Legal Advice for New Business Owners in the Charlotte Area
When starting your new business, the most important initial decision you can make is to hire an experienced lawyer who will give you the guidance needed to keep your business out of legal hot water. The structure of your business has an impact on your tax exposure, business succession plan, and legal liability exposure. Choosing the right business entity and having all the necessary corporation documents will ensure your business is setup for success. The Charlotte business formation attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland guide new business owners through these complex initial decisions.
From online start-ups to brick-and-mortar establishments, our attorneys in Charlotte have experience advising businesses in a wide variety of industries. When hiring Weaver, Bennett & Bland, you can expect to receive legal advice that is tailored to your business and its unique needs. Unlike some attorneys and a majority of online business formation companies, we don’t just print out a form document and have you sign on the dotted line. Each client is different, and a cookie-cutter approach to business formation and legal advice often leads to future headaches.
Our business formation attorneys can assist you with the following services:
- Selecting the right business entity (Limited Liability Company, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.)
- Filing articles of incorporation
- Drafting bylaws, shareholder agreements, and operating agreements
- Drafting employee handbooks
- Creating employment agreements & independent contractor agreements
- Business succession planning
- Drafting business purchase and sale agreements
If you are thinking of forming a new business, contact the Charlotte business formation attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland today at (704) 844-1400. Our new clients often have detailed questions about forming a new business. We’ve included answers to some of the most often-asked questions below:
Why do I need a business entity?
Without a formal business entity, you’re putting your personal house, car, bank account, retirement account, and all of your other assets at risk. If you’re ever sued—even if the lawsuit is baseless—the individual or business suing you can attempt to satisfy any judgment with your personal assets. A business entity acts as a shield for your assets, formally separating your personal and professional life.
The relatively minimal cost of creating a business entity certainly outweighs the risk of operating a business without these important protections. By creating a business entity, you’ll be able to sleep well at night knowing you and your family’s personal assets are protected.
What business entity is right for me?
The answer depends upon several variables. Are you going to be the sole owner, or will there be several owners of your business? Do you plan on self-funding your business, or will you sell ownership to investors in exchange for start-up funds? What type of tax liability are you comfortable with?
If you plan on being the sole owner of your business and you are self-funding your start-up, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is often the best choice. The benefits of an LLC include an inexpensive filing fee, simple annual state compliance requirements, minimal record-keeping mandates, and non-burdensome taxation rules. However, if you’re planning on selling ownership in your company in exchange for start-up funds from outside investors, a corporation (either S-Corporation or C-Corporation) will likely be the most appropriate choice. After forming a corporation, you can sell stock or even give it away to employees as compensation.
Why should I hire Weaver, Bennett & Bland instead of using one of the major online business formation companies?
Online companies like LegalZoom.com and RocketLawyer.com provide business formation services in each state; however, pulling back the curtain of these online juggernauts reveals two secrets you don’t often hear. First, the business formation services you pay for are typically a form driven, one-size-fits-all approach. Second, the legal work is often farmed out to a law firm that’s the “lowest bidder.”
Every business is unique. Churning out a form for each and every new business doesn’t adequately account for your needs. What happens if you, as a business owner, become disabled? Would you want your family to inherit your ownership, or would you want your ownership top pass to someone else? If you get into a dispute with your business partner, how would you want your ownership interest to be valued? Answers to these questions—any many more—are unique to every business. The form-driven approach used by the online companies glosses over these important topics in favor of a universal solution that often results in disaster.
How much will it cost me to hire Weaver, Bennett & Bland?
Our attorneys in Charlotte provide flexible and cost-efficient options for business formation. We always offer a free 1 hour consultation to discuss your business needs. At this consultation, we’ll learn about your new business and you’ll leave knowing the exact type and scope of legal services appropriate for you, along with the cost of these services. You’ll probably be surprised when you compare our rates to the online companies.
We offer either by-the-hour business formation services or flat/fixed fee services. Many times, clients prefer the flat fee for business formation—you’ll know exact what all of our legal work costs in advance. No surprises.