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How to Stay in Business and Out of Prison

May 20, 2008
If you are in the process of starting a new business on-line or off-line I highly recommend you sit down with a good accountant and a good lawyer first. There are many things to discuss and consider when beginning a new business. Every state is different where its rules and regulations about conducting business are concerned so get some expert guidance before diving in.

Consulting a good accountant is a must, even if your business is just starting up. An accountant can save you time and money and can keep you from getting into trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. For instance, estimated federal and state taxes should be paid quarterly. Your tax advisor can help you determine how much to set aside ahead of time for each payment. The government does not have a sense of humor nor is it merciful when it comes to matters of taxation. The laws of taxation change yearly and it is very unlikely that you will be able to keep up with all of these changes.

Your accountant will also help you to properly structure your business financially. He will be able to advise you concerning business tax deductions. Were you aware that your might be able to take tax deductions for things like a home office, your computer equipment and supplies, internet access charges, and shipping costs? Also, as a small business owner you may be eligible to take special deductions like self-employment tax, long-term care insurance, or health insurance.

A good lawyer can advise you concerning the legal structure of your business. He will educate you about the different types of incorporation and the advantages of each one. She will make certain that you observe all of the local and state requirements for operating a business. Also, and this is very important for on-line business, your lawyer will help to make certain that you do not break any trademark or copyright laws.

Both your accountant and your lawyer will require that you make sure you keep good records of all your income and expenses and save all of your receipts. If you are ever audited your accountant will get you organized and stand by you through the process to make certain that all the i's are dotted and all the t's are crossed.

Currently I have two lawyers for my businesses and one very good accountant. They have been instrumental in helping me to make good, sound business choices while attending to the legal details and keeping me in good standing with the IRS. Their advice and their services do cost money but I consider the peace of mind they give me well worth the cost. I often joke with them about that fact that they keep me in business and out of prison but when all is said and done, that really is why I use their services. I would advise anyone starting a new business to do the same.
About the Author
William Utley is a physician and an entrepreneur. He has a great many interests not the least of which is online business. For more advice concerning online business visit http://www.Tools-Of-The-Trade.net
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