A reader comments: "I have operated my own little cleaning business for years and never had a problem. I disagree that going legal is worth it."

With all due respect I have to disagree with your approach for the following reasons: First of all, if you are simply cleaning houses and a few small offices for cash you may be OK so long as you understand the risks that you are your customers are taking. You indicated that you do not carry workers compensation which means that if you injure yourself or a helper gets injured you are totally exposed to medical bills that will fall on you. This could impact any equity you have in a home or other assets. It also puts your customers at risk who may have to cover claims from you or others a myriad of reasons. Do they understand the risk? Do they have sufficient insurance to protect themselves in the possibility of an accident?

Another aspect to consider is social security insurance that is not being paid if you do not declare any income for this venture. I know from personal experience that this can be expensive in the long run. I have a family member who, for his own reasons, chose to be paid "under the table" for years. He recently became disabled and since social security does not have any record of payments for over 10 years, he is very limited in his SSI options. Of course, this is placing a greater burden on his children and other family members who are having to make up the difference.

My point is that you need to look not only at current income but also future risks and expenses.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.