5 Questions to Ask a Lawyer before Starting a Business
Did you know that consulting with Orlando business lawyer before starting a business can help you avoid unnecessary stress in the future? Before starting any business, you should always seek professional assistance.
A business attorney can give you insights on how to start a business, and also answer any legal questions that you have. Moreover, the attorney can identify any possible risks and assist you to mitigate them. The last thing anyone wants is to start a business, and then realize that they did something wrong when starting the business.
At times, you’ll be wondering what you have to discuss with your lawyer. If you are one of these people, here are the top 5 questions to ask an attorney before starting a business.
How will my business benefit from a lawyer?
Typically, business lawyers cover numerous legal aspects for any business—like making them understand their legal responsibilities, rights, and obligations. Most people don’t engage business lawyers until their businesses land in legal tussles. However, consulting a business lawyer before starting a business will help in avoiding future problems.
When you contact an attorney when you have a legal issue, what they can do is to reduce the damages. That’s why you should consult an attorney early, and let them explain to you what your business stands to benefit from them.
What’s the best structure for my business?
Before starting any business, make sure that you have its structure in your mind. When starting a business, most people don’t know the various business structure options that they have. However, an attorney can assist you to understand the different business structures and the best one for your business.
Now, if you don’t want to create a formal business entity, then this business will be a sole proprietorship (owned by one person) or a general partnership (owned by two or more people). Legally, the owner and the business are considered to be the same person. Therefore, if the business is sued or accumulates debts, the owner is legally responsible for these responsibilities.
If you want to limit such liabilities, however, you can create a business entity like a limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership, or a corporation. If you own any of these businesses, your personal assets are not at risk in case the business fails to meet the set financial obligations. Any losses incurred are limited to the money you’ve invested in the business.
Other business options are a nonprofit corporation and a limited partnership. In a limited partnership, one or more individuals are fully responsible for the obligations of the business, while others are not.
That’s why you need to consult a lawyer, as they will assist you to make the best choice for your business. Moreover, it’s important to note that your option will affect the ownership and management of your business, as well as how it’s taxed.
How do I choose a name for the business?
Before starting a business, there’s a possibility that you have several ideas on how to name your business. However, you will need to consult a lawyer to understand if there any possible legal issues that might arise because of that name.
Each state has laws governing the names used by new business entities. Typically, you cannot use a name that’s already used by another business. Moreover, choosing a name that infringes a registered trademark of another business is very risky.
Furthermore, if you want to trademark the name you’ve chosen your business, you’ll need to select a name that meets the set standards for trademark protection. The good thing with attorneys is that they can assist you in understanding these rules, as well as researching for the best options.
Does my business need any contracts?
Yes, it’s important to understand whether your business needs contracts and if it does, what kind of contracts. If you are a new business owner, you should understand the importance of contracts. These are some of the most common things that you’ll deal with on your daily business operations. Moreover, they are key to the successful operations of your business, since they dictate your obligations and responsibilities in any contract.
A well-structured contract assists in reducing the possibilities for legal disputes. Moreover, they give a clear course of action in the event one party fails to meet their obligations. Consulting a business lawyer assists you to understand the type of contracts that your business requires. It doesn’t do any harm to ask your business lawyer to assist you in drafting these contracts.
A professional attorney should assist you in drafting a one-off contract, as well as contracts that you will use from time to time, such as employment contracts.
How do I safeguard my intellectual property?
Typically, a business has trademarks that assist to identify and differentiate them from other businesses in the same industry. Things like business name, labels, logos, packaging, and slogans can be a trademark—meaning they should be protected.
Moreover, a business can own copyrights in original works, like a website, photographs, and brochures. You should understand that copyright protection is critical particularly for businesses in the creative industry. Furthermore, if you invent something, you will have to apply for its patent.
An attorney can assist in your business you to identify any intellectual property, and also advice on how to legally protect it. Moreover, they can assist you with a trademark or copyright registration. If you want to patent something, you’ll need a patent attorney.