Whether you have an innovative idea for a business, want someone to review your contracts, or need to protect your intellectual property, you can benefit from obtaining legal counsel. An experienced attorney can assist you no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. Get in touch with a Virginia business lawyer from Sparks Law to discuss your legal needs.
Coming up with a business idea is only the first step in the business formation process. You must decide how your organization will operate and file all the necessary paperwork with the state.
There are many types of business structures to choose from. If you are working alone, you might choose to operate as a sole proprietorship. If at least two people will own the business, a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation might be a good choice. Certain types of legal entities offer more tax benefits than others. For example, LLCs can choose a corporate or pass-through tax structure.
If you decide to incorporate, you must also consider the different types of corporations. Most companies are C corporations, as there are some restrictions on applying for an S designation. These two types of corporations have different tax structures. Professional corporations are governed under Virginia law and are often used by licensed professionals, such as attorneys, architects, physicians, and accountants.
Corporations and LLCs must file charter documents with the Virginia Secretary of State and continue to file annual reports after that. Even though sole proprietorships and partnerships do not have to register with the state, there are other required documents.
If you have a fictitious name for your business, it must be registered with the county clerk. Additionally, you must secure all certificates and permits, including zoning and occupational licenses.
All entities should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Even if you do not intend to hire employees, the EIN is usually required to open a bank account.
Sole proprietors using their given names as the business name could choose to mingle business and personal funds in a personal bank account because the law treats the proprietor and the person as one. However, this could be problematic if you or the business is sued. Consulting a local attorney early in this process can prevent many future legal problems for your company.
When you are running a business, location matters. Some business owners choose to rent offices, while others invest in land or buildings as business assets. Commercial real estate is much more complex than residential real estate, so it is useful to have a legal advocate by your side when deciding to rent or purchase a space. A seasoned lawyer in the area can review your lease or purchase agreement before you make any commitments to a business location.
Businesses run on agreements between parties. Both parties must supply consideration for a contract to be valid,. In a business setting, consideration is the valuable thing each party gives up in the transaction. For instance, in a vendor contract, the seller gives up goods and gets money, while the business gives up money to get goods. Some of the common contracts our legal team handles include:
You will likely need to negotiate numerous contracts throughout your business’s life. Our legal team can draft or review them as needed.
No matter how clear a contract is, there is always a chance that one party will fail to perform the obligations spelled out in the agreement. If you believe another party breach the terms of your contract or someone accused you of breach of contract, a skilled attorney can represent your business during litigation or settlement negotiations.
Inventions, creative work, logos, designs, and advertising phrases are essential parts of many businesses. If you have any important intellectual property, you should consider protecting it with copyrights, trademarks, or patents. A corporate law attorney can protect your business’s intellectual property through registration, licensing, and litigation.
As you charter and grow your business, until the time you retire with an exit plan, you will need legal guidance to make sure you comply with federal and Virginia laws.
Our legal team is versed in all facets of corporate law, and we are proactive in guiding you before problems arise. Call Sparks Law today to schedule your initial appointment with a Virginia business lawyer.