(Cover My …Rear end)
This article discusses underground economy subjects that may be illegal. The author does not encourage illegal activities or condone them. The information is presented for educational or entertainment purposes only. You may wish to consult an attorney or accountant.
We go into more detail than you might want, but we are trying to keep you out of trouble. You see, in most countries some underground economy types of businesses are illegal and if you get caught, you could end up fined, in jail or dead (China and some Arab countries get pretty mean). These businesses offer bigger rewards, but the risks are higher.
The underground economy refers to businesses and business activities that are not reported to government systems. They are also called by other names, including; black market, shadow, unreported, illegal and others. But it also refers to simple little extra cash activities that people all around you are doing.
These businesses, if they don't report to the government, escape rules and regulations, taxation and enforcement penalties. Governments and some honest, law-abiding citizens do not like these business operations. In general, as governments become more oppressive with taxes and regulations, people get more creative in running their businesses: in many cases, these business activities expand as government taxes and regulations increase. For example, as the costs of maintaining normal, legal workers increases, due to government regulations, some employers look for ways to skirt the oppressive regulations and taxes.
Businesses may hire more independent contractors to do the work of regular employees, thus saving on various employer taxes. However, beyond that, some employers may hire some workers "under the table." This often leads to the employer resorting to under reporting sales and profit figures. I've seen it happen in many kinds of businesses, usually small family businesses like auto mechanics, bars, restaurants and even some medical practices.
There are three basic types of underground operations:
The tax man is out to get you if you try to cheat on your taxes. They look for cash businesses like dry cleaners, bars and restaurants and they find ways to calculate what they think you are hiding. In many cases, if you aren't too greedy, you can get away with small amounts of money. Don't start showing off, though.
The businesses that the tax man is looking for are usually somewhat visible, with visible tangible assets or inventory movements that can be evaluated with a dollar amount. For example, If a liquor store has $100,000 in inventory on the shelves and a liquor license that cost $100,000, an owner who reports a profit of $22,000 will probably be audited.
A self-employed hair stylist who reports an income of $16,000 but drives a $70,000 BMW and lives in a $2500 a month apartment is asking for trouble; especially if her appointment book, full of appointments, is in plain view for a tax man to see.
Got the idea?
Now that you've read the warnings and other boring stuff, you probably are ready to see a list. The list that follows is not by any means complete. That's because there are thousands of little businesses that people start every day; people just like you. In fact, most of these underground economy guys have many of these businesses going at any one time. It's harder for a tax man to keep up with someone with 10 little "tasks" going on and who doesn't attract attention with a showy or loud lifestyle.
Okay enough with the warnings. Here are a few examples of underground economy businesses, or extra cash activities, each of which can be run out of your home, or even just from your cell phone; each of these can be modified into several more examples:
Okay, that should get your creative entrepreneur juices started. You should be able to look at that list and come up with at least 50 or 60 more; for example, we didn’t mention crafts and craft fairs or a bunch of car or pet ideas. Plus, there are more ideas scattered around this web site.
What you are really looking for are a few businesses that you can start, with your own talents, personality and temperament.
Many well-known entrepreneurs got started by using underground economy methods. They raised enough money to go then start their more well-known businesses, which turned them into wealthy business owners.
The real secret to success is this: Get started today, doing something. Today's experience will lead to tomorrow's success.
Now, there is no reason you couldn't run any of these as legitimate, tax paying businesses (especially when some customers pay by check). Of course you might then miss the excitement of running from the tax man.
In order to make it easier for you to get started quickly, we've listed resources below for five easy-to-start but profitable businesses or extra cash activities. One of them could work for you; they are already working for thousands of people just like you. Choose one now and get your creativity working for you, so you can finally start making money from your own business.
1. Catering Business: If you are interested in learning everything there is to know about starting a catering business, or just doing a bit of catering on the side, then this is going to be the most important information you'll ever read... Find out more
2. Photography Business: You don't have to purchase expensive equipment, lease a studio or get a loan. If you already know how to take good pictures, a profitable photography business can be achieved on a very, very low budget and in some cases, in as little as two weeks. Find out more
3. Resume Writing Business FACT: There are more job seekers on the job market than ever before. If you've considered starting a resume-writing business, there's no better time to start than now!!! Find out more
4. Is a Gourmet Dog Treat bakery the right business for you? The gourmet dog treats business is fun and profitable; many people are doing it, but it's not right for everyone - like people who don't like dogs. Find out more
5. Turning Cupcakes Into Cash – How To Start a Cupcake Business From Home. This is another extra cash opportunity that people just like you are doing. Find out more
We've just published a new report on the Underground Economy. It is a Kindle publication on Amazon.com. It's cheap, but it is more extensive than this page. It has helpful information for you if you want to be better prepared for what's coming down the pike. The publication is Underground Economy: Secrets for Your Financial Survival.