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It's Not Personal, It's Business: Presented by Truist

Watch the video below or scroll down to read the recap

In this workshop, Truist representatives Jordan Wooldridge, Nick Hale, and Jean Muller taught on the whys and hows of separating business and personal finances. They covered topics such as why it's vital to separate your personal and business finances, how to set and refresh your business goals and how to pay yourself, how to organize your finances and business structure and organization, and information on financial accounts and tools to help you run your business smoothly and efficiently.

Before You Jump In

You'll want to reference or download the Truist Separating Business and Personal Finances Guidebook before you review this class recap. Our presenters walked attendees through information found in the guidebook and several sections in the below recap reference certain pages:

Workshop Recap

Why separate personal and business finances?

  • Helps you get a clear view of business performance

  • It gives personal liability protection

  • Ability to get financing

  • Tax implications

  • Financial accounts in the business's name

  • Gives you peace of mind

To read more on the benefits and pitfalls of separating your accounts, see the guidebook page 3.

How to set and refresh business goals?

  1. Business Structure and Impact Goals: Are you going solo or with partners? Will you have employees? Are you a hands-on owner or a “passive investor”?

  2. Personal Income Goals: Is this your primary income? Does this supplement another job? Are you looking for an investment with future payout? Do you need a consistent paycheck?

  3. Personal Commitment Goals: Are there limits on your time? Are there areas outside your skillset? Is there a mission or social impact?

  4. Growth Goals: Do you want to stay small or are you growth-oriented? Are you looking to franchise? Do you want investors in the future?

How do I pay myself?

1. Salary: A set amount paid on a regular basis


  • Provides a regular paycheck

  • Covers payment of payroll taxes via withholding, avoiding year-end surprises

  • Affects Social Security benefits and retirement plan contribution limits


  • Business has less flexibility during a down month

  • Salary requirements may create a business cash shortfall at times

2. Owner's Draw: A variable amount paid as the business has funds available


  • Less monthly cash flow pressure on the business

  • Owners can decide the best way to handle the draw (salary, distribution, other) at a later date


  • Owners are dependent on potentially volatile cash flow from the business

  • Owners need to plan for taxes due eventually on draw amounts

Other ways can include Distribution of profits, Retirement plans, Rental/lease of owner assets like business real estate, or Family member employment.

Business Structure and Organization

There are 5 main types of business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship - Owned and operated by one individual.

  • General Partnership - Two or more owners.

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) - May include one or more individuals, corporations, other LLCs, or foreign entities.

  • S-Corp - Up to 100 principal shareholders or owners.

  • C-Corp - Separate legal entity with shareholders.

To learn more about each structure's taxation, liability, pros, cons, and more, view page 6 of the guidebook.

Other Organizational Items

  1. Local Requirements: Permits, Licenses, Insurance

  2. Brand and Intellectual Property Protection: Trademarks, Service marks, DBA (doing business as)

Other Questions:

What if I’m starting up? (You can learn more about this topic in our past "Going into Business First Steps" Class taught by the West Virginia SBDC)

  1. Select a name

  2. Set up your business ID

  3. Register your business domain name

  4. Choose a legal structure

How much money do you need to get started?

  • Business fees

  • Owner Income

  • Set up of office or location

  • Professional advisors

  • Staff and contractors

  • Initial supplies/inventory

How to Organize Your Finances

  • Accepting Payments - Who is paying you? How do you bill? How quickly will you receive payment? In what form will you accept payments?

  • Payment Outflows - Who do you need to pay for goods and services? How do you pay? How quickly will they need to be paid? In what form will you make payments?

  • Business and Accounting Reporting - What type of financial reports do you need? Do you need to track revenue and expenses by project or by client? How will your accounting get done?

What tools/people can help you organize your Business Finances?

  1. Separate business banking account(s)

  2. Accountant to set up your business books (CPAs)

  3. Accounting software

  4. Bookkeeping system

  5. Report review - Profit and loss, Cash flow, Collections

Financial Accounts and Tools

Refer to page 10 of the guidebook as well as the chart below. (Provided by Truist)

Next Steps and Summary

Six steps to set up your business finances for success:

  1. Set goals for your business performance

  2. Set goals for your personal income

  3. Select the appropriate business structure

  4. Use accounting systems to organize your finances

  5. Use business accounts and payments

  6. Foster your business network


Let's Get in Touch!

Jim Spencer, Executive Director Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority | | (304) 902-2332 x 2405

Jordan Wooldridge, Vice-President, Business Banking Leader | Truist

Nick Hale | Truist

Jean Muller | Truist

Faith Blackwell, Administrative + Marketing Assistant Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority | | (304) 902-2332 x 2408

Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority Logo (The words "My Bluefield" underneath an outline of the Bluefield, West Virginia Skyline)


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