Starting a new business can be an exciting but daunting leap into the unknown. There is no guarantee of success, but an entrepreneurial spirit combined with hard work and determination will certainly put you on the right path. One of the best things you can do is invest in professional services that will support your new business who can help you plan for the future and spot potential issues before they become problems.
If you’re starting a business and want to position yourself for success, the Knoxville business lawyers of Barnes Law have extensive experience in working with startups. We can work with you every step of the way, from formation to mergers and acquisitions and everything in between. Contact us at 865-805-5703 to schedule an appointment and discuss how we can meet your needs.
Getting Off to a Good Start
When starting a new business, positioning yourself for future success is an important step that is, unfortunately, often overlooked. Investing time and money in your business’s infrastructure will help you save time and money later on as well as give your new business the flexibility it needs to grow in its early years.
An experienced small business attorney will understand the challenges you face and can help you structure your business to meet them. They can also help you avoid the most common pitfalls and meet your business goals. Your attorney can map out the future of your business and provide you with the tools you need to succeed.
Choosing Your Corporate Structure
One of the most important steps in starting a new business is choosing your corporate structure. There is no type of “best” business entity – there is only the structure that is the best fit for your needs. Here are some of the types of business structures that you can use for your business in Tennessee:
- Sole Proprietorship
- General Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Limited Liability Partnership
- Limited Liability Company
Each of these entities has advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you hope to accomplish with your business. Here are some of the things that you need to consider when choosing a business entity:
- Who will be responsible for the debts and other liabilities of the business?
- How will the business be taxed? How will the business owners be taxed?
- What will it cost to set up my business? What kind of registration requirements are there? Will I need a license? Will I need a board of directors and officers?
An experienced small business attorney can help you answer these questions and determine which type of corporate structure is right for your business.
Get Your Papers in Order
Most startups are focused on developing their products or services, getting customers or clients, and other aspects of their core business plan. Unfortunately, starting a business involves a tremendous amount of paperwork – paperwork that may be critical to the future success of your business. An experienced small business attorney can assist in getting your company’s documents in order:
- Corporate governance documents – these are the documents that provide the underlying corporate structure for your business such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, bylaws, and any other documents that provide the foundation for your company.
- Contracts and other agreements – these documents are the lifeblood of your company. A small business attorney can help you draft the right contracts for your business to make sure you are protected.
- Registration and licensing – you will need to register your business with the state and obtain any licenses you may need. These processes can be confusing for people who have never done it before. A small business lawyer can help you through the process so that you save time and money and avoid the mistakes that can jeopardize your business.
You may be tempted to do all of the paperwork on your own. While there are a few business owners who capable, most people will give priority to their core business. As a result, getting their documents in order typically falls to the wayside, causing huge problems for their business down the road.
Planning for the Future and Protecting Your Assets
As your business grows, you may acquire significant assets from real estate to equipment to intellectual property. You also need to plan for what will happen when you retire or you decide to merge or wind down the business. A small business lawyer can explain your options and the legal implications. For example, your lawyer can help you with the following:
- Negotiation of leases or other real estate transactions
- Financial and tax planning
- Transition, succession, and dissolution
Planning for the future and protecting your business assets is a vital element of a successful business venture.
The “L” Word: Litigation
Every startup will eventually find itself in a dispute – a dispute with a supplier, a competitor, or a customer or a client. You may even find yourself in a dispute with the local or federal government. A small business attorney can help you prepare for future disputes and help your business navigate the litigation process.
If you or your business is named as a defendant in a lawsuit, a business litigation attorney can help you understand your options and defend yourself. If settlement seems like the best option, they can negotiate the terms on behalf of your business. Alternatively, they can develop an aggressive defense strategy to protect your business interests.
That said, it’s important to understand that litigation isn’t just about getting sued. There may come a time when you need to file a lawsuit in order to protect your business and your rights. However, this is a big decision, and should not be undertaken without the advice of counsel. An experienced business lawyer can help you understand both the legal implications and the potential impacts on your business. Your attorney can work with you to develop a litigation strategy and a cost-effective budget so that you can resolve your dispute and continue to grow your business.
Call Barnes Law Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Knoxville Business Lawyer
The experienced business attorneys at Barnes Law know the challenges startups face and know how to meet them. Don’t sell yourself or your business short – contact us at 865-805-5703 to discuss your business needs and how we can help.