New entrepreneurs have a lot of on their plate as they are busy making plans, working on products and services and arranging finance. However, one of the smartest moves that every entrepreneur can make is to consult a business attorney before launching a business. A business lawyer has the expertise to answer any legal questions you may have and can also guide you on how to go about it. But, the most important role the lawyer can play is helping you identify the risks you face and also minimizing them. When you meet your business attorney for the first time, it is a good idea to ask them a few questions to know what to expect.
Most new entrepreneurs are not sure of what to ask. Here are some common questions that can be of use to you:
What business structure should I select?
Before you launch your business, you have to decide on the structure you prefer. If you are not planning to create a formal business entity, your business will either be a sole proprietorship that has one owner or a general partnership that has more than one owner. In legal terms, the owner and business will be one entity, which means you are liable for all business obligations. A business entity like a corporation, limited liability partnership or a limited liability company can be formed for limiting your personal liability. In this case, the business is a separate entity and owners are not liable for its obligations.
A lawyer can guide you about the pros and cons of each structure and can also provide you with new business formation legal services. They can also deal with the necessary paperwork to help you in setting up. Also, they help in drafting your LLC operating agreements or bylaws that outline how decisions are to be made and operations to be conducted.
How do I minimize risks as an employer?
A business lawyer can also provide you with guidance about state and federal employment laws that apply to your business. You need to be aware of these laws or else you risk fines and penalties due to employee-related litigation. A lawyer can tell you about the steps you need to take for staying in compliance.
How to protect my intellectual property?
Every business has trademarks that are used to identify it such as logos, labels, business name, packaging and slogans and you have to take steps to protect them by registering a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office. There are also copyrights for any original work such as brochures, authorship, photographs and websites. You need to protect these copyrights and even apply for a patent. Again, here you need a lawyer’s services because they know what steps need to be taken and how to do it.
Apart from these questions, you can also ask your business lawyer about the other risks you need to mitigate in order to ensure your business runs smoothly. Their services can prove to be a huge advantage in the long run.