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Start-up of a Consulting Business

Start-up of a Consulting Business

Start-up of a Consulting Business

I am considering starting a consulting business in Texas. I would be the only employee at the start.
Does anyone know of some good references concerning starting an engineering consulting business.
I am looking for information on the legal aspects of setting up a consulting business with information such as:
*The different types of business structure available and the pros and cons of each type.
*What steps need to be taken to legally set up a business.
*Setting up and negotiating contracts with client.
*What needs to be done in the way of keeping books and setting up an accounting system.

Thank you

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Find a GOOD lawyer
Find a GOOD accountant

Then search this thread for other ideas.  It has been discussed numerous times

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

I studied the subject for like a year before incorporating in 2002 and I took over 5 years getting things set up before jumping on with both feet.  If you have the time and willing to learn, Google is a great resource, as are the Texas state websites, and the IRS websites.

Don Phillips

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Develop and utilize a good marketing strategy.
Develop multiple markets.  
Value your employees and show it.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

For the generic small business issues (other than engineering specific stuff), see if your local community college has a 'How to run a small business' course.

Also, check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they have any assistance programs. In some areas, there are mentoring programs, where experienced businesspeople volunteer their time to advise beginners.

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Harvey Kaye's book, "Inside the Technical Consulting Business: Launching and Building Your Independent Practice"

It's a little expensive, buy a used version.

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Desnov74 -
I just looked into the book that you recommended and it was published in 1986 - Do you feel that the material presented in this publication is still pertinent?

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Yes, and what dogtop said.

ps Meeeeerrrrrry XMAS reindeer2santa4santa3 santa2santa

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Thanks for the reply- I am going to purchase the latest edition.

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

I bought this book, and many others, before I started my business, and would recommend it.  It's not a tax or accounting reference, but was one of many helpful books.

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Books,CPA etc are necessary but not sufficient. What do you do?  Are you just another mechanical engineer or do you have a nitch. Are you a PE? a PHD?
One of the examples in Harvey Kayes book is a PHD with several dozen papers published in a specialized field. I suspect the guy had to keep his phone off the hook to keep from working 55 weeks a year.
Your going to be selling knowledge and solutions hopefully to clients that need knowledge and solutions.  Your knowledge and  solutions are your ultimate marketing tool. If your in the right field and the right man they'll beat your door down.
Don't sell yourself cheap. People who need a consultant want a good one.  They will assume cheap is not good. They usually go with the axiom "that nothing cost as much as cheap help".

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business


Good luck on your new venture!

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

There are some good websites for small businesses, many have tools to assist in all areas.  Some I use include:


Greg Lamberson, BS, MBA
Consultant - Upstream Energy
Website: www.oil-gas-consulting.com

RE: Start-up of a Consulting Business

Thanks to all for your valuable input!!

I will have to admit, with the current econmic slowdown, I am having second thoughts about starting a consulting business.  

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