Owning a business means that you are ultimately responsible for all aspects of that business. While you get to decide how you want to operate your business, you are restricted by various rules and regulations. Whether you are just starting out and want to run a small business, or you are well established and in charge of a large company, an attorney who specializes in business law, can be an invaluable asset.
Deciding on the Type of Business Formation
Your first decision before you actually start selling your products or services is to decide what type of business formation is most appropriate for your needs. Your options include a sole proprietorship, a partnership or incorporation.
- Sole Proprietorship – You are the sole owner. Profits and losses are reported on your personal tax return. You are personally liable for the activities of the business.
- Partnership – Two or more people may form a partnership. You can share the responsibilities of running a business and each partner is a proportional owner of the company.
- Corporation – A corporation is a separate legal entity. Liability of the corporation does not pass through to individual shareholders. Paperwork is more complex and you must file a corporate tax return.
Dealing with Business Litigation
When you are in business, small disputes can escalate into more serious problems. You may be sued or you may need to file suit. Your attorney can help protect your rights and initiate litigation. If you are sued, a business litigation attorney can defend you and your company. Most situations revolve around contract law.
Reasons you Might Need an Attorney
- Disputes with your landlord
- Issues with vendors or suppliers
- Shareholders angry over policies of the corporation
- Competitors stealing your proprietary information
- Partners arguing over who is in charge of the business
How to Handle a Business Sale or Dissolution
When you want to sell or dissolve an existing business, there are certain legal steps that you need to go through in order to avoid any future problems. Terms of a sale need to be carefully thought out and reduced to a written sales contract. A sale must account for inventory, existing liabilities and many other relevant details. In the weeks and months before a sale is finalized, it is often necessary to have the seller and buyer execute a non-disclosure agreement.
Hiring an Attorney
You should not try to go it alone when starting, operating or selling a business. A good attorney can help you avoid many pitfalls that are a common occurrence in almost every business. With extensive experience in all facets of business law, Attorney Michael R. Weinstein can provide essential services to companies of all sizes. Whether you are just starting out and trying to decide the proper business formation or ready to retire and want to sell your company, it is a good idea to seek help from a qualified business law attorney.