You will experience all kinds of new things when you start planning to open a business. While learning how to run your own cash register or putting your business on social media may be vital to your company, nothing can cause more problems for your new establishment than failing to comply with legal requirements in your area. Your town, industry, and the state of Florida all may have laws and regulations that you must follow to remain in business. In fact, there are quite a few reasons that it is a good idea to involve an attorney in the planning process for your new venture.
1.Setting Up Your Legal Structure
Many small business owners default to creating a sole proprietorship because they do not understand their options when it comes to creating a legal structure. However, a sole proprietorship may not be the best option for your new venture. If you want to protect your assets or create a structure that separates your business debts from your personal obligations, creating another type of legal structure is likely a good idea.
An attorney will look at the type of business you are forming and your financial and legal goals related to that business. Then, he or she can recommend a specific kind of legal format that will work best for your company.
2.Buying or Selling a Business
If you are buying or selling a business, instead of creating one from scratch, a lawyer can still be a helpful asset. He or she can help negotiate the deal and create the sale documents. You may not realize just how much paperwork must go into buying or selling a business, but an experienced contract, tax, and real estate attorney can help ensure you have everything you need to make the transaction valid and enforceable.
3.Providing Suggestions for Insurance Coverage
Your attorney may also be able to offer suggestions to the type of insurance coverage you may need. You will need different kinds of insurance to cover things like fires and floods, but you may also need coverage for company vehicles, workers, and defective products.
For example, the State of Florida requires that most employers have workers’ compensation insurance if you have four or more employees, which includes business owners. However, the type of industry you are in may also dictate whether you will need workers’ comp insurance even if you have fewer employees.
4.Requirements for Employees
If you hire any workers, it is a good idea to have an attorney review your employee handbook, safety procedures, and other regulations or rules that apply to your workers. You also want to be sure you are following all federal and state reporting requirements and withholding taxes appropriately as well. Having an employment law or tax attorney look over these aspects of your business is a good idea. Getting things wrong can come with harsh penalties from the IRS or another state agency.
Contracts are a fundamental part of any business—from contracts with clients to suppliers. An attorney can help you not only negotiate the contract terms themselves, but he or she can also help you create an agreement that will be legally enforceable if it is challenged. You would be surprised how often a DIY deal has a hole or missing term that ends up being an issue in the future. Having someone with experience with contracts review it before it gets put in place can help you avoid litigation and decrease costs.
6.On-Call Legal Advice
There are inevitably going to be legal questions or concerns that crop up as you continue to manage your business. Having an attorney that will act as your on-call counsel can be an invaluable resource. If you establish that connection early, there is no need for a new attorney to re-learn or get familiar with you or your business. Having the same attorney help you through your business venture from formation to dissolution will often mean better, more tailored service because they understand your financial and company goals in addition to some of the interworkings of your business.
For more information about how a business organization and tax attorney can help, contact the France Law Firm by calling 850-681-0069 or contact us online.