What questions should I ask a lawyer when starting a business?


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What questions should I ask a business lawyer?

From questions around compliance costs to local zoning restrictions, here are answers to the question, “What is one question to ask a lawyer when starting a business?”

  • What Are My Business Compliance Costs?
  • What Are the Essential Legal Documents You Must Have?
  • Which Business Structure Will Be Best for Me?
  • What Other Risks Should I Be Guarding Against?
  • What Licensing Requirements Do I Need to Be Aware Of?
  • What Are My Responsibilities and Duties?
  • What Contracts is My Company Required to Have?
  • What is Intellectual Property?
  • What to Include in My Terms and Conditions Or Bylaws?
  • Write Out Your Goals Ahead of Meeting Your Lawyer
  • Local Zoning Restrictions

What Are My Business Compliance Costs?

Every business has to go through its share of legal paperwork and jump through the hoops of regulatory registrations and compliances. These are, of course, different for every industry, and for some businesses, these costs are high enough to impact the bottom line too. For example, when you’re running a restaurant, you need to pay heed to compliances that you wouldn’t have to if you were simply operating a food truck. And since all these legal processes require some amount of expenditure in the form of legal fees, it is best to learn beforehand how much this will cost you. With a ballpark figure to take into account, you can plan the financials for your business accordingly.

Riley Beam, Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

What Are the Essential Legal Documents You Must Have?

As a business lawyer, the most common question I get from someone starting a business is: “What are the essential legal documents that I need in order to get my business up and running?” This helps you understand what kind of paperwork needs to be completed, such as formation documents, contracts, and other important documents that must be reviewed or filed with the appropriate government agencies. Knowing what documents are essential for a successful business launch can help you avoid any potential legal issues down the road. Additionally, having a lawyer review these documents is highly recommended to ensure everything is in order and properly compliant with applicable laws and regulations.

Amira Irfan, Founder and CEO, A Self Guru

Which Business Structure Will Be Best for Me?

There are many types of entities to choose from when starting a business including:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • General partnerships
  • Corporations
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited liability partnerships

Consulting on this issue with a lawyer is often the best course of action as a lawyer can help you understand your options and choose the best approach for your circumstances and needs. Each entity has its benefits and drawbacks. Some of the general factors that will need to be assessed include:Whether you plan to have employees; Desired tax treatment for the entity; Whether you plan to own and operate the business yourself or with one or more business partners; andWhat personal liability protection you want. It’s critical to carefully think your business structure through and make an informed decision because your choice will have an impact on how your business is run, managed, and taxed.

David Rosenstrock, Director, Wharton Wealth Planning

What Other Risks Should I Be Guarding Against?:-

Each company has a certain set of dangers. While some can be reduced by contracts, the creation of entities, and other preventative measures, others necessitate insurance. Always ask your business lawyer to evaluate your risks and come up with solutions.A wise move to do when starting a business is to seek the legal and business assistance of a small business attorney. But after your company is up and going, keep in touch with your lawyer. Make it a routine to routinely see a business attorney to make sure you are safeguarding yourself as your company evolves and grows.

Steve Pogson, Founder / E-commerce Strategy Lead, FirstPier

What Licensing Requirements Do I Need to Be Aware Of?

When starting a business, one important question to ask your lawyer is “What licensing requirements do I need to be aware of?” Depending on the type of business you plan to operate, there may be certain licenses and permits required before you can begin operating. Your lawyer can help make sure you understand what needs to be done to comply with local, state, and federal laws. They can also guide you on how to apply for any necessary licenses or permits so that you are ready to start your business legally and smoothly. Knowing the licensing requirements ahead of time can help you avoid costly delays or fines down the road.

Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal

What Are My Responsibilities and Duties?

Your company’s organizational structure will determine your duties and commitments as a business owner. For illustration, imagine that your company is run by just you. In that instance, you would be held personally responsible for the company’s debts. However, directors of a business are typically not held personally responsible for the actions of a company, even though they are required to act in the best interests of the firm. If you violate your duties as a company director, whether intentionally or not, you will be subject to harsh consequences. You should think about your obligations to your workers as well. You can check your workplace health and safety policies with a lawyer to make sure they adhere to the law. By seeing a lawyer and clearing up any misunderstandings regarding your responsibilities, you can reduce your risk.

Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer, kurtuhlir

What Contracts is My Company Required to Have?

Contracts can help you protect your company and its employees against potential threats and legal disputes. Having the necessary contracts in place beforehand will prevent countless misunderstandings or resentments that could arise afterward, regardless of whether you run a small business or a large enterprise. Contracts offer you all the specifics, rights, information, and duties you require to keep everything in line. It will not only assist you in safeguarding the proprietary data of your company, but it will also ensure that nothing hinders your company’s progress.

Sean Harris, Managing Editor, FamilyDestinationsGuide

What is Intellectual Property?

Anyone can look up the definition of intellectual property and memorize it – but can you really grasp it and understand how many landmines it comes with? You will need an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of intellectual property laws to fill you in on all of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to that big subject. In the end, the three most important legal factors for someone to consider when launching a brand are trademarks, patents and copyrights. All three of those things fall under the intellectual property umbrella. There is no greater reason to reach out to an attorney than to address these issues. You need to not only protect your own intellectual property, but make sure you’re not traipsing on anyone else’s trademarks and copyrights. Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to such violations. That’s why you need a lawyer.

Emily Saunders, Chief Revenue Officer, eLuxury

What to Include in My Terms and Conditions Or Bylaws?

Operating agreements for LLCs and corporations offer crucial instructions for managing your company. In accordance with these agreements, choices will be made, shareholder meetings will be convened when and how they will be conducted, LLC ownership changes will be handled, and shares of stock will be issued. Your attorney should help you create operating contracts and regulations that are specific to your company’s requirements while starting it.

Samuel Charmetant, Founder, Artmajeur

Write Out Your Goals Ahead of Meeting Your Lawyer

Write out your specific goals ahead of meeting with your lawyer to clarify the mutual expectations of your business relationship. One key question to ask a lawyer when starting a business is what service they can provide that is specific to the needs of your business. Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to plan better for any potential obstacles in setting up or running your business. Additionally, make sure to ask about their fee structure and be clear on timelines for completion and payment of services rendered.

Ryan Delk, CEO, Primer

Are there any local zoning restrictions that might affect the way I can operate?

This question is important for entrepreneurs to ask lawyers, as zoning restrictions can vary significantly from region to region and must be taken into account when setting up a business. Local zoning restrictions can limit the types of businesses allowed in certain areas or require specific permits or licenses for certain business activities. Knowing these restrictions ahead of time can help to ensure that your business is compliant with all local laws and regulations. It can also help you to identify any potential challenges or obstacles that may arise in the future.

Balaram Thapa, Director/Travel Advisor, Nepal Hiking Team

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