You may have heard by now that this week is Small Business Week. It's a week to celebrate small businesses, and an excuse for companies to send themed spam email to your inbox. It's also a good excuse for those of us who aren't self-employed to ponder the pros and cons of going into business for ourselves -- freedom versus risk, ownership versus limited resources, etc.
If you're thinking about going solo, we've got more than a few tips for you. In fact, this blog is an endless stream of tips for sole practitioners and small firm startups. But where do you start?
How about here, with a handy recap of our ongoing "Small Firm Startup" series:
Small Firm Start-Up: What Tech Do You Need?
Laptop or desktop? Laser or inkject? Microsoft Office is a given, but what else? What the heck is a cloud, and are there special lawyer cloud services? This is your basic tech primer, discussing the bare minimums and most efficient options.
Small Firm Startup: Do You Want or Need an Office?
It's a long-running debate, especially with Virtual Law Offices becoming an even more viable option in the age of "The Cloud:" Do you need an office? We discussed five things you should consider, from clientele to personal work habits. Of course, your jurisdiction might just make this question moot.
Small Firm Startup: Straight Out of School? 4 Tips
With legal unemployment at an all-time high, especially for recent graduates, many aren't exactly choosing to go solo, but are doing so anyway. We provide tips for those going from the classroom to the courtroom, without a law firm stop on the way.
Small Firm Startup: Cheap Malpractice Insurance is a Must
Do you go bare, or do you get insurance? If you're smart, you choose the latter. If you're broke, you choose the former and risk everything. It doesn't have to be that way, however. We discussed a few options for surprisingly cheap insurance, and relayed a fellow blogger's warning to shop around.
Small Firm Startup: Income and Self-Employment Taxes
While many FAQs about starting a law firm may seem like common sense, like getting insurance or not using a fifteen-year-old laptop, tax questions are something that pretty much no one, other than a handful of LLMs and professors, seem to understand. We talked taxes, both income and self-employment, as well as the requirement to estimate and pay quarterly.
Small Firm Staffing: Is It Time to Offer Unpaid Internships?
No. It's never time to offer unpaid internships.
If you're lucky (or better yet, skillful), your firm may do well enough that you consider expansion. Many solos turn to unpaid internships for temporary help, which is, quite simply, a terrible and unethical idea.
Small Firm Startup: Tax Tasks to Tackle Before Hiring Employees
Of course, if you do pay employees, that means tax tasks become a lot more complicated. We give a basic primer on the ins and outs of EINs, W-2s, quarterly filings, and more, though honestly, your best bet is to hand off the tax tasks to a CPA and focus on practicing law.
Have a request for a topic? We're all ears (or tweets). Drop us a line on Twitter @FindLawLP.
- 5 Things You May Be Able to Deduct From Your Firm's Tax Bill (FindLaw's Strategist)
- A 'Taxing' Way to Get Back at Deadbeat Clients (FindLaw's Strategist)
- National Small Business Week -- Your Firm, Your Brand, Your Business (FindLaw's Strategist)