Having a strong support network helps you succeed from day one. No doubt you’ve got trusted friends and family to give you advice, offer help and bounce ideas off. And they’ll give you advice too, possibly based on their own experience as a business owner.

But nothing beats a strong team of professionals. Your lawyer, accountant and bank manager are essential members of that team. They’ll cover specialist topics like:

  • Taking care of legal matters at set-up and through the life of your business.
  • Meeting tax, reporting, and other financial commitments.
  • Organising appropriate banking facilities, products, and support.

Introduce your lawyer, accountant, and business banker to each other by email. When they know the other members of your support team, they can connect and coordinate your business arrangements when needed.

Find a lawyer

Look for a lawyer who knows business — your type of business. Your family lawyer may not be the best choice. They’ll be able to tell you if they can cover your needs, or will recommend an alternative firm for you. Someone with similar clients to you should have a good appreciation of the challenges you face.

Feel free to ‘interview’ potential lawyers. You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer, their support staff and the offices you’ll be meeting them in. Read the partner profiles on their website. Do they have a range of experience and topic expertise?

Perhaps an online legal service appeals? Make sure they offer the full range of services you’ll need.

Develop a sound relationship with your lawyer

Allow your lawyer some time to get to know you and your business. Time spent getting to know you is well worth the fees. It sets the scene for your future relationship and helps your lawyer give you the best advice possible.

Check out the firm’s terms of engagement. This document helps you understand your lawyer’s approach to working with you and outlines your commitments to the relationship.

Find out how best to communicate with your lawyer. Can you flick them an email for a quick piece of advice, or text their office to make an appointment?

Get your lawyer’s help with key decisions

Your lawyer can advise you on intellectual property, legal structure, potential liability, safeguards, employment matters, and much more. They’ll help you create terms and conditions and other key business documents.

Talk to your lawyer before entering any lease, contract, agreement, or partnership. Get their advice before making an offer on property or major purchase of plant or equipment.

Find an accountant

Choose an accountant who will deal with your business affairs promptly and accurately. Many small accounting firms are completely capable of efficiently looking after your day-to-day and annual accounting needs. Bigger firms deal with the full range of clients from multinationals to solo entrepreneurs.

But you might prefer the easier access and more personal service you’re likely to get from a small, local firm.

Get a copy of their business terms so you know your obligations and what they’ll do for you in return.

Get to know your accountant

Your accountant isn’t just about the numbers. They have a range of business skills. They can offer a different perspective on many business issues from planning and strategy to streamlining processes and systems. They can help throughout the year, not just at year-end or when the GST is due.

As a key member of your support team, your accountant will be on call to help with regular tasks or the unexpected. They’ll be even more poised to help if they have access to your accounting software package reports.

Make sure you know how they like to be contacted and whether they’d like to set up regular catch-ups. Keep them up to date with your business. With regular contact, they can help you anticipate changes or actions that will make a difference to your bottom line.

Draw on your accountant’s wealth of knowledge

Your accountant knows what to look out for in your industry — potential pitfalls or opportunities for financial gains. They’ll make sure you’ve got the tools you need to administer your accounts. They can make sure you and your staff have the knowledge and skills to deal with accounting requirements or new software.

They can advise on budgets, forecasts, and financial reporting and work with you on strategic planning and performance targets. Follow your accountant’s advice to meet all your tax obligations. Complying correctly the first time round means you save time and avoid worry.

Engage a business banking specialist

An ANZ Business Specialist will help you to get the right banking solution for your particular needs. They can work with you to develop your plans for the business. They can suggest a tailored package of products and services that will keep your business on track.

Ask a business banking specialist for information

Business banking specialists, like all members of your support team, want your business to succeed. They’re specialists in banking, but they also know about a whole range of aspects of running a business. So you can consult them when a problem arises or you see changes ahead. They’ll help if they’re qualified to, or suggest other sources of information if needed.

They can refer you to specialists who have expertise in areas such as offshore trade, insurance, wealth or merchant facilities. They can also point you to online information or invite you to workshops and networking events that will guide and inform you in meeting your business objectives.

Keep in touch with your bank

They’ll need to keep up to date with your circumstances. Keep them informed when changes happen. Also tell them when you’re planning changes; especially changes that may affect your banking profile.

Important information

The material is for information purposes only. You should seek professional advice relevant to your individual circumstances. While ANZ has taken care to ensure that this information is from reliable sources, it cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 249, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure