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Breaking Down the Cost of a DIY S Corp

Breaking Down the Cost of a DIY S Corp

As a business-of-one, you've likely considered the tax benefits of structuring your business as an S Corp. Then comes the question of how to manage it that S Corp. 

If you’re trying to maximize your take-home, you might think that managing your S Corp on your own is cheaper than using a system like Lettuce. But there’s a lot more time, effort–and cold hard cash–that goes into managing an S Corp than you might think. 

Let's break down the cost differences between taking the DIY route versus automating it all with Lettuce, a system purpose-built to help solopreneurs run their S Corps as efficiently as possible.

DIY Costs: A Breakdown

When going for a DIY approach, you're responsible for every step from business formation to tax filing. Here's a detailed look at the potential costs:

  1. Business Formation & S Corp Election: $500 to $750. This one-time fee covers your initial setup–it’s essential to get your S Corp up and running.
  2. Entity Maintenance: $100 and $250 annually. This keeps your S Corp compliant with state and federal regulations. This includes filing annual reports and paying associated fees. Keep in mind that entity maintenance costs can differ significantly by state.
  3. Bookkeeping Software: $250 to $750 annually. Essential for tracking your finances.  Many software providers offer basic versions at a lower cost, but often upsell additional features that you may need depending on your business.
  4. Corporate Bookkeeping Service: $1,000 to $2,500 annually. Professional help to ensure you’re tracking things properly.
  5. Payroll Software: $300 to $600 annually. This is necessary for managing your personal salary and “payroll taxes,” like social security and medicare.
  6. Quarterly Tax Estimates: $250 and $500 annually. Preparing and paying quarterly tax estimates.
  7. Prep & Filing - Business Tax Returns: $1,000 and $3,000 annually. Professional preparation and filing of your business tax returns 
  8. Tax/Accounting Expert Consulting: $500 to $1,500 annually. Consulting with tax and accounting experts for complex issues.

That adds up to $3,900 to $8,000 annually, or $325 to $800 a month. This doesn't include the cost of your time and effort spent managing these tasks yourself.

The Lettuce Advantage

Lettuce offers an all-inclusive service for $299 per month, which comes to $3,588 per year. Here's what you get for this flat fee:

  • Business Formation & S Corp Election: Included in the service, ensuring you start on the right foot without additional costs.
  • Entity Maintenance: All compliance and regulatory filings are managed for you.
  • Bookkeeping Software: Robust software to track your finances seamlessly.
  • Corporate Bookkeeping Service: Professional bookkeeping is part of the package, eliminating the need for separate service fees.
  • Payroll Software: Integrated payroll management included.
  • Quarterly Tax Estimates: Lettuce prepares and files your quarterly tax estimates, ensuring accuracy and timeliness.
  • Prep & Filing - Business Tax Returns: Comprehensive tax return preparation and filing services.
  • Tax/Accounting Expert Consulting: Unlimited access to expert consulting, providing peace of mind and professional advice whenever you need it.



    DIY Approach


    Business Formation & S Corp Election $500 - $750
    (one time)


    Entity Maintenance $100 - $250
    a year
    Bookkeeping Software $250 - $750
    a year 
    Corporate Bookkeeping Service $1,000 - $2,500
    a year
    Payroll Software $300 - $600
    a year
    Quarterly Tax Estimates $250 - $500
    a year
    Prep & Filing - Business Tax Returns $1,000 - $3,000
    a year
    Tax/Accounting Expert Consulting $500 - $1,500
    a year
    Annual Total $3,900 to $8,000
    a year
    a year


    Why Lettuce Pays for Itself

    For solopreneurs earning over $70,000 annually, Lettuce’s comprehensive service simplifies the management of your S Corp and offers significant savings to the tune of thousands every year.

    You make think a DIY approach is more financially prudent, but the costs (and time you spend) can add up quickly. Lettuce streamlines all of your processes, allowing you to focus on growing your business, not on the intricacies of tax and financial management.

    Which is Right for you?

    Choosing between the DIY approach and partnering with Lettuce ultimately comes down to a balance of cost, convenience, and peace of mind. 

    With Lettuce, you get a one-stop solution that covers all aspects of forming and maintaining an S Corp, making it an attractive option for busy solopreneurs looking to maximize their tax savings and minimize their administrative burden. 

    Ready to make the switch and see how much you can save? Let Lettuce handle your finances, so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.


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