In starting a small business, you are almost guaranteed to come across tax
and legal rules that require professional help. Which professionals you should
consult depends entirely on your individual business needs. However, there are
some general guidelines:
Consider consulting a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an Enrolled Agent
(EA) for accounting and tax planning advice. (Enrolled Agents are tax experts
licensed by the federal government.) Search the
QuickBooks Professional Advisors Referral Database for an accounting
professional in your area who specializes in QuickBooks.
Get free help at your local
Small Business Development Center. SBDCs administered by the U.S. Small Business
Administration exist with the sole purpose of offering management assistance to
people like you—owners and prospective owners of small businesses.
If you have questions about regulations, consult a lawyer familiar with your
Have a lawyer help you correctly form your business.
If you plan on forming a business that owns real estate, you should consult
a real estate lawyer.
If your business is based on a unique technology, you may need to hire a
patent lawyer to help you apply for the correct patents.
If you form a Non-Profit Corporation, you will need to find a &CPA; who
specializes in Non-Profit accounting. There are many issues specific to
Non-Profits that only an expert will be able to advise you on.
If you use TurboTax Business, you can find answers to many of your tax
questions by consulting the product's business tax reference library. For
more information about TurboTax Business, visit
In seeking a good professional, start by asking friends and the owners of
similar local businesses for referrals. Ask them:
Who do you use?
Why do you use them?
Do you like them?
Why do you like them?
Do they help you?
How do they help you?
Once you get names of people to consider hiring, visit the professionals and
ask them questions to determine whether they are right for your business.
Nine questions to ask a tax or