Are you just starting a business and wondering whether you need to hire a lawyer? I'm going to tell you how you can get away with not hiring a lawyer, and also when I think it's a good idea to consult with a lawyer when starting a business.
Most of the time when starting a business, you are either going to be forming an LLC or a corporation. There are other types of entities, but they are rare for new small businesses.
If you're forming an LLC, you will probably not need to consult a lawyer to file your articles of organization. You can file those online and basically do it yourself. Most states have few specific requirements for information in the articles of organization.
Now, if you're forming a corporation, that's when I highly suggest you consult with a lawyer. There are many specific requirements for your articles of incorporation, and that information can be confusing. For instance, you have to determine whether you're going to have classes of stock, the number of shares that the company has the authority to issue, and the required number of directors.
Consulting with a lawyer at the very beginning is a very wise choice because it's harder to amend articles of incorporation after the fact than to do it right the first time.
So that's it. If you're forming an LLC you can do the DIY approach. If you're forming a corporation, it's best to consult with the lawyer.
KATHERINE L. TAYLOR, ATTORNEY AND CPA
5850 Waterloo Rd