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- Even a part-time side job is a real business and can qualify for a credit card.
- A business credit card can help you keep your business and personal expenses separate, manage your cash flow, and earn rewards.
- However, credit cards are only helpful if you use them responsibly, and pay off your entire balance each month.
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Side hustles are a popular way to earn more income. Whether you are looking to pay off debt, improve your savings, or stash funds away for retirement, a side hustle can be a fun way to learn new skills and make money at the same time. But just because it is a side hustle doesn’t mean it is a real business.
You don’t have to register a business with the government for it to be considered a real business. If you make money doing anything on the side, it’s a business in the eyes of the government. If you have to pay taxes on it (you do), you might as well take advantage of some of the benefits.
In many cases, that involves opening a new credit card just for your side hustle.
Is a side hustle really a business?
In the eyes of the law, if you make money doing something and you are not an employee, you are in business. That includes rideshare drivers, middle schoolers who shovel driveways, craft creators who sell on Etsy, and even item sellers who list their possessions on eBay.
Even if you don’t get a 1099 or other tax reporting form, you are required by law to track and report your business earnings. During tax season, most people report their side hustles using a Schedule C. Whether you are a sole proprietor or an LLC, that’s most common. You may also work with a partner or elect S-Corp taxation, in which case your report your side hustle income using a K-1 form.
Either way, it’s a business. And the government isn’t the only entity that considers it one. Most banks are happy to open a business account for a side hustle. You just have to meet a few ID requirements to get up and running.
Your side hustle deserves its own bank account
While it may take a little hunting, you can find a free small business checking account at a local bank, credit union, or even an online bank. With a dedicated bank account, you can easily track all of your business income and expenses in one place.
This helps you in several ways. If you have an LLC or other registered business entity, keeping your personal and business finances separated in this way helps you avoid piercing the “corporate veil” that protects your personal assets.
It also helps make your bookkeeping and accounting much simpler and easier. Whether you do your own taxes or hire a professional, it always helps to have dedicated accounts for your business.
A side hustle business card has multiple benefits
Just as you can open a small business bank account, you can open a small business credit card! I use the Ink Business Cash Credit Card myself, and also like the The Business Platinum Card from American Express for premium travel. Here are three benefits of a business credit card to consider:
Keep personal and business funds separate
Your business bank account helps keep business transactions out of your personal accounts. Your business credit card does, too. As long as you use it only for business expenses, a business credit card is an excellent way to pay. And it is a lot safer than a debit card.
Manage your cash flow
Your personal credit card lets you pay for purchases at the end of the month without paying any interest. If you want a short-term loan, a credit card is a useful tool for that as well, as long as the interest rate isn’t too high. You can take advantage of the timing of your purchases and payments to help manage your business cash flow.
My favorite reason to get a business credit card: the rewards! You can earn a big sign-up bonus and get miles, points, or cash back with every business purchase. As long as you pay off your card in full each month, it’s easy to get more value from rewards than the cost of the card. That is even the case with an annual fee in many cases.
Credit cards are not perfect for everyone. If you have a tendency of carrying balances and paying big interest expenses, you should avoid using credit cards for regular purchases. But if you can commit to paying them off in full each month, credit cards are a great tool for business and personal spending. Side hustles included.
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