By James Chittenden and Renata Castro, Esq.
You have decided you want to start your own business. Now you need the best small business services and professionals to accomplish your goal.
All business owners need a “brain trust”; a team of specialized advisors and helpers.
Small Business Service #1: CPA or Accountant
Who is it for? Most owners of startups or small businesses. Often, they try to do everything, including banking, bookkeeping and taxes. This is professional help to reconcile your bank statements. It is also their job to ensure that your financial statements are up to date and to be able to provide a real-time picture of your business finances at any time.
It is also their responsibility to keep you on schedule with taxes, while keeping them as low as possible.
What makes this small business service so important? Because it helps you save time and avoid mistakes. You could certainly do these things yourself.
However, digging around for a receipt at 9:30 pm trying to figure out what that $15.97 Amazon charge was for is probably not your idea of fun.
Also, underpayment or late payment of taxes because you got too busy to send them in results in interest and penalties that offset the savings from doing the bookkeeping yourself.
Market leading accounting software is available with a discount and a 30-day trial. Professional, vetted part-time bookkeepers are available at affordable rates and also include a free trial period.
Small Business Service #2: Immigration Attorney
Who is it for? If you and your family are looking to move to the USA by starting a business, purchasing an existing business, or starting a franchise, an immigration attorney is a key professional in bringing you closer to living your American Dream. Whether you are filing an EB-2/NIW (National Interest Waiver) petition, an E-2, L-1A, or an EB-5, the complexity of the law makes it almost imperative for a foreign entrepreneur to hire the services of a competent immigration attorney.
Hiring is a part of growing your business. An immigration attorney can help you take advantage of a wider talent pool by using work visa programs such as the Labor Certification program, or the H-1B nonimmigrant visa for qualified foreigners. Moreover, an immigration attorney can advise you and your growing enterprise on how to remain compliant with right to work requirements imposed by the federal government. The goal is to have a business so that you can put more money into your family’s pocket, not Uncle Sam’s.
What makes this small business service so important? A visa or green card allow you and your family to live in the US legally. Moreover, access to capital, business licenses, and other essential elements needed to run your business more effectively, and profitability, can be impacted by your legal status.
If US immigration law is relevant to your situation, the Castro Legal Group can guide you.
Small Business Service #3: Business Consultant
Who is it for? Your business will need an orderly transition from a home-based or small office-based enterprise to that of an organization. You personally will need help growing from entrepreneur to CEO. While you may have specialized officers or employees in finance and specialized officers or employees in marketing, it is the CEO’s job to synchronize it all. The CEO acts like a conductor in an orchestra. A small business consultant can help.
What makes this small business service so important? A small business consultant can provide some missing specialized help, or can act as an advisor or business planner.
Business planning is often treated as an academic exercise; a resented assignment to be turned in. While investors or lenders may require one, so that they can evaluate your ability to produce a return, the plan is really for you and the people of your business. Business consultants offer this vital small business service. For owners of startups and small businesses, small business services, courses and consulting are available at no cost.
Game things out and make your mistakes on paper. Creating a business plan is useful, and with great software, can actually be fun.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has a free tool for your use.
- Simple, user-friendly, intuitive, and relatively inexpensive business plan service is available at a discount.
- One Click Advisor fills in the gaps with the free Business Builder, which walks business owners through a plan and connects them with free, discounted or paid recommended services.
Small Business Service #4: Incorporation Services
Who is it for? Anyone who is ready to start conducting business and:
- Anticipates a need for banking, loans and investment capital
- Is concerned with liability and taxes associated with business ownership
What makes this small business service so important? Business owners must separate their personal assets and liabilities from that of their business. That requires establishing another entity. That entity is a corporation or LLC.
Setting up a corporation or LLC is relatively simple for a single business owner with no partners. You visit the state where you will register, complete an online form, pay the required fee, and wait for approval. Once the entity is approved and active, you must obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), as the new entity will become its own taxpayer.
Registering an entity becomes more complicated if you have partners. Each partner may have his or her own unique tax, family, or immigration situation, any of which affects the ability of a business to obtain capital. For example, when a business applies for a bank loan, every partner with a 20 percent or greater share of ownership must sign the loan application. Each partner’s personal credit is then checked, and the loan decision is made based on the lowest credit scoring partner.
Small Business Service #5: Insurance
Who is it for? Small business insurance protects your assets, your employees, your revenue, and you personally as a business owner. Minimize or eliminate financial risk by carrying the appropriate amount of insurance. Don’t buy too little insurance, but don’t over-insure either.
What makes this small business service so important? The answer is simple. It helps you sleep better. You can obtain quality health insurance and other benefits for yourself and employees from one trusted reputable source or another.
Insurance is a vital small business service and it can provide financial protection against a wide variety of losses. Many of these losses are avoidable, and many business owners are surprised to learn that insurance is available for lost inventory, key person loss, or even certain body parts. This article details some insurance you can obtain at surprisingly affordable rates. Additionally, some insurance, such as workers’ compensation is required by law.
What insurance should you buy? Not too much, and not too little. Consult with three different agents or companies. This online tool will ask the questions an agent would ask and offer you a variety of quotes, for free, in just a few minutes.
Welcome to One Click Advisor! We would be remiss if we didn’t give you a brief tour of the site and what it can do for you, as an owner of a startup or small business. Your challenges and opportunities can be sorted into one of three areas.
Marketing, because it brings in the customers. That requires the right combination of price, product, promotion and place.
Operations, because it keeps your customers. A well-run business pleases customers and generates steady and reliable revenue. But to be well-run, you need reliable providers.
Finance, because it is the scoreboard, and keeps everybody paid. Change the “score”, find bookkeeping help, and find capital.
The One Click Advisor Business Builder connects you with all the fundamentals. Skip the hours of research and costly mistakes…we have done the work of locating the best small business services for you.
DISCLAIMER: This article does not constitute endorsement by the attorney of any of the services listed, nor does the attorney earn any income derived from affiliate links. Attorney-client relationship is not established with the readers of this article, and is no substitute for legal representation.