There are many different legal issues to consider when starting a small business. From naming your business to determining the operating processes, each step can have legal implications. It’s important to consult with a legal professional during those critical first days. Are you thinking of starting a new business? Here are 4 important first steps:
- Decide on a business structure. Even if you are the sole owner of your small business, you will probably not want to choose a sole proprietor status for your organization. Forming an LLC or corporation is critical to protect your personal assets from any business-related liabilities. This is an important first step and one that should not be made without consulting an attorney. LexLaunch.com offers LLC setup services at a reduced rate from their typical hourly fees. Learn more HERE.
- Name your business. You will need to register the name of your small business. If someone in the United States is using a name that is the same or similar to your business, you will need to perform a “preliminary trademark search” to verify the name you want to use is available and doesn’t infringe on another business. Search your state’s business registry, typically found on the Secretary of State website. If your name isn’t already taken, you can request to have it reserved while you set up the legalities of your business—usually 120 days. You will also want to complete a search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website.
- Complete your organizational paperwork. Depending on the business structure you chose in Step 1, you will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork required for that structure to maintain legal protection. These include articles of organization, articles of incorporation, operating agreements, and other documents. You might want to consider getting a non-disclosure agreement or other non-required documents as well. An attorney can help guide you through this process and ensure that documents are created, completed, and submitted appropriately.
- Obtain permits and licenses. Depending on your small business, you may be required to carry one or more business licenses and permits from the city, state, or federal government to operate legally. Contact the Secretary of State’s office to find out what is required for your business in your area.
When you’re starting a small business, each step can be vital to future success. Don’t leave important legal matters to late-night Google searches or one-size-fits-all online legal setups. With LexLaunch.com, you can set up your LLC easily and affordably, at a reduced rate from typical attorney fees. Call the attorneys at LexLaunch.com at (816) 434-6610 or click here for more information to learn more about how to decrease risk and protect your small business.