Due to circumstances beyond my control (Curse you, Bear Stearns!) for the first time in my career I'm looking for work as an independent consultant.
Are those of you who are self-employed (in the U.S.) self-incorporated? If so,
- what type of corporation did you form?
- Is it really as easy as the NJ Department of Labor makes it seem, or did you hire a lawyer to do your incorporation?
- Do you pay yourself a (small) salary and take the bulk of your pay as a corporate dividend?
- What (beside the obvious -- separate checking account in the name of the corporation, post office box for the corporation, separate room in your home as an office) did you do to establish yourself formally?
- Can you actually deduct the cost of commuting, lunch, buying relevant books or software, as corporate expenses?
- Did you need an accountant to file your corporate taxes?
I don't plan on getting more than one or two gigs a year if that, but neither do I want to get audited.
TIA for sharing how to take this first, scarey step.