Congratulations! You have a brilliant new business idea and are ready to plunge into entrepreneurship! This is a very exciting time. The possibilities are flowing and your excitement is building. Before you start planning too much, consider the legal documents you’ll need to start your business.
Nothing can bring you back to reality faster than thinking about the legal ins and outs of starting a business. But before you toss your brilliant plan out the window, read on to see what you need and how you can make your business dreams a reality. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone.
The Importance of Legal Documents from the Start
Most big corporations started as small companies at one point. Then they grew, and those that hadn’t put the correct legal documents into play found themselves at risk. Companies that lay the legal foundation to become big and successful from the get-go save time, money, and stress. The following are six of the legal documents every new business should consider.
Articles of Incorporation
This is the foundation of your corporation. It sets forth your business structure and recognizes your company’s name, purpose, location, and board members if applicable. It’s a legal document that is filed with the Secretary of State or other company registrar and can be accessed by the public.
It would be easy to onboard clients and get started without defining what you’re offering—after all, you want your company to take off. However, it’s crucial to spell things out clearly for customers. Take your client agreements seriously. In addition to providing legal protection, client agreements can help prevent resentment when you feel your time or efforts aren’t valued. They can also protect you from lofty client expectations that aren’t communicated to you.
Before you schedule the first interview, you’ll want a well-defined employment agreement. This includes position, wage, benefits, responsibilities, confidentiality, termination, and more. It should clearly spell out your parameters and safeguard both the business and the employee.
Anything your business leases (space, equipment, etc.) requires a lease agreement. It should be clear and concise.
Partnership agreements safeguard those who go into business together and clearly spell each party’s responsibilities and contributions. The agreement includes names, the duration of the partnership, contributions to the business, labor and authority, how to add partners, and what happens if a partner leaves the business.
Disclosure, Non-Compete, and Privacy Agreements
These types of agreements fall under the same umbrella and help keep your business protected on multiple levels. Anyone who works for your company should understand what they can and can’t share, and what can and can’t be shared about them. It also addresses how you’ll protect your customers. Clarity is essential.
Work with a Professional
Working with an attorney before you start your business can help protect your company and you. They’re able to examine your business to help you determine which documents are necessary and include any provisions specific to your situation. Even though it will take some effort to work through the necessary documents, it can save you a lot of time, money, and stress later on if something goes wrong.
Do your due diligence when exploring what you’ll need legally. These documents are only the beginning. You’ll need both legal and non-legal documents, such as a business plan, documents for becoming a LLC or sole proprietorship, financial plans, and more.
An experienced attorney can assist you in getting your business set up and safeguarded – without the headaches of trying to figure out everything you need on your own. Contact Ogborne Law to discuss creating a strong legal foundation for your business. We’re here to help you scale the legal mountain, and turn your business dreams into a reality.
Engaging with an attorney to protect your family is never an easy step. Whether you need to protect your family from the unthinkable or restructure your family through collaborative divorce, we’re here to help. When you’re ready to schedule a consultation with Michelle Ogborne, please visit the scheduling page to get started.