Would starting a small buisness be the way to go
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    Iíve Started beekeeping and from my original intent it has evolved into much more. Iíve got ten hives at this point this year that are Queen right and happy. I started the year with a swarm that fell in my lap and two nucs. From there I did some removals etc. won a few lost a few but now I can confidently say Iím more likely to succeed on a removal then end up with a hopeless queenless colony. I did not harvest honey in any amount to speak of due to a poor location but I have since found a great pasture from a friend surrounded by palmettos mesquite and tallows along with fields of dewberries and spring forage with lots of golden rod and other sources of winter feed. I also have other leads to chase on other spots. Iíve done a few removals mostly cash some paid with a check Iím guessing I need to report the income but to me that only seems fair if I write off equipment and mileage on my vehicle. What would be the recommended course of action. I didnít save all the receipts but I have most of my online purchased items or should I just not worry about this year and if I still have bees in January start tracking it better and get a tax ID. I have a local beekeeper I get tips from and sometimes extra boxes he has as he is starting to downsize with age. Obviously a lot can change wether it be failure or fading interest but my goal would be 50+ hives minimum in the next 2-3 years and using the many available swarms and doing splits and requeening with purchased queens. Maybe a few nucs if I have a good crop or do good on removals next year.

    I honestly would like my hobby to make me a buck on the side but obviously that wouldnít come for a few years since I plan to put my own money plus money from removals and honey back into more equipment. My outlook maybe misguided but if I could make 10-20k from 100 hives or so that I managed as an enjoyable hobby aspect that seems pretty worthwhile as well as justifiable to the wife and maybe write expenses off in the short term. My question if not clear is

    1.should I file and get small business this tax year.
    2. Can I use a charge on my credit card statement as a receipt if it says something new related or do I need the actual receipt.
    3. The local I talk to every once in a while claims to have around 150 hives and made ~15 drums I believe he said 2 full supers per hive harvested in July if I do that math 55 gallons x 12 lbs per gallon 660lbs a drum x 15 drums is 9900lbs he has the local market pretty speed up his honey is everywhere I would think to market mine so I would ideally just like to sale in bulk $3-$4 per lb thatís still 30k before expenses of course. Does that sound right? How difficult is it to move bulk if your a sideliner.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Fertile, MN
    Posts
    156

    Default

    You don't need to claim taxes for 10 hives and prob not for 50. If you have 50 for a couple years and carve out a market then consider it.

    Bulk honey price is around 1.85 right now. You would do much better to sell locally and have a cute girl behind the stand.

    The most important thing you can do right now is not get caught up in finance predictions. Because I promise you that you will be disappointed at the end of the year.

    You must understand that honey is the by-product of keeping your bees alive and healthy.

    Step 1 for you is to become obsessed with mite control and young queens, once those 2 things are your hobby you can thrive.

    Step 2 skim past this post and not take it to heart, struggle for 10 years and finally realize that you should have listened to step one year one instead of year 11
    Young queens - Tanner Christianson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North East Wyoming
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    Go talk to an accountant. I started as a hobbyist with 5 colonies in 2011 and since 2012 bounced between 10 and 40 colonies as a side liner. The wife handles everything on the business side of life but I know in 2012 we registered an LLC with the state and began claiming everything as a business and using all of the expenses for beekeeping as a tax write off. A good accountant can guide you through everything and let you know what you need to do on the tax side of life. Portions of your house if used for beekeeping can be written off, mileage on your vehicles, expenses related to the business (classes, out of town travel, wood work, feed, packages, queens, etc...) Also, I think it would be beneficial to seek out your local Small Business Development Center and see what they have available for coaching and assistance. They can put you in touch with local resources and small business classes that are curtailed to someone in your exact same position.

    This is my personal opinion here: That's great that another beekeeper has been able to monopolize the local market but that definitely doesn't mean you can't create a product and compete. Business is business at the end of the day. I also highly recommend diversifying outside of just honey if you're going to keep a lower hive count. There are all kinds of products that can be made with beeswax, propolis, and honey. Some of those products sell for a premium. I am not a savvy businessman or salesman, I've been extremely blessed in that my wife handles the business side of everything and I get to do all of the fun stuff.


    Other than that, I would take everything Woodside stated for step1 and step2 as very sage advice.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    Thanks for both replies good point. mite treatment in south Texas can be difficult too hot for formic no brood break for oaxilic but I use both. The money I spend would be nice to write off plus the mileage and my understanding is I can have a loss for 5 years.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North East Wyoming
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    The money I spend would be nice to write off plus the mileage and my understanding is I can have a loss for 5 years.
    This is why I say talk to an accountant, I was under this impression as well but according to my accountant that's not true.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    In what ways is it not so? Iím working nights for a month so I wonít have time to talk to my accountant for a while.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    North East Wyoming
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    Well, I don't know I'm not an accountant but according to the firm we're using right now we could claim a loss into perpetuity if we wanted as I understand it. You don't necessarily have to be profitable after a certain time period. I was under the impression at the beginning that if we didn't show a profit after five years the business reverted from an actual business on our tax filings to a hobby in which case we would no longer be able to claim expenses as write-offs. There are stipulations as to continuing improvements or running a deficit as you expand that allows the business to remain non-profitable. Again I'm not an accountant and I don't know if the way this is handled is specific to Wyoming or not. My wife handles 99% of the business aspect, if you're going to be on nights for a month I would recommend correspondence through e-mail.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,396

    Default Re: Would starting a small buisness be the way to go

    The last class I took on business and taxes was in 2001 so take this for what it is worth. As long as the "intent" of the business is to make a profit, it does not matter how long you continue to lose money at it. Most people give up when they run out of the green stuff. Laws may have changed since then. But, filing with the SCC and registering a business name goes a long way towards establishing intent.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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