You spend afternoons daydreaming of the adorable bakery you’ve always wanted to open. In your fantasy, you’re pulling a pan of scones out of the oven as you make eye contact with your husband, who is making a latte for a customer. Your dreams have finally come true, and you’re co-owners of a successful small business. But what you’re probably not considering are the late nights of stress, the arguments about business policies or being together every waking hour of the day. Before leaping into launching a small business with your spouse, carefully consider the implications of the move.
Benefits of Working With Your Spouse
Someone You Trust Implicitly
In the business world, it’s rare to trust your coworkers or company president implicitly. But when it comes to co-owning a business with your spouse, the basis of trust is already there. At the end of a long day of work, it’s helpful to know that your business partner is looking out for your best interest, too. This implicit trust may lead you to take more risks, which often leads to new opportunities and financial payoffs, according to Entrepreneur magazine.
Cut Your Tax Bill
When filing taxes in Canada, the higher earning spouse is taxed at a higher rate than the lower earning individual. A practice called income-splitting can decrease your tax burden by reducing the amount that the higher-earning couple makes, according to the CBC. Putting your spouse on the payroll can reduce the amount you pay in taxes, as long as the salary is considered “reasonable” and the normal payroll deductions are made.
Pool Your Strengths
Perhaps you’re a great creative thinker, while your wife excels at mathematics and financial planning. Owning a small business with your spouse allows you to pool your strengths, decreasing the amount you spend on outside help and improving the efficiency of your business. This business model of shared responsibility often results in enhanced profits and opportunities for expansion, according to Chron.
Why Co-Owning A Business May Not Be For You
Stress Can Bleed Into Your Relationship
It’s natural to get upset with your coworkers or manager from time to time. When that person is your spouse, however, things can get sticky. One of the drawbacks of starting a business with your spouse is that the stresses of the business may bleed into your alone time. A practical tip to deal with this is to set firm “work” and “home” hours. For example, you may choose not to talk about work after 7:00 p.m., giving yourself time to prioritize your relationship. Set firm boundaries and stick to them to stay motivated, energized, and sane.
Nonstop Busy Work
When the phone is ringing off the hook or you have hundreds of orders to fill over a holiday weekend, you may question the sanity of going into business with your spouse. Although there are many moving pieces in a successful small business, it’s essential to use technology to your advantage. For example, use bookkeeping software to keep all of your invoices, receipts, and payroll information in one place. Instead of spending hours wrestling paperwork in the office, you can steal away early or focus your energy on a new advertising strategy.
This guest post is via Ryan Harrison. He is a native New Yorker, Ryan is a work-from-home financial consultant and father of twin girls.