Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Scams targeting Small Businesses

My brother sent me an email last week informing me that he had met with a firm that professes to do profitability and tax savings assessments on small companies and promised to save his company $100K the first year. My brother was wise enough to bring his tax accountant with him to the meeting and when the representative could not or would not provide any details as to how they could save the business $100K, they sent the company packing. They later found out the company has over 300 complaints filed against them with the local Better Business Bureau office.

I am on the advisory board for our local BBB office and at our last meeting, heard a story about a business in our area scammed by a firm promising to write them a business plan and set the company up a foundation which would make them eligible for thousands of dollars in government grants. The company paid $8K in fees which got them a cookie cutter business plan and no grant money.

The moral to these stories is buyer beware. There are more and more unscrupulous businesses and individuals looking to take advantage of a small business owner’s desperation. Before you sign any contract or send any money to a company promising to reduce your taxes or help you get grant or loan money, have your attorney or another trusted advisor look things over. If your cash flow is tight, the last thing you want to do is waste money in a scam.

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