How Should I Pay Myself From My Business?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Apr 02, 2023
Small Business Insurance Georgia

Starting a business can be a challenging task, and one of the most common questions entrepreneurs ask is how they should pay themselves. When you’re running a business, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your income and expenses, and that includes your personal income. Deciding on how to pay yourself can be a daunting task, but here are some tips that can help you make the right decision.

Before we dive into the specifics of how to pay yourself from your business, it’s important to understand that there are different types of business structures, and each has its own unique tax implications. For instance, if you’re operating as a sole proprietor, your business income is taxed on your personal income tax return. Whereas, if you have a corporation, you’ll need to pay yourself a salary, and the company will need to withhold payroll taxes. Therefore, it’s essential to know your business structure and how it affects your personal income.

Decide on a Reasonable Salary

When you’re deciding how to pay yourself from your business, it’s crucial to determine a reasonable salary that aligns with your business’s financial goals. Here are some things to consider when determining your salary:

  • Look at industry standards to get an idea of what other businesses in your industry pay their executives
  • Consider your experience, education, and skillset
  • Factor in the financial health of your business
  • Consider the contributions you make to the business

By taking these factors into account, you can come up with a reasonable salary that matches your level of expertise and your business’s financial situation.

Determine the Best Payment Method

Once you’ve decided on a reasonable salary, you’ll need to determine the best payment method for yourself. There are several ways to pay yourself, including:

  • Salary: As a business owner, you can pay yourself a salary, just like any other employee. This is a common payment method for corporations
  • Draw: If you’re a sole proprietor, you can take a draw from your business’s profits. This is a flexible payment method that allows you to take out money as needed
  • Distributions: If you have a partnership or LLC, you can take distributions of profits. This payment method allows you to take out profits based on ownership percentage

Ultimately, the payment method you choose will depend on your business structure, financial goals, and personal preferences. It’s essential to consult with a financial professional to determine the best payment method for your business and personal situation.

Reinvest Profits into Your Business

When you’re first starting your business, you may need to reinvest profits into your business to help it grow. It’s essential to have a plan for reinvesting profits to ensure that you’re setting your business up for long-term success. Here are some things to consider when reinvesting profits:

  • Invest in marketing and advertising to increase brand awareness
  • Upgrade your technology and equipment to improve efficiency
  • Hire additional staff to increase productivity
  • Expand your product or service offerings to increase revenue streams

By reinvesting profits back into your business, you can help it grow and achieve long-term success.


Determining how to pay yourself from your business can be a challenging task, but by following these tips, you can make the right decision for your business and personal situation. Remember to take into account your business structure, determine a reasonable salary, choose the best payment method, and reinvest profits back into your business to help it grow.

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