Get legal advice to avoid legal pitfalls that can hurt your business. First off, find someone with sound legal knowledge you can turn to for a reasonable price, to obtain updated advice. It is probably best to make an arrangement with a qualified business lawyer to avoid legal pitfalls from the very beginning.

You May Need Legal Advice When Registering a Business Name

Choose a name that will work for your business and not against it.

Set Up the Legal Structure for Your Business

Choose a legal structure that best suits your goals and meets your needs. A structure based on sound legal advice should:

  • Protect you and your business from avoidable risk.
  • Show you how to avoid government regulation and red tape.
  • Support you in minimizing your tax liability.
  • Minimize your paperwork, save time and reduce opportunities for error.

Most Common Legal Structures

  • Sole trader: You run the business by yourself– perhaps the easiest and least expensive way to structure a business. You are in full control and ownership of profits, and are solely responsible for debts.
  • Partnership: You understand that partners act on behalf of one another regarding the business, and share profits. If one partner acts without the other partner’s knowledge or agreement, both partners will still be responsible, regardless. Partners have full control of the business, and are collectively responsible for all profits and debt.
  • Proprietary limited company is considered a separate entity no matter who is running the business. It is a more complex business structure.

Business structure and its terminology can differ for each country or state. As a rule of thumb, choose an option that gives you:

  • Accountability (separate pockets): Probably the worst thing you can do when starting a business, is to adopt the habit of “pulling cash from your pocket” to pay the first request that arrives. You avoid this by separating the business from your personal life and expenses. Ensure every outlay or income is recorded and invoiced. The type of business you choose when registering will help you do this from the start.
  • Minimum liability: A business is its own entity and you can be an employee. You will still have legal responsibility, but this is much easier to manage, also if things don’t work out.

Tax ID, Permits & Licenses

  • Register for taxes (state/local) and obtain a Tax ID number.
  • Obtain permits and licenses, including zoning bylaws, etc

Employees

Before hiring, you must fully understand employer responsibilities. Obtain reliable legal advice to understand your rights and obligations.

Innovation & Intellectual Property Protection

Innovation is considered a major driver for business success. from the outset, or, as your business grows, you too may begin to innovate and improve products and services. This will require that you learn how to research new developments and develop new products and services.

Once you implement R&D, and use innovation designed for your business success, you will have to look into guarding your intellectual property. This involves learning about protecting your ideas, trademarks, copyright, and exploiting your business potential. Legal advice is important here.

Stay on the Right Side of the Law with Appropriate Legal Advice

A business takes on a life of its own once your idea has become a business plan, and you have put your signature on a legal business document.

It is vital that you keep your business on the right side of the law and regulations.

Stay abreast of the legal aspects of managing a business by gaining access to legal support. Legal help from a business lawyer who can answer your legal questions is indispensible. You may have access to free legal advice

Legal advice should include preparation of or access to legal documents & legal forms (sometime even free legal forms). These may include power of attorney and power of attorney form, and business contracts (including a contract template),

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