Starting and operating your own business is no easy task. Whether you are just getting started or looking to expand, you probably have questions.
- Should I form a sub-chapter S corporation or an LLC (Limited Liability Company)?
- How do I obtain a tax identification number form the IRS?
- Do I need a special license or permit to operate my business in an area?
- How should my partner and I define our duties within the partnership?
These are all important decisions that should be discussed with an attorney before you start your business. Drafting all of the proper legal documents can be time consuming and take away from what you do best - running the day-to-day operations of a successful business.
Our attorneys have experience in all aspects of representing businesses. If you need help determining the best structure for your business or making changes such as dissolving a business partnership, expanding, or incorporating, we can offer you advice, prepare the proper documents and even represent your interests in court.
Not sure if you need an attorney? We offer free initial consultations to review your business and figure out the best plan for you.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Sub-Chapter S Corporation
- Contract Drafting & Revision
- Contract Disputes
- Real Estate Issues
- Business Dissolutions
- Employment Contracts
- Non-Compete Clauses
- Corporations: Formation
- Corporate Resolutions & Meetings
- Debt Disputes
- Liquor License Transfers & Applications
- Management Agreements
- Mechanic's Liens
- Operating Agreements
- Promissory Notes & Mortgages
- Land Contracts
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I go into business for myself?
Only you can decide if you are ready to start your own business, but you need to make this decision after considering all the pros and cons. Are you ready to invest the necessary time and money? Do you know how much start-up capital you will need? Have you considered how you will structure your business and how to be sure you are paying the right taxes?
Check out this article from the Small Business Association website for more information about determining whether or not you should start a business: SBA.org
Q: What is the easiest, cheapest way to set up a business?
A: Many websites will tell you that certain business set-ups like sole proprietorships don't require an attorney, much money, or effort to create. However, not all business set-ups offer you the protection from personal liability that the nature of your business may require. You should consult an attorney to find out which type of business entity is best for you.
Q: How will my business structure affect my taxes?
A: Some business structures require that owners pay taxes on their business profits, and some business structures do not require that owners pay taxes on their business profits. The size and nature of your business can affect which form of entity is most advantageous for tax purposes. Our attorneys have the knowledge and working relationships with several local CPAs to be able to give you the best advice.
Q: My business is already organized. Can I change it?
A: Many businesses begin as sole proprietorships/partnerships and then later, after a lot of growth, change into corporations or LLC's. You should consider changing the structure of your business if your business's needs change. A knowledgeable attorney can help you ask the right questions to determine these needs and if you should change your business plan.
Q: Why would I want to protect myself from personal liabilities?
A: If your business involves potentially dangerous activities, you need to be sure that if someone sues the business, they will receive money from the company, not out of your own pocket. Having the right amount of insurance is important, but the business entity you choose and how your personal and business assets are titled, are also vital to your protection. Also, if your company acquires debt, you should be sure that any debt losses come from the company, not your own personal finances.
Q: What are Articles of Incorporation? Do I need them?
A: If your business is a corporation or LLC, you need to file Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization with your secretary of state's office. It is important to file the right documents and choose a name for your business which is not already in use by another company. The filing fees vary depending on the state and the type of documents.
Q: How do I dissolve my business partnership?
A: Even with the best planning, business partners may decide to part ways. Any form of business that breaks up or dissolves needs to do so with a plan that resolves financial liabilities, assets and other business issues. If you are the buyer, you want to pay a fair price, be sure your ex-partner signs over all assets, obtain a non-compete agreement from your partner, etc. If you are the seller, you want to pay a fair price, be sure you cannot be liable for future business debts, etc. Whether you are the buyer or seller, an experienced attorney can help you to protect your interests and navigate the business dissolution process.
Q: What happens if I get sued?
A: Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a law suit gets filed. You may have insurance which will provide you with an attorney to defend you. A good attorney will investigate this for you and advise you on whether you need your own counsel.
Q: How do I stay out of the courtroom?
A: The best way to handle law suits is to avoid them altogether. A good attorney will prepare and review contracts, leases, employment agreements and other documents for you to be sure they are fair to you and protect your interests. A good attorney will also give you the advice necessary to keep you out of trouble, so you can focus on running the day-to-day operations of your business.