FAQ

Read our frequently asked questions and answers below regarding Business Law and Litigation.

Do I need an attorney to start a business?

Once you have the idea for your business, it’s important to know and understand the steps of formation. Starting with a strong legal footing can help save you time and money in the long run. We work with business owners from the very beginning, not only to get the proper documents in place, but to make sure they understand how to maintain a legitimate business and the surrounding legal issues. While not required to start a business, an attorney can be a key contributor to a business owner’s team. While you continue to work on growing your business, you can rely on our business law attorneys to worry about the legal issues.

What different types of business entities are there?

Business entities in the state of Minnesota include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, corporations, and non-profit corporations. Forming the proper entity is important to laying a strong foundation for your business. We help business owners determine which entity is best suited for them.

What about joint ventures?

Joint ventures can cause significant liability issues for those who don’t understand the legal issues involved. A joint venture involves people or businesses coming together to achieve a common business goal. By entering into a joint venture, you are also entering into a partnership with the other parties. Under partnership law, each partner is jointly and separately liable for the actions of the other partners in furtherance of the partnership. Therefore, you may be personally liable for the actions of your joint venture partners. We can help you properly structure joint ventures to minimize risk and liability.

Should I hire an independent contractor or employee?

Once your operation has expanded to the point that you alone can no longer manage everything, you might look to hire an employee or independent contractor. Most small business owners lean toward hiring independent contractors to minimize costs and administrative work. However, with an independent contractor, the business owner may not have as much control over certain situations. It’s also important to know if you are improperly classifying an employee as an independent contractor, which can lead to significant penalties, fees, and back taxes. We can help business owners properly classify employees and independent contractors.

Do I need to have an employment agreement?

A written employment agreement can be a helpful tool for business owners to establish the rights and responsibilities of employees, as well as to protect company clients, property, and trade secrets. Without a written employment agreement, it can be difficult to determine what the employer and employee agreed to. We help business owners with employment law issues such as job postings, the interview process, job offers, drug testing, employment agreements, leave issues, discipline, and termination.

Should I have a buy-sell agreement?

A buy-sell agreement should be in place any time two or more people are in business together. The goal of a buy-sell agreement is to address any potential issues before they arise. A buy-sell agreement may govern when you can sell your business interest, who you can sell your interest to, whether there is a right of first refusal, what happens upon the death of an owner, what happens upon the disability of an owner, and the purchase price for the business interest. Essentially, the buy-sell agreement provides reassurance for life’s unpredictable events.

What is business succession planning?

Business succession planning involves several facets. These may include providing a plan to pass the business to the next owner or family member; addressing what happens upon the incapacity of the owner; preventing the business from getting tied up in the probate process; protecting the business from certain creditors; seeking out potential buyers; and minimizing the amount of taxes paid when transferring business interests. All business owners should consider a succession plan. The earlier you begin your succession plan, the more options you have available to you. A business succession plan is the best way for you to ensure a strong future for your business.

Call us today for a free consultation: 763.406.7000

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