When you are starting a new business, every day brings too many questions and not enough answers. Sometimes you just need a short answer to your top business start-up questions put you on the right path, keep you moving forward, and know when to visit your business lawyer’s office.
1. Do You Need To Incorporate My Business?
Question: There are a variety of legal entities out there. Without a law degree and corporate law experience, it can be hard to tell the difference between a C corporation, an S corporation, and an LLC. You may think you can just file a DBA with your local clerk. What is the best corporate structure for a business start-up?
Short answer: The more people, money, and risk involved in your business, the more likely incorporating will be best for your business start-up. Creating a corporation allows you to protect your personal assets and offer equity in exchange for investment financing. The bylaws and operating agreements that come with incorporation guide members and partners to keep the business moving forward. A business attorney can help you consider your incorporation options and pick the structure best for your business.
2. Who Should Sign A Non-Disclosure Agreement?
Question: As you go through the development process, you will want to protect your innovative ideas from competitors. But is a non-disclosure agreement the way to go, and who should sign it?
Short answer: Non-disclosure agreements protect the strategic details of your business start-up. They can be useful for partners, consultants, and developers involved in the formation of your company and the invention and manufacture of your product. But they are usually not necessary for anyone receiving a pitch – like an investor. A business lawyer can help you draft a non-disclosure agreement that protects your business, and its intellectual property.
3. How Do You Know If A Name is Available For Your Business Start-Up?
Question: Names are hard. Balancing interest, comprehension, and availability can quickly make it feel like without a good name, your business start-up will simply be dead on arrival. But how do you know if the name you want is available?
Short answer: Before you fall in love with a quirky name, make sure someone else hasn’t taken it. A business attorney can help you investigate potential names through the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Once you find some that aren’t taken, check to be sure there is a domain registry (a URL) available as well.
4. Do You Need A Business Plan?
Question: There’s a lot you don’t know when founding a business start-up. That makes creating business plan feel like a guessing game. Do you really need a business plan to get started?
Short Answer: A business plan is an essential part of a successful business start-up. Answering questions about start-up costs, revenue projections, and marketing budgets can help you figure out estimate necessary startup capital. If you are going to take out a business loan or apply for grants, many financial institutions require a business plan as part of the application process. A business lawyer can create a realistic business plan based on real numbers and reasonable expectations.
5. What Permits Or Licenses Do You Need To Run Your Business?
Question: The local government has a lot to say about when a new business opens. How can you know what permits or licenses you will need to open your doors?
Short Answer: Permits and licenses vary based on your location and your industry. Some requirements, like state registration and building permits, are relatively universal. Others can vary simply based on which side of the street your building is on. You will want to sit down with a business lawyer with experience in your location and your industry early on to make sure all the necessary regulations are met.
There are no shortcuts to running a business start-up. It takes a lot of thought and hard work to get a new business off the ground. That’s why it is so important to have an experienced business attorney on your team from day one, to give your company individualized responses to your questions, instead of just short answers.
The Cronin Law Firm has experienced attorneys to aid with whatever legal issue you’re facing. If you getting ready to open a business start-up, contact The Cronin Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.