Starting a small business is a dream for many, and if 2022 is the year you make it a reality, we wish you all the luck in the world. Entrepreneurship offers plenty of rewards, but it’s not always easy and success is far from guaranteed. It’s common for small business owners to focus so intently on developing and marketing their product or service that they overlook the legal aspects, and this can lead to trouble down the road. To help you avoid pitfalls, our small business attorneys have assembled a simple guide to ensure you haven’t forgotten any of the basics. Though not all of these will apply to your particular situation, most will, and addressing each one is vital to your business’ stability.
- Raise start-up money – There are several options for funding your business, but all of them start with deciding how much you need. Once you’ve done that, you can determine whether your best answer is self-funding, investment from venture capital firms, crowdfunding, or a small business loan.
- Choose a business structure – Identifying the right structure for your small business will impact your tax and personal liability as well as how much control you end up having within the organization. A small business attorney can guide you to the decision that protects your personal assets and is best for your needs.
- Apply for licenses and permits – The licenses and permits that you will need are dependent upon several factors, including your industry and local and state requirements.
- Choose a name and register it – You may think you have the perfect name for your business, but somebody else may already have chosen and trademarked it. A small business attorney can do the research and help you to register your name, as well as any other copyright or trademarked material.
- Obtain federal and state tax I.D.s – If you plan to hire employees, your business will need an employer identification number. You will also use this for tax purposes.
- Create contracts – Every business needs certain documents drawn up. These may include leases, employment contracts, partnership agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and more.
This list is not comprehensive, and each of the steps (and those not included) is both important and time-consuming. For assistance with putting your small business on the right footing, contact our small business attorneys today.