Business & Commercial Law
Pennsylvania Small Business Law
As you’re planning your startup and how to get an edge on competitors in your market, you should be wary of antitrust, intellectual property and other laws and regulations that could significantly impact you and your business.
For business owners in Allentown, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, it’s important to understand state and federal laws and know how to proceed when a legal issue develops. LawInfo has the Pennsylvania small business law information you need from choosing a business structure to setting up employee benefits.
Typical Small Business Legal Issues in Pennsylvania
Legal issues crop up for all businesses, be it contracts, taxes or employment. Legal questions and issues will vary widely by industry and it’s a good idea to consult a business attorney beforehand. But a small business owner may encounter legal issues such as:
- Which legal structure to select (such as a corporation, partnership or limited liability company);
- Protecting inventions and trademarks through intellectual property law;
- Hiring and managing employees in accordance with Pennsylvania and federal employment laws;
- Complying with health and safety regulations when constructing or preparing a work site;
- Extending credit and collecting on past due amounts in accordance with Pennsylvania and federal laws; and
- Maintaining the required level of workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Creating a Business Plan in Pennsylvania
A business plan is not only a useful tool for putting your goals for your small business on paper—it’s also an important document for financiers and investors. There is no one “right” way to write your business plan, but your attention to detail and thoroughness in research can help you and others measure your preparedness as a small business owner.
There are several key parts your business plan should include, such as:
- An executive summary that concisely encapsulates your business plan, experiences and market research analysis. While this is the first part of your plan, it should be the last part you’ll write.
- A company description that provides a high-concept overview of what your business offers, its marketplace and how its services or products meet specific marketplace needs.
- A description of your business’s products or services, including intellectual property and research and development activities.
- Your marketing and sales strategies.
- A funding request and financial projections, if your business requires funding.
A business plan’s primary objective is to prepare you for the various stages and issues in the startup process. A small business attorney can help you ensure that you’ve covered all the bases you need in your business plan to meet you and your financiers’ expectations.
Pennsylvania Startup Financing
More often than not, small business owners will turn to alternative sources if they can’t personally finance their startup. Your business’s structure will often influence which financing sources you’ll turn to. A few of the financing sources you could possibly use include:
- Equity financing through investors such as friends, relatives, venture capitals and angel investors.
- Equity offerings for public stock investment.
- Federal or state grants.
- Debt financing through borrowing on credit from friends, relatives, banks and other private or government programs.
Pennsylvania’s Small Business Assistance Network provides useful resources for local startup financing. You can find information about federal, state and private financing programs available to small business owners on the SBAN website.