Starting and running a business is about far more than merely filing the necessary paperwork with the Massachusetts or New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office. Whether you have an existing small business, are considering starting a new company, or own rental properties, it is important to consult with an experienced corporate attorney to provide guidance about liability protection, succession planning, and estate planning. We can help you choose the right entity for your needs, form the entity, plan for emergencies, plan for eventual succession, draft and review contracts, and provide assistance with many other needs that arise when owning a small business. This allows you to focus on what you do best—run your business!
Do I Need to Incorporate My Small Business?
You don’t have to, but you may want to! Most businesses fall under one of the following categories:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited liability company
Creating a new entity for your business can provide you with valuable liability protection, allow for easier growth and transition of ownership of the business, and create alternative management options in the event of death or incapacity. A knowledgeable attorney can help you decide the type of entity that is right for you.
Why Do I Need a New Hampshire Small Business Lawyer?
Whether you are forming a new entity or already have a successful business in place, a corporate attorney can help make sure your assets are protected. Consider the following scenarios:
- For years, your family has run a small gift shop in downtown Newburyport. The business is an S-Corporation and your father is the sole shareholder. One day, your father has an unexpected heart attack, and you realize that he had no business succession plan in place, no shareholder agreement, and no buy-sell agreement. Who will be able to step in manage the business and keep it running?
- You and your wife decide to buy a vacation home on beautiful Lake Sunapee or a beach cottage at Hampton Beach. You rent the property as an Airbnb or through sites like Homeaway or VRBO. What happens to your assets if a tenant slips and falls on the property and sues you, claiming negligence?
- You run a consulting company from your home office in Portsmouth and you are finally ready to seek out professional office space. How do you know if the commercial lease is fair to both the landlord and the tenant? If you are buying the space, should you consider separating ownership of the real estate from ownership of the business?
These are just three examples of the many legal issues that can arise when it comes to choosing the right entity for your needs and managing your own business.
Why Is a Massachusetts or New Hampshire Limited Liability Company Helpful?
LLCs have become a popular choice in recent years for very good reasons. They are inexpensive and flexible entities that serve many useful purposes. Even if you do not have a traditional small business but instead own investment property that you rent out to tenants, an LLC can be an excellent vehicle to protect your other assets. Among other benefits, an LLC:
- Provides liability protection without as much upkeep and formality as a corporation
- Allows for pass-through tax treatment
- Is inexpensive to maintain
- Can be incorporated into your estate planning to allow for an easy transfer of control in the event of your incapacity or death
Running a business takes hard work and dedication. Don’t let a failure to consider the legal issues related to the business put your efforts at risk. We are here to help put your mind at ease and let you focus on doing what you love. Complete our easy online form below to schedule a consultation.