Calling All Entrepreneurs: Setting Yourself Up for Success in 2018

If 2018 is your year to start a new business, congratulations! That’s an exciting and big step. We have helped many entrepreneurs get organized and set up their businesses properly with the following services. We can help you, too.

One of the first lessons business owners learn is that oftentimes the wisest thing they can do is hire a professional advisor to help them grow their business rather than trying to do everything themselves. This is especially true of any legal decisions that need to be made. Your savings in time and money for utilizing an attorney can far outweigh the possible expense of missteps and wrong turns when making legal decisions for your business.


Because laws are constantly changing, it is best to consult an attorney or accountant for the latest in regulations and requirements before you decide on the right business structure for your endeavor. Generally speaking, businesses fall into one of the three legal forms: Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, or Corporation. There are also variations on some of these basic legal structures such as the S corporation, the limited partnership (LLP), and the limited liability company (LLC). Consulting with an experienced attorney about the details of your personal situation and your plans will ensure you don’t run into easily avoidable obstacles as you grow your business.


While an applicant can file his or her own trademark application, attorneys who are familiar with trademark matters represent most applicants. Before ever filing a trademark application, we can conduct a more comprehensive search for potential problems with your use of a proposed mark than you will be able to conduct in Trademark Electronic Search System. We then can counsel you regarding use of the mark, recommend whether to file a trademark application, and advise you on your likelihood of success in the registration process. This is especially important because not all applied-for trademarks register, and filing fees are not refundable, even if the US Patent and Trademark Office does not ultimately issue you a registration for your mark. It’s also important to note that the filing of a trademark application begins a legal proceeding having many legal requirements and strict deadlines.


Having your legal documents or contract reviewed by an attorney who fully understands legalese means you are ensuring your interests are protected. Any new legal document that could have a substantial impact on your finances, time, or responsibilities should be reviewed by an attorney.  You should also have legal documents revisited by an attorney when your situation changes and reviewed when you make changes to a document – even minor ones – as you may not fully understand the legal ramifications of those changes.


Commercial leases can involve sizable dollars, lengthy terms, and major obligations. We have experience representing both lessors and lessees, and our team can advise and assist on negotiating important lease terms like security deposit, property improvements, subletting and assignment, lease renewals, and allocation of taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.


As a business owner, you may run into the issue of collecting payments from your customers. This can happen through absolutely no fault of your own. We can help you put a plan in place to gain back the money you are owed. Many laws detail consumer protection laws as well as debt collection regulations, requirements, and procedures, and we can help determine which legal strategies will be most effective in your case. Should you go to court, we will represent you; the timeframe and the amount you recover will depend on the judge’s ruling. If you’re able to settle outside of court, we will help you and the debtor to negotiate terms.


Unfortunately, you can be sued no matter how good your work is or how honest you are. Even if you have a solid, airtight contract in place, someone (a customer or an employee) can still sue you. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, upset, and even angry if this happens but if you want to keep your business and your reputation intact, it is important that you handle a situation like this calmly and proceed carefully.

The very first thing you should do is contact us. Together, we will review the lawsuit to ensure that it contains the proper entity or person associated with the issues; if this information is incorrect in any way, we will move to dismiss the action in its entirety. If it is correct, we will proceed with reviewing the allegations and put a defense strategy in place. We will explain the litigation plan, potential exit strategies, potential counterclaims, and estimated costs at different stages of the proceeding.

Please note that it is of the utmost importance that you preserve all records that have any relationship to the case, no matter how extraneous. Such records include documents, electronic material such as email and Web pages, photos, videos, and voice messages. Also, you should not communicate directly with the plaintiff (that is, the person suing you) as anything you say about the lawsuit can be used against you. If the plaintiff is someone you must communicate with (like a current employee), you should make it clear that you will not discuss the lawsuit with them.

We are proud to have helped many business owners in the TriState area to create, grow, and exceed their business goals and it would be our pleasure to help you do the same this year. If you have questions about these services or any other small business services we offer, set up your free consultation with us now by calling 1-800-LA FIRMA (1-800-523-4762) or simply by clicking the button below. Hablamos español.