Choosing the Right Entity
for Your Small Business
A partnership is the most perilous way to do business. Whatever your industry is, pitfalls can occur when partners come into conflict with each other or the public. Often, these conflicts are easily avoided beforehand by taking simple precautions.
The S-Corp and Limited Liability Company (LLC)
The chief among these is forming a small corporation, known as an “S-Corp,” or a limited liability company, known as an “LLC.”
Both business forms protect your personal assets behind a “corporate veil” that shields you personally from claims filed against your company by creditors, vendors, disgruntled customers, people injured on the premises, or others aiming at your business. Operating as an S-Corp or LLC also protects your own interest in the business from disputes with your fellow shareholders.
Forming an S-Corp is relatively quick and inexpensive, and often the best choice for a sole proprietor or a “family business” with a limited number of co-owners.
Similarly, a limited liability company provides the same protections to its Members, but adds more flexibility in connection with paying taxes, which can be advantageous. Creating an LLC is a slightly longer and more expensive process than forming an S-Corp, but for most businesses, is still affordable.
Non-profit corporations and religious corporations also offer “corporate veil” protection with the added incentive of tax-exempt status. However, only certain types of companies qualify for “non-profit” status, such as schools, charities, artistic endeavors, churches and a handful of others.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Going into Business
One of the biggest mistakes you can make going into business is failing to have a shareholders agreement or a members agreement, or effective by-laws in a non-profit company.
Robert Previto offers the following services:
- Formation of small corporations and limited liability companies
- Drafting of shareholders agreements for S-Corps, member agreements for LLC’s, partnership agreements and personal service contracts
- Formation of Non-Profit, tax-exempt companies, and drafting by-laws
- Employer/employee disputes, and drafting employee rules, including non-compete contracts and confidentiality agreements
- Trademark registration and infringement litigation, both New York State and federal
- Sales of corporations, and of corporate property, including non-profit real estate purchases and transfers
In the business world, “litigation happens.” Any smart businessperson develops a relationship with an experienced lawyer they can trust. Civil litigation ranges from contract disputes to negligence to trademark infringement to property and landlord/tenant leasing and evictions. Good business people know that negotiation and settlement are often more cost-effective than litigation, and that rushing into court isn’t always the best answer. In such instances, Robert Previto understands the necessity of both approaches, and is equally capable of counseling you on either.
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