Author Topic: Starting a small business - 401k?  (Read 1309 times)


  • Bristles
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Starting a small business - 401k?
« on: November 29, 2014, 06:30:35 PM »
Hello! So, my boyfriend's dad is a biochemistry PhD and neurologist who has been making hot sauce on the side (after eating lots of it his whole life). Boyfriend and I are thinking of eventually turning trying to sell this sauce into a nice side hustle, mostly because it sounds like lots of fun to do, and if it doesn't turn super profitable... so be it. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it's tasty, and between the three of us, we have lots of good ideas. Worst case scenario: we lose a bit of money and learn a lot. Either way, starting your own business is good life experience.

Part of our plan, inspired by Paula at Afford Anything, is to pay ourselves by the hour for whatever we put into it, even if it's only $1/hr. This is mostly so we track our time and set up some good habits for when it (hopefully) becomes more profitable, and because our time is valuable! We'll rent a commercial community kitchen to make batches and sell them at farmer's markets, online, the state fair... and I'm sure we'll have more ideas.

I know some of you have done something like this. Any advice? This is still in the very beginning stages, since we live half the world away from the hot sauce now :)

Also, from my understanding, if we incorporate a small business, we can open personal 401ks, correct? Then we can start contributing to them and have a nice tax-deferred way to invest that we don't have now (we both worked from very small business at home and plan to max out our IRAs first, of course). Can we only contribute our "earnings" from the hot sauce business, or can we funnel in money from our regular jobs too?

I feel like I should mention that neither of us makes a ton of money, but my boyfriend works a part-time remote job now that could potentially support him while getting this business started, but it would be tight.


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Re: Starting a small business - 401k?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 07:57:19 PM »
Tax advice on the internet is often worth what you pay for it.  If you do get serious about your business, it probably makes sense to consult with a tax professional. 

With that said, here is the irs documentation on solo-401k plans:

From a quick look through, you may not "funnel in money" from you regular jobs.