After applying for the LLC over the weekend, I don't expect to hear back from the State for at least a week. Not much to do there except for check on the status occasionally.
I did apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS today. An EIN is required if you have any employees (which I do not yet) and is also required for most business bank accounts. Hiring staff is not on my radar at this point, but I definitely need to open a bank account in the coming weeks.
I also began taking a look at some potential software options for managing projects and finances. I looked at numerous options, but here are a few that stuck out:
Probably the most well-known accounting software for small businesses. Looks like it can handle all of my time keeping, project finances, and invoicing. In reading some articles, one appeal is the vast number of bookkeepers and accountants who are familiar with Quickbooks. If I do need to hire someone to handle finances in the future, it would be easy to get someone with Quickbooks experience. As of now, I think I would need the Plus version, which costs $70 per month.
Seems very similar to Quickbooks, with capability for time keeping, project management and billing. It seems that Freshbooks limits the number of clients for each tier...I would need to the Premium tier after reaching 50 clients (and it seems you need that tier to get the financial reporting anyway). Costs $50 per month.
Recommended by a fellow engineering entrepreneur. Seems like a much smaller operation than Quickbooks and Freshbooks, but also geared specifically towards professional service companies. Squava appears to have a great interface for tracking proposals, which could potentially alleviate the need for having a separate CRM for that functionality (though would need to explore this more). Costs $40 per month.
Based on the pricing and functionality, I'm leaning towards giving Squava a try. I really like that it is built specifically for professional services firms and that there are not tiers, just a flat $40 per month. The endorsement from my buddy who also started his own engineering firm is a big plus as well. I won't actually pull the trigger on this until I open up shop and begin client work.
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