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Starting a company often requires more than just coming up with a good idea and a solid business plan. In some cases, it's necessary to file incorporation documents, obtain a license to collect taxes and otherwise comply with local, state and federal statutes. A business organization attorney focuses their practice in these matters.
A business organization is generally defined as an entity that aims to make money by providing goods and services. Therefore, a business organization attorney would be someone who represents such an entity. There are many different business structures, including corporation, general partnership and limited liability company (LLC). Single-member entities that have not applied for corporate status are known as sole proprietors. The type of structure an entrepreneur chooses may depend on various factors, including the size of the business, how many owners are involved and the way profits will be shared.
An attorney can help a company if it is involved in a contract dispute with an investor, lender or client. Attorneys may also assist companies that are involved in tax disputes or facing allegations that they are not properly licensed to do business. It's important to note that states have different laws when it comes to starting a new business. In New York, for example, companies organized as LLCs must generally announce their formation in a newspaper.
Typically, companies do not like to resolve matters in court. This is because court battles can be expensive and create headlines that are not favorable to the brand. Small businesses in particular may not want to go to court as legal fees and other costs could potentially bankrupt them.
Therefore, a business organization attorney will generally attempt to first solve matters outside of court. If it is necessary to take a matter to court, an attorney can ask for a summary judgment to either dismiss the case or to award damages. This may either end the case immediately or create conditions in which both sides are ready to negotiate in good faith.
From deciding on ownership structures to properly filing paperwork, there are many legal matters that could fall outside of a business owner's area of expertise. A business organization lawyer can handle all these issues. With help from an attorney, an owner can also address problems caused by other parties. For example, a letter from an attorney may compel another party to pay a balance owed or cease to infringing on a trademark. A business owner could focus on growing the company while legal counsel focuses on negotiations or interviewing witnesses.
Finally, a company can send a lawyer to negotiate with government authorities if allegations of not paying taxes or breaking other laws emerge. This can be helpful as an attorney is less likely to let emotion or ignorance of the law lead to a mistake as the matter unfolds.