Many small business owners and solopreneurs need help with paperwork and the complexities of business taxes. When forming your own LLC, especially if it’s your first time, you may find yourself thinking about the logistics of running your company more than the work you’re actually passionate about.
If you’re looking for help in business incorporation, taxes, or payroll, Collective is the first back-office system made for self-employed business owners. By becoming a Collective member, you gain access to a team of experts who can help you with everything from general administration to the specifics of business formation and electing an S corp tax status.
What’s Useful About Collective?
Collective offers a unique set of services to its members. The first – and arguably most important in the long run – is helping self-employed business owners register as an LLC with S Corp taxation.
If you form an LLC, you can elect to be treated as an S Corp by the IRS for tax purposes. The benefits of this are manifold. S Corps are pass-through entities, meaning they pass corporate income, losses, credits, and deductions onto their shareholders when paying federal taxes. S Corps can therefore avoid additional taxes.
Collective agents guide members through registering their company as an S Corp, getting an employer identification number, business license, and separate business bank account. A Collective membership also gives you access to an accounting and tax team. They’ll set up your payroll and file your business (and personal, if you choose) tax returns at no additional cost.
If you’re a solopreneur, you may have had to go through the tedious process of reconciling bank statements with business transactions. Collective agents will take care of this too. If you have questions related to taxes or financials along the way, every member is assigned a Member Relationship Manager to act as their primary point of contact with Collective.
Collective calls itself the “first back-office system designed for self-employed business owners,” and it’s true that almost no other memberships will offer you this amount of help with setting up and maintaining your business.
Business formation help
Registering a business in your state requires several steps that Collective can assist you with. One of the most important is drafting an operating agreement for your LLC.
An operating agreement is a document signed by the members of your LLC that acts as a contract laying out the purpose, provisions, and regulations of your business. Having an operating agreement not only informs the day-to-day operations of your business but protects your status as an LLC in the eyes of the government.
Collective advisors can help you draft a professional operating agreement and jump through various logistical hoops. Obtaining an EIN, picking a registered agent, and filing an S Corp election with the IRS requires a lot of paperwork Collective can help you manage.
Collective can provide you with quarterly tax estimates and annual salary recommendations. If you’re worried about filing tax returns – either for your business or for yourself – Collective’s accounting and tax team can also do those for you if you elect.
Bookkeeping and accounting
This is the service many business owners will enjoy the most about Collective. After all, most entrepreneurs don’t start their businesses hoping to be their own accountants.
A Collective membership automatically gives you access to a dedicated team of tax specialists and accountants. This back-office team will automatically categorize your monthly expenses, reconcile credit card and business bank accounts, and close your books at the end of the year to prepare for taxes.
For accounting-specific needs, Collective offers members training in bookkeeping and payroll and will set up your books and payroll for you. Collective works with CPAs to give 3rd party verification of your financials for lending purposes.
Collective offers many services related to your company’s payroll. They’ll automatically file new hire reports to the state you do your business in and can quickly issue and file W2s. You won’t need to worry about filing your quarterly payroll returns, as Collective has this covered, too.
Your Collective subscription will give you access to a Gusto membership. Gusto is a cloud-based payroll and HR-management software that Collective advisors can help train you in. Another nice perk of Collective’s offerings is that your payroll is automated, and you have unlimited payroll runs.
Pricing for Collective
Collective offers two pricing plans. A monthly plan costs $299 per month, and a yearly plan costs $254 per month. That roughly translates to 15% in savings when you pay annually. Though this is a high monthly cost to add to your budget, you may find it worthwhile as a small business owner, especially if you plan on hiring a third-party accountant or bookkeeper to help you with your finances.
Also, Collective is tax-deductible, meaning you can claim it as a business expense when filing taxes and subtract it from your gross income. Collective says it will pay for itself within months. However, this obviously depends on what kind of expenses you had planned to make prior to your membership and whether or not you were already registered as an S Corp before joining.
Is Collective worth it?
This will depend on your business needs and your familiarity with the ins and outs of running a Business-for-One. If you’re relatively new to the solopreneur life and don’t know the steps of registering a business and electing S Corp status, Collective could be very helpful. If you don’t want to manage your own accounting and want to focus more on your passion than your paperwork, Collective may also be a good choice for you.
How do I get a membership?
Collective is an invitation-only service, meaning it’s not available to the public. Referrals are how most members join, but you can also contact the Collective team directly through a form on their website. Collective describes their typical members as “full-time solopreneurs, like marketing consultants, coaches, designers, software developers and creatives who make over $80,000/year.” If this sounds like you, it may be worth reaching out!
Does my Collective membership cover taxes?
Your Collective membership will not cover any third-party fees. This includes fees and taxes charged by your city, state, or federal government and business licensing fees.
Is there a set-up fee?
You’ll be charged a one-time $399 Business Success Upgrade fee if you’re seeking assistance with an existing LLC or an LLC already electing an S Corp tax status. The reason for this fee is so Collective can take extra time to review your records and standardize your books where necessary.
Collective is a handy tool for small business owners seeking help with bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, and business formation. Calling themselves the first back-door system for self-employed business owners, Collective’s mission is to help you focus on your passion instead of your paperwork. If you’re curious about being a member, consider contacting Collective today.