The best legal form for your business will depend upon aspects such as:
This is only a partial list of considerations. When we meet with new business owners, we will want to know as much as possible about the nature of the business, including the items noted above, so that we can advise the business owners of the considerations that will be the most relevant to their choice of business form.
Washington state law provides a number of different legal business formats that provide owners protection from liability in most circumstances. For most business owners, the personal liability protections offered by corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships will generally be desirable over sole proprietorships or general partnerships, which do not protect owners from personal liability.
It’s important to note that while Washington offers various legal entity forms to professionals, such business forms do not protect the individual professionals from professional malpractice lawsuits.
The choice of entity decision is often driven by tax considerations, including whether the business is likely to have losses in the early years. When we meet with you and learn about your business we can explain the tax treatment for different entity choices based upon your business so that you will be able to make the entity choice that is best for your business.
Once the entity choice is determined, we prepare and file all necessary business formation documents, and assist owners in preparing the resolutions and documentation that may be required to contribute assets and intellectual property to the business, and to appoint officers, directors, and/or other management.
The formation of a business is often an ideal time to consider many other matters that might occur in the future, such as the desire of an owner to sell shares, the death of a co-owner, or the potential that intractable differences might arise between owners. We help business owners by drafting shareholder and similar agreements that provide structure and mechanisms for resolving such issues so that it they later develop, there will be a clear process for resolution.