Things to Ask Business Attorneys Before You Start a New Company
If you are considering starting your own professional venture, one of the first things you should do is find qualified business attorneys who can provide you with legal advice. Starting a business means you must have a solid idea, a financial plan, a roadmap to success, and an understanding of the legal issues that arise. You want to ensure you do everything right so you can maximize the chances your organization will be a successful one over the long term.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP provides legal representation to start-up companies. We have extensive experience advising entrepreneurs about how to structure their businesses and about what legal issues they need to address to protect themselves and to set their companies on the path to success. To learn more about how our Irvine business attorneys can assist you in making informed choices as your business begins operations, give us a call today.
Things to Ask Business Attorneys Before Starting Your Company
Business attorneys can provide you advice on many different ways to protect your personal assets and to make sure your company mitigates risk. Some of the different questions you should get answers to from a legal professional before starting your business include:
- Do I need a license to operate my business? In some cases, licensure may be required for a business. For example, if you plan to sell or serve alcohol, you will obviously need a liquor license. Your attorney can provide guidance on exactly what types of licensing and permissions are required to operate your enterprise.
- Can my business operate out of this location? You need an attorney to review zoning laws which could affect whether your company is permitted to operate out of a specific location. If you will be leasing the building or property, you should also have your attorney review the lease to make sure the terms are reasonable and that the contract is renewable. You don’t want to have to move when your company is thriving.
- How will my company be taxed? There are different methods of taxing business. For a C-corporation, for example, the company is taxed on profits. When it makes distributions, owners are also taxed on profits. This could mean double taxation. For other types of business operations, including S-Corps, partnerships, and sole proprietorships, business income and losses are declared on personal returns (sometimes because of pass through taxation rules). Your attorney can help you determine what business structure is best based on how you will be assessed tax.
- Can I protect my personal assets? You will need to choose the right type of business structure to ensure your personal assets are protected in case the company is sued or goes into debt. As a sole proprietor or partner, you and the business are the same entity and if the company gets in financial trouble your personal assets are at stake. LLCs, limited liability partnerships, and corporations are alternatives which allow personal assets to be protected.
- How can I protect my intellectual property? You may need to secure patents, trademarks, and copyrights to protect your brand, processes, and products.
- What do I need to know about hiring employees? You need to make sure you understand obligations for the payment of payroll taxes, for complying with California labor laws, and for avoiding claims of discrimination or wrongful termination. You may also wish to consider using non-disclosure agreements so workers don’t share proprietary information, and employment agreements so you can clearly define the terms of the employee/employer relationship. Your attorney can explain what you need to know about hiring.
The specific things you will need to know when starting your company are going to vary based on many factors, including the type of business that you are hoping to run. The best option to ensure you have done your due diligence and are ready to launch operations is to get legal advice from a comprehensive professional.
Getting Help from Irvine Business Attorneys
Being an entrepreneur is a great thing, and there’s nothing more rewarding than making a great living working for yourself. At the same time, there is always some risk when you open a new business venture. Getting the right legal help allows you to minimize that risk and to protect yourself and your business from potential problems.
To learn more and to get answers to questions you may have about your startup, contact the Irvine business attorneys at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP. You can give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to get the legal advice you need to start your business off right.