3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Oct. 17

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Small business owners give Obama a narrow debate win. Even though not much was discussed in terms of small business during Tuesday night's presidential debate, The Washington Post surveyed small-business owners to get their reactions. The publication asked eight people to offer their opinions, with varying political affiliations. While the informal poll gave President Obama the win, it wasn't a landslide victory.

Christopher Hytry Derrington, CEO of Hyder Industries in Two Rivers, Wisc., wasn't really impressed with either candidate but gave the nod to Romney.

"Both failed to convince me that 2013 will be better for my business, or that either will be able to compromise to get the deficit reduced. Obama did better on women's health issues. Romney won the topics on the economy, and that is what is going to decide things in the end. Both candidates stretched facts too much -- not impressed by either performance," he said.

2. Understanding payroll taxes. Adding employees is always a good thing for growing small businesses, but owners may not be aware of some of the more complex rules surrounding payroll. Filling out the right paperwork and filing proper IRS documentation is crucial, according to Fox Business .

One example is making sure you, as the owner, are on the payroll if your company is structured as a corporation. You can no longer take cash draws like sole proprietors or principals in an unincorporated business, the author writes.

If you hire your child (under 18), you will not be required to withhold FICA or Medicare taxes or pay the employer portions. But be sure to give the kid a W2 at the end of the year.

Do not even think about paying someone cash under the table, the article cautions.

"First of all, you might save a few bucks on payroll taxes, but you will be losing possibly thousands in write-offs for salaries, wages and payroll taxes," the article says.

3. Small businesses beef up mobile. A recent study by Pontiflex and Borrell Associates confirms that small-businesses owners are getting on the mobile train. The study's findings said 72% of small-business owners planned to increase or maintain mobile marketing spending over the next year. Of the 27% who plan to increase spending, they will do so considerably, according to Small Business Trends.

Not everyone is on board yet. The survey found 38% plan to wait a little longer and have no plans to add a mobile strategy to their marketing mix within the next year. This puts their businesses at risk of falling behind the curve.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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