Starting a new business is a very exciting time for entrepreneurs with future success in mind. Having a start-up team of trusted financial and legal advisers that includes bankers, lawyers and accountants who listen to your goals and provide cohesive advice is one of the key ingredients to future business success.
Why Hire A Business Law Attorney?
In today’s high-tech world, there are several online resources available to get your business started that may seem cost effective. Keep in mind the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. There is seldom a one size fits all strategy for structuring a business. The key is to find a business and tax attorney who can discuss the issues that the new business owner should consider, explain options, and map out the best strategy for the business owner based on his or her particular needs. Many may want to choose one form of entity over another because they know someone else who chose that form. However, just because an S Corp was the right entity for your father (as he had taken Social Security at 62 and didn’t want the income from the side business to reduce his Social Security benefits), or a friend of a friend set up a C Corp (to maximize certain retirement plan benefits for his long-term financial plan), or a co-worker who set up an LLC (as one of the owners was not a US Person), that doesn’t mean that is the right choice for you and your new business.
The Small Business Administration has outlined “10 Steps to Start Your Business” on their website. Below is a summary of the 10 point plan from the SBA and the steps where a business lawyer should be engaged.
Step 1: Conduct Market Research
Is there an opportunity to turn your idea into a success? Do your research to find a competitive advantage.
Step 2: Write a Business Plan
A well written business plan is your roadmap to success. A business attorney should be consulted during this step to help write the plan to show investors and key stakeholders that you have addressed all legal aspects to make your business a success.
Step 3: Fund the Business
How much money do you need to start the business? If you don’t have the funds, do you borrow or raise the capital needed? A financial advisor should be involved in this step.
Step 4: Pick a Location
Whether your new business is in a physical location or an online store, there is an effect on taxes, legal requirements and revenue. You should obtain advice from your attorney and accountant in this step.
Step 5: Choose Your Business Structure
Choice of entity for your business impacts personal liability, taxes and most importantly business registration legal requirements. A business attorney with experience in the location of your business is critical during this stage.
Step 6: Choose a Business Name
Choosing the perfect name that reflects your brand may keep you up at night. A business attorney should be engaged to ensure you have rights to the name you select.
Step 7: Register the Business
A business lawyer is critical in this step to make your business legal and protect your brand. You need an attorney who directs your business registration with federal, state and local governments.
Step 8: Obtain Federal and State Tax IDs
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) needs to be obtained to start and grow your business. Some states require a state tax ID as well. A business and tax attorney can help you obtain all ID’s that are legally required for your business.
Step 9: Apply for Licenses and Permits
A business attorney will help you keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. Licenses and permits vary by industry, state, location and other factors. Engaging a knowledgeable business lawyer during this step is important.
Step 10: Open a Business Bank Account
Once you have all the business registrations and paperwork completed, it is time to open a small business checking account.
Miller, Miller & Canby’s business law attorneys have over 70 years of experience assisting small businesses as well as large corporations in all aspects of business law and corporate planning, including choice of entity, entity formation and dissolution of taxable and tax-exempt entities, corporate reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, and business succession. As both CPAs and practicing attorneys, MM&C attorneys are an incredible resource as legal, tax and financial advisors to our clients.
Please feel free to contact any of the business & tax attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby at 301-762-5212 with your business start-up or legal needs. View more information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s Business & Tax practice by clicking here.