May 10, 2022

The Legal Guide to Starting an Independent Advisory Business with John Davis

Creating an independent advisory business can be a great way to break into the industry and provide clients with personalized services. It is, however, a complex process that requires a number of legal decisions, especially when starting from scratch.

In today’s episode, Craig talks with John Davis, Attorney and Partner at Lynch Conger McLane. In his role, John helps people start businesses, run them effectively, and pass them on to the next generation. As a result of his achievements in legal practice and recognition from peers, he was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2014-2018.

John talks with Craig about the three important things to keep in mind when going independent, what advisors need to know when deciding on the firm structure, as well as specifics on how to protect the business.

Key Takeaways

  • [01:41] - Three things to keep in mind when going independent.
  • [06:26] - Who owns the enterprise value
  • [08:04] - What advisors need to know when deciding on the firm structure.
  • [13:56] - What individuals and teams need to consider when naming their organizations.
  • [19:22] - The general rules of thumb for growing a business.
  • [23:14] - The other nitty-gritty parts of going independent.
  • [29:19] - How much time does it take to prepare and launch an advisory business?
  • [31:56] - A range of expected costs for setting up a new company.
  • [34:59] - John's advice for anyone interested in going independent.


[13:07] - "It's really almost impossible for the CPA and the lawyer to tell what's the right entity decision until the advisor knows the answer to the first three questions—how are we going to pay ourselves, who controls what, and who owns the value of the business?" - John Davis

[18:27] - "It's worth picking a name that doesn't have a conflict. And then from the get-go, seeking federal trademark registration." - John Davis

[21:55] - "CPAs often are your best friend. As a team, have a great relationship with a CPA and regularly review your tax situation. Sometimes you can just see your CPA as a tax preparer but you can ask them to be a business advisor." - John Davis


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Interested in going independent?

Are you interested in going independent, or increasing your independence? Is the process of trying to do it all by yourself overwhelming? tru Independence has the solution. Between our flexible tech stack, growth-oriented services, and a dedicated compliance team that stands in your corner - partnering with tru gives you what you need to efficiently achieve your dream of independence. Stop worrying about what’s holding you back. Talk with tru today. Visit