If you are considering starting your own business, congratulations. Entrepreneurship is an exciting and empowering endeavor. The pandemic has made it necessary for millions of Americans to leave traditional work models and has inspired many to start their own businesses that they can run from home and according to their own terms and availability. Knowing how to form and legally protect your business are necessary to build a strong and lasting foundation for your business venture.
Turning an Idea Into a Business
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your business and how you want to achieve it, it’s important to develop a brand. This brand usually involves a name, website, and/or retail location, and any labels, imagery, or esthetic used on packaging. You should pick a name that will clearly identify your unique product, and which another similar product does not already have. You can search the secretary of state database for Missouri to ensure that you pick a business name that is not already in use. You can then register your business with the state to receive a license. At this point, if you are planning on selling or offering services outside of just your state, it makes sense to contact an attorney to discuss getting a trademark for your brand or business name.
Deciding on a Structure for Your Legal Entity
There are a number of possible legal structures for your small business. The main thing to consider when selecting a legal structure is the amount of personal liability you want to hold for your business as compared to the amount of protection that you are looking for. A sole proprietorship allows your business to exist as an extension of you, whereas a limited liability corporation and corporation allow the business to be treated as its own legal entity. A limited liability corporation is one of the most common formats for small businesses and affords business owners the greatest amount of insulation from any liabilities of the business.
Registering Your Business
In order to register your business in the state of Missouri, you may need to file additional documents, such as the articles of organization or the articles of incorporation, depending on the type of legal structure that you select. A lawyer can easily help you to do this. While it may be tempting to use online templates, it is always easier to work through any legal issues specific to your company before they arise, as opposed to trying to apply a boilerplate agreement after the fact. A worker can help you and any business partners negotiate terms for your business that will equitably represent your interests moving forward.
Talk to Johnson Law Firm
If you are starting a business in Missouri, the experienced business attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm are ready to help. Contact the Johnson Law Firm today and schedule a consultation.