Many entrepreneurs start a company using do-it-yourself legal forms that have been downloaded from the internet. While this process may be expedient and inexpensive, the lack of professional legal guidance can result in costly mistakes that damage the venture before it has a chance to start. Make a true investment in your business by working with an attorney that practices in Tampa before starting the formation process. This decision will start your company off on the right foot and support its ongoing success. A business attorney will help you:
- Select the right legal structure. Each type of business form, from partnerships to incorporation, offers various protections and risks for the owners and investors. A business attorney will listen to your goals and help you select the business format that best serves your needs, protects you from personal liability and is structured for future growth.
- Comply with local, state and federal regulations. An attorney will assure that your business is compliant with all initial filings and registrations. He or she will also know the additional federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations that must be met, depending on the type of business you are starting. Your attorney will also help you complete annual filings and manage the legal documentation required by law.
- Utilize effective contracts. Nearly every business enters into lease agreement for services and supplies. There may also be agreements between partners, investors and employees. To protect your interests, these contracts must be drafted and reviewed by a lawyer who will assure that they are compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
- Protect intellectual property and trade secrets. Intellectual property and trade secrets often differentiate a business from its competition and this information must be kept confidential. However, potential partners or investors may need access to this data, as well as financial and other operational material, to evaluate the investment opportunity. Before sharing any business information your attorney should draft an effective non-disclosure agreement specific to your needs. In some instances, copyrights and trademarks may also be required to provide protections when your products enter the marketplace. Before sharing any business information with someone outside the company, work with your attorney to put the proper protections in place.
- Manage negotiations. When you are negotiating, include your attorney in the process. He or she will have experience in negotiating agreements and can often achieve better terms than you would on your own.
A business attorney has extensive experience working with a variety of businesses, helping them form, expand, and, in some instances, close. They will assure that you stay compliant with laws and regulations, but can also help you complete mergers, purchase other businesses and so much more. Recognize that your lawyer is a member of your team and will do their part to support your business success.