5 questions to ask yourself when setting up your new Florida business

Starting a new business venture can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. There are so many decisions to make and papers to shuffle as you deal with issues of registering with state agencies, licensing and permitting, financing, hiring employees and securing the right location. There are many hoops to jump through and, if you miss just one, you may face serious frustrations later on.

A brief search on the Internet can quickly overwhelm new entrepreneurs with information. In order to guide you in the right direction, here are a few important questions you need to ask yourself as you establish your new business:

What type of entity should I choose?

The type of entity that is best for your new business depends on your unique circumstances. The number of co-owners, the type of industry, the amount of projected income and the financing backing needed are just a few factors you should consider when choosing a business entity. Issues of taxation, operational complexities and exposure to personal and corporate liabilities vary according to the type of business form you choose.

Do I need to put everything in writing?

One sure way to invite legal disputes, internal disagreements and litigation is to base all of your agreements on handshakes and oral promises. Contracts and written agreements can save you and your business a lot of time and money and help you avoid frustrations, even lawsuits. Get in the habit now of creating a contract for every scenario you face as a business owner, partner or manager.

Some examples of must-have contracts include:

  • Dividing duties, rights and liabilities between co-owners
  • Requiring new or departing employees to not compete with your business
  • Leasing office or warehouse space - even if it is a relative's garage

What do I need to know about securing a commercial property?

All agreements regarding real estate must be in writing in order to be legally binding. Do your due diligence and verify that local zoning regulations allow your type of industry at your chosen location. Some zoning laws may limit the number of clients you can have at your place of business, especially if you are located in a residential neighborhood. If you rent, will your gross income determine your monthly rent or are you locking your business into increasing payments for multiple years? Whether you lease or purchase a property, always review the fine print with your lawyer.

Can I avoid business disputes?

There is no way to avoid every potential dispute during the development and operation of your business. A disgruntled customer may file a frivolous lawsuit that damages your business reputation. A vendor may refuse to honor its contractual duties, stalling production while you search for a new supplier. Your business partners may want to take the business in a different direction, contrary to where you wish to go. At some point, you may need to defend your business from litigation, resolve an internal dispute or recoup losses your business has suffered because of wrongdoing.

How can a lawyer help me?

The business lawyers at Kuhn Law Firm, P.A., have years of experience helping Florida business owners and entrepreneurs. Contact us for assistance at any stage of your business building process. We will help you choose the right business form, secure a property and draft documents that can help protect your business from liability.