legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, consult a licensed lawyer.

Totally Addicting Internet Find: ThisIsWhyImBroke.com

I would like to apologize in advance for introducing you to one of the most addicting sites on the Internet. If you don’t have the next hour free, you may want to consider turning around now.

ThisIsWhyImBroke.com curates awesomely odd products from all around the web onto one site, hooking you with products like Giant Pancake PillowsPet Hoodies and Flying Hovercrafts.

While I have you, I’d like to share some my favorite ThisIsWhyImBroke items:

doggie floor dusting slippers

Are you a tad spiteful that your dog just gets to eat, poop, and hang out all day… for its entire life? Put that canine to work with these Doggie Floor Dusting Slippers.

dolphin-power-boat

Take charge of the sea (and terrorize fellow boaters) like never before in this Dolphin Power Boat. It promises to send you skyrocketing into the air “just like a real dolphin.”

hot-dog-meat-mold

Put your burgers in a dog bun with the Hot Dog Hamburger Mold – just like hot dogs in the fact that it still looks gross, but tastes of summer.

lazy-glasses

Propping yourself upright to read in bed can lead to nasty cricks in your neck. Lazy Glasses saves the day by bending the light so that you can keep your head comfortably horizontal on your pillow, where it belongs.

magic-wand

If you’re the type that never really got over not being invited to Hogwarts on your 11th birthday, then this one’s for you. Pretend you’re a powerful wizard as you flip from Mad Men to The Voice with the Magic Wand TV Remote. While we’re at it..

harry-potter-snuggie-blanket

You’ll probably want to be wearing this Harry Potter Snuggie while you channel surf. Suggestion: Keep this deep in the closet if you start dating someone new.

pizza-slicer-fork

The Pizza Slicer Fork is pure genius. Stop losing valuable toppings to the always incompetent attempts to cut your pizza with a fork.

skier-controlled-tow-boat

Hate people? Well lucky for you, you can wakeboard through your friendless existence with the Self Controlled Tow Boat.

snuggle-pillow

Sticking with the theme of being alone in life, the Snuggle Pillow is here to fill that empty spot in your heart, in all of his half-torso button up glory.

umbrella-dome

Keep your head dry with the Hands Free Umbrella Dome. Let’s face it, the umbrella has been due for innovation for centuries. I predict that North Face will break the trend within 10 years and college students will be fogging up umbrella domes on campuses all over the nation.

As you can see.. ThisIsWhyImBroke.com is perfect for shaving time off your long days. Need one more reason to love this site even more? The founder, Adam Freedman, uses Dwolla to pay out some of his freelancers.

Do you have an awesome Internet find that you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

 

©2017 TransSwipe

 


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