09 / 21 / 2015

A Lawyer and An Accountant Walk Into a Bar: Why you need both when starting a business

One of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make is trying to do everything on their own. While it is smart to try to save money where you can in the early stages of your business, it’s not wise to do so at the expense of making costly mistakes that could’ve easily been avoided with the proper counsel.

People often ask: “should I hire an accountant or a lawyer first?” and the answer is you should really hire both. Although there is some carryover in the two areas of practice, neither one is best-suited to handle the roles of both.

Protecting Your Assets

Both CPAs and business attorneys work to protect your assets. We just do so in different ways.

Your CPA will make sure all of your financials are in order, advise you on tax strategies, and provide guidance for how you spend or invest your capital. On the other hand, your business lawyer is looking out for your financials from a legal standpoint. We make sure you’re well-represented against litigation, we help you protect your valuable intellectual property, and we ensure that your legal agreements are in your best interest.

You wouldn’t expect your CPA to represent you in court, although we might advise them to testify if the situation permitted it. You also shouldn’t expect us to know the best tax strategy for your specific business. (We have our own CPA for that.) Full protection of your assets requires the help of a CPA and business attorney.

Avoiding Crucial Mistakes

Too many businesses fail because they make crucial mistakes in the early stages that they never quite overcome.

You might think it’s okay to write all of your contracts yourself, until you find yourself in a lawsuit that you can’t win. You also might think that it’s okay to figure out payroll and taxes on your own, until you get audited and realize that you owe thousands of dollars more than you anticipated.

Unfortunately, these are everyday occurrences that could easily be avoided with the right help. We recommend that you seek out a reputable CPA for your business and for all of your legal needs, we are happy to help. Simply contact us here.

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