Legal

Starting and maintaining a business requires careful consideration of legal issues. You must determine what form your business should take by considering how much legal responsibility and liability you would like to take as the owner of the business and how the earnings of  your business should be taxed. These determinations will help you to determine the legal form that your business should take. Once you've started into business, there are a number of other legal concerns that arise with the hiring and maintenance of employees and the sale and guarantee of goods and services, among other things.

You don't have to be an expert to navigate through the legal side of things; you just need patience, diligence and the right resources. Luckily, if you're confident that you can provide the first two key ingredients, Perfect Business can supply you with the necessary resources. Here you will find a number of forms, checklists and sample documents to guide you as you proceed with managing the legal affairs of your business.

Place business legal issues in the proper context. It is important to understand and handle them. It is important to have the assistance of an experienced and accessible business law attorney. However, handling all the legal areas properly does not ensure business prosperity. Successful marketing is still the key. Nevertheless, comply with all laws. Protect your business from costly litigation and large losses. Keep current on rules and regulations affecting business and your specific industry.

Excerpted from Business Start-Up Guide © 2002, Tycoon Publishing

Contracts

Contracts are the easy stuff. They are like your personal set of laws. As long as you bargain in good faith, and the subject of the contract is legal (i.e., you can’t legally contract to open a house of prostitution), just about anything you and the other side agree to will fly. However, not every promise is legally enforceable; to create a legally enforceable promise, or set of promises, three requirements must be met that raise the promises to the level of a legal contract offer. (read more)

Employment Legal Concerns

Hiring your first employee immediately subjects your business to many federal and state laws. As you hire more employees, additional laws may apply. The rules and related paperwork complicate life. This is one major reason “lifestyle" entrepreneurs often choose not to hire employees.

This section highlights and briefly explains the major employment legal considerations. Consult with your attorney on specifics. Both federal and state laws apply, the laws are constantly changing, and the laws may or may not apply depending on size, industry, and other factors. This section also covers in detail the very important, yet confusing, issue of independent contractor versus employee. (read more)