Deciding to start a business is exciting, but there are also a lot of details that need to be dealt with in order to make sure that you are protecting yourself and your business from hiccups down the road that could be harmful. When looking at starting up a business in Virginia, here are some of the core concepts to consider and start with.
The business structure
There are different structures available for a business depending on what kind of business you are creating; how many people are involved and how to protect and divide your personal assets from your business. Understanding their differences and which one might apply to you is important to doing it right from the start. Each require different things so feel free to contact a business law attorney and/or tax professional to determine which is best and which is needed for each.
This kind of structure involves one or two people and the person who owns it is responsible for all debts and can move the earnings around as needed.
Similar to above, this kind of structure works the same for paying taxes, but this kind of structure would have a limited liability in legal standing just like a traditional corporation.
This involves partners in its structure, and the income and expenses are all spread out among the owners themselves. Taxes and debts are considered personal as with above, and one sole person can be considered responsible for all of it. It is always wise to have everything documented on how things are divided, where the liabilities for what lies, what happens when someone wants to sell or passes on so be sure to get your ducks in a row beforehand.
How to set up your business
When setting up your business, make sure you take care of the basic details is important once the structure has been chosen. Don’t forget to register your name and get an EIN so that you are officially designated as a business, regardless of your legal structure from the list above. This also helps to let you know whether your chosen business name is actually available.
A few essential details to think about for your new business
When you start getting into your actual business, make sure that you have a business plan in place. This typically includes a financial plan, a marketing and/or sales plan, a development plan, your product descriptions, goals, mission statement, standard operating procedures and more.
It’s good to know where your money is coming from, where it’s going, and how you want it to push your business forward. Understand what your goals are so that you can go back to them when you need motivation, too.
Consider your website. Is it going to give your business the professional feel that you want for it? Does it share the information that you need it to? Be sure to set up your business website and contact information from the start so folks can reach you in a more professional matter than your free hotmail email.
Also, it’s helpful to make sure that your business is going to be filling a need. What service or product are you providing and how will it be appealing to your target audience? Without a need, your company may be started without a solid foundation (and is just a hobby) which can lead to more problems down the line.
Starting a business can be a lot of fun and a profitable experience. However, doing it right is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped. Contact your tax professional for guidance on protecting your personal assets and then a business law attorney to be sure you are protected with your business with regard to liabilities on your own and when doing business with others. Valverde & Rowell is here to help with your business law needs.