Business Law

Operating a business means overcoming a variety of legal and financial problems.  Things a new entrepreneur might not even know of until he or she is up and running.  Choosing a name for your new business, creating a business plan, setting up legal and operations, hiring and providing for a staff, and that is just the beginning.  An attorney dealing in business law is crucial in reaching your goals.

Business law sets standards of competition and antitrust, licenses, patents, trademarks and copyright, and other business issues. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), approximately 65% of Americans think that small businesses have a good impact on the economy. Before you start a business, you have to decide what type of entity you would like to create because that will determine what regulatory procedures you will have to file.  Your business structure will also affect your taxes and the personal liability of you and your business. Common business structures include:

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) - A relatively new, hybrid-type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.
  • Sole Proprietorship - A business owned and managed by one individual who is personally liable for all business debts and obligations.
  • Partnership - Two or more people share ownership of a single business.
  • Corporation - A legal entity owned by shareholders.
  • S Corporation - A special type of corporation created through a tax election.  An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the shareholders and again to the corporation) by electing to be an S corporation.
  • Cooperative - A business or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.  Cooperatives are not legal structures.
  • Non-Profit - An organization engaged in activities of public or private interest that are motivated by making a profit.  Some non-profits are exempt from paying federal taxes.

If the business you would like to establish is a corporation, non-profit, limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), or limited partnership you will have to register your business with your state government.  However, if your business is a sole proprietorship you will not have to do the same.  In many states, the name of the owner must be used in the name of the sole proprietorship. Issues and topics related to Business Law include registering your business, creating and executing a business plan, managing the financials, hiring and maintaining employees and making sure all taxes are paid.