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What to Ask When Starting a Business

Before starting a new business, entrepreneurs frequently overlook basic issues that should be addressed in contemplating the start-up of a new business. The following are some issues which should be discussed with professionals experienced in the field of business law and taxation before starting a new business venture. To discuss your new business venture (or the organization of your current business) with experienced professionals, contact us.

  1. What is the nature of the business in which you wish to engage and do you possess, or have at your disposal, the special capabilities, experience and skills required to succeed in this particular business?

  2. Who will be the principal competitors of the new business? Have you adequately analyzed your competitors and formulated a comprehensive plan for effectively competing in the relevant marketplace?

  3. What are the anticipated monthly expenses of the business venture? Have you fully investigated and considered expenses such as machinery and equipment; furniture and fixtures; inventory; supplies, rent or mortgage payments; decorating or remodeling costs; maintenance costs; insurance; employee payroll; legal, accounting and other outside services; research and development; marketing expenses; telephone and other utility costs; shipping and delivery costs; license and permit fees; security deposits; financing costs; and taxes?

  4. What are your contemplated sources of initial capital for the new business? How reasonable is your expectation that capital can be obtained from such sources? How will such capital be infused into the business and protected from potential claims?

  5. If more than one "principal" will be involved in the new business, have you fully considered and addressed such fundamental issues as the amount and form of your respective capital contributions; control of the business; day-to-day management of the business; sharing of profits; and liability for losses? Have you discussed or negotiated a Partnership or Shareholders' Agreement to avoid problems in the future?

  6. What legal form should the business adopt? Sole proprietorship? General partnership? Limited partnership? Corporation? Close corporation? Limited Liability Company? Professional Corporation? Have you considered the pertinent advantages and disadvantages of each available organizational form in respect to such issues as structure and control, liability exposure, tax consequences, and start-up and ongoing maintenance costs?

  7. Have you given due consideration to the selection of the desired business name? Has the propriety of the use of that name been adequately investigated? Have you considered whether measures are warranted to protect that name from use by others?

  8. Are there any legal impediments to you or any prospective key employee becoming associated with the new business? Employment agreements? Confidentiality agreements, restrictive covenants or non-solicitation agreements? Fiduciary obligations? Other common law or statutory restrictions?

  9. Are there any applicable license or permit requirements which must be satisfied as part of the start-up of the new business?

  10. Do you have a solid, beneficial relationship with a lawyer, accountant, banker, insurance broker, and other professionals who can timely, competently and cost-effectively deliver the services likely to be required by the new business?

The attorneys of Bellas & Wachowski Attorneys at Law have extensive experience and are knowledge about the various problems that must be addressed in the start-up of a new business. George Bellas has been practicing law since 1973 and has acted as an advisor to many new business ventures. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss the particular needs of your new business venture.