Do I need a lawyer to incorporate?
We are in the early development stage still for our mobile app. I've hired a lawyer to draw up contracts, mainly for taxes purposes, but I'm wondering now if this is something I could do myself OR if I can revisit hiring a lawyer when we are progressing at a faster rate. Any advice?
No any Good Accountant or Company Formation Agent can help you with this.
No need really. The following company provides excellent services. Will both handle the incorporation steps with State and Federal. Also now provides trademark services. I used them: www.incorporate.com remarkably customer support both online and actual human follow-up calling.
I used an attorney when I formed my LLC, It only took two days to get it done. I have Legal Shield service and they did the LLC very quickly. It is worth the cost.
It depends on what state your in but generally you can go to your states site and register yourself for a lot cheaper.
My company does a lot of backend development in the mobile app industry, we are white-labeled with some of the top app developers in the US. I also have software startup experience aside from that. Speaking from both direct and observational experience, just as you've seen in your advice, many options seem to work. My observation is that yes, you can do the simplest processes yourself. One resource nobody mention that I could see is your local SBA office/SCORE. They can help and also give you another perspective, especially help with state-specific issues and issues that later may be of concern with the IRS. I sit on panels with their people all the time in startup groups and while some are a bit conservative for tech sectors, generally their advice is sound. And they're free For sure, if you consider SBA loans now or future, their guidance will help package you for that option. If you are bootstrapping and need/want total control, you might want a very simple structure until you have either prototyped, started earning revenue or acquired investment partners. Protection of intellectual property at all stages and control/limits of hired-for-work contractors will be crucial no matter what your corporate structure.
The advantages in hiring a lawyer at this stage is the protection he or she will give you in writing your 'Articles of Incorporation' when forming a corporation or 'Articles of Operating Agreement' when forming an LLC. I have written a book, 'The Business Plan and Beyond' that covers the key areas you should watch for when developing your company structure and Business Plan. It is available on Amazon as a paperback or kindle book. The development of your Business Plan is a key part of your company's development. Sometimes I find entrepreneurs are so excited about their products or services that they fail to take the necessary steps to protect themselves in the future.
The best advice I ever heard was attributed to Abe Lincoln (proved wrong as uit was not is trade) when he sent a bill to a man for $50 for surveying his land. "$50," said the man. "For putting 4 stakes in the ground?" "You're right," replied Abe and he resubmitted his bill.
Putting 4 stakes in the ground...$ 4
Knowing where to put them ...$46
The same applies to use of a lawyer. If you are knowledgeable about accounting and/or business and you know the differences between business types, e.g., sole proprietor, partnership, C Corp, LLC, LLP, then you can do it yourself at MyCorporation.com or LegalZone.com. I have 15 registered at MyCorporation and it is a simple process. I was also a partner in one of the top CPA firms, so I understand the differences.. Do you?
Mr. Bryan this is my advise for you.
The laws that govern business operations varies from one country to the other. For example if you are operating in a country like mine (Nigeria) i would have said you should go ahead with operation without necessarily hiring a lawyer. Therefore i would rather suggest that you check the laws & regulations of business operations in your country and see if it will warrant doing business with or without a lawyer. I know in some cases even acquiring license for operation requires the services of a lawyer. Alternatively, you may engage the service of a lawyer on part time basis strictly when necessary. I think that will cost less. I hope i have said something...
No you do not need an attorney,
I have completed this for myself and for others,
To place this in perspective average with attorney the cost is around 1k
To perform this same function yourself approximately 45.00 depending on which state you are incorporating in.
You will need a clear mission statement outlining the purpose for which you have entered business and the goal of that purpose. ie. . By providing available for retail resale a new and enhanced air filtration system,, We intend to improve the general and overall health of individuals in personal residences everywhere. We will facilitate the manufacture and production from our facility at _____
You will also need to create your articles of organization, this outlines the major roles as well as who controls the business. If you are in a partnership then you need to detail who the managing member is.
Also outline who is your agent for service.(single owner this will probably be you) Basically who and what address receives any legal documents for the business.
As that address is publicly listed if possible use an address besides your personal residence.
Sounds complicated but its actually very simple.
Fill in the blanks and sign on the dotted line.
Make sure you have your EIN from IRS.gov if you think it will be a while yet before you are ready to complete that step then i recommend registering your name with the secretary of state at whopping cost of a whole ten dollars and is easily completed online or in person.
If you decide to handle this yourself and run into any question feel free to contact me and I will guide you through your next steps. NO CHARGE LOL
Whether you need a lawyer or not to incorporate depends on your knowledge, skill level, and location. In many states in US you may incorporate without the assistance of an attorney and this process can be completed very easily online especially if you have decided on what type of corporation you would like to create. However in the United Kingdom and many of the Caribbean Islands require the assistance of barristers/attorneys to prepare and file documents for incorporation. If you would like further assistance and can be more specific, it is likely that you would receive more specific directions - www.gotocfs.com.
Would advice you get a lawyer on a part time basis not on a full time as its a start -up.
However its important you have a lawyer draw this contracts up for you irrespective of the stage the business is at the moment this would help you minimize errors and complications .
I used Rocket Lawyer. Pretty easy and simple. When my incorporation gets more detailed, then I'll consult with a real lawyer.
Its a weakness of your business plan,because your BP shows that when and why you contact with professional lawyer,so please revisit you BP.
Hi, I think that it is a good thing to be backed up by a professional like the lawyer you've hired. This is what I generally advise to project holders be they in the early stage.
Nonetheless, you are not obliged to look for a large lawyer firm.They are generally expensive though the job could be done correctly by a small one.
You can incorporate online cost effectively through Legalzoom or Harvard Business Services and others. The charges are reasonable and they will serve or provide a Registered Agent in the state of incorporation.What you will not know is whether you want to be a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (and if a Corp. if you want to elect taxation as a Sub S corp.). These services will also obtain for you a Federal Identification number for your entity. They will also provide "standard" By-Laws and some provide Operating Agreements for LLCs. Be sure to get the maximum shares available authorized for the incorporation price (varies from state to state). What you miss from not dealing with an attorney is strategy and content. If you are going to try to raise friend and family money, angel or VC capital then your corporate structure and authorized shares (corp) or Membership Interests need to meet the needs of investors. Standard By-laws or Operating Agreements don't contemplate many considerations of a start up. Further, if there are other "Founders" in the company you will want to have restricted stock purchase agreements (with buy back rights if they leave or are terminated), a stockholders agreement and some at will employment or other agreement that protects confidential information, provides for assignment of inventions and intellectual property to the company by employees, contractors, consultants. There is much more to consider and it is easier and more effective to get it done at the outset then to go back and try to implement the steps and safeguards that the company and shareholders will need and that investors will seek in their due diligence process.
You do not need a lawyer to incorporate, but if you are already working with one it is an easy task for any lawyer to accomplish. More importantly, a lawyer is a necessity to protect your intellectual property, as well as to make sure you are protected for all of the other risks associated with having a business.
agree that setting up the business with an Accounting firm is a good start...The lawyer can come later once the app starts to take off in revenuess
Bryan...A Business Consultant or Coach would be a less expensive avenue for establishing your Corporation. Establishing a corporation can now be accomplished online with most States at minimal rates and the sites are very friendly user. The main thing you may need assistance with is your incorporation documents in which you will need to establish bank accounts, etc.
Hope this helps you on your journey toward experiencing success as a upcoming entrepreneur.
Taxes can be very complex, if good money is at stake, it will pay to have a GREAT lawyer. If you just want to incorporate, that's no big deal and can do it yourself.
In most states, "NO", you don't need a lawyer. If your state has a state website, probably all you need to do is go to the Secretary of State portal on the site, lookup corporations, and there you should find the information you need to setup your own corporation.
Things to consider:
The type of corporation you need, ie. "S" Corp; "C" Corp; LLC; PA; Not-for-Profit, etc.
State of incorporation: Usually the state you do business in.
Stockholders/Members; Who are the owners going to be?
If you'd like more information, feel free to call me at 252-649-2300 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope this helps.