1 Self-Emplyment & Supprted Self-Emplyment Handbk State f Flrida Divisin f Vcatinal Rehabilitatin
3 Flrida Divisin f Vcatinal Rehabilitatin Self-Emplyment Handbk Table f Cntents SECTION TOPIC PAGE I SELF-EMPLOYMENT INTRODUCTION 3 WHY CONSIDER SELF-EMPLOYMENT II ROLES OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE SELF- EMPLOYMENT PROCESS Rehabilitatin Cunselr Individual Business Planning Team Business Cnsultant 3 III CONSIDERATIONS FOR SELF -EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS IV TYPES OF BUSINESSES 5 V SERVICES 7 VI SUPPORTED SELF-EMPLOYMENT 9 VII BUSINESS PLAN 9 VIII CRITERIA FOR CLOSURE 10 5
4 I. INTRODUCTION The Rehabilitatin Services Administratin has cmpleted demnstratin prgrams n individual chice reprting that between percent f their participants chse self-emplyment. This is substantially abve the rate f self-emplyment r small business ventures reprted by state vcatinal rehabilitatin agencies. Natinal data shws that peple with disabilities have a higher rate f self-emplyment and small business experience than peple withut disabilities (12.2 percent f peple with disabilities versus 7.8 percent f peple withut disabilities). These statistics are particularly relevant nw because f trends in the natinal ecnmy. The very nature f wrk is changing. Gvernments and private sectr emplyers are reducing their wrkfrces, shifting tward mre cntingent emplyment, including temprary, part-time and cntract emplyees. These trends are increasing the demand fr cntract services and gds and many peple are respnding by starting small businesses r becming self-emplyed. Why Cnsider Self-Emplyment S why are s many peple with disabilities chsing self-emplyment? Self-emplyment ffers individuals an pprtunity t enhance their quality f life and can assist them t becme self-sufficient. Self-emplyment ffers the pprtunity fr an individual t be their wn bss. Self-emplyment can prvide flexible wrk hurs and reduced transprtatin needs. Self-emplyment ffers a substantial ptin available under ur Scial Security and Medicaid/Medicare systems, t accumulate persnal wealth and manage incme in a way that is predictable and persnally adjustable even after passage f the Wrk Incentives Imprvement Act. Small businesses wned by individuals with disabilities present the pprtunity t create wealth in the persnal cntrl f the wner withut having a third party making the decisins and hlding all f the resurces. This is the essence f self determinatin. II. ROLES OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE SELF-EMPLOYMENT PROCESS Individual Vcatinal Rehabilitatin Cunselr Business Planning Team Certified Business and Technical Assistance Cnsultant (CBTAC) Cunselrs d nt have t be business experts t assist persns with disabilities with
5 Self-Emplyment. Cunselrs and the Supprted Emplyment Cmmittee members are facilitatrs and are nt expected t be business specialists r entrepreneurs. Lcal resurces can prvide cnsultatin, assistance with the business plan, and advice n business start-ups. Individual always in the driver s seat thrughut the prcess f planning, designing and perating the business. Determines if self-emplyment is the crrect chice Decides what business t pursue Develps a business plan Starts a business Vcatinal Rehabilitatin Cunselr Explains DVR s and individual s respnsibilities Reviews the custmer s ptential fr self-emplyment Prvides sufficient infrmatin abut self-emplyment fr the individual t cnsider including DVR Self-Emplyment Handbk Guides and supprts the individual thrugh the prcess Refers the individual t CBTAC fr Self-Emplyment services Refers the individual t cmmunity resurces fr additinal guidance and ther pssible funding surces Business Planning Team prvides individualized guidance, advice and suggestins t the custmer in varius aspects f business. The Business Planning Team (BPT) may include a benefits planner, emplyment facilitatr, a banker, cmmunity leaders, and ther representatives wh are cmmitted t the business cncept. BPT may als include a CBTAC, Small Business Develpment Center (SBDC) r SCORE Cunselrs t American s Small Business representative, r a family member. Listens t, evaluates, and makes recmmendatins n the individual s Self- Emplyment prpsal Reviews the business plan Helps t develp capital requirements fr the business Helps with marketing and prmtin Helps with ther imprtant linkages required fr business success CBTAC Wrk with the individuals t: Determine if Self-Emplyment is a viable ptin Assess business cncepts identified by individuals
6 Assess existing business plans (and prvide supprt necessary t imprve r develp further) Identify ther funding surces Educate custmer & Business Planning Team members abut Self- Emplyment Assist individuals in develping a viable business plan Assist with implementatin f business plan III. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT SUCCESS The cunselr shuld cnsider the need fr psychlgical, assistive technlgy, and functinal capacities evaluatins t better understand the individual, minimize the limitatins impsed by the disability, and t assess the individual s ability t perfrm the physical requirements f the business being cnsidered. Hwever, frmal vcatinal evaluatins; and assessments that measure vcatinal skills, and traits may nt be particularly useful in determining self-emplyment capacity. Persn-centered evaluatins identifying unique gifts, talents, learning styles, hpes and dreams, family supprt, and ther individualized inventries such as Discvery wrk best and shuld be given great cnsideratin in assessing self-emplyment ptential. (See Self-Emplyment Cnsideratins) IV. Types f Businesses Individuals may decide what type f business entity is apprpriate fr them as lng as the business is legal and nt prhibited in this sectin. Nte: Fr DVR purpses, Self- Emplyment and Micrenterprises are terms that are interchangeable. Individuals may chse t cnsult with an attrney r accuntant befre deciding n a legal structure. There are n "ne size fits all" rules t fllw in making the chice. A prfessinal will lk at their financial and business circumstances when helping them select a structure. The chice f business entity can affect certain types f Public Benefits such as Scial Security and Medicaid. A benefits analysis is a critical step in the prcess f develping and maintaining a small business fr an individual with a disability. Bth SSI and SSDI have different plicies and laws regulating selfemplyment; s, it is imprtant t seek assistance frm peple wh are knwledgeable in this area. The law directs Scial Security t establish a cmmunity based wrk incentives planning and assistance prgram t disseminate accurate infrmatin abut wrk incentives and prvide wrk incentives planning and assistance t SSA's beneficiaries with disabilities. The benefits planning assistance and utreach (BPAO) specialists can assist an individual in understanding the effect Self-Emplyment may have n Public Benefits. Individuals shuld reevaluate their chice peridically as their persnal and business circumstances change. The fllwing are brief descriptins f the different types f businesses:
7 Sle Prprietrship A sle prprietrship is an unincrprated business that is wned by ne individual. It is the simplest frm f business rganizatin t start and maintain. The business has n existence apart frm the individual, the wner. Prfits are taxed at the wner's individual federal tax rate, with the amunt reprted n Schedule C r Schedule CZ. Sle prprietrships d nt file Flrida crprate incme tax returns, but wners have unlimited persnal liability fr any debts r ther bligatins the business incurs. In Flrida, that liability is limited by the state's hmestead rights laws, preventing creditrs frm seizing an wner's hme. Partnership A partnership is the relatinship existing between tw r mre persns wh jin t carry n a trade r business. Each persn cntributes mney, prperty, labr, r skill, and expects t share in the prfits and lsses f the business. Befre beginning a partnership, it is a gd idea t create a written partnership agreement which identifies the respnsibilities f each partner. A partnership must file an annual infrmatin return t reprt the incme, deductins, gains, lsses etc., frm its peratins, but it des nt pay incme tax. Instead, it "passes thrugh" any prfits r lsses t its partners. Each partner includes his r her share f the partnership's incme r lss n his r her tax return. Limited partnerships must file with the Flrida Department f State, Divisin f Crpratins and pay a fee t designate a registered agent, as well as, filing fees. Partners are nt emplyees and shuld nt be issued a Frm W-2. The partnership must furnish cpies f Schedule K-1 (Frm 1065) t the partners by the date Frm 1065 is required t be filed, including extensins. A partnership can't be disslved n a whim, s ne shuld be very careful if entering int ne. Basically, a partnership is terminated nly when all f the business' peratins are discntinued r at least 50% f the partnership's capital and prfits are sld t anther partner r anther persn. Make sure bth partners have the same expectatins fr the business. The individual funded by Flrida Divisin f Vcatinal Rehabilitatin shuld be the majrity wner (at least 51%) f a business partnership. Crpratins The tw types f crpratins are the traditinal C Crpratin and the mre restrictive S crpratin. Crpratins are separate legal entities that must be incrprated in this state with the Flrida Department f State, Divisin f Crpratins. 1. C Crpratin C Crpratin is a standard crpratin and mst large businesses use this structure. C Crpratins prvide gd liability prtectin fr the wner(s); hwever a C Crpratin is seen as a separate entity and is taxed as such. This can result in duble taxatin. The Crpratin can pay
8 taxes n incme, then the wners pay taxes n distributins they receive. The wnership is in the frm f shares, s wnership can be transferred mre easily. With a C crpratin, the crpratin rather than individuals pays taxes and assumes liabilities. Flrida has a 5.5% crprate tax. Minutes f meetings must be maintained with at least ne sharehlder meeting per year. Majr changes in the business must be supprted by reslutins. Legal prtectin fr the wners is nly effective if there is n mixing f persnal and crprate mney and assets. A C Crpratin is usually frmed with the aid f an attrney r accuntant. Sme frms f public benefits, such as SSI, d nt lk favrably n any type f crpratin. 2. S Crpratin - An eligible dmestic crpratin can avid duble taxatin (nce t the sharehlders and again t the crpratin) by electing t be treated as an S crpratin. Generally, an S crpratin is exempt frm federal incme tax ther than tax n certain capital gains and passive incme. On their tax returns, the S crpratin's sharehlders include their share f the crpratin's separately stated items f incme, deductin, lss, and credit, and their share f nn-separately stated incme r lss. A Sub S Crpratin is usually frmed with the aid f an attrney and/r accuntant. Sme frms f public benefits, such as SSI, d nt lk favrably n any type f crpratin. V. SERVICES Mst individuals with disabilities will require supprt and technical assistance in planning fr Self-Emplyment. Decisins t explre Self-Emplyment shuld be based upn: A cmprehensive assessment f the custmer s ptential fr success. Thrugh preliminary explratin f the business idea by the cunselr and custmer. Infrmed custmer chice. Matching f the individual s skills and abilities t the lcal emplyment market. Ecnmic demand fr the prduct/service. When self-emplyment is the means t a vcatinal gal, DVR will assist in accmplishing this bjective. Services will be based n individual needs and may include, but nt be limited t: Assessment f custmer ptential. Referral t and crdinatin with cmmunity resurces fr basic business curses, assistance in develping a business plan, and assistance in business start-up. Training in the actual field f wrk. Purchase f tls/equipment necessary fr training and/r entry level
9 requirements fr the ccupatin. Obtaining necessary initial stcks and r supplies. Assistance with start-up legal csts (including the cst f frming the business entity.) The time frames need t be included. Assistance with start-up marketing including the csts assciated with custm web site design, develpment, maintenance, and E-cmmerce develpment. The time frames need t be included. Assistance with accunting csts and financial reviews as indicated by IPE timelines. The time frames need t be included. Shuld assure a minimum f quarterly reviews in IPE. Prviding apprpriate accmmdatins r assistive technlgy needed fr start-up. Shrt term rental payment assistance and required security depsits fr business start up. Assistance with btaining the business plan in accessible, easily revised frmats (printed r cmputer discs.) Assistance with finding surces f funding. Referral t resurces fr small business lans. DVR may nt require individuals t btain lans but shuld encurage individuals t becme acquainted with banks and lending institutins which may prvide financial assistance in the future. Acquiring licenses and permits required t lawfully engage in business. DVR will nt prvide funding r be invlved in assisting cnsumers plan fr: Businesses speculative in nature, such as investments in real estate, etc. Businesses rganized as hbbies (A hbby is defined as a pursuit fr relaxatin utside f a regular ccupatin. A hbby has n plan fr the business t make a prfit). Cnstructin and/r purchase f real estate. Sign r c-sign leases r mrtgages. Purchase f land. Refinancing f existing debt. Pay salaries. Lans fr expansin f existing businesses. Depsit f mnies int accunts fr discretinary use r fr any ther purpse including business expansin lans. Purchase f vehicles (state law). Supprt businesses that may vilate cmmunity mrality r are unlawful. Fund business license renewals n a cntinuing basis. Businesses that are nt-fr-prfit crpratins. Businesses that are franchises. Any business with the bjective f paying sub-minimum wage.
10 All ther applicable State and Federal laws, plicies, and prcedures must be fllwed, including State purchasing laws. VI. SUPPORTED SELF-EMPLOYMENT Supprted Self-Emplyment means that an individual with a mst significant disability can wn a business. The difference frm Self-emplyment is that the individual requires supprts and nging assistance in the day-t-day running f the business. Supprted Self-Emplyment fllws the same requirements as Supprted Emplyment (Refer t Operatinal Plicies and Prcedures fr DVR Cunselrs Chapter 17, Supprted Emplyment Prgram). Time limited r Phase I services are prvided by DVR. Extended Services (Phase II) r nging supprt services are prvided by a State agency ther than DVR, private nn-prfit rganizatin, r any ther apprpriate nn-dvr resurce. The majr distinctin frm the Supprted Emplyment definitin in the Operatinal Plicies and Prcedures fr DVR Cunselrs Chapter 17 is that the mnetary incme amunt may nt meet the cmpetitive wage requirement f cmpetitive emplyment. VII. BUSINESS PLAN The business plan is a cmprehensive dcument describing all relevant aspects f the business in the prpsal and develpment stage as well as when it is fully peratinal. It is the fundatin fr planning activities and prvides justificatin fr undertaking the endeavr. All business plans shuld shw the business making a prfit with specified timelines. The plan shall include: Executive Summary. This sectin generally describes the name and type f business, the business lcatin, the prduct, the market, and the management and business gals. Prducts r Services. This sectin describes the prduct r service line and any prprietary psitin (patent, cpyright, legal, and technical). Manufacturing Prcess (if applicable). This sectin describes the materials, surce f supply and prductin methds. Market Analysis and Marketing Strategy. This sectin describes the ttal market, industry trends, target market, cmpetitin and the methds f selling, distributing and servicing the prduct r service line. Management Plan. This sectin describes the business rganizatin, persnnel, facilities, and perating plan. Financial Plan & Benefits Analysis-B/A (a B/A is required if SSA, Medicaid, r ther scial benefits such as sectin 8 husing, fd stamps, etc., are invlved) including at least 2 t 3 years f : Prfit and Lss Prjectins; Cash Flw Prjectins; Balance Sheet Prjectins; Break Even Analysis; and Benefits
11 Analysis Prjectins (if applicable). Business Plan Implementatin. This sectin shuld prvide a detailed utline regarding the initial steps t start the business. If the individual will require initial r lng term supprts, this sectin shuld als include: Necessary supprts. Funding surce fr these supprts (DVR, Scial Security Plan fr Achieve Self-Supprt, ther resurces etc.). Implementatin hurs (with prjected utcmes) t be prvided by a CBTAC, if applicable. When business plan is apprved, the cunselr may authrize implementatin hurs fr specific utcmes related t the business plan. Payment may ccur after the cunselr apprves cmpleted utcmes. The cmplexity and cmprehensive nature f the business plan will be determined by the scpe f the prpsed business. The Business Planning Team can prvide assistance in determining hw cmplex and cmprehensive the business plan shuld be. VIII. CRITERIA FOR CLOSURE It is difficult t determine when an individual pursuing a self-emplyment business gal is stable enugh t cnsider clsure. Businesses take a lng time t develp and turn a prfit, althugh a business wner may wrk far mre than 40 hurs per week in the business. Wage data may be misleading in self-emplyment because f the cmplicatins f expenses, putting mney back int the business, business equity, etc. If the cunselr is uncertain as t whether a case shuld be clsed, the cunselr may cnsult with a CBTAC. When des a cunselr clse the case? Based upn federal regulatins, the cunselr can determine that a successful emplyment utcme has been achieved when all f the fllwing criteria are met: The prvisin f services under the individual s IPE has cntributed t the achievement f the emplyment utcme. The emplyment utcme is cnsistent with the individual s strengths, resurces, pririties, cncerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and infrmed chice. The emplyment utcme is in the mst integrated setting pssible, cnsistent with the individual s infrmed chice. The individual has maintained the emplyment utcme fr a perid f at least 90 days fr Self-Emplyment Plan and 150 days fr a Supprted Self-Emplyment Plan. The individual and the rehabilitatin cunselr cnsider the emplyment utcme
12 t be satisfactry and agree that the individual is perfrming well n the jb. Since neither a specific mnetary amunt nr number f hurs wrked per week is mentined in the Rehabilitatin Act, it s left up t the cunselr and individual t decide when a case shuld be clsed as successful. Additinal Criteria: Fr Cnsideratin Only Fllwing are additinal indicatrs that shuld be cnsidered fr successful clsure. The individual must meet an essential indicatr plus ne f the additinal indicatrs. Essential Indicatr: The self-emplyment business has been sustained fr 90 days r 150 days if the business is under a Supprted-Self-Emplyment plan (with pst-emplyment fllw-up) withut additinal supprt frm DVR and is able t put mney back int the business t maintain nging business expenses. A self-emplyment enterprise will take time t make a prfit. Incme is used t make a business flurish. If the individual demnstrates an ability t meet business expenses withut VR supprt, the wner is n the way t success. Additinal Indicatrs: Has gne ff SSDI. This is a stand-alne indicatr. If a persn can prduce enugh incme t g ff SSDI, then their business must be, by definitin, successful and prducing a livable wage. Has experienced a decrease in public benefits (e.g. SSI, TANF, fd stamps, husing subsidy, Medicaid, mental health services, etc.). A persn may have a successful business but nt be prducing enugh incme t eliminate public benefits. All available incme may be used t supprt r grw the business. Hwever, an indicatr f success wuld be enugh incme t reduce the need fr sme benefits. Has made a net prfit frm the business r has significant grss incme. Prfits are based n the business adjusted grss incme minus eligible business expenses. The persn will submit business statements fr cunselr review. Examine prjected net incme and cmpare t actual net achieved. Obviusly, prfit indicates sme success. Grss incme is als used since business expenses r reinvestment may negate prfit. Has increased equity in the business (equipment, savings n assets and liability statement). Persn will submit business statements t the cunselr fr review. Althugh unable t shw a prfit as mentined abve, a persn may be increasing the business equity, indicating grwth and stability.