The entrepreneurial spirit has fueled the “American Dream” for centuries. If you have decided to become a business owner, you probably already know that getting your start-up off the ground and running smoothly will be a challenging endeavor – and one that requires a considerable commitment of time and resources on your part. It will all be worth it, however, if your business is a success. The best way to dramatically increase the odds of your business succeeding is to work closely with an experienced start-up lawyer from the beginning.
Choosing an Attorney — It may be tempting to put off retaining an attorney for your start-up until a later date under the mistaken belief that you do not need one right away. The reality, however, is that you need to consult with an experienced business attorney immediately after making the decision to move forward with your start-up. The time and money you invest in an attorney early on will undoubtedly save you considerably more of both down the road. Working closely with an attorney experienced in helping start-ups get off the ground is an invaluable advantage to give your fledgling business.
Business Structure — Choosing a legal structure for your new business is one of the most important decisions you will make. Although there are also a variety of sub-categories and hybrids, the most common business structures include:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Making the wrong choice could subject you to personal liability for debts of the business, increase your tax obligations, and diminish financing and investment opportunities for the business. Our Tampa business formation attorneys can guide you through the decision-making process and help you establish the legal structure you choose for your start-up.
Contracts and other Legal Documents — One of the most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs is failing to put agreements and contracts in writing. When you decide on a legal structure for your start-up, the appropriate legal documents reflecting that choice need to be created. Counting on a verbal agreement instead of taking the time to create a partnership agreement, for example, could lead to uncertainty and confusion upon the death or incapacity of a partner. Likewise, the absence of a written contract with a supplier all but ensures costly litigation when a dispute arises over the terms of the agreement between the parties. To avoid future disputes and litigation, our skilled attorneys can help you negotiate agreements and draft the corresponding legal documents that reflect those agreements.
Protecting Intellectual Property — Start-ups, by nature, typically begin with a novel concept, process, or idea. That new concept, process, or idea needs to be protected from its inception to ensure that others do not unjustly benefit from it. Leaving your intellectual property unprotected means it is vulnerable to misuse, or outright theft, by another party. Navigating the steps necessary to protect your intellectual property, however, can be a complex and confusing task without the help of an experienced attorney. Our Tampa intellectual property attorneys can ensure that your rights are protected from the moment you decide to turn your intellectual property into a profitable business.
Regulatory Compliance — The maze of local, state, and federal regulations applicable to a new business can seem mind-boggling. An entrepreneur needs to be cognizant of everything from local zoning laws and permits to federal employment laws and tax filing requirements. Overlooking just one required permit, license, or registration can be a costly mistake. The best way to avoid such an outcome is to rely on one of our business attorneys to provide advice and guidance regarding regulatory compliance.