Are you in the process of starting a business? If so, our team is here to assist you every step of the way. Not sure where to start? No problem. We make the process simple and efficient by utilizing electronic signatures and our secure client portal. During the process, you will have the opportunity to consult with one of our experienced business attorneys who will answer your questions and create a plan that is custom tailored for you. To help you get started, here are 6 key steps that we recommend when starting your business:
1. Setup a Legal Entity
This step is crucial and should be one of the first steps that you take when starting your business. During this step, you will determine whether a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation is the best fit for your business. The owners of an LLC or Corporation are generally not personally liable for business debts. Not sure what entity to choose? Do not worry, we will help you determine the best legal entity for your unique business. If you want more helpful information on Corporations, S-Corps, LLCs, or Partnerships then take a look at our previous article titled: “What Business Entity Should I Choose?”
2. Draft and Sign Your Entity Documents
Setting up your LLC or Corporation is more than just filing the paperwork with the State. You must also draft and sign your entity documents. These documents should include: (1) Initial Meeting Minutes, (2) Subscription Agreement, and (3) Operating Agreement or Bylaws. Your entity documents are crucial whether there is one owner or multiple owners of the business. If there are multiple owners of the business, then we recommend including buy/sell provisions and transfer restrictions within your entity documents.
3. Obtain your Tax EIN
Your tax EIN is a unique Employer Identification Number also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number that will be used for tax purposes with the IRS. An EIN is generally required for every business and will be necessary to setup your business checking account.
4. Setup your Business Checking Account
It is important to setup your business checking account at the very beginning of your new business venture. This way you can clearly show separation from your personal assets and your business assets. Never commingle your personal assets with your business assets. Why not? Because this may create personal liability risk by allowing business creditors to “pierce the corporate veil” and hold you personally liable. If you want to know more about how to protect from piercing the corporate veil, then check out our previous article titled: “4 Simple Steps to Protect Your Business from Piercing of the Corporate Veil”
5. Prepare the Necessary Business Contracts
Do not skip this step and start operating your business without the necessary contracts in place! A well written contract can help you avoid litigation and protect against significant financial loss. There are 4 main categories where you should evaluate the use of contracts: (1) contracts between you and other owners of your business, (2) contracts between your business and its employees or independent contractors, (3) contracts between your business and vendors/suppliers, and (4) contacts between your business and its customers/clients. Our attorneys will help identify which categories apply to your business and then determine the best contracts to put into place. Also, take a look at our previous article titled: “Five Tips Before Signing a Contract” for important issues to address prior to signing any new contracts.
6. Schedule a Free Business Strategy Call
If you are starting a business, then we offer a free business strategy call where you can chat with one of our experienced business attorneys. During this call, we will determine the best steps forward for you and your business. To schedule your call, just click on the link below and follow the two-step process to book and schedule your call. We look forward to speaking with you and developing a plan to start, build and protect your business!
Do you have other questions regarding the start of your new business? Check out our article & video titled: “4 Essential Questions before Starting a Business” for practical questions every new business owner should ask themselves. Also, take a look at our article & video titled “5 Ways We Help Entrepreneurs Build Successful Businesses.“