Starting a New Business?
When starting a new business one questions that must be addressed is what type of legal entity to form? We are ready to help business owners be successful in a complicated legal environment. Each business has its own particular challenges. Our goal is to help you address your legal issues as cost efficiently and effectively as possible. We have many years of experience on a wide range of business issues including business litigation.
Corporation or LLC?
A business may be formed as a corporation, a Limited liability company or LLC, a partnership or a sole proprietorship. To make this decision you will need legal advice as well as competent tax advice. While it is not always true, in many cases corporations and limited liability companies generally limit the personal financial risk for the business owners to those assets invested in the business. It may also be wise to use more than one entity, such as where one corporation or LLC owns the land where the business office is located with another entity owning the actual business. There are also tax and governance issues that may make one entity better than the other for your particular business venture.
An individual owner of a business may choose to do business without forming another business entity. An individual doing business as the sole owner without a created business entity is a sole proprietorship. The sole proprietor does not have any limitation of liability. There may be instances in which the accounting and legal costs or complications of doing business through a corporation or other entity is not the best choice. For example, if the business owner is performing services directly for customers it may be more important to have adequate liability insurance and legally sufficient releases and waivers to protect against liability from lawsuits. Ask your attorney.
Do It Yourself Filings?
It may be easy to file a corporation or LLC electronically with the Secretary of State, but the ease of doing so can be deceptive. The legal consequences of saving money on the 'front end' often lead to much higher legal costs on the 'back end' when unanticipated problems arise. We are experienced in drafting business start-up documents and in assisting business founders in the purchase of an existing business, whichever the case may be. It is important to have the advice and counsel of experienced and knowledgeable business law attorneys to assist in the negotiation of business start-up and creation, business purchases, shareholder buy-sell agreements, operating agreements between LLC members, employment and non-compete contracts and other such contracts. No matter the business issue, it is important for you to have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation.
Assisting Business Owners
Our Plant City business lawyers are ready to assist business owners in their quest to be financially successful. Whether it is assisting in the creation of a corporations, limited liability companies and other business start-ups, or pursuing or defending commercial litigation, the attorneys at Byrd & Barnhill aggressively represent business owners in their pursuit of success. There are many ways to plan ahead and be prepared for many of the common business legal challenges, such as having a buy-sell agreement, non-compete covenants and trade secret protection. Give the knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys at Byrd & Barnhill a call today at (813) 759-1224. No matter the business issue, it is important for you to have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation.
Even if you have created a LLC or corporation you should always make sure that you are signing documents, orders, contracts, checks and other binding documents on behalf of the business, and not as a individual. Many times contracts and other documents attempt to create individual liability on behalf of corporate officers, so BEWARE! On the other hand, care must be taken in making sure whether your customers are signing as individuals or only on behalf of their corporation or LLC. If you sell products or provide services to a corporation, for example, and do not get paid. You can only sue the corporation, which may be defunct.
Requirements for Registering a Fictitious Name
A sole proprietor or a business entity can operate, advertise and transact business under one or more trade names. These names are legally called "fictitious" names. No business may use a fictitious name in Florida without having registering it with the Division of Corporations of the Department of State so that anyone dealing with your business has notice of the actual person or entity that owns the business. A fictitious name registration is good for five years. Failure to register a fictitious name is a misdemeanor and prohibits you from filing suit in a Florida court until the registration requirement is completed. Failure to register a fictitious name and obtain a license under the fictitious name does not invalidate an otherwise binding contract, but any lawsuit filed by you, such as to collect money due, will be abated until the fictitious name is registered.