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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: Legal issues to consider when starting your own business

June 16, 2010

There are many legal issues to consider when starting your own business. From simple things, like choosing the business’ name, to the more complex, such as what type of entity the business will operate as, legal issues should be considered in detail before you open the doors. In this article, I will provide some of the standard legal concerns you may want to address before you start your business.
(1) Business Name: First, you will need to make sure that your proposed business name is not being used by another business. This can be done with a simple check at the Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sos.nh.gov/index.html. Look specifically under the section entitled “business name look up.” If your proposed name is not being used, you can file with the Secretary of State to preserve your use of the name going forward.
(2) Business Structure: This is a very important decision. Selecting the proper business structure can protect your personal assets, and those of your family from any problematic issues that arise with your business, among other things. There are many different options, including a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or a corporation, among others. In determining which structure is best for you, you may need to speak to an accountant and a lawyer, unless you are already familiar with the legal and tax implications of each structure.
(3) Zoning/Panning Issues: You cannot operate your business wherever you please. When you are looking at locations for your business, or even if you are working out of your home, you will need to make sure that your location is permitted under local zoning and planning laws, rules and regulations. Even if you are taking over a spot where there was formerly a business, you will want to check to make sure that your proposed use is legal at that location.
(4) Contracts: Whether obtaining financing, leases, or entering into contracts with buyers, you will likely need to review and/or create legally binding contracts. Only you can determine whether you are equipped to review the documents and feel comfortable signing them. If not, you should consult an attorney to help you.
(5) Choose your partners/employees carefully: When you start a business, many unanticipated things will go wrong. However, many problematic issues are avoidable. At the top of the list is make sure that if you go into business with someone else, that the person has a similar work ethic to you, that you can trust that person in all financial matters, and that you can get along with that person on a day to day basis. You should also consider these factors (and check references!) for any employees that you may hire.
There are a many other issues to consider in starting your own business. However, the above-listed items should be considered before starting virtually any imaginable business. Starting your own business is a major step. You should make sure that you have a solid foundation before taking this step.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay