Developing Expert Systems for Small Business: An Application for Selecting a Legal Form of Organization


  • Ronald S. Rubin University of Central Flordia
  • James M. Ragusa University of Central Florida


The success and value to clients of small business counseling programs such as those offered by Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs ) and Small Business Institutes (SBls) are directly related to the ai1ailability and quality of expert advice. This article provides an overview and it explores the possibilities for PC-based expert system development with particular attention to o s1nall business application. A proof-of-concept SBDC advisory system is described. It provides expert-based advice for selecting a legal form of business organization. Issues of client usability and liability are raised. Conclusions show that the use of expert systems for s1nall business consulting offers an expanded potential for relieving already overworked consulting staff members, for offering clients quality advice, and for providing a method of training less experienced  consultants.


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