To answer a previous question in a very vague way, I work for a rather diverse VC firm which offers legal, financial, marketing and engineering assistance to our varied clientele. As for tax deductions regarding my business attire, I deduct my suits as "tools" under deductable expenses, as I use them for less than one year and then resell them to myself for personal use. That is the simple scoop. I'm not sure if it's totally legal, and not really sure if I will continue that practice. As for people being screwed over by a guy in a 92 Buick, our situation is a little different at my firm. Our meetings generally involve both client and attorney - very few decisions are made exclusively between us and a client. We make offers and provide contracts, and the client's attorney responds. I'm not sure it matters what car they drive, but I will tell you that the vast majority of our clients would never consider dealing with a poorly-dressed attorney driving a '92 Buick, nor would they show up at our meetings as such. Most are coming to us to acquire funding, and they want to be taken as seriously as we do. It is imperative to their situation. You just don't hire some recently-divorced poorly-dressed possibly-alcoholic hack in a $300 suit and a '92 Buick when you are seeking $50m in seed capital and looking for partnerships with players like Boeing or IBM. That would be suicide for any self-respecting private enterprise trying to expand its business. Further, when we encounter clients using the services of less-than-reputable attorneys, we notify them of such and let them know that if they would like to continue with us, it might be best to use one of the more reputable law firms in town. Having a quality attorney is absolutely crucial at this stage. As for being laughed out of a room, that does not happen in our industry. If I was meeting with a rail company, or whatever you mentioned, they are coming to me because they need help, or they need money. If they were to laugh at anyone in our business, they would find themselves in a poor position indeed. Go ahead though, laugh us out of the room, and go back to your $4m in annual revenue. We will find a professional organization looking to grow that $4m to $50m, and do business with them instead. It is in our best interest to find clients that are serious about their business. And we have three consultants whose primary function is to determine whether their business is properly run and capable of doing just such a thing. To "laugh them out of a room" would get you quickly dismissed, and you would have a hard time obtaining the services of other firms in our industry, since we regularly cooperate and many of us know each other. You do not want to obtain a reputation as a cocky asshole when you are trying to obtain capital. It's not the best idea, at least. Many in our industry, after the dot com crash, are extremely skeptical of just about anything, and if you want funding, you better come off as sharp as you can, and as eager as you can to do whatever it takes to continue growth. And you better have a good attorney present, because there are people in this industry who will look across the table, see that lawyer in the $300 suit driving the '92 Buick, and realize they can take advantage of the situation in ways that would be imprudent to discuss on a forum. The only person in our situation in the position to "screw" someone would be us. And we NEVER do that. We prefer to operate with a reputation of integrity, as our reputation depends on that, as does our clients'. Real money is not made by ignorant, back-woods, small-town cocky guys in $300 suits. Period. To make real money, you require a bit of capital, much more than could be easily obtained by the people you describe. And to get that capital, all your ducks should be in the straightest, cleanest row possible, and being professional is a requirement, not an option. Attempting to come off as clever, or acting in a conniving manner, will get you shut off from that capital so quickly, your only option at that point would be to sell your business to a larger firm, and guess who handles the backend of many of those transactions. That's right... the very same guys you came to with your cocky attitude and the poorly-dressed attorney. But this time, they know exactly what position you are in, how desparate you are, and will take full advantage (in a ruthless way) of the position you put yourself in by acting like a novice in earlier dealings. And, yes, most real business does happen in NYC. At least, the business that matters. When you start making real money, at some point you will have to go public, and when you do, guess where you will be headed to find your underwriters. That's right... NYC, baby. As I said before, about the only entrepreneurs who will ever see more than $30m private net worth, will at some point require the assistance of large capital. And while large capital can come from anywhere, the real wealth occurs when you go public, and that happens in NY (unless you're international, and you decide to list on some other exchange than NYSE or Nasdaq).