Common Question About Business Start-Ups

Five Insights To Help You Start Your Own Business

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What legal entity should my business be?

There are many choices for how to set up your business. The most common are sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnership, C corporation, or S corporation. Which one you choose usually depends on your concerns regarding liability and tax considerations. If you are just starting you, you likely want to pick a simpler business structure. As your business grows, you may change how your business is set up to accommodate its growth. You should talk to both your accountant and attorney to figure out which one makes the most sense for you.

Do I need a lawyer to start my business?

Even though an attorney is not required to start your business, it’s always a good idea to talk to your lawyer, especially when the company you want to form is going to have more than one owner. A lawyer can help protect your rights and draft documents to protect you from future situations you may not think of.

What type of things might I need a lawyer for?

It would be helpful for you to have a lawyer review your legal paperwork such as leases or contracts with others. If you are buying an already existing business from someone, you should definitely involve a lawyer to review all the legal paperwork and oversee the process to avoid issues after the sale. It is also a good idea to have your lawyer review how you set your entity up and draft any helpful paperwork if you are just starting out.

What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor?

Generally an employee is someone who using your tools, comes to work on your schedule, and you supervise them. An independent contractor is someone who owns their own company and does not work on your schedule.

Do I need special licenses or permits for my business?

This depends on the type of business you are planning on running. Certain businesses are subject to special permits, licenses and inspections. For example, to open a restaurant in Seattle, you would likely need a state business license, City of Seattle business license, Washington specialty license such as liquor, King County health permit, use permits, construction permits (ex. minor interior alterations, small projects, remodels, new construction), trade permits (ex. electrical, mechanical, refrigeration, plumbing, etc.), sprinklers and fire alarms, Seattle Fire Marshal permit, sign and awning permits, right-of-way permits (ex. outdoor seating, street use permits, temporary right-of-way permits).

Every situation is unique. The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. I can only advise on Washington law. I highly recommend consulting with a certified public accountant to address tax advantages or disadvantages specific to your  financial situation. If you have specific questions, please feel free to reach out to the attorneys at K&S Canon for personalized guidance.