Do I Need a Lawyer to Start a Business in Florida?

Most first-time business owners ask, ” Do I really need a Florida business lawyer?” Experienced business owners know that the answer is a resounding “YES.” And most of them probably learned it the hard way. While it is not required by law to have a lawyer to start a business in Southwest Florida, it is generally recommended. SecureMark Legal can help you navigate the legal aspects of starting a business, such as choosing the proper business structure, complying with local and state regulations, and protecting your personal and business assets.

Here are some specific ways that a lawyer can help you when starting a business in Southwest Florida:

Formation and organization: To set up the business of your dreams, you first need to determine the steps you will need to follow to start the type of business you intend to run. Our team of attorneys can help you choose the proper business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation, etc.) and ensure that your business is properly organized and registered. Take a look at a few of the different business structures:

Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business with just one owner who pays personal income tax on the profit earned. Many do business under their own names. Due to a lack of government regulation, these are the easiest businesses to establish or to take apart. They are popular among sole owners of businesses, individual self-contractors, and consultants. Most businesses start as a sole proprietorship and transition to a limited liability entity or corporation.

Partnership: A partnership is a formal arrangement by two or more parties to manage and operate a business and share its profits. Partnerships can take on several variations. For example, all partners may share liabilities and profits in some partnerships. In others, partners may have limited liability. There is also the so-called “silent partner,” in which one party is not involved in the business’s day-to-day operations but still owns a share of the business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a business structure that protects its owners from personal responsibilities for its debts or liabilities. They are considered hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. Under the law, they possess many of the same rights and responsibilities as individuals. For example, they can enter contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets, and pay taxes.

They can often be referred to as a “legal person.” Corporations may be created by individuals or a group of people with a shared goal. It does not always involve making a profit.

SecureMark Legal can help you set up your business structure while ensuring you follow all applicable laws. Setting up your business structure is the first and most crucial step to starting your business.

Contract review and drafting: The first lesson every business owner needs to learn is that business contracts are the key to a successful business and, therefore, need to be drafted by experts. A lawyer can review and draft contracts for your business, including employment agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and supplier agreements. SecureMark Legal’s experienced Florida lawyers will work to ensure all of your contracts are bulletproof and help you possibly avoid future legal issues.

Intellectual property protection: Your business – your ideas. Protecting them is just as important as setting up your business. SecureMark Legal has experience in ensuring your business and brand are protected at all levels, from trademarking your name and logo to protecting everything your brand encompasses. Taking the time upfront may save you time in the end. Rebranding can be time-consuming and expensive. Our team of experienced lawyers can help you protect your intellectual property and ensure that your business follows intellectual property laws.

Compliance with local and state regulations: You may be required to register with your city, county, or state and obtain licenses or permits to become a legal business. The registration process can be complicated. Our experienced lawyers understand Florida law and what is needed to get your business legal. Let us help you get through your registration and go ahead and calendar your renewals.

You must conform strictly to the state laws governing your form of business. In some cases, a registered agent may be needed. Working with SecureMark Legal, your business will be protected at all times.

Working with an experienced lawyer is an upfront investment. But it can give you the short and long-term protection you need to focus solely on running your business. Having a lawyer to help you with these and other legal issues can provide peace of mind and help you avoid potential legal problems in the future. Are you ready to start your business? Contact us today, and let us help you.

SecureMark Legal is a dynamic, woman-owned law firm that seeks to take the mystery out of brand protection and really take that aspect of protecting business brands “off your plate” so you can focus on what you do best, running your business. We strive to break everything down for you in easily understandable ways and to really become a partner in your success.  We are based out of South Florida, but since trademark and copyright registrations are primarily Federal in nature, we are able to serve clients all across the United States regardless of where your business is based.

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