As a bookkeeper, I have been asked by many of my clients to refer them to a effective lawyer and a good CPA. Most small businesses can’t waste time with professionals who don’t fully understand the needs of a start-up or home based-business. Interview these people with care, and make sure you two are on the same page when it comes to meeting expectations.
Depending on what your needs are, you might require specialized services that not every attorney or CPA has, and that means you might have to seek out someone with a specialty, such as intellectual property law or dealing with IRS audits.
“A general business lawyer can help form entities like an LLC (limited liability company) help in drafting leases and contracts, buying and selling a business, but if you’re going to get into something more complex, you’re going to want to know a little more about their experience,” Steingold said.
Similarly, most accountants are likely to periodically go over a company’s books and prepare its tax returns. But you might also want a CPA who can help you with business planning.
It goes without saying that the discussion must include fees, and what services you can expect. You want to be sure you don’t open a bill from your lawyer or accountant and find you’ve been charged for something you never expected to pay for.