As the year begins, you might be considering either changing jobs or finding a way of earning extra income by starting a business. You are likely excited about the new opportunity but then may realize there is a lot of legal considerations involved.
If you decide to start a business there are some steps you will need to follow to set up your business to ensure you are protected. Speaking with a competent Wisconsin business attorney can help answer your questions and speed up the process.
Below are some of the steps of starting a business in Wisconsin:
1. Decide on the business structure
The first step is to decide whether you want to start a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. All these business structures have their own merits and demerits and often which is best tends to be more specific to your industry.
There are tradeoffs from the least formal with the least personal liability protection to the most formal and most protection.
• Doing Business As (DBA) or Sole Proprietorship
• Limited Liability Company (LLC)
• Corporation (S-Corp, C-Corp)
Whatever type of business you form it is always a good idea to have it in writing especially if there are multiple owners involved.
Listen to this video for more details: What Business Structure Should I Choose?
2. Choose a name for your business
If you are starting a corporation or an LLC, you will have to check to search your name from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions to ensure that no one else has a similar name. This is also referred to as a business entity search and can be done on the DFI website.
3. Develop your Bylaws and Operating Agreements
The next step after finding a name is to create your bylaws and operating agreements. A part of this is deciding where your business will operate. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of running a business out of your home.
• Are you in a condo that might have restrictions?
• Are there safety concerns if people are coming to your home or know your home location?
• What are the tax implications?
These can all get pretty involved and could have a future impact on the sale of your home that you might not initially think about. Understand the full scope before you make the decision and what else needs to be included in your bylaws and operating agreements.
4. Obtain Permits and Licenses
This involves things such as tax registration, Employer Identification Number (EIN), and regulatory licenses and permits. You should look for an experienced business attorney in Wisconsin to help you with acquiring some of these permits.
5. Hiring the Right Team
The good thing about hiring a lawyer from McLario Helm Bertling & Spiegel is that he or she will stick with you even after your business is up and running and will get to know the specifics of your business. In addition to a business attorney even if you are a solopreneur you should consider these individuals as part of your team of experts:
• Mentor/circle of advisors that can provide insights to help you as you grow
The most important thing to remember is that when things get tough why you decided to start a business or make a change.
Check out these additional FAQs for small business owners