Step-by-Step Guide to Business Formation
You have a spectacular idea for a business, but for it to be successful, you want to set everything up correctly right from the start. Before you plunge into running the operations, it makes sense to get assistance of an experienced business attorney, who can make sure everything is done according to the law and prevent you from making costly mistakes.
Maryland business law attorney Rebekah Lusk and her associates are experienced in all aspects of the challenges facing business owners. We can make sure you get things done properly at startup, and then continue providing support to help you deal with both routine ongoing legal matters and problems that may unexpectedly arise.
Contact the attorneys at Lusk Law, LLC to gain a long-term ally for your business. Call (443) 535-9715 today.
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Business Formation
Starting a business in Maryland can feel overwhelming, but our lawyers can take the burden off you and guide you through the process. Here are some steps you should take from the beginning:
Step 1. Determine Your Business Structure
While you know what kind of business you want to start, are you aware of what is the best legal structure for it? Different structures offer you different protections against being sued, as well as different financial benefits for taxes and business financing.
Our attorneys can help you decide whether your business should be a …
- sole proprietorship
- partnership or limited partnership
- limited liability company (LLC)
- corporation or subchapter S corporation.
Many small businesses choose to become LLCs, as they are easy and inexpensive to set up and easy to manage, they prevent you from personal liability, and they have tax advantages as well.
Step 2. Pick a Business Name and Location
- Name — You need to have a legal business name. This can be the same as your brand name, or these may be two separate names. The legal business name will be listed on your company documents, and your brand name will be the one you are known as and use for marketing.
It is a good idea to keep your brand name simple, short, and memorable. Make sure you follow Maryland naming rules and that your name is available in Maryland and as a web domain URL. Register your domain name, and consider a professional email account (@yourcompany.com).
- Location – Decide whether you need a location that can be easily seen and accessed by your customers or whether you can choose a less expensive location or work from home. Even if you work from home, you will have to check local zoning regulations.
Step 3. Register for Required Licenses, Permitting and Taxes
Check your state and local requirements for relevant business licenses and permits, such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits.
For filing federal taxes, most businesses require a Tax ID Number, also called an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You also will need an EIN to hire employees and open a business bank account.
You may also have to register for:
- Maryland sales taxes, with a sales and use tax license registered with the Comptroller of Maryland, if you are selling products in your business.
- Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax, if you are hiring employees.
- For both kinds of registration, you can use the online combined registration.
- Professional and occupational licenses for certain fields. Check the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to see whether you need these licenses.
Step 4. Create Business Banking and Credit Accounts and Accounting Systems
Set up dedicated business banking and credit accounts that separate your personal assets from your company’s assets. Separate accounts are necessary to protect your personal assets, and they make it easier to file taxes and do accounting.
You should decide on an accounting system that both helps you track the performance of your business and simplifies your tax filings. In addition to hiring a qualified business accountant, there are several online accounting systems that can help. Quality accounting software can let you …
- Download your bank and credit card transactions
- Establish your startup and operating budget
- Track expenses
- Prepare taxes
- Manage accounts receivable and payable
- Track inventory
- Manage payroll.
Step 5. Get Insurance
Business insurance is required in certain fields, and it helps you manage unexpected risks that can harm your business. The most common types of business insurance include:
- General liability insurance – This can protect your business if someone is injured on your business’s property, and it covers damage such as:
- Property damage
- Medical payments from accidents on your property
- Personal and advertising liabilities
- Legal defense and judgment if you are sued.
- Workers’ compensation insurance — In Maryland, businesses with one or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
- Professional liability insurance – for businesses selling professional advice or services.
Step 6. Set up Business Contracts
Depending on your individual circumstances, you may benefit from certain business contracts:
- Employment contracts, agreements, and offer letters for full- and part-time employees and independent contractors
- Confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-compete agreements for protection if employees leave the business
- Lease agreements
- Partnership, franchisee, and ownership agreements
- Sales contracts, such as bills of sale and warranties.
How to Legally Form a Business —
Contact Small Business Lawyer Rebekah Lusk For Help
Maryland business laws are complicated, and making a mistake in forming your business can create problems that can only get worse over time. Getting legal assistance on how to form a business gives you the peace of mind of knowing everything is done correctly from the start and can save you time, money and aggravation.
At Lusk Law, LLC, we go out of our way to take care of the individual needs of each client and offer you guidance. Do not delay. Contact the Maryland business attorneys at Lusk Law, LLC to get help now and gain a long-term ally for all your future legal needs.
Call Lusk Law, LLC today, at (443) 535-9715. Advocates For Life’s Obstacles and Opportunities
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Step-by-Step Guide to Business Formation
You have a spectacular idea for a business, but for it to be successful, you want to set everything up correctly right from the start. Before you plunge into…