It’s no secret that starting a new business venture can be an exciting and overwhelming endeavor. Small business owners face seemingly endless decisions and tasks, many of which they must address before the business even launches. From selecting the business structure to negotiating a fair commercial lease, it’s natural for new business owners to feel intimidated at times. However, it’s important to recognize that you do not have to handle all of these responsibilities on your own. When you enlist the guidance of an experienced and friendly Colorado business law attorney, you can feel more secure in the decisions you make. Working with a business lawyer is especially beneficial when it comes to understanding the legal requirements associated with forming a new business. Your attorney will help you identify the specific steps you will need to take to ensure that your business begins from a solid and stable foundation. As a small business owner, the last thing you want to deal with is unexpected (and costly) legal disputes that arise because you neglected to put sufficient legal protections in place as you launched your business. By installing legal protections long before they become necessary, you can minimize the chances of major issues erupting later on. Let’s take a look at some of the most common legal considerations new small business owners should address as they lay the groundwork for their companies.
Selecting a Business Entity
There are different types of business structures, each of which carries its own advantages and limitations. The entity you choose will influence business decisions, legal liability, tax obligations, and the growth of your business. Many first-time business owners want to understand the differences between these entities, and enlisting the guidance of a knowledgeable business law attorney is a great way to explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option. For example, you may assume that forming a sole proprietorship will best suit your needs. However, discussing your goals with an attorney may help you determine that forming a limited liability company (LLC) will offer you more sufficient legal protections and better support your business needs. When you take the time to explore your options with a skilled business lawyer, you can make a selection with greater certainty and confidence.
Naming Your Business
Many new business owners are eager to start advertising their services as soon as possible. They may set up a website, create social media accounts, or invest in branding and marketing efforts to start cultivating public awareness. However, it’s essential to do some research about the business name you are hoping to use before you spend your valuable time and financial resources on marketing your business. There may be a business in your area that already uses your name or is confusingly similar to yours. No new business owner wants to find themselves accused of copyright or trademark infringement simply because they failed to look into whether their desired name was already in use by another company. Your business lawyer can help you navigate any applicable intellectual property considerations to ensure that your business name is uniquely yours. Once you have made this determination, you can move forward with your marketing efforts.
Formally Filing Your Business Entity
You will need to officially launch your business by filing the required organizational documents with the Secretary of State and paying the accompanying fees. When you complete this step before your business is up and running, your business will enjoy greater liability protection and overall credibility as it moves forward. Even though entrepreneurs may complete and file the paperwork without an attorney, having your lawyer review the documents before you file them maximizes your chances of launching smoothly. Unfortunately, even seemingly minor mistakes or misspellings can lead to considerable headaches later on—having your lawyer double-check the documents before you file them adds an additional layer of security and protection.
Implement Clear and Effective Business Practices
Most business-related disputes arise from disorganization or insufficient business practices. For example, neglecting to keep up-to-date business records can lead to costly legal issues later on, especially if the dispute concerns a document that has been misfiled or misplaced. Another common mistake is for a new business owner to fall behind on accounting matters or fail to use a business bank account to keep all personal finances separate from business-related funds and transactions. In the early stages of creating your business, it’s essential to adopt effective practices and organizational systems that set you up for continued success. You may find it helpful to enlist the guidance of a business attorney, as this experienced professional can share their expertise with you and instill the most appropriate procedures and structures to support your business goals.
Drafting and Reviewing Business Contracts
Most businesses rely on some form of a written contract in order to operate. Employee contracts, sales agreements, and operating agreements are all critical legal documents that define the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved. Unfortunately, poorly written or overly vague contracts—usually those created using generic online templates—often fail to give your business the sufficient legal protections it deserves. Investing in the expertise of a seasoned business attorney is the best way to trust that your best interests will be upheld and safeguarded, no matter what the future brings. Should a dispute arise, you can rely on the clearly worded and detailed contract to resolve the matter smoothly and efficiently.
Creating a Lasting Business Relationship
Once your business is up and running, you may assume that you will have no further need for a business attorney. However, simply knowing that you have a dedicated legal professional in your corner whenever you need assistance can give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with confidence. You can check in with your attorney from time to time to revisit existing contracts, navigate growth considerations, or resolve potential disputes before they escalate too rapidly. Most small businesses enjoy cultivating long-lasting relationships with their attorneys as they grow their businesses over time.
If you are ready to start a new business in Colorado, consider enlisting the guidance of a trusted and friendly business law attorney to help you navigate each step of the process. Call Judex Law, LLC, today at (303) 523-4022 to learn more.