Reasons to Work with a Lawyer When Forming a New Business



The prospect of starting your own business can be an exhilarating time full of possibilities, but it is important to remember that a number of new legal concerns could be awaiting you, too. For this reason, you should speak to an experienced Illinois business lawyer before starting up that new business. You need to take certain steps to protect yourself, such as guarding against personal liability for your potential business debts. Here are several other reasons why speaking to an attorney before opening any business is a wise idea.

Contract Concerns

You can protect your business with written agreements, and having the right legal agreements will help you avoid employee or contract disputes and potentially limit your liability. A contract can also protect your ideas and business information from competitors. Common kinds of contracts that most businesses will need include:

  • Service contracts
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Releases of liability
  • Equipment leases
  • Non-disclosure agreements
  • Provisional patent applications
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Employment agreements
  • Employee handbooks

Registration, Licenses, and Permits

Many small businesses require a combination of licenses and permits, and these can be from both federal and state agencies. The requirements (and fees) will vary depending on the business activities, location, and government rules. States tend to regulate a wider range of activities than the federal government, and an experienced local business law attorney can help you understand these requirements.

Business Structures

There are several business entities to choose from, each with benefits and limitations. Common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited partnership. You might also consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Perhaps you are even interested in starting a non-profit organization or co-op. Additionally, there are options within the entities that can determine issues such as double taxation and liability for the acts of partners.

A knowledgeable attorney can explain these options and how they will impact the future of your venture.

Multi-State Business Concerns

You may be based in one state and have certain preconditions relating to your business there, but what happens if you begin doing business in a neighboring state? This becomes critical for many Illinois and Indiana companies that can easily have business crossing state lines. Illinois, for example, enforces non-compete agreements, while Indiana will only enforce them if the restrictions are reasonable in scope relating to time, activity, and geographic area.

Conforming to State Law

Certain businesses have to strictly conform to state law governing that business form, or they risk losing the benefits and protections of the laws. Common examples of industries that face strict regulation include healthcare and finance, just to name a few. Regulatory compliance involves businesses following state, federal, and international laws, or regulations relevant to their operations.

Capital Concerns

Many small business owners face issues when trying to finance their new businesses. The ability to secure adequate capital funding can be a major concern. Common problems include a shortage of cash on hand, lackluster personal and business credit scores, and technological issues. A skilled business lawyer can help you explore funding options.


Different kinds of businesses are going to have different tax advantages and disadvantages. Inadequate tax planning can cost your business significantly. Working with a business attorney who also understands tax law attorney can help you plan for all of the potential liability concerns related to your business.

Liability Concerns

You need to understand that different kinds of businesses can offer different personal protections for business owners. You will want to work with an attorney who can outline the advantages and drawbacks of whatever type of business you are hoping to open.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Illinois Business Lawyer

When considering starting your own business, one of your first steps should be to speak with a qualified attorney. Spagnolo & Hoeksema, LLC, knows how complex starting a new venture can be and helps clients in Illinois and Indiana take the right steps to a good start.

Our firm can be by your side throughout the entire business creation process. Call us or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation that will let us fully examine your business strategy and offer concrete legal advice to help you start on the right foot.

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