The prospect of starting your own business can be an extraordinarily exciting time because of all the possibilities that now await you, but it is important to keep in mind any one of a number of legal concerns that can await you. For this reason, you should be absolutely certain that you speak to an experienced Illinois or Indiana business lawyer before opening your doors to that new business.
You need to take certain steps to protect yourself from personal liability for your business debts. Here are 10 other reasons why you should be certain to speak to an attorney before opening any business.
You can protect your business with written agreements, and having the right legal agreements will help you avoid employee or contract disputes that also limit your liability. A contract can also protect any of your ideas and information from competitors stealing them. Common kinds of contracts that most businesses will need include business contracts, service contracts, independent contractor agreements, releases of liability, equipment leases, non-disclosure agreements, provisional patent applications, non-compete agreements, employment agreements, and employee handbooks.
Many small businesses require a combination of licenses and permits from both federal and state agencies. The requirements (and fees) will vary depending on the business activities, location, and government rules. States have a tendency to regulate a wider range of activities than the federal government.
What kind of business will you be? Are you a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited partnership? Maybe you want a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. Perhaps you are even interested in starting a non-profit organization or co-op.
You may be based in one state and have certain preconditions relating to your business in that state, 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.
Certain businesses have to strictly conform to state law governing that business form, or they risk losing the benefits and protections of the laws. Regulatory compliance involves businesses following state, federal, and international laws or regulations relevant to their operations.
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.
While there are basically five business entities, there are also options within the entities that can determine issues such as double taxation and liability for the acts of partners.
For many business entities, many of the things that you do not decide yourself are instead decisions that are made for you. Several states have uniform laws that fill in the gaps for business entities when their charters, by-laws, or other organizing documents may be silent. This means that you can be subject to an entire set of laws and regulations that you didn’t even know existed.
Different kinds of businesses are going to have different tax advantages and disadvantages. You will want to be sure you understand all of the potential liability concerns as it relates to your business.
You need to understand that different kinds of businesses can offer different personal protections for the business owners. You will want to work with an attorney who can outline the advantages and drawbacks to whatever type of business you are hoping to open.
When you are considering starting your own business, make sure that you speak to a qualified attorney before you really begin. Spagnolo & Hoeksema, LLC, knows how complex starting a new venture can be and helps clients all over Illinois and Indiana take the right steps to get a good start.
Our firm can be by your side throughout the entire business creation process, so you do not have to handle anything by yourself. 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 that will help you make sure that you start on the right foot.
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