Hiring experts and professionals for your online business isn’t much different from how you’d hire any professional. You get recommendations from people you know, from other experts, and from other professionals. But, after that, you need to do a little extra research to ensure their ability to serve your needs in the way that you want them to.
Ask a Mentor or Fellow Online Business Owner
The first people you should go to are other people who do business online, especially if they are in your own state. They are most familiar with the needs of online business, and more than likely if they use someone, they know about online business.
Most legal and financial matters have both a state and federal component that makes a big difference. Make sure the person you work with knows about your state as well as the federal government’s rules and regulations.
Check for Someone Active in Your Online Communities
There may be nationally and regionally recognized professionals who participate in your online communities. Ask them for advice or look to hire them if you like them. Some bookkeepers also have EA status (enrolled agent), which means that like a CPA, they can often work across state lines. Technically, you can use a bookkeeper who doesn’t have a license, although that’s not recommended.
However, it is still advisable that when it comes to legal and financial issues that you hire someone locally or someone who has licensure locally to you. For example, there may be a bookkeeper who works from home remotely who is licensed in your state. That’s great.
Ask a Lawyer You Know for Recommendations and Referrals
If you’ve ever gone to a lawyer for a will, or any family matter, that might be someone you can ask. You may even know a lawyer at church or in any other groups that you are part of. You can make an appointment with a general business lawyer who can advise you on the type of lawyer you need for your issues.
Any lawyer, accountant, or other professional you know can either be the person you want to hire or be someone who has a good recommendation.
Just because someone you know has recommended someone, it doesn’t mean that they really know anything about that person. It’s a good start, but once you have a list of names, you should do more research.
Check online ratings, find out if they are members of their respective professional associations, and whether they are licensed legally in their profession. Remember, lots of people recommended Bernie Madoff as a friend, but he was a criminal. Do your due diligence - no matter who recommended the person.
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