If you own or manage a business, you know how many legal issues can arise in daily operations. Founding a company requires choosing the right structure. Running a company entails dealing with employees and protecting your intellectual property. Closing a company involves an exit strategy.
Depending on your business stage, you have specific legal needs to make sure the company is successful. A Johns Creek business lawyer could guide your decisions based on knowledge of Georgia and federal law.
When a business is up and running, legal advice can be tailored to a client’s needs. At Sparks Law, our lawyers are skilled in various areas, such as employment agreements, sales contracts, copyright and trademark filings, and business litigation. Business attorneys commonly assist with the following:
All businesses begin with the ideas of entrepreneurs. Ideas turn into reality when a company is chartered and, in many cases, registered with the Georgia Secretary of State. Although sole proprietorships and general partnerships do not need to file paperwork and pay a fee to the state, limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations do.
Although their structures are less complicated than LLCs and corporations, sole proprietors and general partners still have paperwork to do. If an owner picks a company name that differs from their legal name, they must register the new trade name with the Fulton County Clerk of Superior Court. The trade name must be unique, and new business owners can verify this by checking the Georgia Secretary of State website.
If more than one person is entering into a general partnership, they should work with a skilled business lawyer on a partnership agreement. These agreements define the rights and duties of the partners, so disagreements are kept at a minimum.
All companies probably require business or professional licenses, many of which are issued and regulated by the Georgia Secretary of State Licensing Board. Johns Creek and Fulton County also require certain licenses and permits.
All businesses should apply for an Employment Identification Number (EIN), which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses to identify employers who must pay taxes and withhold employee taxes. A sole proprietor does not need an EIN because business and personal income are treated the same, but for banking and business autonomy purposes, an EIN is a good idea. A Sparks Law corporate attorney can walk clients through each step to create an operating company in Johns Creek.
LLC owners (also called members) make capital contributions of assets, such as an office building or cash, to start the company. Members are allocated a percentage of the business, which should be memorialized in an Operating Agreement. Additionally, members have the advantage of choosing between a pass-through tax structure or a traditional corporate tax structure.
Large businesses are usually corporations, although there are no restrictions for small businesses choosing this format. Corporations are owned by shareholders and run by an elected Board of Directors and corporate. Corporate recordkeeping is the most stringent, with oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission for raising capital, even if the company is privately held. A local business attorney could look at a company’s long-term goals and advise on whether a corporation is the best operating vehicle.
There are countless legal issues that will arise between the time you charter your company to the time you retire. Bring a Johns Creek business lawyer onboard early on will save you time, money, and stress.
If you are a new or seasoned business owner, call Sparks Law for an initial consultation with one of our experienced business lawyers. We could help plot your path to success.