Do I really need professional tax preparation/bookkeeping if this is my first year in business ?

YES! The way that you initially prepare your businesses tax return and company's books will follow you throughout the life of your business.  The common mistakes that are made within the first few years of business could be avoided if you seek professional assistance. This will save you time, energy, and money. This could be from filing paperwork for the issuance of an Employer Identification Number (EIN) all the way down to the actual bookkeeping and tax return. Common questions that can be answered by your CPA/accountant include but are not limited to:

1. Should my company be a listed as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation? Which one would be best for me?

2. When I was registering with the Internal Revenue Service, they asked me if I was an "LLC". What is an "LLC"? What are the benefits of being an "LLC"?

3. When I set up the company Quick Books, did I list the assets that I purchased correctly? I don't think I know the difference between a "Profit and Loss Statement" and a "Balance Sheet" and what type of account should appear where?

4. I feel like we should be paying estimated tax payments but I am not sure how much (Remember, as a "self-employed" individual, there are no actual withholdings on your income).

These are a handful of questions that are common to the start-up business. We are here to help guide you through this process. It takes both time and money to correct these types of issues (amending the tax returns, calling the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Revenue, correcting the books, etc). Think of hiring a CPA/accountant as an investment to your company. You have the satisfaction of knowing all of these items have been covered and filed correctly. Last but not least, remember that legal and professional fees are a tax deduction for the business in the year in which they are paid.