Becoming a Consultant FAQ

Becoming a Consultant FAQ

Becoming a consultant can seem daunting, but we’ve got lots of resources for you. Check out our “becoming a consultant” FAQ, as well as our top articles (on your left). Becoming an independent consultant takes a little planning, but you can find answers here.

Before becoming a consultant, do I need special licensing or certification?

Some fields require a special license or certificate. Insurance, real estate, financial planning, fundraising and accounting are some of the areas where you may need special certification – whether for legal reasons or just to compete. In other fields, it’s common for consultants to hold special designations. And, in many cities and small towns, you’ll need a municipal business permit, regardless of whether you’re going to work from home or an office. But, as for specific certification for actually practicing as a consultant, there’s usually some flexibility. For example, although lawyers need special schooling to be allowed to practice, a jury consultant need only have good connections, a solid reputation and the skills to do trial strategy consulting.

In becoming a consultant, do I need to incorporate?

Becoming a consultant doesn’t mean you need to start a complex business. You can simply work as a sole proprietor in many places. However, because regulations vary from one jurisdiction to the next, contact your government business agent:

Does becoming a consultant cost a lot?

Becoming a consultant can cost as little or as much as you want. Some people can become consultants simply by getting a city business permit and handing out their name and number. Others need websites, home offices, brochures, licensing, and other materials. By creating a business plan, you can figure out how much it costs before you take the plunge in becoming a consultant.

Is becoming a consultant worth it?

Becoming a consultant is a personal decision. No one else can tell you if you’ll enjoy becoming a consultant. However, you can identify characteristics that may help you find your way in becoming a consultant:

  • Do you like to work regular hours?
  • Is it important to you to have a steady paycheck?
  • Are you willing to do your own admin work, such as answering the phone, photocopying, responding to email, mailing out information, and other tasks that you might currently have other people to help with?
  • Are you willing to trade regular hours for a schedule that may see you work evenings and weekends or long hours as you ramp up?
  • Do you need someone to tell you to start or keep working at a project?
  • Can you get up in the morning and start working without being told to do so?

How to become a consultant series