Entrepreneur wages

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The owner's salary is in the economics , the consideration for the activity of the entrepreneur in his own company .


In addition to the soil, economics knows human labor as a further original production factor . Together with the derivative production factor capital , they form the three classic production factors. Since these production factors are scarce , they have a price in classical economics which is rent for land , wages for labor and interest for capital . In 1828 Jean-Baptiste Say added the production factor “entrepreneurial activity” to this factor system. Its price is the entrepreneur's wages. This entrepreneur's wage, together with the entrepreneur's profit, the interest income from the entrepreneur's equity, the basic rent from the company's own property and the risk premium, form the entrepreneur's income . In contrast to the entrepreneur's wages, the entrepreneur's profit is the excess between the achieved market price and the total costs of the company.


The Business Administration recognizes as entrepreneurs pay only those labor income to which a holder of equity investments at equity achieved an undertaking where he is an entrepreneur. This includes sole traders , personally liable partners in partnerships , partners - managing directors as well as all family members of these entrepreneurs who work without a fixed wage. On the other hand , people employed by corporations, such as board members or mere managing directors without an entrepreneurial function , do not earn entrepreneurial wages .

Business aspects

The entrepreneur's wages may be included in the price calculation . The internal price calculation is not based on the commercial result, but on the result of the operational accounting , where the imputed costs are recorded. The entrepreneur's work in his own company is recorded as a cost component and taken into account as an imputed entrepreneur's wages in cost accounting . Even if no entrepreneur's wage is actually paid, it is booked as if it were paid ( opportunity costs ). The imputed entrepreneur's wage is offset in the cost accounting and is also included in the operating result , but has no effect in the external annual financial statements under commercial law and is therefore not recognizable there. The lower price limit would be calculated too low if the imputed entrepreneur's wages were not included. By including the imputed entrepreneur's wages, the internal price calculation provides the price that a company in the market would ideally have to ask for its products or services in the market.

The entrepreneur's wages paid in cash or in kind are part of the additional costs , because no expenses may be booked in accounting for the entrepreneurial work performance . Its level is based on the standard market salary of executives with comparable activities and responsibilities in corporations. According to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the former soap formula , as well as other formulaic lump sums of imputed company wages, can no longer be used, but requires an individual determination.

Tax treatment

Income tax law subjects the entrepreneur's wages as part of the income to taxation, so that the principle of non-deductibility of the entrepreneur's wages as a business expense has always been valid for sole proprietorships and personal companies .

  • Salaries for partner-managing directors of a partnership are not an operating expense for tax purposes, but are to be attributed to the respective partner as advance profit .
  • Entrepreneurs wage that is paid by the owner of a sole proprietorship in yourself is fiscally a withdrawal .
  • Salaries for partner-managing directors of a corporation are operating expenses, insofar as they are appropriate (the arm's length principle must be observed). In this respect, the partner-managing director is an employee . As a rule, wage tax must be withheld and paid.

For sole proprietorships and personal companies, the entrepreneur's wage is an anticipated profit, which does not have a tax-reducing effect at the end of the year.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jean-Baptiste Say, Comprehensive Textbook of Practical Economics , German translation, 1845, p. 121
  2. Erich Carell, Unternehmergewinn und Arbeitslohn , 1968, p. 9
  3. Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler, Gablers Wirtschaftslexikon , Volume 6, 1984, Sp. 1772
  4. ^ Andreas Schmidt, Kostenrechnung , 2008, p. 63
  5. ^ BGH, judgment of February 6, 2008, Az .: XII ZR 45/06