Dear Curly Girl,
When the large corporations create logos, it costs then
thousands or 10s of thousands of dollars to design and
test them and to trademark them in several categories.
When you create a logo, it can cost you as little as $25.00
at GotLogos.com - and they do a really good job.
Or you can pay another $45 - $85 and get a more complete
package, including camera ready art for stationery, etc.
(Though, a small business can simply paste that logo into
their word processing software and create your own stationery.
Just print your letters and envelopes on good paper and
it will look like real stationery.
So, if you're going to spend that little, you might as well
just expense the cost as an office supply or advertising cost.
However, if you do pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for
a logo and package that you will use for the life of your
business, you would amortize it evenly over 15 years -
that's 180 months, from the date you paid the bill.
To the cost of the logo, you would add the cost of trademarking it.
Again, the cost of trademarking one logo, in one category...
I'd just write it off. But if you're going to trademark
several versions of the logo or in more categories, you're
running into money.
Remember, your goal, for tax purposes, is to deduct as much as
possible, as soon as possible, to reduce your profits.
Stretching expenses over 15 years (intangible assets, code section 197),
gives you not only a tiny deduction each year, but the responsibility of
remembering to use that deduction for the next 15 years - even when you
change software or tax professionals.
Good luck with your new business.
P.S. You can find other people who create logos by searching
Google for 'design logos'. I just happen to know these guys'
work for several years and have been impressed with their designs.