Business Formation Lawyer in Virginia
What to Know About Corporate Law
When you first set up shop and begin business operations, a business formation lawyer in Virginia knows that business succession is probably one of the furthest things from your mind. For most who go into business for themselves, they likely are hoping that their business will have a long and successful run, even in future generations. Many business owners don’t feel that they need to have a lawyer to assist them in setting up their operations and other agendas. However, there are many benefits to having a business lawyer who has experience handling a variety of scenarios. Whether you are planning to pass your business on to a family member, your business partner, or sell it to another party, it will be important that you put the time and effort into planning with a trusted Virginia business formation lawyer.
A business lawyer there for you at your side can help you further your business goals and protect yourself from threats such as litigation. It is better to have a lawyer help you prepare for situations so you can set up a plan earlier, than look for one just when a problem arises. Whatever your business needs are, a lawyer can provide their advice and assistance so that you are making the best decisions for your company. Dale Jensen, PLC can assist you in meeting all of your business planning needs by providing you with:
- Lawyers who can help you to clearly understand the business succession planning process
- Lawyers who can simplify the process so that you are able to move through the process with ease
- Listen to all of your business succession planning needs and assist you in achieving them
- Present you with all of our options
- Assist you in getting all of your affairs in order
- Careful assessment of your specific situation
- The peace of mind you deserve
You need an experienced lawyer on your side so that he or she will make sure you don’t miss a single detail with your business plans. Even one little mistake can completely mess up your business and your plans for the future. Having a trusted business formation lawyer assist you early on in your planning can help you prevent basic mistakes. Going through legal documents and assembling your business plans on your own can be risky, because you could be missing important information. You need to have someone who knows the ins and outs of business formation to make sure you are set up for success from the very beginning. Mistakes made during the business formation process can result in critical setbacks or delays that could hinder the success of your business. A good business formation lawyer in Virginia knows the laws in the state and what to be on the lookout for when creating a business. They have extensive experience helping business owners, and are familiar with every step of the process. They will make sure you are making the right choices and that your plans are accurate, detailed and complete so that you are ready to move forward with the launch of your business. Without a good foundation, your new business can crumble. Contacting a business formation lawyer should be one of the first things you do when creating a business.
Business Succession Plans
A business succession plan is important for any business, no matter the size and even if you are just forming your business. The purpose of a business succession plan is to have a streamlined and clear process for who will manage your business after the current owner steps down. They can plan for the unexpected and even the inevitable retirement. These plans help to ensure a smooth transition and help to maintain transparency, communicating the plans to the next people in charge. Without a structured and detailed plan, it will be much harder for the successors to understand how to operate the business moving forward. When businesses do not have a clear succession plan in place, they put the future of their company at risk. When planning your business succession, you will have a number of decisions to make. Drawing up a solid and clear plan is certainly something you will want the assistance of a knowledgeable VA business formation lawyer for. The following are important tips to bear in mind when business succession planning:
- Do not wait before it’s too late to start your business succession plan
- Identify who will step into key positions within the business
- Be clear and upfront with family and business partners regarding your plans
- Consider carefully who you would like to take on leadership roles within your company
- Communicate your succession plans to family members and take the time to listen to any concerns they may have
- Slowly start implementing your succession plan before retirement, to ensure a smoother process
Although it can be easy to delay this process, doing so can put your business at risk of crisis within your business. A business succession plan should be completed well before you need to use it. Failing to do the preparations to make a business succession plan can be a costly mistake that can hurt your business in the future. Without a plan, your successors may not know what tasks or issues to address within your business first. Call Dale Jensen, PLC to discuss a succession plan as early as the business formation stage so that we can guide you in the process of business succession planning.
Planning for the future of your business is not something to be taken lightly. It is not something that you should leave up to chance. Although the plan may not need to be implemented for quite some time, it’s absolutely necessary that you put together a business succession plan for when the time comes. The earlier you work on your plan, the better. At Dale Jensen, PLC, we know that the idea of developing a business succession plan can feel overwhelming. Our services can provide you with a thoughtful, clear, and straightforward way to safeguard the future of your business.
4 Mistakes to Avoid When Forming a New Business
Deciding to start a new business is simultaneously scary and exciting. There are many benefits to running your own business. You can set your own hours, do work you enjoy, and choose who you work with. However, not every new venture succeeds. As every business formation lawyer in Virginia knows, many businesses fail within the first few years because they are not properly set up. Listed below are four common business formation errors that can lead to failure, financial hardships, and legal ramifications.
1. Not Contacting a Lawyer
Many entrepreneurs fail because they never consult an attorney. Business and corporate law is not something to mess around with. It is complex and often tricky to navigate. Hiring a quality business formation lawyer in Virginia, like the ones here at Dale Jensen, PLC, helps set your business up for success. You can avoid many legal and financial problems by contacting a legal representative right from the start.
2. Messing Up the Money
Incorrectly initially funding your business can be detrimental. You may underestimate your costs or overestimate your needs and take out a loan that is too much to handle. These miscalculations may lead to company, personal, or financial ruin. You might also over or undervalue your product or services which might destroy your profit margins and/or deter your customers.
3. Getting the Name Wrong
A good name can make a company and a bad name can break it. You need to consider both the full name and any acronyms that come from it. You do not want your business abbreviation to accidentally spell out a curse word or an undesirable concept like B.O. unless that is what you wish. There are also have legal concerns to think about. You should contact a business formation lawyer in Virginia to help you find and/or create a name that is not already trademarked or in use by another entity. These sorts of naming mistakes sometimes turn into lawsuits.
4. Failing to Plan Ahead
Neglecting to create a succession plan or not arranging to properly compensate your employees may have dire consequences. Not planning ahead could mean total operation failure or legal issues for your successors. Designing and deciding things beforehand also helps you to appropriately figure the finances, correctly register your company, and efficiently manage your time.
Starting up a business is no easy task, but it can be a rewarding one. Contact Dale Jensen, PLC today to talk to a talented business formation lawyer in Virginia. Allow us to help you get your enterprise off the ground and running right because helping make your business a success is our business.
What to Know About Corporate Law
Corporate law includes a body of laws and regulations that oversee the formation of companies. Business entities have their own regulations to follow that dictate how they should conduct their operations. These laws include the rights of all the people who are involved in owning and operating a company. Corporate law is complex. You need to work with a lawyer who has the right experience and knowledge of corporate law, as well as the related For anyone who is not familiar with corporate law, it can be incredibly difficult to understand. It is therefore generally a good idea to speak with an experienced Virginia business formation lawyer before making any assumptions about your rights and/or obligations under U.S. corporate law. It is best to understand your full legal options so that you can be as prepared as possible. The experienced team at Dale Jensen, PLC is always available to clarify corporate law matters that affect startups and/or existing business entities.
When You Should Hire a Business Formation Lawyer
When You Choose Your Name
Before you start your business, you need to choose a business name. However, not every name you consider will be available. Because your business is registered in your state, your name must be unique in your state’s business registry. Therefore, you need to conduct in-depth research to ensure that your chosen business name is available. A business formation lawyer in Virginia, such Dale Jensen, PLC, can help you by searching Virginia’s business name database through the Secretary of State website.
However, you also need to ensure that your proposed name isn’t trademarked or copyrighted by another company. This requires a visit to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Your attorney should have access to the Trademark Electronic Business Center, where your trademark search will begin.
Finally, you need to check whether the URL you want to use is available. If you want to use your proposed business name and the URL is already in use or purchased, your attorney may try to negotiate with the owner to purchase the web address.
When You Choose Your Business Structure
Dale Jensen, PLC can help you determine what business structure is best for your company. When you start with the proper structure, you avoid legal or tax issues down the road. For example, while sole proprietors have favorable tax options, their personal property is often exposed to business liabilities. Your attorney can help you limit your personal liability while protecting your company. Legal professionals understand the tax implications of each business structure. They can also help you understand the startup costs of each option.
When You Need To Draft, Negotiate and Sign Contracts
In many cases, the courts will uphold any contract that isn’t outright illegal. As a new business, if you don’t have adequate experience with writing and negotiating contracts, you can be easily taken advantage of. A business formation lawyer in Virginia can help you create and negotiate contracts with your vendors, customers, employees, etc. that benefit your company. They can even help you with lease agreements or real estate purchases. Because these attorneys are adept at contract negotiation, you may gain a competitive advantage through the deals you make.
When You Have Proprietary Intellectual Property
Intellectual property, such as software, processes or product designs, needs to be protected. Because your intellectual property can give you a competitive advantage in the market, your legal right to use and sell this property needs to be assured. A business formation lawyer in Virginia can help you fill out and submit paperwork for a patent, trademark or copyright for your company’s intellectual property.
Corporate Law – The Basics
The first step to understanding corporate law is to understand what a corporation is. Corporations are legal entities and are separate from their owners and shareholders. Corporations conduct business in their own names rather than in the names of the owners. Limited liability means that the owners cannot lose more than the company during litigation. Not all companies are constructed as corporations. However, the concept of “corporate law” does extend to non-corporations as well, depending on the regulations in question. The terminology of business law is complex and confusing. Getting familiar with this specific area of law can be difficult for anyone who does not have a legal background. Thankfully, a Virginia business formation lawyer can answer any questions you may have about this area of the law.
Generally speaking, the point of corporate law is to regulate business operations so that American companies (and foreign companies conducting business in the U.S.) operate on the same playing field. These laws are meant to help businesses. They are not generally put into place to make it more difficult for businesses to succeed. With that said, when new businesses run into regulations that make it difficult for them to get off the ground, a Virginia business formation lawyer can help them navigate the legal challenges they face.
Is Corporate Law Criminal or Civil?
Corporate law is not generally criminal law. If a company has a dispute, then it can go to a civil court to resolve it. Now, this does not mean that officials cannot face criminal charges. They are protected when it comes to business liability. This does not mean that they cannot be held accountable for fraud or other criminal acts. Corporate law exists for civil solutions.
Who Are Corporate Lawyers?
Corporate lawyers may work for large law firms or smaller firms. Normally, a corporation’s legal needs are significant. If a company has legal issues, they may need advice on a variety of topics. It’s important for there to be experts in a variety of areas of business law to best serve a business client. When launching a business, it is a good idea to work with a Virginia business formation lawyer you can trust, who has extensive experience assisting companies like yours.
What Types of Licenses Does a Small Business Need?
Understanding the kind of licenses and permits that small businesses are going to need to open a location is something that a business formation lawyer can help you with. These licenses and permits are going to vary depending on the industry, and the location of the business. Business licenses and permits are going to be issued at the federal, state, city and/or country level. All businesses will need a city or country business license while most businesses will also need a Federal employment identification number. Your lawyer can help you determine if you need an EIN and help you to apply.
What Tax Obligations Do Businesses Have?
Understanding what tax obligations you have as a small business owner can help you greatly when it comes to paying for your taxes to the IRS. Your business formation lawyer can help you understand that there are going to be some startup tax issues that you must be aware of, and they are going to help you be able to keep good records, and ensure that you keep your personal and business taxes separate. Businesses are also able to deduct certain business expenses which may lower taxes that the business owes.
What Types of Legal Structures Can My Business Have?
Understanding the legal structures that are available for your business to have such a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability companies and corporations can better help you decide just how you want to run your business. Each type of structure is fundamentally different and is going to have its own requirements for formation and maintaining status. Your business formation lawyer can give you tips on this. The better you understand the type of entity or the legal structures that follow entities the better you are going to be able to decide what type of business you would like.
What Are Fictitious Business Names?
Fictitious business names are a business name that is going to be different from the legal business name on file with the state, and if this is a sole proprietorship it would be the business owner’s name. Fictitious business names must be registered with the state and the country, however registration requirements do vary from state to state and therefore you must check with your lawyer and your state’s laws in regards to fictitious business names.
What Is Par and No Par Stock?
Par value or stock has a stated value on his face and will represent the minimum worth of the shares. No par value or stock is going to have no stated value. A business formation lawyer can help you adjust whether you have par value or no par value stocks and how much of each you have.
I’m Not a Citizen…
Even if you are not a US citizen you can still set up a US company. In fact, working with the business formation lawyer from the very beginning will streamline this process. If you plan to do business in both the US and overseas you will need a variety of documents which your lawyer can help you acquire and file. Your lawyer can also advise you on the various laws that may surround running a business in the United States and overseas.
Founding a Startup – Basic Considerations
If you are thinking about founding a business startup as a corporation, you’ll need to make many decisions concerning the formation of the company before you can officially found your startup. How do you figure out which kind of corporation is best for your company’s needs? When looking into legal entities, you may want to consider S-corporations or C-corporations. After reviewing this introduction on the basics of both models, consider connecting with an experienced Virginia business formation lawyer from Dale Jensen, PLC to explore your options in greater detail. Once you have all the information you need, you can make an informed decision concerning your company’s legal structure.
Basics of Each Model S-Corporation
An S-corporation may also be referred to as a subchapter S corporation. These companies are taxed on the personal returns of shareholders, not at the corporate level. This model is bound by similar compliance obligations as C-corporations are. C-corporations are standard, traditional corporations. Shareholders have stock in the company and share ownership of the business. Like the S-corporation, C-corporations have to pay fees, issue stock and hold share and director meetings.
Differences Between S and C-Corporations
When it comes to the differences between S and C corporations, there are three main categories to consider. These categories include:
C-corporations use corporate tax rates, whereas S-corporations allow business profits and losses to be reported on an owner’s personal income tax returns. When it comes to business formation, C-corp is the most common and default type of corporation. Therefore, it is important to speak with an experienced Virginia business formation lawyer about the potential benefits and drawbacks of each approach. Would your company be best served by being an exception to the default rule? Or would a traditional model better serve your mission? A Virginia business formation lawyer can help you answer these questions.
One of the most significant differences in terms of business structure involves restricted corporate ownership. C-corporations are more flexible than S-corporations. If you want to expand your business or sell it to another business, then you might want to choose a C-corporation for its flexibility. C-corporations do not restrict business ownership. You can have as many shareholders as you want and benefit from having different classes of shareholders.
S-corporations, on the other hand, can only have up to one hundred shareholders. These shareholders must be citizens or residents of the United States. C-corporations allow for foreign investors. S-corporations are also limited to one class of stock. You can only have one type of shareholder, rather than there being a hierarchy between shareholders. Ownership classifications, financing limitations, and taxation issues are arguably the most important reasons to carefully consider both models before you land on one or the other. It may help to consult with a Virginia business formation lawyer ahead of time to figure out which formation structure best suits your startup’s mission.
For more information from a Virginia business formation lawyer you can rely on from Dale Jensen, PLC, please contact us now.
Key Steps to Starting a Business
When starting a business, several critical decisions will need to be made, and our business formation lawyer Virginia business owners recommend can help walk you through the process. Forming a business is not for the faint of heart, and the process of getting things up and running can be complicated. Unfortunately, there’s far more involved than hanging your shingle and turning on the open sign. Whether you are a large company or small start-up, Dale Jensen, PLC can provide the proper support in taking the right steps:
Step 1: Choose Your Business Formation
One of the most important decisions business owners can make early on is to choose the right type of business to form. It’s beneficial to have a lawyer assist because each type offers different advantages. You will need a professional who can listen to your specific needs when choosing a formation; examples include:
- Sole Proprietor
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- General Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Limited Liability Partnership
When choosing a formation, it will be essential to consider liability, how taxes are paid, and more, so having our team by your side will be beneficial.
Step Two: Draft Your Business Plan
The business plan is a formal document that outlines your business’s goals, further outlining your financial and operational objectives. This essential document will act as a roadmap for your business and help draw investors to your business. Our Virginia business formation lawyer shares that there are several vital elements to a business plan, for example:
- Executive summary
- Description of company
- Market analysis
- Description of products/services
- Marketing plan
- Management breakdown
Step Three: Register Your Business
It will be necessary to register your business once you have chosen the proper formation. To ensure that your business is a legitimate legal entity, you must register the business with federal, state, and local agencies. When enduring this process, you must first choose a name for your entity. This will be critical as it can be how consumers, investors, and other professionals identify you. Know that some business names may be trademarked or taken by another entity. Our firm can help ensure that your business name is unique to your business and avoid the possible legal issues that could arise should you choose a name that is already trademarked by another.
Let Our Experience Be Your Guide
When forming a business- don’t skimp; hire a lawyer you can trust and rely on from Dale Jensen, PLC. While forgoing a lawyer may be an attractive option because of the cost savings associated, know that, in the long run, you could end up with costly problems later on. If you are in the process of starting a company, legal counsel is critical to safeguarding your business. We can ensure that you:
- Choose the right formation
- Avoid litigation from common formation mistakes
- Protect intellectual property
- Assist with developing the business plan
- Ensure that contracts are drawn up and valid
These are all crucial steps you need to take in order to make sure your business is running legally and is protected from all of the common problems that people have when they start a business. You likely have never done this before, and even if you have, are likely not well versed in Virginia’s business formation laws. We will make sure we look over every single aspect of your business beginning to ensure you are protected and that your business can thrive.
Hire Us So You Can Focus on Yourself
It is important to hire a business formation lawyer so you can focus on your own business and what you are an expert on. By hiring our experienced legal team, you can rest well knowing that you are in good hands. We will take care of the legal work so that you can focus on expanding your business and flourishing in the ways only you know how. They will be there to guide you through every step of the way. We are dedicated to providing you the highest quality legal services so that you can run your business smoothly and efficiently.
One of the greatest things you can do when creating a business you are passionate about is delegating the paperwork and other important things — but ones that don’t directly have to do with your business — to other people who can help. By hiring experts to do all of the necessary legal work, you can focus fully on the growth and development of your company. You can focus more fully on marketing, getting your name out into the world, and how to best serve the people your business caters to. We will take care of all the “behind the scenes” work that needs to be done. You just need to pay attention to the things that directly affect your business and how you can be the best in your field.
What Are the Most Common Types of Business Taxes?
A business is a separate entity that has its own tax identity. If you have started a business, you should be aware that the business finances are different from yours, and the company will have to pay its taxes. Here are some common types of taxes associated with running a business.
If your business has employees, it will be responsible for filing and paying payroll taxes. Payroll taxes include income tax withholdings on behalf of employees, the employer’s portion of social security and Medicare taxes and unemployment taxes. Payroll taxes have to be filed quarterly or monthly, depending on the size of your payroll. In addition, the business will have to file a year-end return.
You could be personally liable for any taxes withheld from your employees’ paychecks if the business does not pay them. Your business formation lawyer in Virginia can advise you of who in the organization may be responsible and steps to take to make sure that the taxes get paid. The business is solely responsible for any taxes that are considered the employer portion and are not withheld.
Your business will be responsible for collecting sales tax on all transactions for any retail sales of products. The company must pay the collected sales tax to the Virginia Department of Taxation. The Virginia Department of Taxation can hold you personally liable for unpaid sales taxes if you are a corporate officer. A lawyer with the firm of Dale Jensen, PLC can assist you in the setup of your business to make sure that the officers are correctly named on the incorporation documents.
Most corporate entities are required to file a separate income tax return. Depending on the structure of the entity, no tax may be due. Instead, the income from the business may get reported on your individual tax return. Your business formation lawyer in Virginia with the firm of Dale Jensen, PLC, can provide information on the different types of entities that allow the income or losses from the business to be claimed on your personal return.
If your entity set up requires you to report the business income on your individual return, the company must prepare a K-1 reporting document. If your corporation has been established without electing to pass-through income to the shareholders, the business will have to pay any tax liability owed when the return is filed.
Contact Our Business Formation Lawyers Today
Starting a business involves a variety of factors, and with the assistance of Dale Jensen, PLC, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you have taken the proper steps towards success. Please don’t delay contacting our business formation lawyer in Virginia; we can act as your guide when in the initial stages of business formation. We will make sure all of the important legal issues are taken care of, so you can rest easy knowing that your business will run smoothly with our law firm there to back you. Don’t hesitate, though. Do not hesitate to receive legal assistance from a trusted business formation lawyer. You never know when legal issues may arise so it is best to be prepared. Contact our firm today to learn more.