Top Ten Legal Questions For Business Owners

Explore:  Business Ownership

QUESTION 1: Do you form a business entity to operate your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Liability issues           

            2.         Tax consequences of the choice of entity

            3.         Licensing/filing requirements for preparation of corporate governance documents

QUESTION 2: Do you need financing to operate your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Type of financing to obtain (debt vs. equity)

            2.         Fairness of agreements with investors/lenders relating to capitalization of the business

QUESTION 3: Do you have partners in establishing and operating your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Division of ownership/responsibilities for management of the business

            2.         Benefits of agreements among partners to deal with future events affecting partners

QUESTION 4: Do you operate a business which operates in a regulated industry?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Compliance with applicable governmental regulations and statutes

            2.         Licensing requirements for owners and employees

QUESTION 5: Do you use intellectual property to operate your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Establishment/registration of trademarks to identify your business and distinguish it from


            2.         Website design and compliance issues

            3.         Protection of trade secrets from infringement

QUESTION 6: Do you have employees or consultants?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Employment/consulting agreements to outline scope of duties and compensation

            2.         Non-competition/non-solicitation agreements to prevent unauthorized activities

            3.         Employee manuals to outline company employment practices

QUESTION 7: Do you provide benefits/incentives to employees?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Drafting plan documents to establish retirement/health/disability benefits

            2.         Compliance with ERISA/Internal Revenue Code regulations governing employee benefit plan


            3.         Design of bonus/equity incentive arrangements to encourage performance

QUESTION 8: Do you own or lease real estate used in operating your business?

Issues to Consider      

            1.         Status/protection of title to real estate assets

            2.         Fairness of purchase contract/lease terms

            3.         Ownership/lease of property by an entity which is not the operating company

QUESTION 9: Do you have a plan for the future of your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         Industry dynamics/status of market for organic growth or through acquisitions

            2.         Ownership succession plan for family members/employees

            3.         Personal estate planning for ownership interest in your business and other personal assets

QUESTION 10: - Do you need a lawyer to operate/manage your business?

Issues to Consider:     

            1.         It is better to have a good lawyer working with you and your company before you really need



FINAL POINT: Your lawyer can be a valuable member of your organization


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Levenfeld Pearlstein | Attorney Advertising

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