Gainesville/Jonesville Business Lawyer
It’s easy to start a business in Florida, right? As a Gainesville business attorney, I often joke with my wife that I could sit down over a cup of coffee at the Jonesville Starbucks and before it’s cold, I could have a dozen new businesses filed with the State of Florida. Would these businesses protect me personally without more? Nope.
Whether you are starting a new business in Gainesville or Jonesville or the surrounding areas, or already own a small business that is growing, the modest amount of money you will spend talking to an experienced Gainesville business lawyer could save you thousands down the road.
As a small business owner, you will need to decide early on what business entity is right for you-is it a limited liability company or LLC? An S-Corp or sole proprietorship? While the entity you choose is important and all will carry different tax liability, it is far more important that you understand how to operate and run your business to avoid personal liability the debts and liabilities of the business.
Continuing with the example above, you’ve registered with the State of Florida as an LLC and run to Office Depot and printed business cards with your new logo-you’re running a business now.
If your business plan is successful, you’ll be considering the following in a short time:
- Where do you deposit your accounts receivable?
- Are your employees actual “employees” or independent contractors? (Hint, just calling someone an independent contractor doesn’t make them one under Florida law.)
- Does your business need a line of credit or a lease?
- Should you be individually guaranteeing your contracts or commercial leases?
- Will your business be purchasing real estate?
Put another way, structuring and organizing your business in a way that protects you under Florida law practically requires an experienced business lawyer and in my 13 years practicing business law I’ve become convinced that no area of law is the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” more important.
Insurance for my business?
As a business owner, you will want to carry insurance-but what kinds and in what amounts will vary greatly depending on the nature of your business, number of employees, and a number of other factors.
For example, you want to start a business that involves leasing a storefront to sell lawn mowers. Naturally, you will carry general liability insurance, but do you also need workers’ compensation coverage? Do you need an excess policy? Renters’ Policy? Business loss coverage?
These are questions that an experienced business attorney can navigate in a short time and moreover, establishing early on a relationship with a local attorney that will take your calls as further problems arise is an integral part of any long-term business strategy.
Business Risk Exposure and Litigation.
The reasons for starting a Florida business are largely the same for all of us (even lawyers), you want to make a decent living and avoid the risk of being personally liable if the business does not succeed. For all of the above reasons and hundreds if not thousands more, an experienced local business attorney is a must.
It is therefore very important that you understand early on what your personal risk is as a business owner and how best to minimize it. It is equally important that you understand if and when it is necessary to litigate, or defend lawsuits against you.
If you are starting a new Florida business or have an existing business in the Gainesville/Jonesville area, call, email or text The Law Office of Thomas Robinson for a free consultation.
Talk to Tom today.