So you figured out what kind of business to start or maybe you’re a serial entrepreneur and have another great idea for a startup business. What is the next step? Of course I will tell you that you should meet with your attorney first but your accountant may tell you to meet with him first – and that’s fine. The point is that your immediate next step is to either consult with your team of professionals or, if you don’t yet have one, put together your team.
Once you have found a great team to support your business idea, you need to be aware of what to expect when you consult with your professional advisors. Your attorney will be a valuable resource in helping you transform your idea into a breathing, thriving business.
When you first approach your attorney about the new venture she will need to learn about your business, particularly who is involved and in what capacity. For example, your attorney will need to know the names and information of all persons involved in the business because this information will be used in the various government filings that are necessary to start a business. And if there are existing legal entities, such as a corporation or limited liability company, that will be involved in the new business, your attorney will need to know about those entities as well.
Once all of the key players are determined, your attorney will want to learn about the business itself. What will be the main activity of the business? What is the business model? Other information that your attorney will need includes the principal place of business, if any, whether the business has commenced operations, what contracts have already been entered into, and what is the funding situation for the new venture. It is alright if you have started operations, set up a location and even entered into contracts with a landlord or vendors. The important thing is to make sure your attorney knows about all the logistics so that she can advise you as to how to move forward.
Because your attorney will deal with the documents that govern and affect your business, all key documents need to be reviewed by your attorney. Such documents range from the business plan, for a new venture, to full financials for an existing business that is to be incorporated.
Once you have decided to hire an attorney to assist you with starting your business, be prepared to provide your attorney detailed information about you, your business partners and your business. Your attorney will not need all of this information at the first meeting but you should now have an idea of what will be involved in the planning and starting of your business from a legal perspective.
This discussion is not legal advice, a solicitation of you as a client, nor the engaging in the practice of law in any jurisdiction.
This discussion is merely for information/education and should not be relied upon for legal advice by anyone because the facts discussed may be different from your own situation. If you need legal advice, consult a qualified attorney.
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