I set about writing a blog on how to start a new business. In my research I found an existing article (1), written by Robin M. Gronsky, Esq., who is the owner of Gronsky Law Office in Ridgewood, New Jersey, which says it better than I could, so I quote it verbatim, below.
“Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general advice and should not be construed as legal advice or as a legal opinion.
Most entrepreneurs start their new businesses with the dream of building a successful business. Many of you who started your new business recently opened up the business because you couldn't find a new job. You weren't prepared with a business plan, or market research, or entrepreneurial skills. Yet, none of these deficiencies will necessary mean that your business won't succeed. If you create a team of advisors, you should be able to find professionals and businesspeople who can help you build a thriving business.
Who should be on your team? You should have a business lawyer, an accountant who can advise you on taxes and on how to grow your profits, an insurance broker, and a person who has already created a successful business.
Why do you need these advisors and how do you find them? A business lawyer has the knowledge to advise you about how to avoid lawsuits (which are always more expensive than the costs of acting proactively). If you are moving from your home to an office or renting a storefront, you want a business lawyer to help you negotiate with the landlord to get you the best lease terms. A business lawyer will draft your contracts for you to work with clients (which can state that you get paid upfront in full or in part - that's good for cash flow), with vendors, and with independent contractors (so you don't get into trouble with the IRS or the labor department). You may have a logo to trademark or a creative idea or process that needs a copyright or a patent. Your business lawyer will help you with all of these problems or can refer you to another lawyer who has more expertise with these types of law.
Your accountant will help you set up a chart of accounts, prepare your business tax returns and advise you (together with your lawyer) on issues where taxes are involved (whether sales, income, or payroll taxes). Your accountant should also be able to advise you on how to maximize business deductions so that you pay the least amount of taxes that are required.
An accountant or profitability consultant will advise you on how to grow your revenues, help you to focus on your core business and then add new products or services, advise you on setting your pricing strategy, implement inventory controls, and help you with cash flow problems.
Many businesses carry a wide variety of insurance - or should. These range from liability insurance to business interruption insurance to professional malpractice (or errors and omissions) insurance to auto insurance to commercial property insurance. Do you have an independent insurance broker who will shop your business to several insurance companies? Who will find you the best coverages for the right prices? Who will advise you about risk management so you can keep your premiums as low as possible? That's why you need an insurance broker on your trusted advisor team.
You should also try to find a business mentor, someone who has created a business that is successful. This person should be available, who will listen to you, who has the knowledge and skills that you want to acquire, and should be willing to give you constructive criticism and feedback.
Your team of trusted advisors lets you look at your business through fresh eyes. It gives you a group of professionals who have been what you're going through and have shepherded clients through your challenges. They have expertise that you do not have and should have contacts in other businesses that will help your business (such as technology, marketing, pricing strategies, inventory control). They will ask you questions that you haven't even thought of yet. But, you must be willing to take the advice of your trusted advisors because they will help you build the business of your dreams.
How do you find these trusted advisors? Start with one advisor who you trust and ask them for referrals to the other types of advisors that you want to have. Interview them about their experience and ask yourself whether you would be willing to work with these individuals over an extended period of time. You must be comfortable with your team because they will know you and your business intimately. Only by being open and honest with your advisors can they really help you.
A good team will get you to your goals faster than if you do it on your own.”
1. Why Your Small Business Should Have a Trusted Advisor Team to Help You Realize Your Business Dreams, by Robin M. Gronsky, Esq., EzineArticles.com.
Important Proviso: The above material does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. It does not create an attorney-client relationship. Each locality has differing laws. A legal matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved without a comprehensive review and analysis of all the unique facts and laws at issue by an able attorney. Your matter may result in a loss of rights if you do not timely retain such an attorney.
Contact: If you would like to discuss this matter further in a more private forum, please feel free to contact me directly at the email address provided through my firm’s website located at http://www.bealbusinesslaw.com.