If you have an idea for a business in Michigan and have conducted enough research to determine that it is feasible, you may face a number of important questions, including how you should structure it. At the Neumann Law Group, our experienced Grand Rapids and Traverse City business attorneys can advise you on how to structure your business, which laws and regulations you will need to follow, the registrations and licenses that you must obtain to comply with the law, how to protect valuable assets such as trademarks, and other issues that may arise in connection with the business' activities. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an experienced trial attorney who can think ahead to issues that might give rise to litigation.Business Law
There are numerous business structures, including corporations, S corporations, limited liability corporations, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, sole proprietorships, nonprofits, and professional corporations. Choosing among these structures requires a careful consideration of your business objectives and an understanding of the legal requirements for each business form. Generally, corporations provide the most protection to owners, but they are also highly regulated.
Numerous laws may apply to your entity, and our business lawyers can advise Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents on how they apply and what business owners need to do to remain in compliance. For example, if you are opening a restaurant, you will need to obtain appropriate licenses, likely including a food service license and a liquor control license. You will need to permit inspections of a commercial kitchen and make sure that your equipment is in good repair and compliant with certain important requirements related to ventilation, lighting, and cleanliness. If you also plan to manufacture beer, you may need to obtain a brewery, microbrewery, or brewpub license. Each of these licenses will provide for how much beer may be produced and how it may be provided to consumers at a facility.
When a business has a charitable purpose, it may wish to acquire 501(c)(3) status. We can help you organize your nonprofit to give you a strong chance of acquiring this status under federal law. Other laws that may apply include the Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act and the Supervision of Trustees for Charitable Purposes Act.
Most businesses must enter into a wide range of contracts, both when they first form and down the road. Among other things, partners should consider creating a buy/sell agreement to address various contingencies that may arise. For example, your partners and you should decide whether you will need to sell to the other partners or offer other partners the chance to buy shares in case of retirement or death. Other agreements should also be created to make sure that each owner or partner understands their role and how the business will be run on a day-to-day basis.
In addition to documents addressing the internal workings of a business, you will also need to enter into contracts with others outside the business. These contracts may include leases for equipment, commercial rentals, and agreements with vendors to supply goods or services. Each of these agreements should be entered into carefully and be memorialized in a written agreement that accurately expresses both parties' intentions to minimize the possibility of litigation down the road. If you decide to hire employees, you will also need to make sure that you comply with wage and hour laws and antidiscrimination laws, and it is advisable to have an employment agreement and employee handbook.Retain a Business Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Most businesses have numerous legal needs when they start out, and they often continue to need advice throughout their existence. Sound and knowledgeable guidance may make your business run more smoothly and contribute to its success. The Traverse City and Grand Rapids business lawyers at the Neumann Law Group represent clients in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as areas throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up an appointment. We also can assist clients who need a trademark attorney to protect the intellectual property rights of their business.