Are you looking for a new workspace or transitioning careers? If your vision even involves something like a rented office cubicle, you’ll need insurance.
Every business owner needs guidance when starting or expanding their services. You will need insurance if you use your car as an office or just need a workspace to create your product.
What is a business office for taxes and insurance?
If home is where the heart lies, then your office should be where your mind dances. No matter how good you are, your workspace needs to ensure your business security and financial stability, and that can’t happen without proper insurance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken many people away from their jobs.
All over the world people have lost jobs and businesses they have been in for years. To make up for lost wages or as a way to work while respecting social distancing, more and more people have turned to their cars.
Using your vehicle as a way to earn money, start freelancing, or maintain a business turns your car into a business asset. If you were to lose your vehicle for any reason or for any length of time, it would have serious consequences on your operation.
How to properly file your taxes and what additional insurance coverage is needed once you start operating are crucial things to consider when expanding your business.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), anyone who owns a business or is self-employed and uses their vehicle for business purposes can deduct car expenses on their tax return.
If you use your car as an office for chauffeur service or even attend meetings with clients, keeping track of your use for tax deductions is crucial. Vehicle tax deductions are based on two methods.
When you calculate the annual tax deduction for your car, you will use either the actual expense or the standard mileage rate. The IRS takes into account the cost per kilometer that business owners spend to serve their customers and gives a tax deduction to businesses dependent on mobile. The standard mileage rate reimburses a fixed amount, currently 56 cents per business kilometer driven.
What insurance do I need if I use my car for work?
If your vehicle is used for business and leisure purposes, using actual expenses may be the easiest solution. You should consider reporting your actual car expenses if your business affects or depends on any of the following:
- Damping value of the pipe
- Gas and oil changes
- Insurance cover costs
- Rent payments or loan repayments
- Repairs and tune-ups
- State registration fees
- Tire maintenance
There are three types of auto insurance coverage that contractors and freelancers tend to use. Depending on your business and personal needs, you can discuss which business class coverage will give you the best coverage for your needs.
Class 1: Basic needs coverage
Class 1 insurance will help cover driving between multiple locations for occasional trips to meet with clients or various work sites. Typically, this includes positions such as agents, home nurses, groomers, or artists.
Class 2: Securing additional hands
If you’re running your business but need extra hands, like an apprentice or assistant, Class 2 will provide additional coverage. Class 2 coverage will include many items from Class 1 but will extend coverage to another driver.
Class 2 will not cover high mileage travel, but will be useful for any type of business owner who is outsourcing assistance and wants to include an employee or partner in the insurance.
Class 3: Hit the pavement cover
If you are a freelance writer or a salesperson, a high mileage insurance plan will be what you need. This is the more expensive option, but that’s because those with frequent, long-distance travel requirements are seen as a greater liability.
Commercial insurance for car and office
Commercial insurance may be what you need if none of the categories provide sufficient coverage or if you are operating as a sole proprietor. Classes 1, 2 and 3 will not provide sufficient protection required to cover traditional commercial vehicles for contractors and independent drivers such as instructors, carpoolers or delivery drivers.
A list of bonuses having commercial auto insurance includes:
- Theft Auto
- Assistance for material damage
- Coverage of legal costs
- Coverage for medical payments
- Protection against forms of vandalism
What is important when renting office space?
Getting a physical office where clients can come, have a workroom, or find a place to separate your business from your home is a big step. Your office is much more than a well decorated or organized space and can be the best thing to help your business or your worst mistake.
Even if you don’t open a storefront to sell a product, there are some common mistakes new entrepreneurs make when choosing where and how their office should be.
Where you are counted
Even if you rarely have clients visiting your office, you want a welcoming space. When looking for an office space, external factors are just as important as internal potential. Parking, traffic levels, and even nearby restaurants could affect the growth of your business.
Bonus insurance tip: Before signing a lease, ask your auto insurance company if your new business location will increase your premium. Changing your postal code can dramatically affect your rates for business and auto coverage.
Leave room to grow
Reaching the level of needing your own commercial or office space is exciting, but don’t let your current success limit your future. What are your long term goals and will you hire more help?
These issues can be overlooked during the transition and leave many new entrepreneurs at risk for breaches or worse. Before examining a space, your real estate agent should know exactly how much space each employee needs to work comfortably and what state laws are relevant to your business.
Spaces conducive to corporate culture
Sometimes you have to go with your instincts. What kind of corporate culture do you want to create?
When finding new office space, consider both the community around your location and the structure of the building. Is there any equipment in your building that could add value to your office, and will it require additional insurance coverage?
How to choose an office location
Whether you are driving, renting, or owning a new property, you want to make sure that you are taking the right steps to grow your business. While decorating your dream workspace is essential, choosing an affordable location isn’t just about price.
Being a business owner and boss opens up a whole new area of responsibility and makes you accountable to your clients and subordinates, so you need all the support you can get.
Knowing how to take advantage of each step as you reach your career goals will make transitions easier as you grow. Using insurance as a tool for business growth will not only protect what you have, but can help you get to where you want to be.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, 4QuoteAssuranceAuto.com. Danielle has been a freelance writer and business owner in the greater Atlanta area for three years.