When you're in the early stages of launching a startup, you may not think you need to hire an attorney to help you. Several steps, such as picking the company's name and figuring out its scope and mission, don't usually require legal expertise. But the road between those first steps and the next phase can be shorter than you expect, and you're likely to need legal counsel before you know it. Rather than waiting for problems to arise, many startups choose to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible.
There are three reasons for working with an attorney from the get-go that apply to just about every startup:
1. Figuring Out the Structure of Your Business
Different ownership structures make sense for different kinds of businesses. For instance, you might choose to be a sole proprietor, form an LLC, begin a partnership, or construct a corporation. Each of these choices depends on your financing, the number of owners, and the type of business you're starting. An experienced business attorney can help you discover which structure works best for your endeavor.
2. Forming an LLC or Corporation
If you've decided to form a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you do not need to file any forms or pay any fees. But if you're forming an LLC or a corporation, you will need to file organizational documents with the state and pay the associated filing fee. For an LLC, you'll also need to create an operating agreement, and for a corporation you'll need to create bylaws. Filing these documents can be complicated and time-consuming. An attorney can file the documents on your behalf.
3. Startup Operations
Once you've decided on the purpose of your business, picked a name, filed for your business organization (if necessary), and created bylaws or an operating agreement, you'll need to begin applying for permits and licenses, buying insurance coverage, and writing contracts. Many of these necessary steps are best handled by an attorney who knows how to navigate these intricate processes.
Amin Law specializes in helping startups launch successful, competitive businesses. If you're interested in starting your own business, call us at 415-851-4300 or contact us online for a free consultation.