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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: The Legal Corner: How to start a small business

October 19, 2011

In the current difficult economy, a surprising number of people have approached me to ask about the legal issues involved in starting a new business. Perhaps because employers are not in a hiring mode, people have begun to rely on themselves. In some ways, a struggling economy can help lead one to a positive life change. In this article, I will discuss some legal and non-legal considerations involved in starting a new business.
(1) The idea: The first thing that you need to do is to determine what type of business that you want to run. This may seem obvious, but there are many considerations and choices. You can: (1) buy an existing business, (2) buy a franchise, or (3) start your own business, among other possibilities. Each choice has different strengths and weaknesses which you must carefully consider before investing or borrowing any money.
(2) The business plan: Drafting a business plan is perhaps the most important step in starting your own business. Your business plan will create an image for your business before you have raised any money, done any advertising or hired any employees. Of course, most importantly, you will need a great business plan to obtain investors or other financing. Investors or lenders will read your plan to determine whether your business idea is worth investing in. Even if you are financing the business yourself, you will need to develop a business strategy and prepare financial projections. Additionally, you will want to develop a marketing strategy to advertise and promote your business. Fortunately, there is help available. The Score office at the Mount Washington Valley Technology Village provides free services for start up businesses. For more information or to receive help from Score, see its website at: http://mtwashington.score.org/.
(3) Financing: Once you develop a business plan, you can effectively start raising money. Possible ways to finance your business include investors, friends or family or banks. Of course each of these options has different strengths and weaknesses which you must carefully consider.
(4) Legal issues: Once you have developed a business plan, you will also want to consider what legal structure to have. Each legal structure has different advantages and protections. For example, most people want to protect and shield their personal assets from creditors or liabilities of their business. Which legal structure you choose will impact on what type of protections that you will receive. You should work with an accountant and/or a lawyer to develop the most advantageous legal structure for you and your business.
(5) Location: Finally, you must decide where your business will be located. Will it be a home office? Do you need a location with good visibility to draw customers in or do you have other ways of attracting customers? You must think about these issues before you sign a lease that you may live to regret.
Starting a new business can be daunting. However, if you are successful, you can achieve financial and personal goals that you could never achieve as an employee. The most critical aspect to starting a new business is to set a solid foundation by doing all the preliminary work well so that when the doors open, you can concentrate on the promoting the business and being successful.

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