Let's Start a Law Firm, Episode 2: It's a Business

In Episode 2 of Let's Start a Law Firm, Annie and Ben outline the unglamorous aspects of starting a business: creating a business entity, registering with the Secretary of State, setting up business banking, IOLTA accounts, and the various types of insurance you might want to buy. They also explore all of the ways attorneys get paid and talk about what fee arrangements they use in their own practice. Plus, Annie attempts to save the episode with some jokes about hipsters. 

Show Notes for Episode 2: It's a Business

Getting Your Business Set Up

Kentucky Secretary of State: Online Business Registration

Nolo.com: What is a Professional Limited Liability Company?


Ben banks with Chase. Ben feels bad about banking with Chase.  (Sidebar: They did not discuss it on the show, but setting up a Health Savings Account is a good way to set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket medical expenses. A few days after recording this show, Ben set one up through Chase.)

Annie banks with PNC and feels good about it.  

For people in the Louisville area, Ben recommends checking out First Citizens Bank as a local alternative to a national bank.  

Expense-tracking Apps

Annie has tried a lot of them: Expense CloudExpensify, Receipts to Go, and Receipts HD.  

He didn't mention it in the show, but Ben used and loves Harvest for time- and expense-tracking. As he'll discuss in a future show, he's considering switching away from Rocket Matter ($50/month) to Harvest ($12/month).  

IOLTA Trust Accounting

The Kentucky Bar Association has a website with resources for setting up and administering IOLTA Trust Accounts. You have  to read their .pdf "Client Trust Account: Principles and Management for Kentucky Lawyers" before  starting your own law firm and opening a client trust account. This is something you are simply not allowed to screw up. 


Ben has worked with Dick Burks of the Louisville-based Van Zandt, Emrich, & Cary  in the past to help find the best deal on "professional liability insurance" (this is what insurance companies want you to call legal malpractice insurance). They help shop your info around among a bunch of different insurance providers. 

Ben is currently insured by Lawyers Mutual Insurance of Kentucky.  They were able to write him a policy the quickest when he needed it. 

Annie uses Laurie Dobbins Brun at Kiely Hines in Louisville. She purchased insurance from Hanover Insurance Company.  

Other Links

Frank Haddad was awesome.  

Some helpful hipster jokes

Info on Small Business Administration loans.

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Show credits

Many thanks to Cast Iron Filter for letting us use "Tamarack" from their live album, "Live from the Highway", as our bumper music. CIF's music is available on iTunes and it is simply the best. If your travels take you down a two-lane highway, do not leave home without CIF.  

Photo credit for the "start button" image in our cover art goes to Mijn. Thanks for taking a cool picture and sharing it on Flickr.


Annie has a website and accounts on Facebook and Twitter

So does Ben: websiteFacebookTwitter.  

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