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I heartily second Roy's suggestion to get yourself a copy of TMF Tax Guide 2000. It's the best and most concise consumer-oriented tax guide out there. It will get you started, then you can get answers to the things the Guide doesn't answer either from other tax guides or from a pro.

Get educated first to the point that you know what's going on in a general kind of way, then see an accountant and attorney BEFORE you do anything like form a business entity like a corporation or LLC, which if you want to do it right, is, as I like to repeat like a broken record, not a do-it-yourself proposition, despite the Nolo books, etc.

If you can understand and interpret every provision in the corporate bylaws form or LLC operating agreement form, and you know the asset protection and tax consequences of each, then go for it. But my guess is that most people can't do that just like I couldn't do the head gasket replacement on my truck this past winter. I paid someone who knew what he was doing to do it for me and you should pay someone to help you form your business, draft the necessary documents (not just bylaws or operating agreement but also to help you with standard contracts if you're doing contract work), and to help you keep things on a smooth and steady course.

Getting off my soapbox now...

Oh, and congratulations on the new business - it's a blast to be in business for yourself and not The Man, eh!?!
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