Founding a small business is a venture packed with excitement. It’s a test of your savvy and personal strength. Many also find it to be a source of immense pride and a satisfying accomplishment.
2014 is a perfect year to make it happen, especially as the Wall Street Journal reported that many small business owners anticipate a breakout year in which they can put the worst of the recession firmly behind them. A survey of nearly 1,000 small business owners nationwide revealed more than half said the economy had improved last year (up from 36 percent a year earlier) and nearly 40 percent said they expect market conditions to be even better this year (up from 27 percent last year). Three-fourths of all business owners polled said they expect better sales this year than last, and their confidence index is the highest it’s been in 18 months.
Of course, entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic by nature, and none embark on the quest of starting a small business in Boston with the assumption it’s going to tank. Of course, there are never guarantees. But careful legal planning may significantly bolster your chances of success. At the very least, failure to consider relevant legal strategies could result in your business floundering before it ever has a chance to fly.
It goes beyond settling on a corporate structure (joint venture, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership, S-corporation, C-corporation or limited liability company). Every industry is going to involve some type of government regulation. If you intend to employ other people, there are and employment and labor law considerations, workplace safety and health law regulations and specifications on employee eligibility. All business transactions are going to be regulated by state and federal laws, and they are even more complex under the Uniform Commercial Code if you intend to conduct some out-of-state transactions.
Also, a growing number of successful companies today are engaged in online operations and sales. These firms have to be careful about how they collect sales taxes. Applicable rates vary from state-to-state and depending on the type of good or service you are selling.
And speaking of finances, there are strict government regulations on the ways in which businesses can raise capital and how it all must be reported. Equity financing (including venture capital) and debt financing are the two most common ways that start-up costs are covered, but there is also sometimes an option to request grants. In each scenario, entrepreneurs have to make sure they have accurately represented themselves and their firm, that they have the ability to repay (if borrowing the money) and that all funds are properly reported to the government.
Then there is the issue of intellectual property regulations. Not only do you want to ensure that your own branding, ideas and trade secrets are protected from poachers, you want to make sure you aren’t stepping into a legal quagmire with a name or idea that too similarly resembles someone else’s. You also need to be wary of patent trolls, which has become a multibillion-dollar industry by draining small businesses of precious resources. Careful business formation, guided by an experienced corporate attorney, can help you swiftly defeat these scandalous fishing expeditions.
The bottom line is that we are committed to seeing you succeed. Having launched our own successful small business ventures, we are experienced in helping others achieve their own start-up dreams.
The Brown Law Firm, LLC, has offices in Belmont and Boston. For a free and confidential consultation, call 617-489-0817 or contact us online.
20 Questions Before Starting a Business, U.S. Small Business Administration
Small Businesses Anticipate Breakout Year Ahead, Dec. 30, 2013, By Angus Loten, The Wall Street Journal
More Blog Entries:
Boston Business Formation May Increase with Owner Confidence, March 15, 2012, Boston Small Business Lawyer Blog