Middletown, MD, Business Lawyer
Starting your own business can be an exciting time. Running a business offers a sense of freedom from the “grind” of employment. Middletown, MD, is a great place to be your own boss. At the same time, business ownership carries many responsibilities. You might have started your business because you have a passion for the product your business makes or the service it provides. If your passion does not extend to the day-to-day details of business operations, though, you are not alone. A baker opens a bakery because they love to bake, and probably not because they love managing personnel records.
Business owners are responsible for everything from keeping the lights on in the office to making sure the customers are satisfied. It can be a heavy burden, but a Middletown, MD, business lawyer can help. They can advise you of your rights and obligations as a business owner, help you devise strategies for your business, and stand by your side if and when challenges appear.
Rebekah Lusk and Steven Bright of Lusk Law, LLC are not just business lawyers near Middletown, MD. They are small business owners themselves. They own and operate a horse boarding facility in Union Bridge, MD. Rebekah and Steven understand the challenges that come with business ownership. They seek to build long-lasting relationships with clients so that she can help them to grow and prosper.
What Does a Middletown Business Lawyer Do?
The term “business” generally refers to organized activities that provide goods or services to customers. A business could consist of one person working in their garage, or it could be a vast multinational enterprise that employs thousands.
Business owners have legal obligations and needs regardless of the size of their operation. A business lawyer begins their representation by getting to know both the business owner and their business in order to understand their goals, identify their concerns, and assess their needs.
A Middletown business lawyer can draft important documents for business formation or corporate governance, as well as contracts relating to business services, employment, and other areas. They can advocate for a business owner should a problem arise, such as a customer who is not paying their bill or a competitor who has raised a legal dispute.
When Do I Need a Middletown, MD Business Lawyer?
One could argue that it is never too early to speak to a business lawyer near Middletown, even if your business is still only in the “idea” stage. An attorney can help you plan your business and prepare in advance for potential pitfalls. Obtaining legal advice early on in the process of building your business can help you avoid problems further down the road.
It is also almost never too late to seek a Middletown, MD business lawyer’s services. If you find yourself needing legal advice because of a lawsuit or other dispute, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing any important deadlines.
How Can a Business Lawyer serving Middletown Help Me?
A business lawyer serving the Middletown area can help you in a wide range of areas. They can also direct you to resources that will help you with specific needs.
You do not need to form a business structure, such as a corporation, in order to run a business. An informal business structure like a sole proprietorship or general partnership can have advantages for some people, but it can also leave you vulnerable to liability for your business debts. A corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or other formal business entity protects you from liability, but it might involve more paperwork. A business attorney in the Middletown, MD area can advise you about the best way to organize your particular business and then prepare the paperwork.
Your business needs clear guidelines on how to make important decisions, especially if it has two or more owners. You will need to know how to address disagreements between owners. Perhaps most importantly, you will need a plan for how to divide the business’s profits among the owners. Governance documents, such as partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, or corporate bylaws, are a critical part of keeping a business running smoothly.
A business relies on relationships with vendors, landlords, employees, customers, and others in order to function. Carefully-drafted contracts can protect the rights and interests of both the business and the other parties. Your Middletown, MD area business lawyer can identify where contracts are most needed and can draft effective agreements.
Your business might need certain licenses or certificates from the state, county, or city to operate. Your business attorney in the Middletown area can advise you on what you will need, and they can assist you with completing the paperwork when you need it.
Labor and Employment
You will most likely be an employee of your own business, at least when you are getting started. As you build your team, you will need employment agreements and policy manuals for your employees. Your Middletown, MD business attorney can help you prepare for obligations and claims under laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Risk Management and Safety Compliance
Your business attorney in the Middletown area can identify the risks your business will most likely face and advise you on how to mitigate and manage those risks. They can also help you understand your obligations to maintain a safe and accessible workplace under laws like the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets
Your business might depend on the value of brand names, logos, designs, formulas, or other intellectual property. A Middletown business lawyer can identify what needs protection under trademark, copyright, or patent law.
You may also need to protect trade secrets, meaning confidential information that does not qualify for intellectual property protection under state or federal law, but which would cause you harm if it were no longer secret. Your Middletown business attorney can draft non-disclosure agreements and other documents for trade secret protection.
You might need to obtain financing for your business, either to fund operations as a startup or for a particular project or venture. You will need legal guidance on how bringing new investors into your business will affect issues like ownership and governance.
Mergers, Acquisitions, Reorganizations, and Sales
As your business grows, you might find that it would be advantageous to acquire another company or to merge your business with another organization. You might find yourself and your business in a situation where reorganization would be beneficial, such as by converting a partnership into a corporation. You could find yourself with an offer to buy your business that is too good to pass up. In all of those cases, the advice and advocacy of a business lawyer are indispensable.
Businesses often pay different taxes than individuals and families. Depending on how your business operates, you could owe multiple types of taxes to the IRS and the Comptroller of Maryland. Your Middletown, MD business lawyer can assist you with understanding the kinds of tax liabilities to expect.
Owning your own business means that you are responsible for every aspect of its operations. Over time, you will build relationships with employees, customers, vendors, and others. Many of these people may come to rely on your business in different ways. You can ease everyone’s mind by letting them know that, should something happen to you, the business will continue to operate. A succession plan determines who will be in charge if you are unable to run the show.
Lawsuits can come at a business from many different directions. An employee could sue for an alleged violation of laws dealing with wages, overtime, or employment discrimination. A vendor could sue for alleged breach of contract. A customer could sue based on a claim that a product your business makes is unsafe. The list could go on.
A skilled business lawyer near Middletown, MD can advocate for your rights once a lawsuit has been filed against your business and help you file a lawsuit if you have a claim against another person or company. They can work to negotiate a settlement, or they can fight for you in court. They can also help you avoid many lawsuits before they ever begin by drafting solid contracts and other documents, and by monitoring your compliance with various laws.
Get Help from Middletown, MD Area Business Lawyers at Lusk Law, LLC
Rebekah Lusk and Steven Bright are experienced business attorneys near Middletown, MD, and advocates for life’s obstacles and opportunities. Their team at Lusk Law, LLC is dedicated to helping businesses and business owners with a wide range of challenges.
If you are thinking about starting a business, or if you have questions about a contract, lease, or other business law issue, please fill out our contact form or give us a call at (443) 535-9715.
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