Can I pay myself ANYTHING??

Juliann Castell

New member
Apr 25, 2006
I am working on my business plan for a coffee shop. A bit of an eye opener - to say the least... pretty scary.... However I am convinced that this is a viable option and that I can make it work.

Question - I am trying to figure out costs and do my financials. I realize that there will probably be little to no profit for sometime - considering I'll be paying off quite a bit of investment loans for a few years. Long story short - do I add in a salary for myself... how do I keep my home lights on if not? Also - If I don't, then I'll not be paying income tax, EI etc. Confusion abounds.. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated. :? :? :)


New member
Feb 3, 2006
Hi. I figured myself a salary in my business plan and in my operating costs...we too enjoy our lights and daily meals! I know what you mean about eye opening - WOW! We hope to open in June and there is always something else to consider.....Good luck to you.

Dark Majestic

New member
May 4, 2006
No salary for yourself ???? Does not sound like a good plan. Would you work for a coffee shop for free ? I'd recheck your plans .. What your shooting for in any business is profit .. that's earnings above and beyond compensation for running the business.

Good Day ...


New member
Jun 27, 2006
You need to figure in a salary for youself. What you can do, is start off with a low salary expectation, then give yourself a "Raise" down the road depending on how the business does.


New member
Apr 4, 2006
Austin, Tx

they are must include your salary if for no other reason than the banks will notice the omission. DO NOT assume that your salary will be based on yearly profits or you will be paying yourself nothing for at least the first year. I made this mistake and ended up making about $2000 over my living expences and that was with me working behind the counter for a majority(up to 90hrs/wk)of the time. Also plan for the worst. Include plans for expanding the business into your proposal to give yourself a little breathing also makes you look more ambitious. Banks like to make a profit and they believe they will see a quicker return if they think you are going for something bigger than a mom and pop. I know it goes against logic but that has been my observation.


New member
Jun 16, 2006
The last thing you need at the end of busting your hump in your own shop all day is to get home and wonder when the eviction notice is coming from your apartment landlord.

One of the most common mistakes small business owners make is to neglect to pay themselves anything. At the end of the day if your business fails and you've never taken anything out for the work that you have done you end up with no business and no home, instead of just no business.

If your financial projections over your first few years are not generating a postive result when paying yourself is included as an expense then you need to stop moving ahead with your plan until you find a way for the result to be positive, or your plan will fail.

Worst case scenario is that you have to declare the business bankrupt. When all the debt gets written off the amount of debt might as well be higher by the amount of your salary. It won't make things any harder and you don't end up sleeping in a box or your mom's basement.

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