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Business Start Up Attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan

So, you have a great idea, a dream, and a plan. Now it’s time to pursue the dream by executing the plan – to make your dream become reality! So, what is involved? Well, below is a pretty extensive list. It may seem like a lot, but as a Grand Rapids small business attorney, I can help to make it manageable.

Step 1: Create and Register the Entity

This includes the following:

  1. Creation documents: draft the state creation document & governing document.

  2. Register with the IRS: obtain the Federal Identification Number for payroll taxes, make S election (if applicable).

  3. Register with the State: payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, sales tax, licensing.

  4. Register with County/City: obtain required permits, licenses, file DBA (if applicable), payroll registration (if applicable).

  5. Buy-Sell Agreement: are the owners going to “keep the business” in-house by giving each other the first right of refusal to purchase? Are you going to fund the agreement with life insurance on the life of each owner, so the company can purchase the shares on his/her death from the family?

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Step 2: Create Legal Infrastructure

As a Grand Rapids small business lawyer, I can help you develop a legal infrastructure that protects your business and promotes a clear understanding with your employees, customers, vendors, sales reps, landlord, etc. This includes the following:

  1. Intellectual Property: if your business has or will be developing valuable IP (new inventions, processes, trademarks, copyrights, etc.), you should get sound counsel on how to protect these assets (such as filing for patents, trademarks, copyrights, developing trade secret confidentiality strategy and agreements, etc.). If you don’t, it might be losing your competitive advantage.

  2. Employment Agreement: draft to include: (a) “at-will” provision (so no employee can say they have a permanent position; (b) non-compete during employment and after termination; (c) confidentiality during employment and after termination; (d) non-solicitation of staff during employment and after termination; and (e) dispute resolution provisions (how? where? loser pays attorney fees & costs).

  3. Employee Handbook: draft to address legal requirements and to establish your culture and expectations.

  4. Independent Contractor Agreement: first, it’s important to ensure that they are sub-contractors under the law. Then draft the agreement to include: (a) scope of work and authority; (b) non-compete during engagement and after termination; (c) confidentiality; (d) non-solicitation of staff after termination; and (e) dispute resolution provisions (how? where? loser pays attorney fees & costs).

  5. Sales Representative Agreement: draft the agreement to include: (a) scope of work and authority; (b) non-compete during engagement and after termination; (c) confidentiality; (d) non-solicitation of staff after termination; and (e) dispute resolution provisions (how? where? loser pays attorney fees & costs).

  6. Quote/Sales Agreement Terms & Conditions: draft to include: (a) warranty exclusions and limitations; (b) payment terms; (c) late payment penalties; (d) change orders; and (e) plethora of other items.

  7. Purchase Order Terms & Conditions: draft to include: (a) warranties; (b) payment terms; (c) termination; (d) change orders; and (e) plethora of other items.

  8. Distribution Agreement: draft the agreement to include: (a) scope of work and authority; (b) non-compete during engagement and after termination; (c) confidentiality; (d) non-solicitation of staff after termination; and (e) dispute resolution provisions (how? where? loser pays attorney fees & costs).

  9. Leases: review real property leases, equipment leases and etc. This is helpful to ensure that you know what you are getting into. Leases can be very long and full of legalese. Typically, leases are negotiable. I can also help you negotiate the lease (we can play good guy/bad guy roles with the lessor).

  10. Insurance: obtain necessary insurance such as: (a) commercial liability; (b) errors and omissions; (c) employer liability; (d) fidelity on persons handling money; (e) directors and officers; and (g) other?