Important Documents to Have When Starting a Business

smiling entrepreneurs discussing business document in folderOne of the most important keys to starting a successful small business is to make sure that it covers all of the legal fundamentals, in written documents. Many business owners overlook this necessity, and many suffer for it when something goes wrong. By taking the time to document all of the legal aspects of your business, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your business in the event of a legal issue.

Having all the right paperwork in order is crucial to the success of your business. Make sure you don’t overlook any important details by working with a business attorney. If you are opening your business in Utah, a business lawyer in Utah, like the Weber Law Group can help you meet your legal needs.

A Business Plan

A good business plan explains the rationale for your business, the market needs it intends to fill, and the management structure. A realistic understanding of the revenue projections and expenses will enable prospective investors and lenders to see how the business will repay their confidence and their money.

Organizational Documents

Either a partnership agreement or an LLC operating agreement is necessary if you intend to start your business with partners or shareholders.

A single person can carry a sole proprietorship, but it exposes you to a greater risk of loss when something goes badly wrong in your business. If you decide to incorporate, filing the necessary papers with the Secretary of State isn’t enough.

You must also have an operating agreement in place allocating tax benefits and liabilities and setting down management and membership matters fully. Good legal counsel can help explain the distinctions in business organization to you.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits from the government. Without these, you could receive fines or even lead a shutdown.

A Buy/Sell Agreement

If you have partners or shareholders, you may wish to set down in advance what happens to ownership in the company in the case one of the owners dies, decides to retire, or wishes to pursue other investments or interests. A buy/sell agreement creates the terms in which investors in the company can be added, or can be bought out. The circumstances in which an investor wishes to withdraw from a small business are frequently fraught with emotion — so it’s vital to have this agreement in place ahead of time.

Employment agreements

Written contracts governing wages, hours, job responsibilities, and all other details of work are crucial if you plan to hire employees. It will set expectations clearly for both the management and the workforce. An employment agreement can have a non-disclosure agreement or a non-compete agreement, to protect trade secrets and customer lists, and to prevent the employee from engaging in competition for a period after leaving your employment.

An Employee Handbook

Building on the employment agreement, the employee handbook can set down further management policies for the business, including scheduling and leave policies, and other detailed practices. Federal and state law also requires employers to notify employees of their rights under civil rights, equal opportunity and other laws. The employee handbook provides a handy tool to set down all required notifications in writing, in one place.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policies

This document will set down both terms under supervision. Privacy policies will explain the usage of the gathered information.

Customers will also benefit from a term of service and privacy policy covering electronic payment and data-gathering matters. A well-drafted set of policies can help build trust between the business, its employees, and its customer base.

Work With Our Business Attorneys

A business attorney in Utah can help you with all of these important documents and more. They can provide guidance on which documents you need for your specific type of business and can help ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is in order before you start your business.

The Weber Law Group specializes in business law in Utah and has many years of experience providing advice to business owners. We’re ready to draft any business documents you may require for your small business and to meet all your other small business legal requirements. If you are just starting your business, contact us today to schedule a consultation.