Starting a New Business
Beginning a new business is an exciting time. Whether it is a lifetime dream or the outgrowth of your passion, your new venture raises a lot of questions. What are my options? What are the consequences of those options for control, growth, or taxes? How do I pick? What do I pick? Can I change after I pick? These are just some of the things you should think about. Your particular situation may create a host of others. For a low reasonable fee, we can brainstorm these and other questions with you and help you make an informed choice.
Creating a Corporation
If you are considering incorporating, there are several choices to make that depend on these questions and others: How many shareholders do you have presently? How many shareholders might you have? Do you need different kinds of stock? What type of business are you going to operate? How many employees will there be initially? In 6 months? These are examples of some of the questions we ask anyone who indicates they wish to incorporate. From the information we gather, we help you decide what type of corporation and craft a useful and flexible agreement to govern how the organization will function.
Or Would You Rather Be an LLC?
Limited Liability Companies are sort of a hybrid or mash up of organization styles. They have aspects of sole proprietorships (just you by yourself), partnerships (you and at least one other person) and corporations. They can be more flexible and more easily managed. But they are not for everyone or every situation.
Under many circumstances, there is more than one person involved in starting the business. The law defaults such an organization into a general partnership with the ability of each person to bind all of the others, to incur debt for the business and the partners, and put everyone’s personal assets at risk. All too often, business “partners” fail to adequately discuss their rights and responsibilities to each other at the outset of their business relationship. Further, few partners reduce these discussions to writing, creating ample opportunity for future confrontation when one party has a different recollection than the other.
All businesses hope to grow. After deciding what form your new venture will take, deciding when to add new employees is perhaps the single most important decision a business owner will make. Various state and federal statutes may require you to take additional action and create additional opportunities for your business. With more than 20 years of experience advising businesses on employment matters, we know the questions to ask to help you decide the best course of action for your business as it grows and prospers.
Employee Hiring, Retention and Detention
Georgia is an “at-will” employment state. This means that in many circumstances neither the employer nor the employee need a reason for ending the employment relationship. However, if you are over a certain size, Federal law may require you to identify and articulate a business reason for your employment decision. Nonetheless, regardless of your size, you may want to understand your obligations as an employer before adding or reducing staff as the economy and your business improve.
Policy and Procedure Manuals
Just like managing your relationship with your business partners, you will want to manage your staff’s expectations and obligations to your business. One of the best ways to manage is by creating a written policy and procedure manual that describes how you want your employees to conduct themselves and what you expect of them. We can discuss your options and provide an effective means of creating a manual that is tailored to your particular business and means of managing.
Trade Secret and Noncompete Agreements
Georgia is a very favorable state for businesses to protect their ways and means of doing business. Whether it is your customer list, your price and vendor list, or how your particular processes or means of doing business are memorialized, you will want to protect this crucial information. We know what questions to ask and what can be done to protect your interests.
If you already have an agreement in place that you believe has been breached, we can go to court for you and seek to have it enforced. The loss to your business if your trade secrets or means of doing business are stolen can be immeasurable. A court can act to protect your hard work from a disloyal former employee who seeks to take your efforts and profit by them.