I’m sure you’ve heard many times that people are the key to the success of any business. Jim Collins, business expert and author of one of my favorite business books, Good to Great, states the first step to building a successful organization is to get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and get the right people in the right seats.
The idea of building a team of the right people put in the right roles applies to partners, employees, vendors, and professional advisers. This post focuses on your team of professional advisers who will help you keep your business compliant. A professional team should contain the following individuals:
- Attorney. When it comes to regulations and the law, most small business owners don’t know what they don’t know. Since the repercussions for noncompliance can be serious, small business owners should take a proactive approach to preventing legal problems. If nothing else, it is good to heave an attorney who you know you can turn to for prompt assistance when an issue arises.
- Accountant. Even if you are planning to file your business tax returns on your own, it is wise to have an accountant who you can consult with as needed. An accountant can help you determine the taxes for which you are responsible. Pennsylvania sales tax, for instance, is one tax that can easily be overlooked as it applies not only to tangible goods but also certain services.
- Financial advisers. Finance is a vast area where many small business owners need help staying compliant. There are many aspects to finance including (1) tax and financial planning, (2) annual financial statement reporting, (3) bookkeeping, (4) payroll, and more. Your accountant may be able to provide broad financial help, which you may need to supplement with support from specialists.
- Insurance agent. Carrying insurance is a standard practice and is often required. In addition to general liability, you may need to carry errors and omissions (E&O) or workers compensation coverage. Workers compensation coverage is mandatory for businesses that have W-2 employees. An insurance agent can help you get the coverage you need to stay compliant and protect your business assets.
- Banker. For business entities such as LLCs and corporations, having a separate business bank account is extremely important for compliance. Having a good relationship with your bank is helpful, as your bank will be one of the first places you’ll look when you need financing.
Having an all-star professional team will make a huge positive impact for your business. But how does a startup business that is strapped for cash build such a team when many professionals, including attorneys and accountants, charge so much for their time? Stay tuned for my next post on how to get great legal advice from your attorney without spending too much.
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