When to Hire Accounting Miami CPA and when to Do it Yourself?
Ever wonder if you need to get a Miami CPA involved in a business matter? A Miami CPA can help in many business scenarios, from helping with the incorporation process, preparing projections and, if necessary, representing you in before the IRS. But is a Miami CPA always necessary or are there times when you are better off saving the big bucks and navigating tax matters on your own?
Here are some guidelines to help you know which accounting or tax business issues you can probably handle independently and when it’s really time to retain an Miami CPA.
Issues You Can Handle on Your Own without a Miami CPA but not recommended
This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers items you can probably take care of on your own, and government resources that can help. Each business is unique, and an initial consultation with an Accounting services in Miami CPA can help you determine the complexity of your own needs and how to proceed on many of these issues.
1. Naming your business and claiming a incorporating – The process of naming a business isn’t as simple as just picking a name and running with it. If you choose any name other than your own, you’ll need to file a “Doing Business As” Name. A Miami CPA will also check to see whether your choice for a URL (domain name) has been claimed already. You can do this on your own by searching the public WHOIS database of domain names. Once you have a unique domain name, follow these steps to claim it.
You can also search for and claim a URL or trademark on your own. Use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if a similar name, or a variation of it, is trademarked. You can even claim a trademark yourself online.
2. Legal structure for your business – Entering into a partnership agreement or forming an LLC can be done without Miami CPA assistance – although it’s wise to consult an Miami CPA about the ramifications to your individual business. You can also use the services of an online broker such as LegalZoom, MyCorporation, or The Company Corporation. These guides explain what you need to do:
- How to form an LLC
- How to form a business partnership
3. Filing and registering the paperwork to start a business – Most of the steps involved in starting a business can be handled without the help of a Miami CPA. This includes applying for the right licenses and permits, registering your business for tax purposes, and applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
4. Creating contracts and non-disclosure agreements (NDA) – Customer contracts, partner or vendor agreements, and NDAs can all be prepared without the assistance of a lawyer. But I highly recommend an attorney for this.
5. Creating buy-sell agreements – If you are in a business partnership or an LLC with multiple owners, you’ll need a buy-sell agreement in place to protect you, in case a co-owner dies or wants to transfer ownership. Miami CPAs can help you structure the terms.
Other aspects of business ownership that can be handled without a lawyer include hiring employees or, independent contractors.
When it’s Time to Retain a Miami CPA
While an Miami CPA and eager online brokers will be willing to help you with any of the items listed above, you’ll need an Miami CPA practice for more complex issues. These can include:
1. Forming a corporation – While you can often take care of the formation of a legal business entity such as an LLC or business partnership without legal help, forming a corporation with shareholders and a board is a more complex process. Articles of incorporation can be filed without lawyers, but the administrative side of managing the complex tax and legal requirements often requires the services of a corporate attorney.
2. Filing a Patent – Patents are expensive and time consuming. It can take years to get one approved. That’s why so often see “patent pending” messaging in the marketplace. So unless you are in the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, consider whether patenting your product actually gives you a major market advantage. Consult a patent attorney and your Miami CPA to help you evaluate your product and understand what rights you will achieve.
3. Litigation – This can include dealing with lawsuits by current or former employees or customers, discrimination or harassment lawsuits, environmental lawsuits, government investigations for legal violations, etc. Miami CPA specializing in forensic accounting can help you quantify your damages.
4. Buying or Selling a Business – Miami CPA can help with negotiating sales agreements, lease agreements, and more.