Whether you’re in the earliest planning stages of setting off on your own or you’ve been operating your business for years, identifying an attorney who can answer your questions (and seeking their counsel when needed) is a very good idea. Whatever your area of expertise or the product or service you’re selling, it’s important that you make sure that you’re complying with all laws and understand your obligations before a problem arises.
The list of reasons that small business owners and those about to start a small business contact attorneys is long, but the most common include:
- Asking for help with establishing the business – Though some entrepreneurs are confident in their ideas and business strategy, many others check in with attorneys to seek assistance with ensuring that their proposed business name or branding doesn’t violate a copyright or trademark, with identifying zoning issues, with applying for business licenses, and similar necessary tasks.
- Understanding money-related requirements for the new business – There’s a tendency to keep finances for a new business simple, and to simply use the business owner’s existing bank accounts and credit cards, as well as using their personal property for collateral for loans. This is not always a good idea, and a small business attorney can provide you with better strategies for separating finances prior to getting started.
- Getting tax questions answered – Business taxes can be relatively straightforward for sole proprietors, but once a business begins to get more complicated, so do tax liabilities. A small business attorney can advise you about local, state, and federal tax codes and how they apply to you, as well as what you need to do to remain in compliance with the law.
- Liability questions – Most small business owners are rightly concerned with protecting themselves against liability, and that can drive decisions about everything from the type of entity that they choose to organize themselves with to what kind of insurance coverage they need.
- Intellectual property questions – Depending upon the type of business you are operating you may have concerns about protecting your own intellectual property or avoiding violating somebody else’s. Starting with your name and logo and moving on to your products and ideas, it is essential that you consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you as you move forward.
- Employee or partnership issues – If you are going to have employees working for you, it is important that you understand your obligations for payroll, to protect you against discrimination lawsuits, to craft non-compete contracts, and more.
Our law firm is experienced in guiding small business owners as they navigate the pitfalls of their operations. For help with your questions, contact us today to set up a time to meet.