What is Business Income? How to Calculate Business Income

What is Business Income?

Business income is the income an individual or a company earns from a profession, trade, manufacturing products of any kind, an adventure or concern like trade, or any other activity they carry on for profit.

Every individual or organization engaging in business activities has the aim of earning income or large profits. They provide products or services in exchange for a price that will gain them some sort of profit in terms of money or other sources.

The reality and existence of every business rely heavily on how swiftly and quickly an individual or the company sells their products or services, and also how well they control and minimize business expenses.

These two factors become the main cause of the business to either earn a profit or incur losses. It is a common blunder to expect that the business is earning money if there is a sale. However, the real meaning of good business performance lies in business income.

How to Calculate Business Income?

Generally, business income is calculated by the use of the following formula:

Business Income = Revenue – Expense

Revenue means the amount of capital received in exchange for the products or services provided and sold by the person or the company. Revenue mostly involves gross receipts on service sold or gross sales on the product sold. For all the sales of a product or service, the amount of revenue generated increases.

Expense is the amount of money spent in exchange for products or services received and purchased. Some examples of expenses are inventory purchases, salary and wages, transportation, advertising, electric and water bills, communication, professional fees, etc.

Three Simple Steps to Calculate Business Income are:
  1. Identify all the products and services sold in a given amount of time and then add the total amount. The total represents your earned revenue.
  2. Recognize all the amount you pay to operate your business in the same given time. The total resembles your total expenses.
  3. To calculate your business income, subtract your total expenses from your total revenue. This gives you your business income.

Understanding Business Income for Newcomers

If any individual is about to start a small business, he needs to hire an accountant or other professional adviser to handle his taxes. Although, understanding their various tax choices is important for running their business. They will be able to identify potential tax advantages and traps in time to understand their importance.

1. Planning your taxes and selecting your business form Tax planning:

This process studies options to decide when and how to conduct business and personal transactions for minimal taxes. As an individual tax bearer, and as a business owner, you can mostly complete a taxable transaction by various methods having the liberty to choose whichever results in the lowest legal tax liability.

2. Defining your trade or business

To reduce business expenses, you must be involved in a trade or business. According to the IRS, to establish a trade or business, a profit orientation must be present, and some type of economic activity must be conducted. 

3. Choosing tax year and accounting methods

As a small business possessor, your decisions often lead to tax implications, whether or not you realize it. Some tax-related decisions have a more general effect on your business income, namely:

4. Tax Year:

This decides the time for which your taxable income will be calculated. All the income received or gathered within a single year is referred to as that year’s return, along with expenses paid or earned.

5. Accounting Method:

You must report your accounting method to the IRS irrespective of being an individual or an organization or company to buy and sell products. There are two basic methods available to most small businesses: Cash and Accrual.

6. Dealing with the IRS:

As a small business holder, be attentive to your tax payment obligations and when they are due, even if you seek the help of a tax adviser or accountant. There is nothing worse than watching your cash surplus vanish because of an impending IRS payment. With a good awareness of your filing and payment commitment, you can avoid unexpected payments or penalties.


When the amount of revenue earned is greater than the expenses that occurred, it means that the business operation is doing well for time being because there is enough amount of money to pay all the business expenses. Also, it is a resemblance to good business management.

When the amount of expenses spent is greater than the revenue generated, it is a sign of poor business management since the amount earned by selling products or services is not enough to pay all the expenses that are necessary to operate the business.

If the business revenue is equal to the expense, it is known as the break-even point. This shows that the business is neither earning nor experiencing losses. The earning is just exactly enough to pay the business operating expenses.

It still means business performance and management are poor since the objective of a business is to earn profit.

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