When Should I Hire a Lawyer for My New Business?
As an entrepreneur, you may wonder if hiring a lawyer is wise. You will wear many hats as a business owner, but ultimately, it is impossible to do it all. Doing everything to run a business takes your focus and time away from your primary business goals and may even slow your business’ growth. You should know what you are good at and what you need to outsource.
A seasoned lawyer experienced in business law will offer the guidance you need in every aspect of your business, such as essential zoning compliance, copyright and trademark advice, formal business incorporation, and litigation. You should not wait until it is too late to hire an attorney. Instead, hire an attorney early on when you start your business to ensure your business is fully compliant.
Several decisions can be made without a lawyer while building your new business. Choosing and forming your business entity can be accomplished without a lawyer. You can also write your business plan and strategy.
When you start hiring employees or entering into more complicated agreements, you may need a lawyer. If you hit the unknown territory in the planning stages, you should hire a lawyer to prevent mistakes or get into a situation with unintentional and costly consequences.
An important decision you will need to make when launching your business is to decide the type of ownership structure. Many online and other resources are available to guide this decision.
You can choose from several business entities: sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, or partnership. The decision depends on your business type, the number of owners, and financing. You may have questions about liability, tax, ownership, etc. that you should discuss with a lawyer.
Creating a unique business name is one of the first items on your to-do list. The first step is to check whether the name you want is available in the state where you plan to build and operate your business. Most states have a business name database available online, so you can view other companies already registered in the state. Once you have determined the availability of the name you want to use, you should ensure it is not a registered trademark. You can check online with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Business Center.
When you have decided on the business structure and the name of your new business, you are ready to form your business entity. You will need to create and file certain documents and operating agreements for the business type you choose. An attorney could help you draft these documents and guide you on what is needed to create these specific business entities.
You will also need to focus on getting your business up and running, figuring out the most effective way to sell your services or products, and creating an appealing online presence. You may need to make contracts or different types of agreements for your business services and offerings. You will also need the required permits, licenses, and insurance for your business.
Lawyers will also look over your business operations and advise on how to avoid complex situations, lawsuits, and liability. For example, they may draft product warnings or disclaimers or even write company policies and procedures for employees.
In addition, a business attorney will update you on changes in federal and state laws that will affect your business so that you can stay compliant with current regulations or requirements.
Annapolis Business Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Will Guide You in Starting Your New Business
If you are starting a new business, it is good practice to seek the help of one of our Annapolis business lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients across Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland. Call us at 410-295-3000 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation today.