An accountant handles business records and financial matters. Choose an accountant using similar criteria to choosing a lawyer. The most helpful accountant will have experience with professional practices.
An accountant will help you:
- understand the pros and cons of setting up a professional corporation.
- choose the right business structure.
- review the financial aspects of your business plan.
- set up a system to track revenue and expenses.
- prepare financial statements and tax returns.
A knowledgeable insurance advisor understands you, your business, and your needs. The following is a brief description of the most common types of insurance:
- Personal insurance protects you against claims by someone who suffers a bodily injury in your office.
- Life insurance is for your beneficiaries in the event of your death.
- Disability insurance provides income replacement in the event that you can no longer work due to an accident or illness.
- Automobile insurance can cover a car that is used for business.
- Fire insurance allows for reconstruction or repair in the event of damage due to fire.
- Office-overhead insurance covers business expenses in the event that you can no longer work due to illness or a natural disaster (e.g., a flood).
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A bank is a place to deposit and withdraw funds, but a banker should be much more. Your banker needs to understand your vision and goals, be kept up to date on the progress of your business, and be there to assist you when you want to grow and when you are facing financial difficulties.
It is important to look for a lawyer who is knowledgeable about professional practices. Many lawyers currently advertise their services in Canadian and provincial journals and publications. Word of mouth is also very helpful. Ask your friends and colleagues with professional practices who they work with.
A lawyer will help you:
- perform relevant property searches and draw up a property lease.
- draw up contracts with suppliers, employees, and independent contractors.
- draw up agreements with partners.
- draw up wills and plan your estate.
- anticipate potential personal, professional, employee, and property liabilities.
- set up your professional corporation.
A landlord is the owner of leased premises. Your landlord may provide input by identifying problems, limitations, and solutions related to the premises.
Mentors are an extremely important part of managing your business. They are individuals who may have guided you in the past and want to see you succeed in the future. They may be friends, colleagues, or family, but they must be those who are not afraid to ask you the tough questions and whose opinions you respect.