When you’re starting a business, there are many important things to consider, from which type of business entity will best serve your needs to the tax implications of the entity you choose. Depending on the type of startup and your specific circumstances, hiring an experienced attorney to ensure all your legal bases are covered is a solid investment in your business’ future.
How a Lawyer Can Help Your Startup
1. Choosing a business entity. A lawyer can help you understand your options for forming a business entity and the benefits and drawbacks of each type. Whether you choose to form a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or another type of entity, business lawyers can provide the vital information you need when considering all of the personal, financial, legal, and tax ramifications of your decision.
2. Raising capital. The procedures for raising capital and making distributions can vary, depending on the type of business entity you choose. If your startup needs to raise money, consulting with a business attorney is critical to ensure you do it in a manner that’s fiscally sound and protects your business’ interests, especially if you’re sharing sensitive or proprietary information with potential investors.
3. Minimizing risk. Risk and liability are part of any business venture. Seeking the counsel of an attorney can help minimize the chances of something going awry and help you prepare for the worst if something does. Your lawyer can help devise risk management strategies that protect your interests, whether it’s making sure you have solid employment policies and procedures in place or advising you on how to protect your reputation and avoid being sued.
4. Protecting intellectual property. Trade secrets and intellectual property are the heart of many businesses. An attorney who is well-versed in intellectual property law can help you secure trademarks, copyrights, and ensure your business is protected from threats from within or outside your organization.
5. Contracts. Leases, NDAs and contracts like shareholder, partner, franchise, and investor agreements need to be done right the first time. Having a contract attorney draft these vital documents can safeguard your business from costly, unnecessary litigation and protect everyone’s interests.
6. Licensing and permits. Obtaining required licenses and permits is critical, especially in industries like construction and real estate. A good real estate lawyer can help you apply for and obtain the permits and licenses you need to ensure you’re operating legally. Federal, state and local zoning, housing, and development law are complex. Having a skilled attorney in your corner can help you avoid common pitfalls that often stall projects before they even get off the ground.
7. Business succession planning. Entrepreneurs who are just starting out often fail to consider how they will exit or pass on their business down the road. Small business succession planning can help you avoid serious problems and facilitate smooth operation when you exit the business. It often goes hand in hand with retirement and estate planning and is especially important if you’re starting a family business you want to pass on to your children. It also addresses issues like tax liability, debt, and matters of ownership.
Do you need help getting your business off the ground? At Carosella & Associates, our seasoned business attorneys have been helping small and large-sized businesses thrive for more than 23 years.