Business Expenses for Freelance Graphic Designers
*Disclaimer: I am not an accountant (obviously) …however, I like to think I have a pretty good handle on my expenses after a year of running my own business.
I’ve noticed an increase in transparent money and finance related conversations within the creative entrepreneurial community and I think it’s great. I don’t think these things should be kept a secret, let’s talk about it!
If you’re like me when I started my business and have no idea what can or cannot not be categorized as a deductible business expense, use this as a starting point.
1. A PORTION OF YOUR RENT
If you work from home and have a dedicated workspace, you can write this off in addition to things like your wifi and utilities bills.
2. SOFTWARE SUBSCRIPTIONS
This includes your Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription, any CRM or project management software, and web hosting.
3. FONT LICENSES
Be sure to expense any fonts you purchase as well as royalty-free graphics, templates, and stock images.
4. COFFEE/LUNCH MEETINGS
Yes, you can expense your coffee or lunch as long as the meeting is in person and work related. If you travel by car to these meetings, don’t forget to track your mileage as this is also deductible. Remember to keep all of your physical receipts.
5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES AND TRAININGS
When you sign up for online trainings or educational subscriptions, you can deduct the associated sign-up fees.
6. BUSINESS CARDS AND BRANDED STATIONARY
This is categorized as a deductible marketing expense.
7. TASK OUTSOURCING
If you’ve hired a Virtual Assistant or another designer to work for you, yes, you can expense this too.
8. ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
This includes your brand shoot (hiring a professional photographer), physical advertising materials, as well as any pay-to-play advertising on social.
9. OFFICE SUPPLIES (INCLUDING YOUR COMPUTER)
You can write off office supplies including printers, paper, pens, computers as well as any work-related software.
That’s it! I strongly recommend you hire and consult with a professional accountant when it comes to tax season, but hopefully this will help you feel a little more prepared when the time comes.