As employees and business owners alike begin sorting out the long-term economical effects of COVID-19, one undeniable truth that has emerged is that everyone is feeling the pressure to adapt. We are all seeing the gradual switch from the pandemic phase to an endemic foreseeable future where we will continue living with the coronavirus in some way, shape, or form.
If your business remained largely unchanged over the last three years, consider yourself among the very luckiest. From mom and pop shops all the way up to Fortune 50 Corporations, most businesses have had to maneuver and pivot their assets, resources and people in order to remain profitable. When times get difficult, people tend to get creative. According to Salesforce, 4.4 million new businesses opened in 2020, the highest total in recorded history. (Source: rb.gy/7drcna)
So, what does it take to start a new business in Louisiana?
Step One: Do Your Research
Obviously, you need to do a little groundwork when establishing a new business. Have you identified your potential competitors? Do you know a rough estimate of people who may be interested in your product or service? Is the name you want for your company already taken? Is your business model built on a proven need or demand? These questions can be a deal breaker before you even call a Realtor to look for office space. While there are resources online such as the Louisiana Secretary of State that can help you determine whether anyone else has registered the name of the company that you want to use, getting all the correct paperwork, permits, and permissions can prove to be tedious and frustrating.
Hiring a local, trusted attorney with decades of experience in forming and dissolving businesses is worth every penny for your peace of mind and convenience. Ask any business owner, and you are almost certain to hear at least one or two horror stories about missing or overlooking an important step in the process that cost them time and money to remedy.
Step Two: Making Your Business Legal
Once you have done your foundation work, it’s time to determine what type of legal entity you want your business to be. There are several considerations to be made about how to best set up a legal business according to your own set of circumstances. Some businesses need more legal protection than others due to the nature of their business. For example, if you are opening a flower shop, you are not likely to have as much liability as someone who is selling motorcycles that will be test driven off the lot.
A seasoned business attorney can help you to determine whether your company qualifies to be a sole proprietorship, or if you would be better suited to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or even an Incorporation (Inc.). These categories can affect the taxes you pay, as well as the amount of employees you can have, so they are very important considerations.
Step Three: Adding People To The Recipe
If you are going into business alone, you have certain options available to you that are different from a business with several employees. Most businesses, however, have more personnel than just the owner. In these cases, you need to have airtight legal contracts that outline the responsibilities, compensation, and expectations of these other workers, whether they are business partners or part time employees. Will you be using contract labor? Do you want to grant employees maternity and paternity leave? Will you be offering healthcare insurance to your staff? All of these considerations and more should be in writing.
Step Four: Opening Day
The last steps to starting a business will be to find the right location to do business. You should have an attorney look over any contract between you and a potential landlord. If you are looking to build or buy, your attorney should also be privy to any real estate transactions you are wanting to look into so that all legal considerations for your business are going through the same point person. This continuity will help start you out on the right foot and set you up for success. Hiring an attorney to help you flesh out your business plan is a smart investment that will save you time, money, and headache. When you call the Law Office of Stephen Gaubert, you will speak directly with Stephen, and he will apply his years of experience to assist you with launching your company.