Whether you are considering starting a business here in Georgia, or are already a seasoned entrepreneur, having counsel that knows you and your business can be a great resource for help with business formation, contracts, leases, employment issues, and other day-to-day issues that arise in the life of a small business.
Counsel experienced with business law matters can assist you in selecting the right entity type for your business, and guide you through the differences between LLCs, LPs, corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorship, and more. Working as a part of your advisory team, your counsel can discuss your business with you and your CPA so that your CPA can help determine how to treat the business for tax purposes. Then, going forward, your counsel can instruct you on how to care for and maintain your business to help shield the owners from personal liability where possible. Remember that starting a LLC or a corporation isn't a one and done matter; care must be taken to keep the entity in good standing and to maintain the legally required records of the business. And, if you are in business with others, you'll need a carefully crafted shareholders' or members' agreement to hep you and your co-owners resolve issues and disputes when they arise, including issues about what to do when it's time for someone to leave the business for whatever reason.
Once the business is established, counsel can assist in developing or reviewing customer and vendor contracts or other agreements, and assist with other legal needs that arise from time to time. By having a relationship with a business lawyer in place early on, you'll have someone to call on when there is a need.
Be sure to watch for future posts on this category on entity selection, tax status elections, corporate record maintenance and more.