Starting a business can be a difficult and burdensome task for anybody. This emphasizes the importance of making sure you have all of your legal “ducks in a row” before hanging that “We’re Open” sign on the front stoop. There are many items you’ll need to address in order to protect yourself as a business owner.
The first step is choosing the right entity. You’ll need to decide how best to protect your business and the business’ assets. Business entity types include a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) and a corporation, just to name a few. Depending upon the type of business you have and how many people are involved, several of these entity types could be attractive.
Once you have your entity chosen, you’ll need to have documents drafted that help you govern your business. For example, in an LLC this document is known as an Operating Agreement, whereas in a corporation it is known as the Bylaws. These documents help you comply with your state’s laws regarding the type of entity you have; they also ensure that you are running your business smoothly and efficiently from a legal standpoint.
It is also important to ensure that you have obtained the proper licensure for your business. State, city, and county licenses are customarily needed to operate any type of business. If your business has a specialty, such as insurance or other fields, you may also need to obtain special licenses in order to begin transacting business.
Contracts are another area where business owners need to pay special attention. Do you have contracts with all of your employees? What about independent contractors; are they signed to an agreement? It is important to make sure that each person who does work for or on behalf of your business signs an agreement. This will ensure that everyone knows what his or her rights are, especially when or if something doesn’t go according to plan!
Business owners also commonly forget about protecting their intellectual property. Intellectual property (or IP) includes items such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. These items need to be protected, as they can represent a significant amount of value for your business. Filings can be done with numerous government entities, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in order to protect your IP.
These are just a few of the things that new business owners need to keep in mind when starting a company. Half Price Lawyers For Business can help you with all of these items and much more. Come in today for a free consultation to see how we can help your business get started on the right foot!