CA Business Attorney Start Up Tips

startup businessPutting the Basics in Place Starting a Business

Starting a new business is frequently promoted as the next American dream, aside from buying a home. However, while the latter is far easier these days than having a picket-fenced abode, creating a new business entity does come with a number of challenges. While it’s actually not that hard to get started, it’s also extremely easy to make serious mistakes that can hamper a new company or even sink it before the venture can fly. A good number of these hurdles are associated with a business formation. Understanding these pitfalls is essential, because each one of them ultimately will become a critical point of function for a new business. Ignoring them is against the advice of most San Francisco business attorneys.

Do Your Own Research

Too many folks are looking for someone else to tell them how to do every step with a quick article on the Internet. Unfortunately, starting a business takes a bit more than just a few steps in an article. People who are serious about putting the time, money and investment in a new business start need to also spend a good amount of time first understanding what they are getting into. In fact, if it’s possible to work for someone starting a business, it’s even better training. You learn from their mistakes what not to do. That said, there is no such thing as a default path; every small business startup is different to some extent. So personal research matters tremendously. A San Francisco CA business attorney can help a prospective party get started.

Setting Up the Partnership Agreement

If the business is not going to start with one owner, then partners or teams developing a new business should absolutely have a legal agreement defining their roles, ownership, authority and function. This helps with addressing permissions and controls later on as well as defining legally who has access to what. This is important in case a fallout occurs down the line, the business can still keep going with the departure of one of the players. The agreement should definitely be drawn up by a lawyer and signed with witnesses. A notary is a common approach for this piece.

Clearing Prior Work Hurdles

In some cases, partners and co-owners have worked elsewhere and have non-disclosure agreements in place or cannot work in certain aspects due to prior employment. These should be disclosed and tracked, or the new business could be sued later for violating that agreement. Losing an NDA lawsuit could be expensive and painful, enough to push a fledgling business into bankruptcy. This would then require a business litigation attorney San Francisco resource.

Establishing the Business Entity

For both legal, banking, licensing and taxation purposes, the business’ documentation needs to be complete and valid, ideally drawn up by a business lawyer San Francisco expert. Otherwise, it can trigger both regulatory as well as tax audit issues and penalties. While it may not stop the startup from earning income right away, the lack of the documents in place and approval could trigger serious and costly penalties after the fact. These penalties can be retroactive as well. Plus, most banks won’t open a business account for a company without seeing proof of its business license and tax number.

Hiring Legal Expertise

Obviously, a startup will put almost all of its resources into the value side, but it should still have a legal expert on call. For startups, this is more than likely outsourced and by contract versus employment, which only happens later with in-house counsel once the business has grown significantly. However, regardless of size, the startup should always use a lawyer of some sort for legal review before stepping forward, whether it be a business establishment or a customer contract.

Attorney James M. Braden can help. As a San Francisco business attorney, James Braden has helped dozens of startups and small businesses get their legs to run as well as maintain the needed protections that are essential to startup survival legally. That includes employee policies, contractual reviews and general guidance only possible from a San Francisco business lawyer.