I was speaking with my brother the other day about how he has a dream about starting a business. He said that he would love to have a food truck or a stall at farmers markets around Utah where he would sell barbecue. He makes excellent barbecue and if he ever did open that business I’d be the first one in line to buy it.
Everyone Has an Idea
Over the years, I’ve met hundreds of people. Most of the people I’ve met has had some sort of business Idea. One friend spoke about starting a concrete laying business; another has mentioned wanting to sell custom-made firearms; another wanted to open a bookstore. However, of those people I’ve met who have wanted to start a business, only a small fraction of them have even tried.
Where to Begin
Starting a business can be intimidating. Someone once described it to me as a leap of faith. Most people have a broad idea of what they can do for their business but the threat of failure stops most of them. For others, they don’t even know where to start. Fortunately, there is help out there. The State of Utah provides some resources for you. No matter what type of business you are starting, there are several things that a lawyer can help you with.
There are several types of business structures. The simplest one is a sole proprietorship. This business has a single owner who owns the business. The problem with these businesses is what is called unlimited liability. When a business has unlimited liability that means that the owner is responsible for any money that the business owes. For example, if a store is a sole proprietorship and someone slips and falls in the store and later sues them. If they win the lawsuit, the person that fell can go after anything owned by the store, as well as anything owned by the owner.
This liability issues is why most businesses chose to organize as some sort of corporation. Corporations protect owners of a business from anything that might happen to a business. There are also several different types of corporations each with their own advantages and disadvantages. With the help of a competent lawyer, you can get help choosing the right one for your specific situation.
Local Legal Requirements
There are typically local legal requirements for starting your business. Using a competent attorney can help you minimize a lot of the mistakes new business owners make. For example, I once met a small business owner who had been operating almost a year after who had remembered to register his business with the state, but had completely neglected to also register his business with the city. By asking an attorney for some guidance about these issues when you are starting your business you can avoid bigger issues down the road.
Other Legal Needs
In my experience, new businesses tend to have a lot of little needs. For example, they mayneed a contract reviewed, or a brand new one written up for their business. Most attorneys will perform these services for a flat fee. Using an attorney can help make sure that you can rest easy knowing that your businesses legal needs are taken care of.
Our office has extensive experience helping individuals start their business. For a free 30 minute consultation and any other legal questions, contact our office.