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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.

How to Start a Financial Planning BusinessTeaching 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 directories online.BBB Accredited Business

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.

Go!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

financial planning business7. 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 logo.

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 & Quickbooks Consulting

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.

Get Started

2014 Home Business Start-up Checklist!

Home Business Start-up ChecklistGet the complete checklist free! Follow step-by-step ...from choosing your niche to bringing in customers.

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