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When starting your business, you probably didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about what kind of money you would accept as payment. There was a time when that question had only one answer. Whether it was dollars, euros, or pounds, accepting the local currency was just a given. However, today, there is a new answer, and that is to also accept bitcoin as payment.
Bitcoin is rising in popularity as a way to spend money while maintaining privacy and keeping transaction fees minimal. Moreover, while it is still uncommon, offering bitcoin as a way for your customers to make payment for your services may help you stand out from the competition.
In fact, customers can buy bitcoin instantly and use it to make payments anonymously within your store. But before you can start accepting bitcoin as payment, there are a few things you need to do.
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Make Your Customers Aware That You Accept Bitcoin as Payment
People need to know that you’re accepting bitcoin as payment, so make it easy for them to see. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar store, simply add a sign to your window. If you’re online-only, add a blurb to your payment screen. And if you think this is something customers will be really excited about, consider adding it to your next promotional email.
Consider How You’ll Process Bitcoin Payments
You need to be able to process your customer’s payment. Some companies have found that it is easiest to allow customers to buy gift certificates with bitcoin, and then use the gift certificate to make purchases inside the store. This process might make it easier to keep track of bitcoin sales for accounting purposes.
Keep Track of the Exchange Rate for Bitcoin Payments
Keep in mind that the exchange rate of bitcoin changes frequently, so be sure that you keep up-to-date on the latest information. Decide if you’ll exchange bitcoin for cash immediately or use some other method. Whatever you decide, be consistent so that your employees and customers always know what to expect.
Provide Fee Transparency
Make sure your customers know up front that they are responsible for paying any transaction fees. Also, be sure to let them know what those fees are. Being as transparent as possible will help keep your customers happy and avoid any unpleasant disagreements arising from accepting bitcoin as payment.
Pay Taxes Accurately
Bitcoin is not tax-free. Therefore, if you are accepting bitcoin as payment, then it is your responsibility to do your accounting properly. Not paying taxes is a serious crime.
However, since bitcoin is still relatively new and not very common, it might be hard to figure out how to pay taxes on bitcoin payments. So check with an accountant for advice. Remember that usually any income is taxable, whether it is goods, services, cash, or even a pot of gold.
Accepting Bitcoin as Payment Could Give Your Business a Boost
Accepting bitcoin as payment may give you a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it and have your procedures ironed out, you may find it to be a boon for your business. Many major companies are accepting bitcoin for purchases, including Microsoft, Overstock, Etsy, and Newegg. Therefore, if you begin accepting bitcoin as payment you’ll be in great company. You could also find yourself with a few new customers as well.