In addition to working with many small business owners over the years, we are a small business. So, our business attorneys understand all the work and challenges that starting and running a small business present.
For instance, though you have an inspiration for a new venture, you may currently be employed and need to evaluate whether your business plans are affected by any confidentiality, non-compete or work product obligations owed to your employer. Or, you may be in the process of separating and need advice on negotiating the terms of severance.
If you are ready to get going, then you need to decide whether to incorporate or what entity to select — and then take each step to make it happen. But, first, you may need to find out if the corporate and product or service names you would like to use are available for your business.
Right after working through all that you probably want to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service and establish your company bank account. Perhaps, you also need to elect Subchapter S or similar tax treatment.
Next, if you have any key investors, shareholders or partners, then most likely a shareholder, operating or partnership agreement will be in order – depending upon whether you organized as a corporation, limited liability company or partnership. As a condition to negotiating those arrangements, it may be necessary first to put a non-disclosure agreement in order to prevent somebody else from taking your great idea or invention that started you on this path.
With the groundwork out of the way, you probably will be about to step up your dealings with others. For example, you may need to negotiate a lease for some office, retail or industrial space. You may also need to obtain a permit or license to operate your particular type of business.
At some point, you may require some help and engage independent contractors or hire employees. The former may call for an agreement, while the latter will ramp up your tax and payroll burdens and trigger the need for an employee policy manual.
Depending upon your line of business, you are likely to have some important purchasing or sales situations that may demand attention to the terms and conditions of the transactions, especially if they will be repeated often or involve significant amounts or risks. Likewise, if your business entails frequently providing or procuring professional services, then you may need to focus on contractual matters to make sure you get the benefit of your bargain.
Ecton & Shannon, PLLC is prepared to work with you through all of these situations and a multitude of others. And, we will do so in a practical and affordable way, taking your particular preferences and objectives into account. If you are starting a business in Kentucky and need experienced legal advice, contact us today.