How Much Should You Pay Yourself From Your Business?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Feb 26, 2023
Small Business Insurance New York

As a business owner, one of the most crucial decisions you need to make is how much to pay yourself. It can be tempting to take all the profits and pay yourself a hefty salary, but it’s important to consider the long-term sustainability of your business. Determining your salary requires a careful balance between fulfilling your personal financial needs and investing in the growth of your business. In this article, we will discuss several topics related to how much you should pay yourself from your business.

Understand Your Business Finances

The first step in determining how much to pay yourself is to understand your business finances. You need to have a clear picture of your revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. This will help you determine how much money your business can afford to pay you as a salary without jeopardizing its financial health. Consider the following:

  • Calculate your monthly fixed costs, such as rent, utilities, and salaries of other employees.
  • Identify your variable costs, such as raw materials or inventory.
  • Estimate your monthly revenue and profits.
  • Consider your cash flow to ensure you have enough money to cover expenses and emergencies.

Once you have a clear understanding of your business finances, you can determine how much you can afford to pay yourself.

Consider Your Personal Finances

While it’s essential to pay yourself a fair salary, you also need to consider your personal financial needs. You may have personal expenses, such as rent or mortgage, car payments, and other bills. It’s crucial to factor in your personal finances when determining your salary. Consider the following:

  • Calculate your personal monthly expenses.
  • Determine how much you need to cover your living expenses.
  • Consider your long-term financial goals, such as saving for retirement or investing in a new property.
  • Be realistic about your financial needs and avoid paying yourself too little or too much.

By considering your personal finances, you can determine a salary that meets your needs while still ensuring the financial stability of your business.

Look at Industry Standards

Another factor to consider when determining your salary is industry standards. Research what other businesses in your industry pay their owners or top executives. This will give you a benchmark for what is reasonable and fair. Consider the following:

  • Research online, talk to industry experts, or join industry associations to get a better idea of industry standards.
  • Consider the size of your business, the number of employees, and the complexity of your operations when comparing salaries.
  • Be flexible and willing to adjust your salary based on industry trends and economic conditions.
  • Remember that industry standards are just a guide, and your salary should ultimately be based on your business’s financial health and your personal financial needs.

By comparing your salary to industry standards, you can ensure that you are paying yourself a fair and competitive wage.


Determining how much to pay yourself from your business requires a careful balance between your personal financial needs and the financial health of your business. By understanding your business finances, considering your personal finances, and looking at industry standards, you can determine a fair and reasonable salary. Remember that your salary should be flexible and adjusted based on changes in your business and personal financial needs. By paying yourself a fair wage, you can ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your business.

Related Post :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *