How to Start a Financial Planning Business 1-2-3
Getting Started as a Financial Planner
As investment strategies, tax planning, real estate and even saving money becomes more complex, financial
planners are needed more than ever.
Financial planners of course need to be good with numbers, but they also need to be creative thinkers in
order to come up with solutions to customer issues or goals.
A bachelor's degree is required, and financial planners need to be licensed by the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority. Licensing requirements will depend upon the state where the applicant is located and the
services he or she will provide to clients. Planners can also achieve the higher credential of Certified
Financial Planner through work experience, coursework and passing an exam.
Referrals are key to getting new clients in the financial planning business. Networking with other
professionals in different fields, such as lawyers and accountants, can be a great way to get referrals.
Financial planning associations (see below) can also be a good resource for finding new clients.
Teaching free workshops and
speaking to local groups can also help potential customers find you - without you having to pay for
advertising. Alternatively, you can pay for a yellow
page ad or place listings in local
David Miller has put together a step-by-step financial planning business start-up guide. This is an easy way
to minimize your risk and maximize success in this field - even if you have minimal experience.
How to Start a Financial Planning Business
Financial Planning Start-Up Checklist:
1. Obtain the necessary business licenses. Check with city to find out
which licenses and permits you need for your financial, tax or bookkeeping business and how to apply.
2. If you plan to operate your financial service business out of your
home, check with your local government office about zoning
ordinances and possible land use restrictions
3. Set up a business bank account with your
local bank. Make sure that the bank is FDIC is insured. It is important to keep your financial planning
business and personal finances separate, and often your banker can help with small
business loans or financing.
4. Arrange a meeting with an accountant to discuss tax strategies and
ways to maximize your business tax deductions. You can get referrals from other
business owners you know or sometimes your banker.
5. File your fictitious business name with the county clerk, or if
you want to form a corporation, find out how to incorporate your business
6. Meet with an insurance agent to discuss insurance you may need for
your bookkeeping or tax consulting business. The IIABA (Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America)
is a good place to start. You can also get free quotes online for business insurance
7. Set up your business phone system. Whether you use a toll-free 800 phone number, a multi-line phone system, VoIP or simply add an
additional phone number to your existing service, you'll want a designated line to establish a
professional business image.
8. Order business cards. One of the
cheapest ways I know of to advertise a business. See how you can design your own professional business cards
online, plus simple tips for increasing your sales. See also: Design your own
9. Get a website. Save money by creating your own website with a
free website builder, or outsource the job and get your
site built for you. Whether you sell tax planning products
online - or you use a website to display information about your bookkeeping or financial planning services,
a website can help you get more customers.
See also: How to Start a Bookkeeping Business &
Business Resources for Financial Planners:
Financial Planning Associations
- Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is the leadership and advocacy organization connecting those who
provide, support and benefit from professional financial planning.
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is the nation's leading organization
dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning.