When Should You Have an Attorney Help You Start a Business?

If you're thinking of going into business for yourself, you can typically file for a business name and open your doors or start taking orders without an attorney's help. However, there are times when it's best to have an attorney or some type of business advisor assist with starting up your company. Note when this might be recommended and why their services can be beneficial.

When registering a name, trademark or patent

As said, you can usually register a name with your local government office and open your business, but if your chosen name is close to another business name, the other business may have rights to force you to choose another name. You may also not need to register the name if you're working under your own name but may need to register if you're a partnership or anything but a sole proprietorship.

Trademarks, patents, logos, slogans and other such business wording may also need to be registered with the government office, but in these cases too, you may be infringing on someone else's current registration. At the same time, if you've made enough adjustment to a current product, trademark and the like, you may still be able to register it under your name. As it can be confusing to know your rights and potential liability for all these different scenarios, it's good to consult with some type of advisor before registering anything needed to start your business.

If you need licensing for the business

Are you starting a business that involves some type of trade or professional service? If so, you and your staff may need certain licensing, even for work such as caring for pets, driving a forklift, watching children and such jobs that you may not think need licensing. To ensure that your business doesn't get shut down for having an unlicensed workforce, check with a business advisor as to what types of licensing are needed, how they should be displayed, when they need to be renewed and so on.

When you're not sure how to handle taxes

If you're selling something or providing certain services, you may need to charge taxes to your customers and pay those taxes to the state. If you don't know if certain products or services should involve a sales tax of some sort, be sure you check with an advisor about what should be taxed, what doesn't need to be taxed and how to collect and then report those taxes to the government, so you don't face fines or even criminal charges for improper handling of those tax dollars.

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