You have a stellar idea and want to launch your own business in the Sunshine State. You have a dream, a business plan, and startup capital. Now all you need is legal advice to navigate the entrepreneurial terrain.
If you are ready to move forward by chartering your entity, call an experienced attorney at Sparks Law. A Florida business lawyer can help you through the first steps and assist with all your legal needs in the future.
To achieve your business goals, it is important to draft a plan. Our seasoned Florida lawyers can advise on laying out your management and creating strategies for success. A well-written business plan is often a prerequisite for obtaining loans and investors, so business owners should work with a lawyer on drafting or revising their documents.
The law views some business structures as having a life of their own, with legal rights and responsibilities separate from their owners. These companies can be sued, earn money, pay taxes, and grow larger. Choosing the right operating vehicle is important because the future of the business may depend on it.
For instance, a general partnership cannot file a registration statement and go public—only a corporation can. Some tax structures may be preferential because they offer a pass-through status. A local business attorney could review a client’s goals and suggest the company entity that is the best fit.
A single person owns and operates a sole proprietorship. The owner is personally responsible for the company’s debts. Florida law treats sole proprietors and the business as one, so no charter documents need to be filed. However, zoning, business, occupational, and environmental permits may be required at the county level.
Two or more people own general partnerships. They share profits and losses, and each partner must answer for the actions of the other. County permitting may be required, but no formal filing with the Florida Secretary of State is necessary.
Limited liability companies (LLC) are owned in percentages by members. Their liability for business losses is limited because the state considers an LLC as a separate entity. LLCs benefit from a pass-through tax status in which the members pay taxes on the distribution they receive from the company, and the company does not pay twice. LLCs must file documents with the state and submit an annual report with filing fees.
Corporations are owned by shareholders who purchase equity in the company to share profits through rising stock prices and dividends. All corporations are chartered as C corporations and can elect to become S corporations if they meet strict criteria, such as a limited number of shareholders. The S corporation is an Internal Revenue Service designation that offers a pass-through tax status to shareholders.
One of the main functions of a business attorney is drafting and reviewing contracts. These documents deal with employees, vendors, banks, independent contractors, shareholders, and business combinations such as mergers. If a party to a contract breaches the agreement, the business attorneys at Sparks Law can also help litigate the matter.
Businesses may rely on trademarks, copyrights, and patents to protect their products, services, and brands. Businesses may also need assistance with taxes, mergers and acquisitions, employment issues, and lawsuits, if they arise. A local business lawyer can handle these issues in compliance with state and federal laws so that you can concentrate on running the company.
Legal matters are a daily part of running a business. For help with filing requirements, conducting shareholder meetings, settling employment disputes, defending your intellectual property rights in court, and merging or acquiring another business, call a trusted Florida business lawyer.
At Sparks Law, our legal team is here to assist you and your business with these issues so you can concentrate on achieving your company goals. Call us today and schedule an initial meeting.