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Looking to Start a Business? Call a Lawyer

They can help with structure options, contracts, and more in Illinois

This year you’re going to do it: You’re going to strike out on your own, and finally start your own business; you have the right experience and knowledge, and even a great product. But is there a path that can potentially lead your business to being more successful?

For one, you should call a lawyer. “When you start getting the inkling that you may want to start a business, that’s when you want to find a business attorney to help organize that inkling,” says attorney Marshall Rinderer.

One of the first considerations you’ll have to decide is what type of business structure is right for you. And to determine that, you must figure out which tax structure is right for you. For example, a corporation is taxed differently than a limited liability company, and, depending on the size of the company, there are advantages and disadvantages to either model.

Incorporating or organizing a business can also offer legal protections. “One of the big reasons to form a company like an LLC or a corporation is to separate your business assets from your personal assets,” says Rinderer. “If your business is sued or put at risk, generally, the person who is suing you can only come after the assets of the business if you are properly set up.”

Outside of business structure model, you should also consider the internal structure. If you are the sole employee of a business, there will not likely be many disputes over how to run things. But, as Rinderer notes, if you’re starting your business with another individual, it’s even more important to have an attorney off the bat. Even though there will always be stressors on business owners that cannot be easily foreseen, if the organizational documentation has been thorough and has covered all contingencies then disputes can be resolved quickly and efficiently and everyone will get paid what they have agreed to be paid.

Rinderer also assists his clients in contract disputes, as well as breaches of contract. Getting and continuing to use the attorney who helped set up your business in the first place can help make later conflicts go smoother. Often, this attorney can help quell disputes before they need to go to court.

Eventually, though, in every business, something will go wrong. When you meet with an attorney, they can help to structure the procedures for when things don’t happen optimally. “If something does go wrong, we figure out a better way to do it in the future, and can give advice on how to do so,” says Rinderer. With the help of an experienced and reputable business attorney, you can plan for the worst, work out the disagreements, solve potential problems and make the future of your business look a lot smoother.

For more information on this area of the law, see our overviews of closely held businessbusiness organizations and business and corporate law.

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