SCORE Small Business Blog

Finance: Bartering for Business Success


Ever think of bartering for services?

I had a SCORE client the other day, a photographer, who was in the midst of a business slowdown and having trouble paying the rent on her small studio. We discussed her options (which were not many) and decided she would go to the landlord and try to barter a photoshoot for her rent payment. Amazingly, it worked.

The first month rent was paid by the landlord using her for some brochure work he wanted done. The second month, she took photographs of his staff and locations. These 2 months gave her enough time to get some backlog work to get up and running again. In fact, it worked out so well that she bartered for some accounting work to get her books in order. There are some IRS concerns with bartering so it is necessary to contact your accountant to determine what paperwork is required. This is crucial as values of transactions need to be documented and recorded for tax purposes.

In this economy, bartering sounds like a very good idea. Ever thought of trying it? But, don’t forget to check with your accountant so you have the proper paper documentation. Think about it and let me know.

Betty Otte, SCORE Orange County
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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. BettyVisitor

    Hi, pb thank you for your support in bartering. Your skills lend exceptionally well to the system. On a smaller scale it is like trading favors. It may not be as old fashioned a concept as we first think.

  2. bpVisitor

    I have always been a fan of the concept of bartering. Anytime I can trade my PC and IT skills for other products or services, I am happy to do so.

  3. BettyVisitor

    Hi, thank you for your comment. I know that barter has long since lost its popularity, but have seen a revisit in the last few months. As long as all the tax issues are handled, it is a way to small business to continue operation.

  4. This is a rare case. Barter died long ago. However, it is well thought of in times of crisis.


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