2015 2 Column Inner

Legal

Return to Business Planning

Legal Structure
Sole Proprietorship
 is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and you, the owner. You are entitled to all profits and are responsible for all your business’s debts, losses and liabilities.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
 is a hybrid legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.  LLC members report profits and losses on their personal federal tax returns, just like the owners of a partnership would.
Cooperative
 is a business or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members.Cooperatives are common in the healthcare, retail, agriculture, art and restaurant industries.
Corporation (C corp)
is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders. This means that the corporation itself, not the shareholders that own it, is held legally liable for the actions and debts the business incurs.
Partnership
 is a single business where two or more people share ownership. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, including money, property, labor or skill. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business.
S Corporation (S Corp)
is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. What makes the S corp different from a traditional corporation (C corp) is that profits and losses can pass through to your personal tax return.
Resources
to help with the formation and management of your business.

Small Business Requirements

Online Course
This course will give you an overview of the legal requirements of small business owners so that you can know what your federal, state and local legal obligations are.
Online Resource Hub Contains various small business related laws and regulations (Starting a business, intellectual property, etc)

Business Registration
Naming Your Business
Resources to assist with the business naming process.
Registering your Business Name
Resources to assist with registering your business and also ensure that it is a unique and legal name.
Registering in Different States
Learn what business registration within different state agencies entails.

Advertising and Marketing Law
Federal Trade Commission Resources
FTC resources and guides to understanding advertising and marketing laws and how they apply to your business.

Employment and Labor Law
U.S. Department of Labor Resources DOL resources and guides to understanding labor laws and how they apply to your business.

Finance Law
Finance & Bankruptcy Resources Antitrust, bankruptcy, and securities laws protect the financial interests of small businesses and individual investors. Here is an overview on these important laws and how to comply.

Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Resources Steps in filing for patents, trademarks or copyrights are covered here, along with additional resources such as non-disclosure agreements. https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/learn-about-business-laws/intellectual-property-law
30 Minute Online Course
Learn about the importance of patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Crime Prevention
30 Minute Online Course This course will help you become aware of how crime can affect your firm and suggest ways to help prevent it.

Online Business Law
Sales Tax What you need to know before collecting sales tax online.
International Sales What you need to know to participate in international sales online.

Contracts
Formation Documents What they cover (type of entity, name, state of formation) and what can go wrong (risk personal liability, may pay higher taxes)

Governing Documents What they cover: Who owns the company, who makes decisions, board of directors, where money goes What can go wrong: No plan for founder leaving, no agreement on who can make decisions

Non-Disclosure Agreement What they cover: Confidentiality, of what, how long What can go wrong: Confidential info. isn't protected

Non-Compete/Independent Contractor Agreement What they cover: Keep employees from competing with company, what business area, how long, and where What can go wrong: Key company info. take to competitor

Proprietary Information and Inventions Assignment (PIIA) What they cover: Rights of company in inventions, rights of employee/contractor in inventions What can go wrong: Company may not own its key assets

Employee Handbook: Creating a good employee handbook to help during hiring

Pre-Employment Background Check: How to preform these checks in a proper and legal way

Templates + E-Signature
Online Database Legal contract/document templates curated by an online community. Also allows for e-signing documents.
E-Signing Important Documents