Business Owner

A Dually-Licensed Attorney: The Business Owner’s Best Friend

Small business owners and entrepreneurs quickly learn there is a lot more to starting a business than simply having a great idea. Navigating the bureaucratic red tape involved with getting a company off the ground — and in the greater scheme making it successful — requires determination and effort.
If you want the most well-informed business advice you can get, a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA has the tools to help your company succeed.
However, even the most motivated of individuals will likely run into situations where they are unsure of how to proceed, which is where seeking professional guidance can help ensure your dream doesn’t fall flat.

Two of the most commonly utilized professionals for small business owners are the CPA and the attorney.

While the role of your accountant is obvious — they will help you with the financial and tax issues — the reasons for needing a business attorney are much more diverse. From writing and reviewing contracts to analyzing and reorganizing a company’s structure, a skilled attorney can assist with a variety of small business needs.

Yet finding the right fit for your business needs can be difficult, as there are a plethora of attorneys boasting of their business prowess. However, the most qualified individual to advise you on business decisions should have a firm grasp of both the financial and legal implications of the advice they offer.

Meet the small business owner’s best friend

Due to their comprehensive skillset, a practicing attorney who also holds an active CPA license provides a much wider range of services than your typical business attorney.

Not only are they able to perform the plethora of tasks that attorneys already offer, but their financial knowledge gives them a significant advantage in many of their responsibilities.

For example, despite many attorneys claiming to specialize in helping small businesses, many are not trained to understand the finer points of bookkeeping.

This obviously poses a serious problem, since it is difficult to trust the business advice of someone who does not fully understand the fiscal ramifications of taking certain actions — even if the attorney is knowledgeable about a specific industry.

A dually-licensed Attorney-CPA would be a much better fit since they could not provide you with trustworthy legal services, but they can also analyze your company’s finances to offer better advice on how to successfully grow your business.

Additionally, attorneys who lack the CPA credential may have a more difficult adequately representing you should you ever end up in court — a risk that highlights why it is so important to have an attorney you can call upon who is familiar with your business.

A better protection from lawsuits

Let’s say a small business is being sued for fraud, with the primary evidence presented being the company’s financial statements. An attorney lacking the CPA certification may not understand the accounting methods being used, which would make it difficult to build a proper defense.

If the attorney is prudent, they would collaborate with a financial advisor to sort things out, though the charges of that additional professional would likely end up coming back to you.

What happens all too often, however, is the attorney simply assumes they understand the issues at hand well enough and heads to court. This could potentially cost you a lot of money if they are wrong and the judgement goes against you.

On the other hand, a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA would be able to glance over the financial statements and explain to the judge exactly how the numbers add up, reducing misunderstandings or mistakes.

Skilled business attorneys are able to provide a variety of services for entrepreneurs, whether you are trying to get a business off the ground or you have watched your business grow and succeed.

However, an attorney familiar with the financial side of your business who understands intricacies of your company’s cash flow will be able to provide much more accurate and trustworthy advice.

It is important for all business owners to have an attorney at the ready who can help out when legal complexities arise, and the added level of protection a lawyer offers is particularly necessary due to the lawsuit culture endemic throughout the United States.

Your typical attorney is unlikely to have the skillset required to offer legal counsel and accurate business advice, but a dually-qualified Attorney-CPA knows both sides of the business.

If you want the most well-informed business advice you can get, a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA has all the tools to help your company succeed.