Interviewing attorneys and accountants, suggested questions.


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Oct 10, 2005
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I am meeting with accountants and attorneys this month to build a professional team for my coffee shop. Besides previously collected background and reference information like education and experience; what questions/topics should be covered during the first meeting?
Re: Interviewing attorneys and accountants, suggested questi

rtippit2000 said:
I am meeting with accountants and attorneys this month to build a professional team for my coffee shop.

That's an excellent approach; you want to have those advisors in place as you plan your business and implement that plan. As Jim suggests, a personal reference is always best.

With respect to accountants, I find that working with a CPA is preferable; particularly as your business grows. As you consider future transactions, such as buying or selling units, shares of ownership or franchising, you will want to be sure that your financial statements from day 1 are in order and have been produced to GAAP standards.

For your attorney, make sure that you are selecting an attorney or firm that covers the disciplines that you will need to address: you will probably need more than one to handle the many business issues that may arise, due to the specialty of each. For example, don't take your real estate issues to a tax attorney or your employment issues to an intellectual property attorney. Work with a firm or small business attorney that knows their own limitations and has access to refer you to other resources as new issues arise (they will arise; only a matter of when).

You can search the Martindale-Hubell directory at to help you get started or to attorneys in any area of specialty.

Best of success,

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Thanks for the input.

Thanks for the input. I have already been referred to lawyers and CPA’s in my area. I will be meeting with them this month. They are specialist in intellectual property, franchising and personal injury.

The first lawyer is an intellectual property attorney who will be working with a specialist in franchising (same office). I will meet with both of them together.

I will also be working with a personal injury liability lawyer later this month.

Any advice on a line of questions specific to these topics would be appreciated.