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The federal tax laws that apply to most small businesses are fairly straight-forward, although they can be confusing in some cases. Keeping good financial records, following directions carefully, and preparing complete and honest tax returns is the best way to avoid trouble with the IRS. For many businesses this can be done without the advice of legal or tax professionals.

In most cases, it is not necessary for taxpayers to hire a legal or tax professional to help them establish a sole proprietorship or to start operating their business. If they plan to establish a general partnership or a C corporation, they may need to seek professional tax advice, especially concerning the many state and local laws with which their business may need to comply. However, it may be a good idea to hire a tax expert if they expect to need complex tax advice. This is a good general guideline, but it is especially true if they plan to do minute comparisons between the various types of business entities.

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