This is the fifth post in our series on starting a business in Santa Ana or elsewhere in Orange County, California. Our last post discussed the need to maintain corporate protection after your company is formed. Failing to do so can result in an owner facing personal liability. In this article we will address a question which we have been asked many times – “do I need an attorney to start a business?” While a lawyer is not required to begin your new enterprise, there are many ways in which hiring counsel can be useful.
A start up is not required to retain an attorney to form a business entity. The forms for beginning an LLC, or other form of business, can be obtained through the Secretary of State’s Office. Also, other required documents (such as operating agreements) can be gained through a website such as Legalzoom.com. It is important, however, to recognizes that these are “one size fits all” type solutions. There may be issues which arise in the future of your company which would not be covered under such a solution. If, for example, a partnership dispute arose and your written agreement did not foresee the subject of the dispute then an extremely messy court battle could ensue. Given that the purpose of written agreements and corporate documents is to avoid disputes, using a generic form may not necessarily be the best thing for your company.
A business law attorney can assist you in drafting the necessary documents to begin your business. Examples of such documents can include:
- Forms related to business formation
- Partnership agreements
- Employee contracts
- Employee handbooks
- Confidentiality agreements
When preparing such paperwork on your behalf a lawyer can take steps to gain an understanding of your company, your goals, and of problems which may arise in your future. Mechanisms can be written into your agreements which either prevent such problems or provide a method for dealing with them. By hiring counsel to focus on legal technicalities you become able to focus on the most important thing – your business. These are things which should be considered when deciding whether or not you need an attorney to start a company.
Our Santa Ana business law attorneys assist California start-ups and existing companies with a wide range of legal issues. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service the Orange County areas of Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.