Uncertain circumstances, such as a global pandemic, can introduce opportunities. If ever there was a time to start a business and follow your entrepreneurial spirit – it’s now.
But what happens when your hobby becomes a fully-fledged commercial operation? Or perhaps you dive straight into the deep end and decide to start your own business. This is when a corporate attorney can be very useful.
Florida Laws and Starting a Business
If you want your Florida-based business to be a legal operation, then there are a few items to tick off of your checklist. Steps such as registering with your local municipality for an occupational license. Obtaining a sales tax number for your business with the Department of Revenue, obtaining a federal identification number from the IRS and forming a corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or registering a fictitious name with the Department of State are needed.
These documents and legalities can be confusing, and that’s where a corporate attorney can come in handy, particularly when setting up a larger corporation.
The Legal Structure Of Your Business
One of the first steps that you need to take is to decide what legal structure you want your business to have – a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation.
- Sole proprietorship – complete managerial control belongs to the owner who is also personally liable for financial obligations
- Partnership – two or more people agree to share profits or losses
- Corporation – an entity separate from its founders
- LLC – a hybrid of partnership and corporations
The different legal structures come with varied legal liability, tax implications, costs, administration, and flexibility.
Different documents are required depending on which legal structure you choose. For example, a sole proprietorship doesn’t need to file any organizational documents with the state, but a corporation requires Articles of Incorporation and the appointment of a registered agent.
The legal structure of your business will also have an impact on the company’s taxes and reporting. With this in mind, you’ll also need to register for tax and apply for the appropriate business license.
Tips And Help From A Corporate Attorney
Deciding on the legal structure of your future business is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to protect yourself from any potential legal issues and make sure that you have an effective financial setup, then a corporate attorney can be a great asset.
Here are a few of the important questions to consider and discuss with a corporate attorney about starting a business;
What sort of business structure does your business need? An attorney can explain each of the options, highlighting the pros and cons of each.
How Can You Best Protect Your Personal Assets?
As a business owner, you want to limit your personal liability.
What Will You Choose As Your Business Name?
This may seem like more of a marketing question than a legal one, but an attorney can ensure you are not infringing on any copyrights or trademarks.
How Will You Protect Your Investors?
If your business has investors, then you’ll want advice on a structure that ensures your investors are protected.
How Are The Ownership Responsibilities Split Up?
Everyone is enthusiastic when they first start a business, but there may be problems that arise down the line. Having contracts and agreements beforehand can make sure that responsibilities remain clear.
What Rules Will Your Company Follow?
Whether you start big or small, your company will need internal bylaws to outline the rules that need to be followed.
What Compliance Practices Need To Be Followed?
Running a business requires paperwork, safety practices, and rules set by the state. A lawyer can guide you on these requirements, including how to navigate tax issues.
Are You Covered With Insurance?
A legal representative will be able to advise you on what sort of coverage you need to avoid future costly mistakes.
What Is The Best Way To Create Vendor Contracts?
When your business starts trading, then you’ll want your company to be protected in dealing with vendors. An attorney can help draft these vendor templates for your protection.
Hire A Trustworthy Corporate Attorney
When you start a business, you’re essentially turning a passion into an idea or plan into a reality. A corporate attorney can help you make sure that you are protected from financial misfortune and operate in a legal capacity.
The law firm of Gary I. Handin, P.A. has been serving counties in Florida since 1969. Contact us at 954-796-9600 to find out how we can serve you too.