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July 1, 2008
So, you want to launch a small business or reposition your company as a managed service provider (MSP). What steps can you take to maximize your chances for success? I’ve written a four-part blog to cover that very question. Tune in each day this week for the next chapter. Here’s part 2: The two people you need to call before incorporating.
There are plenty of Web sites and starter kits that allow you to incorporate a business in a matter of minutes. But don’t go the cheap route. Spend the extra time and money meeting with your accountant and lawyer to discuss the pros and cons of various business approaches (Limited Liability Partnerships, S Corporations etc.).
Leverage those experts to understand how to research and pursue trademarks, track and cover your business expenses, set up payroll, write a partner agreement (assuming you’re going into business with a partner), etc.
Avoid the temptation to “save money” by setting up and managing items like payroll on your own. By outsourcing such items to a pro, you can spend more time building your business and pursuing more revenue — rather than trying to learn about tax withholdings for salaries employees, etc.
And don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. My business partner (Amy Katz) and I had to cover a range of dark questions (What if one partner dies? What if there’s a family tragedy and a partner needs to leave the business? What if one partner screws the business?) while laying the foundation for our partner agreement with our lawyers.
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