You should be operating your business in a way that protects your assets, and minimizes the risk of future legal problems. Are you doing enough? If you take some time now to review your
business’ legal status through my legal checkup, you will learn what you are doing well, and what steps you can take to improve your legal position. I will also help you prioritize the steps
you still need to take with the understanding that most small businesses
and individuals have limited resources.
What is a Legal Checkup?
- Talk to the owners and get to know their business, its products and/or services, their goals,
and their future plans.
- Review the major business documents, including incorporation and minutes of director or partner meetings, shareholder/ partnership agreements, employment agreements, etc. I will suggest what changes should be made to the documents that do exist and what additional documents should exist.
- Review the business website, if there is one, and the legal documents associated with the website. Again, I will suggest what changes should be made to the documents that do exist and what additional documents should exist.
- Review the business's short and long term intellectual property protection plan and recommend any appropriate changes.
The legal checkup does not include revising or drafting documents.
Cost: There is a flat fee based on the size of the business. Please ask for a quote.
Creating a Business Entity
Most businesses should be operated as a formal business entity, either a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In the state of Washington it is very easy to register a business entity online. This is fine for very simple businesses. But if you intend to have partners, attract investors, or maybe one day sell the company, then you need a better set of documents than the state registration process will provide. For a flat fee I will help you decide which type of business entity is best for you, and then prepare a set of documents, and register your business. I also offer fast turnaround for a small additional fee.
My fee covers preparing all of the essential paperwork, including the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for corporations, Certificate of Incorporation for LLC’s, and Minutes of the First Annual Meeting.
The filing of the first annual report to the state, the filing of a state master business application, a request for IRS employer tax ID number, and if desired, a Sub-S election with the IRS, are not included with this service. I also recommend that corporations have a shareholder/ partnership agreement. This is an optional internal document that is not filed with the state (see below).
Every company that has more than one owner should have a shareholder or partnership agreement. For a fixed fee, I will discuss your needs with you, and then prepare a good agreement that covers all of the basic terms that you need.