A Few Tips for Business Start Ups

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

New business owners frequently experience feeling overwhelmed. They feel a sudden need to be experts in many fields that have little to do with the product or service they sell. They may believe their budget does not allow for even one non-owner employee. Here are a few tips on ways to lighten the load.

1. Choose Experienced Advisors.

Although good professionals can be found at a range of prices, there is a lower level at which “you get what you pay for.” In choosing a lawyer or accountant, look for someone with at least 5 to 10 years experience in a business practice, unless someone of greater experience supervises that person. Be wary of generalists. Don’t hire the same lawyer to prepare your will, set up your corporation and handle your litigation! For some questions to ask about a prospective accountant, see www.toolkit.cch.com/text/p06_1220.asp.

If you are not the sole business owner, be sure to have an agreement providing a mechanism for getting out of doing business with your partner in the future. Although you get along well now, circumstances may change later due to death, divorce or disagreement about the best direction for the company. Expect the legal costs of setting up your corporation, Limited Liability Company or other entity, including state filing fees, to be at least $1000 for a sole owner, and more for multiple owners. Don’t be tempted to use a do-it-yourself kit. It won’t be tailored to your needs, and do you really know what you need without advice?
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