Are you starting a new business in the new year?

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It is so easy to misstep when you are starting a new business. It is a case of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know and you can make some errors that will be very costly in the short and long run. When you are starting a new business, that is not the time to scrimp on professional advice. If you do not have the funds to hire a CPA for some initial counsel, you need to reconsider your budget. A good CPA can be well worth the fees in helping you avoid the common pitfalls that a lot of new businesses fall prey to. An hour or two will make an enormous difference to you. Take the time, money and effort to meet with a CPA to help you start on the road to success.

Put these items on your to-do list.

Business plan. Outline who will own the business and what the legal form will be, your qualifications to run the business, the competitive market you face, the products or services you will sell, and how you intend to advertise to prospective customers. How much cash will you need to start up and where will those funds come from?

Legal form. You can incorporate, or operate as an LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. Consider both tax and non-tax reasons for selecting a given entity.

Location. If your business will consist only of online sales, your world headquarters can be wherever you are. However, if your business needs foot traffic to thrive, you’ll need to research rents and other costs such as utilities, as well as zoning and traffic restrictions.

Taxes. You’ll have to work with the IRS, state tax agencies, and local governments to obtain permits and occupational licenses.

Advisors. Create a business financial team that includes a banker, an insurance agent, an attorney, and an accountant. Involve your advisors early and frequently.

Need more suggestions for getting your business off to a good start? Contact us. We’re here to help.

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