As a small business owner, deciding what to pay yourself can be a tricky question. You don’t want to give yourself so much that you cripple your company or so little that you trigger IRS scrutiny and penalties.
To settle on a suitable salary, you need to understand how your company’s legal structure affects your compensation and taxes. Your salary and bonuses are taxed one way; distributions to you as a shareholder are taxed another way.
Find out what the market rates are for CEOs in your industry and your size of business. Seek advice from the best accountant and lawyer you can find. Your trade association can also be of help in this area.
If you were paid little or nothing in the first years of your business, don’t be ashamed of compensating yourself well when the business is successful. You’ve earned it.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.