While any business has the possibility of either wild success or complete failure, those in the cannabis industry have likely seen both extremes. That’s because this relatively new industry is overrun with contradictory regulations, evolving attitudes, and localized political will. Imagine if small franchise restaurants or pharmacies had to worry about changing tax deductions and regulations that may negatively impact their business like the cannabis industry.
My Cannabis Accountant gives clients ways to diversify, limit risk, and increase profits. One recommendation is to form a second or third business entity that can help underwrite and support your cannabis business. Multiple business entities can help offset expenses and account for tax deductions that cannot be taken by cannabis-related businesses. Real estate serves as a prime example of a secondary business entity, offering many benefits you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of otherwise.
1. Offset Expenses
It doesn’t matter if you are running a cultivation facility with greenhouses and agricultural lands or a chain of dispensaries with storefronts on every corner. You likely have opportunities for purchasing real estate.
By having a commercial rental agreement with a company you own, you are able to have all the upgrades and capital improvements to the building or property, both inside and outside, paid for by the real estate firm. These expenses are tax-deductible. All the costs for fixtures, furniture, display cases, and more can all be negotiated in your rental or lease agreement. Doing this will save expenses for your cannabis company and also give you an option to rent or lease this space to another cannabis business if you expand and decide to move locations in the future.
2. Enjoy Tax Deductions Otherwise Unavailable
The reality is that cannabis businesses are scrutinized more closely than other businesses due to the federally illegal status of cannabis. Even though the industry is completely legal in many parts of the United States, businesses in the cannabis industry should be prepared for the potential of an audit. By having another business entity, it is possible to spread out tax burden and activity, which may make an audit less likely.
3. Make Your Businesses Easy to Sell
The cannabis industry may have some risks, but it is also extremely attractive for its growth potential. Entrepreneurs with interests in hemp, marijuana, or both can easily find investors and partners with ideas for improved production, distribution, marketing, and innovation. These investors may want to purchase your businesses once they reach a certain profitability threshold. Also, some investors are afraid to invest in cannabis, so having a non-cannabis entity will allow you to do business with these investors.
4.What Are the Steps for Creating Multiple Entities?
If you are interested in moving forward with creating another company, you will need to work with a professional to make sure that everything is done legally and within the regulations outlined by the IRS. Working together, you will need to perform the following steps:
A) Form a business structure like an LLC. You may choose to incorporate, based on the situation. Other options to consider are creating DBAs, or “Doing Business As,” under one LLC or creating a holding company. One of these may be preferable if you are interested in marketing opportunities.
B) Obtain business licenses and EINs for each business, as you will be filing tax forms separately.
C) Consider the possibility of creating several businesses if you are looking at working with real estate. For example, if you are running a dispensary with many locations that you own, it may make sense to form a separate real estate company for each property. That way, you would limit liability exposure.
D) Make legal agreements with your cannabis business and shift your expenses as appropriate.
The point is to make multiple entities entirely legal and transparent so that there will be no concerns if the IRS requests an audit.
A Cannabis-Specializing Accountant Can Help!
If you are not fully aware of tax rules and all federal, state, and local financial regulations, please connect with My Cannabis Accountant today!