Owner’s salary

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  • #3416
    Judith Hales

    My business is B2C service and retail
    My husband has been bugging me for years to pay myself a salary but I have no idea how to establish this. As a business owner I work many more hours behind the scene than just with client. Should these hours count? Or just while in service? Do I pay myself a commission based on my retail? As the owner do I pay myself more than minimum wage? or how much above a employee’s rate?

    Erin Melnychuk

    Hi Judith, these are excellent questions! You’re going to need to do some research, to help you establish a baseline. Do you know what your competitors’ prices are? Do you know what the going hourly rate is? Generally speaking, any behind the scenes time that is related to ‘working on your business’ and unrelated to the service deivery, does not directly get passed on to your client. You would only charge the client for service hours directly related to the work you are doing for the client. Having said that, your hourly rate should be high enough, that it includes a profit margin. It’s that profit margin that should cover off non billable hours. Similarly for your retail. To determine the price of the products, you must factor in the time and materials to develop that product (if you are manufacturing it) and then determine the ‘mark up’, which becomes the profit margin. If you are buying your products from another business and reselling, then you hope to buy wholesale, so there’s more room to mark the product up to sell retail. You can do research on different product categories to determine the average mark ups.

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