The process of deciding whether and how to start a business can be a very daunting task. I know how tough and scary the process can be as I went through it myself in deciding to open my own practice. I would like to share a little about my own story with you today in the hope that you may learn a little more about the process of starting a business as well as to share a little more about myself.
I have always dreamt about being a business owner. When I was a small child, my plan was to own a library to help homeless people. I was going to use a section of the library to give people somewhere to sleep. I then wanted to use late fees and donations to provide these individuals with the tools, skills, and resources to help them acquire a job and get back on their feet. As I grew older, I quickly realized the impracticalities of this idea. However, I never gave up on my dream of being a business owner.
I decided to go to law school to acquire a skill set that would allow me to help others. I am going to be honest, when I graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, and was sworn in as an attorney I became rather lost. After dedicated three years of my life to nonstop studying, I was unsure about what to do next. I ultimately decided to follow my heart, face my fears, and open my open practice. Although it has been a long emotional road that many have not known I have been traveling, with the support of my husband, I ended up turning down a very good job offer at a local law firm to pursue my dream of being a business owner.
Knowing I had an interest in owning a business, I focused a lot of my course work in law school on issues related to business law. I acquired the knowledge to help me be a business owner and to be able to advise other business owners. In opening my practice, I went through the same decision making process that every business owner must go through. You will need to start by evaluating your abilities, skill set, tolerance for risk, and sources of finance. Then you will need to evaluate, among other things: (1) what type of business entity you want to form (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company); (2) laws or regulations that may be applicable to your business (i.e., employment and environmental laws and regulations); and (3) options for obtaining financing. Each of these decisions will have long term consequences for your business. For example, in choosing which entity you want to form, you will want to consider different formation expenses, operating requirements, management decision, and liability and tax consequences.
Making these evaluations and starting a business is just the beginning. Once you are a business owner the decisions and potential legal issues that might arise will continue. It is always easier to proactively identify and plan for issues than to remedy them after the fact. If you are thinking of starting a business, or are a business owner and have not talked to an attorney, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-655-0487 to start a discussion.