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Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

A co-worker and I are considering starting a consultant business on the side.  We have already accomplished several jobs and feel that to truly reap the benefits we must become a real business.

We work in the commercial airline industry and the majority of our work is for the military.  It is kept completely separate from our day time jobs and could not be considered a conflict of interest.

Primarily our question is what do we need to do to get started?  What paper work etc… needs to be completed and what liability do we have?

Does anyone know of any websites or books that help you get started in a consultant business?

Anyone that has any information or suggestions please help us out.

RE: Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

Search for other recent postings on this subject.  The answer has been covered extensively in just the past 2 weeks.


For some pleasure reading, try FAQ731-376

RE: Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

Even if your work has no direct conflict with the proposed consulting business, there is a potential for other sorts of conflicts.

What will you do if your employer wants you somewhere and a client wants you somewhere else at the same time?

Will you take phone calls from your clients when you are at work for your employer?

What will happen if a client wants you to take on an assignment that IS in conflict with your employment?

What will happen if you need resources that you cannot afford in the consulting side and your employer has these resources? (I’m not talking tangible resources here, what if you need to look something up in an employer’s reference manual or run an employer’s computer program?)

It would be unethical to use your salaried employment to put yourself in a position where you can unfairly compete with a true independent consultant. If you run an analysis on an employer’s computer, if you take that phone call, if you are even thinking about the consulting problems while being paid by an employer then you would be guilty of an ethical breach.

Consulting is full time work. It is not something that you can dabble in to make some extra money. Those of us who are full time independent consultants do not take kindly to someone unethically using salaried employment to unfairly compete with us for what work is out there.

If you want to be an independent consultant then quit your day job and be an independent consultant. If you want to be an employee than forget about being an independent consultant.

The two are incompatible and sooner or later you will be forces with some ethical choice between the two venues. Better to be only in one venue and not be forced to make a choice.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion

RE: Starting a new consultant business, need advise!

I struggled with the line that Rick mentions really hard while working for a big company and waiting for my retirement date.  My conclusion was that my employeer was paying for all of my creative-engineering capability and that there was room for zero "off to the side" consulting work while drawing a paycheck as an engineer.

It was a personal choice, but I felt pretty good about the one I made.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

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