Two Keys to Success: A Good Lawyer + CPA

Starting a business is fun — creating, dreaming, planning. Setting your marks, and then achieving them.


Taxes, and the legal wrangling even small businesses need — that’s often not so fun. But this is one of the areas where good money handed to the right person can serve your business well in the long run.



Good Guidance Matters


For small matters, such as basic personal taxes or a simple LLC filing, generic online services might work for your business — they can be fast, cheap and easy. But as your business grows, so do challenges. An experienced professional who can offer concrete advice tailored to your business’ specific needs can prove invaluable in guiding a small business through the morass of legal requirements.


Ultimately, this can also save money. A good accountant can guide a business owner not just in filing taxes, but in maximizing financial choices made throughout the year. A good attorney can suggest changes, or pro-active moves to help stay ahead of any potential legal requirements and advise as you grow.


Specifics to Consider


New businesses need to file paperwork and pay fees with state, county and national authorities. Retailers will need to establish sales taxes reporting practices. You may need contracts for either providers you work with, new hires, or contract employees, and possibly non-disclosure agreements. Businesses need employee policies that follow the law, from required tax withholdings to legally mandated days off. A good attorney can guide you. The last thing any growing business needs are questions from state authorities over hiring and benefits, for example.



Questions to Ask


When looking for an accountant, consider asking questions such as:

  • What’s your experience with small businesses?
  • Can you recommend software or apps to help streamline my business systems?
  • Do you work on retainer or hourly?
  • What are some examples of guidance you’ve given to businesses as they grow?


When looking from an attorney, the questions may look similar:

  • What’s your experience with small businesses?
  • Do you have sample contracts I can view?
  • What are some issues that businesses in this field, in this locality, need to consider as they grow?
  • How can you help me address those issues?
  • Will you be answering my questions, or will a paralegal or other staff? (An assistant may be able to handle your questions, but it’s good to get a sense of how an attorney works.)



Whether you’re just starting out or you’re growing, hiring the right attorney or CPA can be one of the smartest moves you make. Finding a good attorney and a good accountant can take time, but the payoff can be a trusted advisor and reliable resource familiar with your unique needs.


Finding the right attorney and accountant for your business can be the difference between scrambling to put out fires, or breathing easy because you can pick up a phone, quickly have the answers you need, and quickly return to managing your business.

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