Small Business Online Registration – There is so much to do when starting a small business and a lot of it can be confusing. What small business legal paperwork do you need to fill out? Where do you take them? And what forms do you need to provide to run a legal business?
Having the right legal documentation for your business is non-negotiable. Not only is this necessary to run a business legally, but it can also protect you from fines, high fees, lawsuits, and a host of other legal issues.
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Want to make sure you have all your I-Points and are checked out? To start and build your business, here are the essential legal documents for small business success:
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You need a driver’s license to drive a car. Therefore, it only makes sense that you would need a business license to run the business.
If your business is subject to permits or license requirements, you should definitely have them in place before starting the business. Business permits and licenses come in many forms, and the permits or licenses you need will depend on where and how you do business.
In some regions, you may be required to obtain a general business license in your county, city, and/or state to operate in that area. But permits and licenses are not limited to location.
Sometimes your profession may have additional licensing requirements for doing business. For example, if you have a plumbing, contracting or accounting business? All of these types of businesses have industry-specific licensing requirements that you must meet in order to run the business.
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No matter what type of business you’re starting (or where you’re starting it), be sure to do your research! Visit your city, county, and state websites to understand your license and permit requirements (and how to obtain those permits and licenses).
In addition to obtaining the necessary permits and licenses to operate in your area, you will also need to register your business in accordance with the desired structure and business registration rules in your area. While there are several ways to structure your small business, they most likely fall into one of the following categories:
There is no one size fits all solution for choosing a structure for your business. A small business lawyer is the best person to advise you when choosing a business structure – and once you have determined which structure is best for your business, you can find instructions on how to register your business on your website. cities, counties. . or the state.
Depending on the business structure you choose, you may also need a charter or operating agreement. If you are structuring your business as a C corporation, you will definitely need to have your corporation’s articles of incorporation handy, and in most states LLCs will be required to file an operating agreement when they are incorporated.
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But even if you’re not required by law to have an operating agreement or bylaws, it’s certainly a good idea to set out the structure, ownership, and policies of your company, even if it’s just an informal document.
While you don’t technically need these documents, thinking ahead about important issues can help you identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems.
If you need help drafting an operating agreement or company charter, there are many online templates to help you get started.
Whether you’re going into business with your spouse, sister, or best friend of 30 years, to prevent future conflict (and protect everyone), the partnership agreement is non-negotiable.
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A partnership agreement (also known as an owner or owner agreement) clearly sets out the key elements of your business partnership, including:
It should also contain clear instructions on how to resolve disputes between partners and what to do if a partner leaves (or is asked to leave) the firm.
Templates can be a good starting point for creating a collaboration agreement. However, because this is such an important legal document for your business, you should definitely schedule it to be reviewed (and, if necessary, revised) by a small business lawyer.
If your business is dependent on external suppliers or vendors to fulfill your orders, you should definitely enter into an agreement with the supplier.
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The supplier agreement will set out the terms and conditions under which your supplier relationship will operate, including how, when, and how quickly suppliers will fulfill your orders. This is absolutely necessary so that a customer placing an order with your company can complete it quickly and successfully.
Your supplier agreement can also help protect your business in the event of supplier issues affecting your customers.
Because the terms will depend on your ISP and your business model, this document is best left to the professionals. Work with your small business lawyer to make sure your vendor agreement has all the required legal boxes.
As a small business owner, you may run into the occasional client who wants you to start a project based on a “promise of a handshake” or an email assignment. But these agreements won’t protect you in court if things go wrong with a client, so if you want to protect your business, you need to prioritize securing a project contract.
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A project contract or estimate is a legal document that sets out the main components of a client contract, including:
For example, don’t just list the amount you’re charging for a project as it is; Also include any other fees that you may consider during the course of the project, such as late fees or additional costs associated with changing the scope of the project.
Can it take a long time to put together a good project contract? Yes. But after you’ve completed all the steps for the first time, you can use your new project contract template for every new client and new project.
If you work directly with clients (and want to get paid for your services), there is one legal document that your small business cannot operate without.
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But not all invoices are the same, and if you want your invoice to be paid, you need to structure it accordingly. Here we are (of course) quite big on the bills. And based on our analysis of tens of thousands of invoices paid through our system, we understand that there are three key elements that you will want to include in your invoice:
At , we want to make the invoicing process as easy as possible for small businesses, which is why we’ve created these free invoice templates to help you get started. Just add your business information, set up the details, and you’re on your way to payment!
If you plan to employ any employees or external contractors who will have access to confidential information about your company, or if you are working with a client, vendor, or supplier who needs to share confidential information about their organization, you may be required to enter into a non-disclosure agreement. (Or, as it is more commonly known in business, an NDA).
Non-disclosure agreements essentially protect the confidentiality of any confidential information exchanged between your company and another party.
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So, for example, let’s say you’re working on a client’s project and they need to provide you with their finances in order to complete the project. In this case, they may ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect their financial information.
Or, if you decide to hire a freelance programmer to help develop a game engine your company is building, requiring them to sign a non-disclosure agreement will prevent them from sharing your game idea with others (such as your competitors).
NDAs are pretty standard and with a little research you should be able to find a custom template online.
When you hire a new employee, you need a legal document that sets out the terms of their employment, otherwise known as an employment contract.
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Not only will this clear things up for your new employee, but it will also allow you to set their employment options (for example, include a non-competition clause that will prevent employees from working for your direct competitors) and can help protect your business. from future employee disputes or litigation.
There are many laws and regulations that you must follow when entering into employment contracts, so before you send an agreement to a new team member, make sure you check it with an employment lawyer to make sure it’s correct.
When hiring a full-time employee, an employment contract is required. But not every person you work with will be working full-time, and if you’re going to work with independent contractors, you’ll also need a legally binding agreement for them.
An independent contractor agreement sets out the terms of your employment relationship, including project details, compensation, expected timelines, ownership of the work, and other project details.
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You can find independent contractor agreement templates online, but like any legal document for your small business, you’ll want to have it reviewed by a small business lawyer to make sure the agreement, if ever needed, will stand up to court. .
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