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5 Steps to Start a Small Business

female owner with digital tablet standing behind sales desk of florists storeStarting a business is an exciting opportunity in your life. There are a few legal considerations to take while undertaking the journey. McLario provides a few legal steps to starting a business to begin your new entrepreneurial adventure.

Step 1 Choose a Business Name

How to Choose a Name for Your Business

First brainstorm a list of names that reflect the kind of business you want to start. Once you have a list of potential names, narrow it down by considering whether it conveys the right message about your business and if it’s available as a domain name and trademark. Each state has some sort of entity name check and requirements. McLario’s Wisconsin Business Attorneys can ensure the name you have chosen is one of a kind.

After choosing a name for your business, you need to take steps to ensure it’s legally protected. It includes registering the name as a trademark and setting up a company with the relevant authorities.

Step 2 Choose a Business Structure

There are several different business structures to choose from when starting a small business. The most common business structures are:

Sole Proprietorships – Individually Owned Business, Not Formally Organized

Partnerships – Business Owned by Multiple People, Not Formally Organized

LLC – Limited Liability Company, US Private Limited Company

Corporations – Registered Business, Separate Legal Entity

To find the right business structure for your business, talk to a Wisconsin business attorney at McLario to put together a custom business structure that meets your needs.

Step 3 Create Bylaws and Operating Agreements

Why Do I Need Bylaws and an Operating Agreement?

Bylaws are the rules that govern how a corporation is run. They set out things like the directors’ powers, the officers’ roles, and the procedures for holding shareholder meetings.

An operating agreement is a contract between the shareholders determining how you will run the business. It includes the percentage ownership of each member, how profits and losses will be distributed, and what happens if a member wants to leave the LLC.

Both bylaws and operating agreements are important documents to have in place when starting a small business. They help to protect your business and ensure that it runs smoothly. Let us help protect your business.

Step 4 Determine How to Pay Yourself

One of the advantages of being a small business owner is that you get to decide how much you pay yourself. However, it’s important to ensure you’re paying yourself a fair wage for your work.

You also need to consider things like taxes and superannuation when you’re setting your salary. Speaking to an accountant or tax agent about how much you should pay yourself is a good idea.

Step 5 Get and Keep Organized

What Records Should I Keep?

As a small business owner, you must keep accurate records of your income and expenses. It will help you stay on top of your business, especially your finances, and prepare your tax return. You should keep records of all your transactions, including invoices, receipts, bank statements, and contracts.

If you’re interested in starting a business in Southeastern Wisconsin, contact the McLario Firm.

 

Related Resources

5 small business startup mistakes to avoid

How to maintain positive relationships with business partners

How to avoid being sued

 

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