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Ideas to achieve a values-based business practice

About our Guest Expert Peter C. Soh of

Peter C. Soh -- a savvy certified public accountant -- is owner of, a company dedicated to serving the daily developmental requirements of startups. His company offers a buffet of business services, including business plan assistance, financial strategies, accounting reviews, and stock option planning. In addition, Peter forks over tax-planning solutions that'll keep Uncle Sam from taking the lion share of a startup's profits.

A consultant for more than 9 years (including a five-year stint at Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Services Group), Peter now enjoys being his own boss. He also wears a small business advisor hat for the U.S. Small Business Administration and teaches "How to Start Your Business" seminars for them. At EC2@USC, a business incubator of the University of Southern California, Peter uses his consultative skills to help others succeed.

When he's not enjoying the thrills and spills of assisting business startups, Peters enjoys the same rush while rock climbing or snowboarding. When things slow down, Peter tries his hand at writing fictional stories and doing his best to emulate his role model, Tiger Woods, on the golf course.

If you'd like to learn more about Peter's consultative services and read some of his free-for-the-taking biz articles, just go to his website.

Peter's Answers

What can I write off on my taxes?

I'm borrowing a chunk of money from a family member to buy a business....

Since my background is in accounting and finance, I'd like to broaden my horizons and become an individual financial analyst... How did you get your first client? What aspect is your specialty? How did you market to your target audience?

I read somewhere that there were recent changes to the Office-in-the-Home Deduction. Can anybody explain what those changes were exactly? Is this a good tax-write off for my home-based business? How does it work? Thanks!

If my business is non-U.S.-based, and I have worked with independent contractors that are in the U.S., do I have to fill out a 1099 for them? Likewise, if I'm U.S.-based, should I assume I do not have to send a 1099 for someone who is non-U.S.-based?

I'm just starting up a bookkeeping service at home. A few clients who are new to the business would purchase supplies etc. using their personal credit card and pay for this personally NOT thru the business. Am I correct in entering the debits to expenses and the credits to Owner Loan?

I've been looking at Idealab or Ideafactory as far as support, that will make ideas happen fluidly. My question is, anybody had any experiences with either?


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