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Old 04-16-2019, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default New Business Lawyer and Accountant Questions

I've seen the recommendation on here many times for finding and getting consultation from an attorney when you are first starting your business, what questions do you recommend to ask and what would you expect them to cover with you early on when starting your business? This would be for a corporation. I'm thinking obviously ask for resources to familiarize yourself with how the locale and state does things, recommendation and review of insurance and any boiler plate contracts I plan on using, and just ask for any advice or recommendations. Have any suggestions for an accountant as well?

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:10 PM   #2
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You don't want just any old attorney.

Go to Martindale-Hubble.

Martindale.com

With a guy versed in our industry you won't even have to ask the key questions.

He'll just throw in his standard lecture.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:30 PM   #3
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Your local SBA has FREE or low cost services.

https://americassbdc.org/

https://www.score.org/
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:09 PM   #4
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Review collections and lien law with your lawyer. This way you can build your contracts and payment schedules around the worst case scenario and make sure your contracts hae teeth - to the extent your local law allows. Like most things this isn't something every lawyer is well versed in.

The accountant - most will want to set up your chart of accounts for you so you can track the money the way they like. Have a discussion about whether you're going to do job costing right off the bat and all the procedures that need to be in place to get the information you need back out of the system. Do some scenarios that nutshell your income with variations on your five year plan. See what you need to do to get where you need to be.

Don't expect to get it all ironed out in one or two visits, it can take a long time to nail things down.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:16 PM   #5
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https://crmlsi.com/help/50-state-guide-help/
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
Review collections and lien law with your lawyer. This way you can build your contracts and payment schedules around the worst case scenario and make sure your contracts hae teeth - to the extent your local law allows. Like most things this isn't something every lawyer is well versed in.
Find a lawyer whose specialty is business contracts & is well versed.



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The accountant - most will want to set up your chart of accounts for you so you can track the money the way they like. Have a discussion about whether you're going to do job costing right off the bat and all the procedures that need to be in place to get the information you need back out of the system. Do some scenarios that nutshell your income with variations on your five year plan. See what you need to do to get where you need to be.

Don't expect to get it all ironed out in one or two visits, it can take a long time to nail things down.
Find a CPA that actually does taxes for small businesses & is well versed.
Good luck
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:34 PM   #7
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accountant is priority number 1. If you can do honest business with honest people you wont have contract issues for a while.. or at least few and far between. You will find that most issues can be resolved by showing up drunk late in the evening and banging on the customer's door.

ACTUALLy I might be remembering things wrong..

Seriously. First step is accountant who will keep you straight taxes and payroll. Find one who works with SMALL BUSINESSES (*KEY#1) AND has a good working relationship with a CPA who ALSO works with SMALL BUSINESSES AND YOUR ACCOUNTANT (KEY#2). This way your yearly bookkeeping can be sent over neatly and ready for the CPA to file your personal income taxes with your business income all neatly prepared and they typically will charge FAR less than some huge CPA firm that represents million dollar companies. I hear about other of my small business owner friends who pay 2-4k a year for the CPA to file their taxes, and that's after they spent that or twice as much on an accountant to handle their book keeping for the year. Cray Ze.

After you have a year or so under your belt, I'd find a good small business specialty / construction industry attorney. I have finally taken this step and it was easy to figure out what to ask him. How do I collect from these 3 customers who didn't pay, and what can I do to strengthen my company legally on the contract end.

The right attorney will take over from there. Its like if someone called you and asks you to provide services to make a correct electrical installation. That's your arena. The lawyer is usually pretty good in his arena.

Dont be scared from paying a good 200-500 / mo for full bookkeeping services. Very well worth it, your time is money. That's a **** ton of time. Mine works with me, I do most of my data entry, they have access to my business checking account and a tax account and she will regularly transfer money into the tax account so I don't overspend money, and she also is authorized to send money over to IRA and other money market accounts when I get surplus cash. Good accountant is KEY to a good business. Not the only key, but a very important key. More so than a lawyer early on - My opinion only.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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Seriously. First step is accountant who will keep you straight taxes and payroll. Find one who works with SMALL BUSINESSES (*KEY#1) AND has a good working relationship with a CPA who ALSO works with SMALL BUSINESSES AND YOUR ACCOUNTANT (KEY#2). This way your yearly bookkeeping can be sent over neatly and ready for the CPA to file your personal income taxes with your business income all neatly prepared and they typically will charge FAR less than some huge CPA firm that represents million dollar companies. I hear about other of my small business owner friends who pay 2-4k a year for the CPA to file their taxes, and that's after they spent that or twice as much on an accountant to handle their book keeping for the year. Cray Ze.
am i reading that right, you use/recommend a separate accountant for filing your taxes? i'm assuming the reason is a non-cpa would charge less for bookkeeping?

thanks, and for the rest of the post as well, i appreciate the input.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:24 AM   #9
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I paid $400 for my CPA to do my tax return, both personal and the business LLC.

I do bookkeeping myself in any random 2-4 minutes of free time I have at the computer, such as after I make this post.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:37 AM   #10
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Always elect for a cash-based accounting system.

This will always be permitted for a small business.

Big Businesses have to use accrual accounting -- a total pain in the tush.

You always want multiple credit cards so that you can dedicate one to strictly business expenses, the other to personal expenses. That way the card companies do most of your bookkeeping for you.

Don't go overboard with bookkeeping. You'll absolutely have to have enough accounts to file your taxes -- typically Schedule C.

Always write off your tooling via Section 179. That way the only item that you have to depreciate is your vehicle.

Don't carry Accounts Receivable -- unless you're compelled to -- as in Commercial work. More guys have gone under extending credit to GCs than you can possibly imagine.

Never let GCs select you. You select GCs. This goes triple for anyone in Residential.
As a rule, such GCs are total flakes. They're interested in you because they've just burned their bridges with their last victims.

As the last sub on the job, it's almost always the case that the GC looks to the EC to recover for his boners... as in stiffing the EC for payment.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:41 AM   #11
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am i reading that right, you use/recommend a separate accountant for filing your taxes? i'm assuming the reason is a non-cpa would charge less for bookkeeping?

thanks, and for the rest of the post as well, i appreciate the input.
That's right, I use 2 firms.

One is a bookkeeping service that I use throughout the year and the other is a CPA who files the taxes.

I say without a trace of doubt that the book keeping service has been the back bone of my company.
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