Starting a new business can feel like an uphill battle, but getting started on the right foot is critical. Meeting with a business lawyer and discussing your business plans will allow your lawyer to guide you through the intricacies of choosing a business structure, drafting contracts, drafting employment agreements and more. Having some questions prepared before your meeting will ensure you get the most out of your meeting.
1. What business structure is right for me? How can I limit my personal liability and protect my assets?
This can be one of the most important questions to ask. The answer will vary depending on your business goals and the entity structure will have certain implications such as liability exposure, tax consequences, and how your business is owned and managed. There are several different business structures including General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, LLCs, S Corporations, C Corporations and sole proprietorships. A lawyer will be able to discuss each with you and advise on the best structure for your business.
2. Can I name my business whatever I want?
You may already have a business name in mind. It may have been the first decision you made. Yet, consult with your attorney to ensure you can use it. There are rules about business names that are available for use such as you cannot use a name that is already registered for another business or one that is so similar it may confuse consumers.
3. Do I need to have written contracts? Is there anything my contract should have included?
A lawyer will likely tell you that you should always have a written contract because without one it often becomes a "he said/she said" if there is ever an issue in the future. Some industries, such as residential contractors, have disclosure requirements that Texas law imposes that should be written into the contract boldfaced and in a certain sized font. Ask your lawyer if there are any specific disclosures or requirements you should be aware of.
4. Are there any other documents I will need for my business?
Very likely. Some of these may include:
- Employment contracts
- Employee handbooks
- Independent contractor agreements
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Noncompete agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Sales contracts
- Service agreements
5. I plan on having employees. What should I be aware of?
As an employer, it is important to know your risks and potential liability exposure. Ask your lawyer about potentially drafting employment agreements, employee handbooks, or to give you a general idea of what employment laws you should be aware of.
6. What services do you provide to help me with my start up?
Understanding what your lawyer can do for you will provide transparency and will set your expectations as you what you can turn to your lawyer for.
When starting a business, there are no right or wrong questions to ask. If you have any questions on how to get our business started and established, give us a call today.