Money. We hate talking about it, but without it, opening a new law practice is just a dream. Jay Foonberg, in his best-selling book, How to Start & Build a Law Practice, recommends having enough cash to support yourself and your family for one year. But where do you get the money? You may be fortunate enough to have cash reserves to launch your new office. But if not, Foonberg recommends you have some combination of the following: a working spouse; a bank loan for living expenses; and a wealthy relative to lend/give you money or guarantee your bank loan.
The bank loan option is by far the most difficult. A bank will usually want to see a business plan before loaning you money.
Decide whether you will go into practice with another lawyer or lawyers, or on your own. Then turn your attention to the business plan.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a concise and organized summary of how you intend to start and remain in business. It is composed of four main areas: a general description of your business, your financial plan, your management plan and your marketing plan. From A Business Plan and Budget: The foundation of a successful and profitable practice by Dave Bilinsky and Dan Pinnington
Hire a certified public accountant (CPA) for assistance with:
- Deciding firm structure (Sole proprietor or incorporating as P.A., LLC, or other)
- Tax issues
- Preparing a business plan and budget
- Determine the amount of start-up capital you will need
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