Starting a business is a complicated process. Many of the steps involved may require the assistance of a trained professional. The Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD) recommends that you contact both an accountant and an attorney before starting your business.

YOUR ATTORNEY

Laws and legal requirements enter into most aspects of business and can vary greatly from state to state. An attorney should be consulted to help you meet many of the legal requirements facing you and your business, including:

  • Your choice of business type.
  • Employee relations.
  • Partnership agreements.
  • Obtaining licenses.
  • Reviewing and negotiating contracts.
  • Reviewing various laws and regulations.
  • Antitrust, product liability, and environmental concerns.
  • Protection of your idea or product.

YOUR ACCOUNTANT

Your accountant should be a practical business advisor who can set up a total financial-control system for your business and render sound business advice. At the outset, your accountant should work with you to establish accounting and reporting systems, cash projections, financing strategies and tax planning. In addition, as the company matures, the following services can be provided:

  • Strategic planning.
  • Cash-management advice.
  • Merger, acquisition and appraisal assistance.
  • Compensation strategies.
  • Cost-reduction planning.
  • Management information systems.

INSURANCE

Most businesses require insurance in one form or another. Some forms, such as workers' compensation, may be required by law. Others, such as liability insurance, may not be required by law but should be purchased by most businesses.

The entrepreneur should shop around to find the insurer who offers the best combination of coverage, service and price. Trade associations often offer special rates and policies to their members.

Below is a list of insurance coverages you should consider:

  • Workers' Compensation - (Mandatory)
  • Automobile Insurance - (Mandatory)
  • Liability Insurance - Protecting the business from claims of bodily injury, property damage, and malpractice.
  • Fire Insurance
  • Business Interruption Insurance-Compensating the business for revenue lost during a temporary halt of business caused by fire, theft, or illness.
  • Crime Coverage - Reimbursing the employer for robbery, burglary, and vandalism losses.
  • Group Life Insurance - (for employer and employees)
  • Disability Insurance - (for employer and employees)
  • Key-Person Insurance - Compensating business for the death or disability of a key partner of manager.
  • Fidelity Bonds - Insuring the employer from employee theft.
  • Product Liability Insurance