Online Store Accounting: A Beginner's Guide

    Accounting, registration, tax reporting ... After these words, it’s scary to start a business. Dare! In fact, everything is quite simple. In the article I will tell you how to set up accounting and tax accounting in the online store. You will learn:

    • how to choose an organizational form for an online store - IP or LLC;
    • which accounting system to choose - OSNO or simplified;
    • how to register an IP or LLC;
    • what documents an online store should write out;
    • where to find an accountant for an online store;
    • how to submit tax reports.

    Read if you are going to open your own business or start working officially.

    Five questions about IP and LLC

    Just a private trader will not be able to create any serious online store. If only because it will not be able to conclude an agreement with the bank for acquiring (receiving money by credit cards). If you intend to sell in the amount of more than 100 thousand rubles per month, you need official registration. For small businesses, there are only two such forms - IP (individual entrepreneur without a legal entity) and LLC (limited liability company). To choose from them, you need to answer five questions:

    1. What exactly are you going to sell?

    Determine which category your products belong to:
    • Simple goods : everyday industrial things, dishes, crafts, small inexpensive electronics, clothes, accessories for mobile.
    • Goods for which there may be claims : that which may be harmful to health (for example, perishable products), expensive goods with a warranty period (expensive electronics, etc.).

    The LLC is liable for claims only in the amount of its own assets; the individual entrepreneur is liable with all its property. So, if someone feels bad from the farm cottage cheese sold by you, they won’t take away from the LLC more than they have money and goods, and they can take away everything from the IP, including the car and the beloved thoroughbred cat (there are some nuances: the IP cannot to select the only housing and the minimum necessary for living. The owner of the LLC, under certain conditions, can also deprive the property, but it is more difficult to do. Read more in the article )

    2. For what amount per year are you going to sell?

    At high turnover, IP will not be able to use a simplified taxation system, and it becomes more profitable to open an LLC. For 2016, the ceiling is set at 79 million rubles.

    3. Do you own a store alone or do you have partners?

    IP is one owner. If you are few, then you need to open an LLC.

    4. Do you build an online store for yourself or do you intend to sell it later?

    To sell a store registered on IP, you need to draw up a lot of documents. Selling an LLC is much easier. In general, selling a business is a complex, multifaceted issue. Be sure to consult with someone who has already successfully done this at least once. If you do not find such a person in your environment - write to me.

    5. Are you going to take a long break in your trade?

    An LLC can suspend its activities without loss, and an individual entrepreneur has obligatory payments (pension and medical insurance).

    So, if at least one statement is true:
    • You sell goods for which serious claims may be made against you;
    • sales are expected to exceed 79 million rubles;
    • you have or are supposed to have a partner;
    • you have thoughts in the near future to sell your online store;
    • Your sales may be suspended for a long time ...

    ... then you need an LLC. Otherwise, enough IP.

    The choice of accounting system

    If your sales volume is more than 79 million rubles a year, only OSNO will do.

    OSNO - general taxation system. These are all the delights of a large company: VAT, balances, a bunch of different taxes, etc. Suitable for large merchants and those who work with large commercial and industrial enterprises. You are unlikely to need this, at least not for the first year.

    If less, choose a simplified tax system . It is much easier to keep records in it, you can use online accounting services, and such firms are less likely to check the tax. There are two simplified systems:

    1. Income minus expenses (tax 15%)
    You have the right to deduct from the income received the cost of goods, Internet expenses, website development, delivery, etc. With the resulting profit you need to pay 15% of taxes>. Suitable for those who resell goods, but not produce it themselves. To deduct costs, they must be paid, received, and relevant to your business.

    Example: If you trade in electronics, then the costs of pre-sale preparation and equipment setup can be deducted from the taxable amount. But the tax inspector is unlikely to accept a check for the purchase of 5 kg of tangerines and a bottle of wine.

    2. Income (6% tax)
    You will pay 6% tax on all amounts received to you. No costs can be deducted from them. Suitable if you have few documented expenses (for example, you sell something made by yourself), or a very large margin.

    Registration of IP or LLC

    Now you need to prepare and submit documents for registration. Before starting, select the types of activities from the classifier (this is mandatory for tax), and for the LLC the company name and address.

    1. Type of activity for OKVED

    There are several types of activities according to the classifier (OKVED), it all depends on what else you are going to do. On the Internet there are many articles on the choice of OKVED, look. For the online store you definitely need to select the code 52.61, Retail on orders . This will be your main code.

    Code 52.61 is a group. It includes codes 52.61.1, Retail postal (parcel) trade and 52.61.2, Retail trade through telemarkets and computer networks (electronic commerce, including the Internet). In theory, you do not need to specify codes within a group if you select a group. However, in some regions tax inspectors have their own understanding of the law, and they may refuse to register if only the group is indicated. They will be wrong, but this does not make it any easier for you. Therefore, just in case, indicate all three.

    In addition to the main code, you can select additional ones. Do not register unnecessary OKVED unnecessarily, and indeed it is undesirable for a start-up company to have more than seven pieces - too many OKVEDs can attract the attention of the tax authorities and may require explanation from you.

    2. Name for LLC

    It should be short and easy to pronounce. It is very likely that you will have to dictate it to your partners over the phone - you need to make sure that you are understood completely unambiguously. It’s great if the name matches the name of your domain or store.

    3. Address for LLC

    The address must be before registration. Tax in the fight against one-day firms has seriously tightened registration and this creates difficulties for real firms. To register, you must have a letter of guarantee or a preliminary lease with the owner of the premises. Be prepared for the tax inspector to visit the owner and make sure that the premises really exist and will be given to you. About the same procedure now with the opening of a bank account.

    Registration Methods

    So, we have OKVED codes, name, address and tax system. If time is expensive for you, contact specialists ( accounting outsourcers ). Their mass is in the neighborhood with you, they are easily searched for by the request “registration of IP and LLC”. They will do everything on their own with the parameters you specify.

    If you want to save, use the online document preparation service for self-registration of IP and LLC. I recommend the My Business service: registration of individual entrepreneurs and registration of LLC . Everything is free. Please note: you just prepare the right documents. Have to tax them yourself. Instructions for further steps in the same place, on the service website.

    Documents required to issue an online store

    You have started selling. What documents should an online store write out?

    1. Purchase confirmation email

    Immediately after placing and paying for the order, you must send the client a confirmation of purchase by e-mail. This is just a free form letter . It will be generated and sent automatically by your e-commerce system. It can be of almost any kind and form, there should be only a few required fields :
    • seller (it's you), contact details;
    • buyer;
    • what you bought, quantity and amount;
    • the total amount of the order.

    The letter can be with pictures, photographs, the most intricate fonts and colors. Great scope for individualization! Most systems allow you to create your own template. In Ecwid, you can edit the letter on any paid plan.

    2. Waybill

    Together with the goods, a consignment note is put in the package to the buyer (in online sales it is also called an invoice ). The information in it duplicates the letter. Your e-commerce system will also prepare it for you. And yes, it can also be arranged as you wish! Here is a good example of an invoice:


    If your product is electronic, then you do not send the invoice . The buyer can independently enter the personal account in the store and click on the link “Download invoice”. Recently, even in Russia, an electronic invoice has been sufficient, but abroad this has been the norm for a long time.

    Important: Some carriers require issuing invoices in their own form. For example, when you send goods by Russian Post, you will need special forms (in Ecwid you can fill them out automatically, connect the application ). Check in advance what form you need and whether your e-commerce system can prepare such documents. If not, you can print invoices through 1C or My warehouse.

    3. Cashier's check

    If you intend to trade for cash (payment upon receipt of the goods), you will be required to issue a cashier's check to the client . For this we need mobile cash registers (cash registers). Such a device is issued to the courier along with the consignment note. Special attention must be paid to issuing a check! The cashier’s actions are prescribed in the laws and regulations of the Federal Tax Service and should be as follows:
    1. Get the money, tell the amount of money to the buyer "Your money is 5000 rubles."
    2. Knock out a check on KKM.
    3. Name the amount of change “Your change 151 rubles 15 kopecks”.
    4. Hand over the check and change at the same time and only to the hands of the buyer ! Moreover, bills and coins are issued together.
    5. Hand over the goods and delivery note.

    Important: If your courier violates the algorithm and runs into a tax employee in a bad mood, then he can bring you a serious fine for not using the cash register. To break the law and get a fine, it’s enough, for example, to issue a check after delivery or give the goods before the check is issued.

    If you have a cash register, combined with a POS terminal, then your courier will also be able to accept payment by credit card right at the time of delivery of the goods (acquiring). The only difference is that you will have to give out two checks: a cashier's check and a slip (a check for withdrawing money from a credit card).

    The choice of terminals and KKM is wide, the legislation in this area is changing rapidly, and I would not rely on one source of information. Be sure to visit several companies selling cash registers. Walk around the major banks of your city and talk to them about mobile terminals. The Russian Standard, VTB and Sberbank have extensive experience in acquiring and they can provide terminals for free. Read the latest articles about choosing a device. Otherwise, you risk buying a device, which in six months will have to be changed due to changed legislation.

    Cashier checks must be approved by the tax office. KKM will print them to you, again, you do not need to write anything out manually. Your details in KKM will be registered in the company where they will be sold to you. In some KKM, a check can also be branded - insert your logo there. Ask your cash register vendor about this.

    Cashier's check

    How to submit reports

    The first rule of submitting reports to the tax is not to do it yourself. Our legislation is crooked and constantly changing, take a professional. There are several options:

    1. Hire your accountant

    Expensive, it is necessary to provide a workplace (computer + software), and it is difficult to find a good accountant.

    This option needs to be selected in very rare cases:
    • You are forced to observe strict security: working for the defense industry or for the mafia. The online store is not about that.
    • Your workflow is already so large that it’s more profitable for you to have your own accountant than to pay professionals. It is unlikely that at the beginning of work you can boast of such.
    • From the very beginning, your company has three employees: General Director, Commercial Director and Secretary. Then, of course, you cannot do without the Chief Accountant =)

    In all other cases, other options will be more profitable.

    2. Hire an outsourcer

    Thousands of them. You can choose a company from any city. If the outsourcer has the job done correctly, then you don’t have to see each other, you can exchange documents through the network. There are many articles on the Internet how to choose such an accounting company. Good outsourcer:
    • regularly updates its website;
    • can work exclusively remotely;
    • provides a financial guarantee of its work;
    • boasts good reviews.

    For example, a very good outsourcer APB (Association of Professional Accountants). Satisfies all of the above conditions. Just contact us via the feedback form or write. Equidu is led by APB.

    3. Use e-bookkeeping services

    The already mentioned “My Business ” prepares reports and independently sends it to the tax based on the documents you have entered. The service is easy to use, inexpensive and reliable. Online services are suitable for IP and LLC on a simplified taxation system. But be prepared that you have to work as an operator - enter documents into the system yourself.

    Document Exchange with E-Commerce Systems

    In the age of information technology, manually copying documents from one system to another is not comme il faut. Ecwid and most other online store management systems have integration with 1C . If you intend to use other programs or services, then Ecwid has a csv upload for import into third-party systems.

    What is forbidden to sell in the online store

    Finally, I recall that in Russia in online stores you can’t sell:
    1. Alcohol, tobacco and other excisable goods.
    2. Spy devices - hidden cameras, etc. They can’t even be bought, according to the judicial department of the Supreme Court in 2012, 72 people were convicted of this, in 2013 - already 152, in 2014 - 212.
    3. There are medicines, however, there are a lot of online pharmacies online. This question is subtle and is not included in the topic of the article. I have only one urgent advice for you: if you are going to open an online pharmacy, you absolutely must understand what you are doing at every step (and then this article is not for you). If you are not a specialist in pharmacy, find yourself another niche.
    4. Drugs and their propaganda, which now include harmless images of hemp. There were several cases for the sale of badges, caps and T-shirts with similar patterns. Do not sell anything like that.
    5. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Many e-commerce systems support the reception of bitcoins. When setting up, please make sure that this option is disabled in the settings.

    Author: Alexander Kovalenko - Operations Director at Ecwid and founder of the accounting company APB.
    Alexander on Facebook and Twitter .

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