Business law is a vast set of codes, regulations, and laws that impact every facet of business operations, transactions, fund-raising, taxation, corporate financing, contracts, agreements, and mergers and acquisitions: these all come with specific rules and regulations that are critical to the strength and security of any venture or investment.
At Easler Law, our business attorneys educate clients on applicable laws, regulations, and best practices and represent them when necessary in all business law aspects, including planning, launching, managing, growing, and selling businesses.
Starting With a Business Plan
If you're considering starting a business, you've probably been told that you need to create a business plan. But what is a business plan, and why is it so important?
A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and how you intend to achieve them. It's essential to create a business plan early on in starting a business, as it will help you ensure that your business is heading in the right direction.
One of the first things you'll need to do when creating a business plan is to consult with an attorney. This is because many legal considerations must be considered when starting a business. An attorney can help you understand these legal issues and comply with all applicable laws.
Once you have consulted with an attorney and gathered the necessary information, you will need to start putting your business plan together. There are many different ways to do this, but one of the most important things to keep in mind is that your business plan should be clear and concise.
Some of the key elements that should be included in your business plan include:
If you take the time to create a well-thought-out business plan, you'll set your business up for success, and remember to reach out to an attorney if you have any questions about the business planning process. Hiring an attorney from the beginning can help ensure you take all the necessary steps to start your business on the right foot.
Launching a Businesses
When starting a business in Florida, there are a few things you'll need to do to get started, but with the proper preparation, you can start your business quickly and easily.
The first step is to choose the proper business structure. Several options are available, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. You'll need to consider your business goals and objectives before deciding which structure suits you.
Once you've chosen a business structure, you'll need to obtain the licenses and permits from your local county and city. This process can vary depending on your type of business, but generally speaking, you'll need to file paperwork and pay a fee.
After you've obtained your licenses and permits, you'll need to find a suitable location for your business. This is one of the most important decisions you'll make, as your choice of location will impact your business in many ways. Consider things like foot traffic, parking, zoning regulations, and more when choosing a spot for your business, and don't forget to have an attorney review your lease agreement.
Once you've secured a location, reviewed and signed your lease, it's time to start setting up shop! This process will vary depending on the type of business you're starting, but in general, you'll need to build or renovate your space, purchase equipment and supplies, hire employees, retain an attorney and find an accountant.
With all that taken care of, you're finally ready to open your doors and start doing business! Remember to market your business well, provide excellent customer service, stay up-to-date on all the latest legal aspects of your business, and don't forget about sales taxes!
Managing a Florida Business
If you're managing a business in Florida, you should know a few important aspects of the legal landscape.
The first thing to be aware of is Florida's "at-will" employment doctrine. This means that employees can be terminated at any time, for any reason (or no reason at all). Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule (such as if the employee has an employment contract or if they belong to a protected class), but in general, employers have a lot of leeway when it comes to managing their workforce.
Another vital consideration is Florida's workers' compensation laws. These laws provide specific protections for injured employees on the job, which can be pretty complex. Employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, and they must follow specific procedures if an employee is injured. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties.
Are you operating in Florida's tourist industry? There are also a few unique considerations for that industry too. For example, the state has strict laws about distributing tips among employees, and if you're running a business that involves renting out vacation properties (Airbnb included), there are special regulations you need to be aware of.
Let's not forget about agreements and contacts. Florida business law is unique and a crucial part of business management. Reviewing agreements and contracts may not be the most exciting task, but it's important to ensure that you're protected in case anything goes wrong; this is where a business attorney with real-world experience can help. They can review agreements, explain various contract provisions, and even recommend changes before you sign, giving you the confidence that you're protected.
When managing a business in Florida, knowing the state's unique laws and regulations is essential. Doing so will help you avoid potential pitfalls and keep your business running smoothly. In general, Florida is a great state to do business in. The legal landscape is favorable to businesses, and there are plenty of growth opportunities.
Growing and Operating a Business
Anyone managing a business also knows how crucial it is to have an exceptional marketing, growth, and operating strategy, including setting policies and procedures and ensuring they are followed.
When marketing your business, you will need to reach your target market and effectively promote your products or services. There are many ways to market your business, so make sure you explore all your options with a reputable marketing agency. Did you know that many contractor and professional licenses in Florida require special approval from their respective licensing board or specific legal language on advertisements?
Another critical aspect of growing your business is ensuring you have an business operating strategy that includes complying with all the legal requirements.
For example, to avoid legal issues, you must ensure that your business is correctly registered with the state and that you have all the necessary licenses and permits. You will also need to follow specific employment laws related to discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour laws and have a process to review and approve agreements and contacts.
In addition, you must have a clear understanding of your business' financials. This includes knowing your start-up costs, overhead expenses, and how to generate revenue. Without this knowledge, keeping your business afloat and making sound decisions about its future will be difficult.
A well-rounded business operating strategy is essential for any business owner who wants to succeed. By taking the time to create a comprehensive plan, you can avoid legal issues, protect your finances, and grow your business.
An experienced business attorney can help you navigate the legal landscape and ensure your operating and marketing strategy is tailored to your specific needs and above all else is legal and refer you to many trusted sources such as CPA's.
Selling a Florida Business
Selling a business can be a complicated and emotional process. The first step is deciding what number you think it's worth and what the business is worth to a potential buyer.
Valuing a Business
There are several factors to consider when determining the value of your business. Here are a few things to remember when putting a price tag on your company.
The value of your business is more than the sum of its parts. A buyer will be looking at the overall picture, including things like the reputation of the company, future growth potential, and existing customer base.
Your selling price should be based on comparable sales. Look at similar recently sold businesses and use those numbers as a starting point.
Be prepared to negotiate. In most cases, the initial offer from a buyer will be lower than your asking price. Be ready to counteroffer and reach an agreement that works for both parties.
Determining the value of your business is an essential first step in selling it. By considering all the factors involved, you can come up with a number that reflects your company's actual worth-many sellers also hire a business broker in addition to an attorney to help you sell it.
Exit Strategies and Legal Issues
Once you've decided to sell your business, there are a few legal issues to consider. First, you'll need to choose an exit strategy. Several options are available; the best one for you depends on your circumstances.
Choose to sell to another company.
Sell to a group of investors
Sell to the employees
Sell to kids or family members
Sell the assets and close the business down
Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to weigh all the options before making a decision.
If you decide to sell to another company, you will likely receive a lump sum of cash for the business. This can be a quick and easy way to exit the business, but it may not be the most profitable option in the long run.
If you decide to sell to a group of investors, they will likely take over the business and continue to run it. This option can provide some stability for the employees and customers, but it is important to ensure that the investors are committed to the business's success.
If you decide to sell to the employees, they will become the new owners of the business. This option can be beneficial because it allows the employees to have a say in how the business is run. However, it is essential to consider the employees' financial stability before making this decision.
If you decide to sell to your kids or other family members, it is crucial to ensure they are prepared to take over the business. This option can be an excellent way to keep the business in the family, but it is essential to have a plan for how the business will be run.
If you decide to sell the assets and close the business down, you must ensure that all the assets are sold and that the business is closed correctly. This option can be beneficial if you are ready to retire if the business is not doing well or no longer has relevance in the marketplace.
Regardless of your chosen exit strategy, you should consider the many legal issues when selling a business. These include succession planning, contracts, taxes, and intellectual property. It is essential to consult with an attorney to ensure that all legal issues are considered before selling your business.
Selling a business can be a complicated and emotional process. The first step is deciding what number you think it's worth and what the business is worth to a potential buyer, consulting with an attorney and other relevant professionals to ensure a smooth and, most importantly, successful sale.
The Role of a Business Attorney
If you're starting a business or expanding an existing one, you must have an attorney on your team. A business attorney can be valuable to your company, providing legal advice and guidance on various issues.
What role does a business attorney play in startups?
There are many legal issues to consider when starting a business, from city and county licensing and business structure to drafting and reviewing legal documents such as an LLC operating agreement, lease, employment, and service agreements which help you avoid many common pitfalls most people make when starting a business that startup without an attorney.
What role does a business attorney play in an existing business?
Attorneys can provide valuable guidance on a variety of legal issues that may arise in the course of running your business. For example, if you are considering expanding your business into a new state or hiring employees, an attorney can advise you on the legal implications of these decisions and help you navigate the process.
In addition, business attorneys can review and negotiate contracts on your behalf, ensuring that you are protected in any agreement. They can also help resolve disputes or represent you in the litigation process.
Having a business attorney on your team ensures you have someone to turn to when legal issues arise. With their help, you can avoid costly mistakes and keep your business running smoothly.
The Difference Between a Startup, Corporate, and Business Attorney?
Startup attorneys are typically focused on helping startup companies get off the ground. They may help with everything from the incorporation of a business and applying for business licenses to drafting initial employment and operating agreements and providing general business advice.
Corporate attorneys typically work for larger companies and help with mergers, acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs), compliance issues, corporate governance, and acting as general or outside counsel.
Business attorneys can work for either startups or larger businesses, but their focus is usually on more general legal matters such as business formation, contracts, intellectual property, and business litigation. While startup and corporate attorneys may specialize in a particular area of law, business attorneys tend to have a more general practice.
No matter what stage your business is in, it's essential to have an experienced attorney on your side. With their help, you can avoid legal problems.
When to Retain an Attorney
The earlier you talk to an attorney is often the better. Before you even name your company for incorporation, you’ll need to verify that someone didn’t already register it with the state. Easler attorneys can help with that too!
If you are just starting, it is probably a good idea to have at least a couple of the important elements of the business in mind, such as who and where your target market is, how you will be conducting sales, and where you might want your business to be in the next year, five years, or ten years. You’ll also want to consider funding sources, location, partners, and more.
One of the most important things you can do when planning, launching, growing, managing or selling a business is to make sure you’re structuring your business and its various dealings in a way that best fits your goals and purpose.
You’ll also need to review any documentation to ensure that any agreements or contracts you enter are valid, enforceable, and drafted with beneficial terms and conditions. You should always speak to an attorney long before you begin any advertising or sales. Even better, before you hang that shingle on your storefront!
What to Expect From an Attorney
Every business idea is unique. This means what worked for the last person will not necessarily work for you. We will need to know everything we can about your business or business idea and your plans for the future. Taking that into account, we can provide several paths to reach your goals. Starting a business? Let’s talk about corporate structure. Taking a company public? Let’s talk about securities compliance.
Most paths, though, start with the basics: who, what, when, why, and how.
In addition, you’ll want to bring along any paperwork you already have – financial statements, contracts you’ve entered into, names of any affiliations or partnerships you’ve already established. Most importantly, though, is a list of questions for your attorney. You’ll make the most of our time together if you come prepared with written notes about what you need to know.