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Using Your 401k to Start a Business

Posted on | November 21, 2011 | 2 Comments

Starting your own business allows you flexibility and control of your financial future.  While the thought of writing yourself a check from 401k funds to start a business may sound easy, there are several steps to consider while thoroughly reviewing the process.  There are tax penalties to understand and if your business doesn’t pan out as well as you had hoped, you could lose more than your retirement funds.

The use of additional resources such as a financial planner or a retirement plan administrator will help you review options.  You may have the option to roll over 401k funds into a corporate retirement account that allows you to invest in your business.

 

Because so many start-up businesses fail, many say it is not a wise decision to use retirement monies to fund your venture.  Evaluating your risks will help you make an informed decision on using retirement funds.

Review the amount you have in your retirement account and determine whether or not to use all funds or just a portion.  For tax purposes of for your business, it may help to have a separate account to utilize your funds once you obtain them.  This also allows you to keep track of expenses. Upon requesting your 401k funds, a portion may be set aside for tax withholding before you obtain the amount you are requesting.

Your business opportunity should be something you enjoy and have plenty of knowledge about.  Starting a business may be the best opportunity to reinvent yourself and want to make sure things are executed in the best way possible to increase chances of your business being successful.  Additional tips to keep in mind when starting your business:

  • Certain aspects of starting a business may become complicated and if it does don’t be afraid to consult a lawyer or financial specialist. They can assist you throughout your business venture by making sure tax information is correct and provide additional business advice.
  • If you start a corporation using existing 401k funds, penalties fees may be waived.
  • Understand your market by conducting plenty of research, especially during a slow economy.
  • Look into courses and classes available for entrepreneurs.  The Small Business Administration has a wide range of business resources available.
  • If other people are involved in your business that is employees, make sure they are aware of changes during the process.  Make sure you have good communication before and after the business gets up and going.

Andrew writes frequently about personal finance as well as issues effecting both consumers and small businesses, covering everything from credit cards to mortgages to tax reduction.


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