If you're on your way to starting your own business, you should consider hiring a business formation lawyer. Although it's possible to do it yourself, having competent legal advice is never a bad idea.
A good business lawyer will help you position yourself and your company so you can avoid risks and protect your assets. Because the law is complicated and not always obvious, it's easy for laypeople to miss details. This can lead to negative consequences later on.
Here is an overview of what business lawyers do, and how they can help you establish your new company.
What Does a Business Formation Lawyer Do?
A business formation lawyer specializes in setting up your company with the proper legal identity and a foundation for success. They will know all about LLCs, incorporation, intellectual property, taxes, and more.
You can rely on a business lawyer to give you sound advice about what you need to do to comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Many regulations are designed for large corporations, but there are still enough that apply to small businesses for you to worry about them. Because there are so many, you may or may not have heard of all of them!
So, it's better not to guess your way through the process of setting up your business. Having expert advice will help you avoid getting into trouble because you didn't know about some odd requirement you're expected to fulfill.
A business formation lawyer will also have established connections in the business community, so they're a great source of referrals. You may be able to find marketing partners, financing, and other resources through this important networking relationship.
Why You Need a Business Formation Lawyer
Hiring a business formation lawyer can protect you in many ways. Here is a quick list of a few of them.
1. Protect Your Intellectual Property
When you set up your small business, you'll have a company logo and advertising slogan that should be copyrighted and trademarked. If you're selling patented products or need to file for patents, you should do this right away.
It's also important to do a name search and website domain check to be sure your business name is unique and doesn't overlap with someone else's.
2. Deal With Tax Issues
Taxes can be very complicated! In addition to having a dedicated accountant or bookkeeper, you should have a business lawyer. They can advise you on what taxes you'll need to file, how, and when. They should be able to help you save money while also staying compliant with all the requirements.
3. Get the Licenses You Need
Most states and municipalities require small businesses to have a license, but in some cases, you may be exempt. The key is to know what the standard is for your particular industry. A business lawyer can file for your licenses and help them stay current.
4. Pick the Right Type of Business for You
Choosing a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation can be tricky. It all depends on what you're doing or selling in the business and the kind of protection you want to have.
There are also several types of corporations, with different tax requirements that will affect your take-home pay. To get the best outcome, it's helpful to discuss the various business entities with a business lawyer who's familiar with what's normal in your industry.
5. Set Up Your Contracts the Right Way
Small businesses almost always use contracts for all transactions with their clients and business partners. You'll want to be sure that your contracts don't include any loopholes that can be used to take advantage of you.
Your business will need service contracts, disclaimers, and privacy and confidentiality agreements, among other things.
6. Protect Yourself and the Business From Liability
If you have a conflict with another company or a customer, you'll need to hire a business dispute lawyer. Fortunately, setting up your contracts properly in the beginning will help you avoid eventual problems.
Any relationship you enter into, whether it's with a customer, partner, or employee, should be totally legal and clear. This lessens the chance that you will be sued or taken advantage of if disagreements develop.
7. Establish the Right Employee Policies
Employee law is another area that requires expert advice. It's a highly regulated area and you need to be sure your policies comply with all standards of fair treatment.
Having good employee policies will help you survive in the event that you have to handle tricky employee issues. If you're doing things the right way, you'll have little to worry about.
8. Close, Sell, or Dissolve Your Business
If you get to the point where you're ready to sell or close your business, a business lawyer can help you manage all the steps. You'll want to protect your assets and make sure you don't leave yourself wide open to lawsuits or losses later on. A business formation lawyer can help you handle the real estate and property issues, taxes, and asset distributions involved in these types of cases.
9. Help You Handle Partnerships
Partnerships are another tricky legal area, since people can develop disagreements, want to move on, or even pass away unexpectedly. Planning ahead for anything will help you and the business survive whatever happens.
Finding a Business Formation Lawyer
There's no doubt that working with an experienced business lawyer has many benefits. So how do you find one?
You could do an online search for "the best business lawyer near me", or you could choose a firm with clear experience. In addition to being lawyers, we're also small business owners, so we understand how it is to get started.
We know how to advise business owners in multiple industries, including retail, freelancing, tech, real estate, and more. To schedule a consultation about your business start-up needs, contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you!