Can bartering be an effective business strategy?

Have you ever thought about bartering as a way to get the goods and services you need for your business?  A growing number of businesses are finding ways to use the bartering system as a means to avoid using up their company’s cash.

A simple bartering arrangement involves two parties trading of similar value.  For example, let’s say your business owns a building located next to a telephone company.  An internet service provider might be interested in storing its services in an unused portion of your basement.  Instead of paying rent, they offer to provide you with a high-speed internet connection and website.

Complicated bartering may now take place through bartering clubs that give members credits for items or services they contribute.  Members can then use the credits to pay for goods or services offered by other club members.  This service offers a convenience to businesses, as it can be difficult to find the businesses that offer what you are looking for when searching on your own.

It’s important to note that there are income tax consequences to bartering.  To be safe, view your trades as if cash changed hands, since the goods and services are valued for tax purposes at their fair market values and taxed accordingly.  Also, a bartering agreement does not always result in a deduction immediately equal to the income you recognized.  You might provide a service and recognize income immediately in exchange for some equipment you will end up depreciating over several years.

Please call us if you need more information about implementing bartering as a strategy to help your business.