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Do I Need a Lawyer to Start a Business in Albany, NY

Do I Need a Lawyer to Start a Business in Albany, NY


The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
 
- Nolan Bushnell


Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the American economy. Small businesses make up 99% of all businesses, employ half of all private sector employees, and have generated two thirds of new jobs in the last two decades. Every day, thousands of Americans embrace their dream and start their own company and grow the American economy. Check out 1-2-Law.com for resources to incorporate your business or form an LLC.

Entrepreneurs know they'll need a good business plan, some expert help, a little start-up money, and a lot of dedication. A small business owner may need to pick a name, choose a business structure, obtain permits and hire employees.

Picking a unique name allows you to obtain trademarks and copyrights, differentiates your business from competitors, and makes your brand more memorable. See if you can register the web url for your business name dot-com. Look up the U.S. Patent & Trade Office's database for your exact name, misspellings, or similar names. Check with your county clerk and your Secretary of State to make sure your business name is unique. If your business is going to be a corporation, LLC, or limited partnership, you will have to register your name with your Secretary of State as well. Finally, register your name on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.

There are several business structures to choose from and each has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, an LLC protects you best from liability. A sole proprietorship is the easiest business structure to set up. However, it provides the least amount of financial and legal security compared to other business structures. Partnerships are more complicated than sole proprietorships. Partners generally share profits and losses equally and do not get a salary from their partnership. Forming a partnership does not require a written Partnership Agreement, although it is highly recommended.

Incorporating may involve more paperwork on an ongoing basis and may increase taxes, but they also shield owners from liability and provide the infrastructure for corporate stocks.

Creating a Nonprofit Organization is an option for organizations that aim to do public good rather than turn a profit. Nonprofit status, provides limited liability protection and may qualify for tax exempt status, access to grants, and receive tax deductible donations. There is far more paperwork and scrutiny for NPOs. A nonprofit's finances are open to public inspection and it is not owned by its founders; if an NPO dissolves, its assets are usually given to another NPO. If assets are used for private benefits, they can be seized.

No business is too small to incorporate and the time it takes to form a corporation, LLC, or non-profit at 1-2-Law.com is minimal.

There are a number of tasks that you may be able to accomplish without the expense of a lawyer: 1) form your own partnership, LLC or corporation; 2) create your own partnership agreement, LLC operating agreement or shareholder's agreement; 3) apply for your business employer identification number (EIN); 4) apply for the required business licenses and permits; 5) lease commercial space; 6) interview and hire employees, and complete the necessary IRS paperwork; 7) research and reserve a trademark or trade name for your business; 8) file a fictitious business name statement if you will do business under a different name; 9) research and reserve a name for your corporation or LLC; 10) apply for and reserve a domain name, if you will do business on the Web.

If you're set up as a sole proprietorship or partnership, it might be a good idea to get liability insurance. If you're going to need buses, vans, or cars, you should insure those too. And looking into general business insurance is always a smart choice.

Only you can decide if hiring a lawyer is right for you. Check out 1-2-Law.com for listings of lawyers in your neighborhood.
 
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