3 Issues Facing Small Business Owner

Corporate Entity

What type of corporate entity should you select?

An individual wanting to start a new business has several options from which to choose when trying to decide which ownership structure is best for his or her particular needs.  The entrepreneur should consider a corporation, a general partnership, a limited liability partnership, and a limited liability company.   Each ownership structure has particular features which need to be considered in determining which to choose.  There are factors which impact owner liability, management, taxation, ownership transfer, future investors, and expansion which can all be impaired or enhanced depending on the ownership structure chosen.  Consultation with a lawyer familiar with the different types of structures and the potential ramifications of each particular structure, in light of the entrepreneur’s particular needs, should occur fairly early in the business organization.

Business Agreements

Do we need business agreements between the co-owners/partners/members of the business?

Very rarely do people embark on a new business with the expectation that they will have a falling out with a co-owner/partner/member.  Unfortunately, it happens more often than any business person would like to admit.  It is recommended that, as part of the startup of the business, an exit strategy or conflict resolution process be established between the parties involved.  The solution could range from provisions in the bylaws to address stalemates, or conflict resolution, to complex agreements governing the buying or selling of an interest in the business.

Licensing Requirements

What are the licensing requirements for my business?

The answer to this question will be determined based upon several factors:

  • What type of business are you engaged in?  Professional businesses, or those subject to city, county, state or federal regulations may require additional licensing.
  • Where is your business located? There are business licensing requirements for most, if not all, counties in Georgia.  There may also be business licensing requirements for certain cities or municipalities depending upon where your business is located.
  • The state requires annual registration for each corporate structure incorporated, organized, or otherwise formed under the laws of the State of Georgia.  A corporate structure includes an LLC, a corporation, an LLP,  and a PC.