Starting a new business can be a rewarding experience as long as you plan ahead. From selecting the right business formation, to gaining access to the marketplace, to engaging in business transactions, to resolving business disputes, success often hinges on having skilled legal representation. The best way to protect your interests is to consult a startup business lawyer who has experience in business formation.
The Law Office of Carey Thompson, located on Fort Worth, represents startups across multiple industries throughout the state of Texas. We profoundly understand the challenges facing small business owners and work to help them avoid the pitfalls common for startups. Our team has the legal knowledge and business acumen to help you navigate the contemporary business landscape. When you become our client, we will help you build a solid foundation so that your startup can flourish.
How Carey Thompson Advises A New Startup
Once you contact us for a free consultation, you will quickly learn that our services are not only comprehensive, but cost-effective as well. We regularly provide advice and guidance to startups on a wide range of legal, business and financial matters, including:
Business Formation and Licensing
One of the early decisions a startup needs to make is selecting the right business structure, which depends on factors such as the type of business, the individuals involved, the cost associated with forming the entity, as well as the related legal, regulatory, and tax implications. At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we can help protect your business and personal assets by forming a suitable entity, such as:
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Our legal team prepares and files the necessary foundational documents (e.g. articles of incorporation, by-laws) with the state, helps obtain required business licenses and tax registrations, and provides ongoing counsel to ensure compliance with future filing requirements.
Business Agreements For A Startup
It is crucial for the parties involved in running the startup to protect their interests through well-conceived business agreements. Our attorneys regularly negotiate and prepare partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, and employment agreements; a key component of such agreements is a non-compete provision, which protects confidential business information if an owner, partner, or key employee decides to leave.
If your startup is structured as a partnership, it is also necessary to have a buy-sell agreement in place establishing how the departing owner’s interest will be distributed. Our legal team regularly prepares cross purchase and entity purchase agreements that allow for an orderly transition. Finally, in the event that you enlist the services of third parties such as vendors, it is critically important to protect sensitive business information by utilizing confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
Employment Law Issues
Startups must also understand their obligations under applicable employment laws, particularly those concerning discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Under Texas law, for example, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability; and workplace harassment (based on gender, race, or any other legally protected characteristic) is considered a form of unlawful employment discrimination.
In addition, business owners must comply with wage and hour laws that establish a minimum wage and that require overtime pay for nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours per week. Currently, the minimum wage in Texas is $7.25 per hour (the same rate set by federal law), although a number of municipalities have set a high minimum wage. The minimum wage in Dallas, for example, is slated to be increased to $15 per hour.
At the Law Office of Carey Thompson, we work with startups to establish policies clarifying the relationship between employers and employees. We routinely help our clients design employee handbooks that adhere to applicable state and federal law and also help to develop employee training programs. Our objective is to help your startup avoid employment-related disputes, foster a positive work environment, and enhance your reputation in the marketplace, which will enable you to attract highly skilled workers and loyal customers.
Business Dispute Resolution During Your StartUp
A protracted court battle could disrupt business operations, potentially upending a startup; however, business disputes are inevitable. Although we prefer utilizing alternative forms of dispute resolution (e.g. arbitration, mediation), our trial lawyers have the skills and experience to litigate any matter. Whether the dispute involves a breach of contract, the enforceability of a partnership agreement, or even a premises liability lawsuit, the Law Office of Carey Thompson is here to protect your interests.
Protecting Intellectual Property
If your startup is bringing innovative products to the marketplace, it is crucial to protect your intellectual property rights. Registering a patent or trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office affords you the power of exclusivity in the marketplace, provides you with legal recourse in the event of infringement, and also help to avoid infringing on the intellectual property rights of others. We routinely collaborate with a network of IP attorneys who can help to protect your intellectual property assets.
Business Succession Planning
Despite the many challenges of launching a new venture, it is crucial to have a long view and make sure the business can continue operating if you are not able to lead. As a premier trust and estate attorney, Carey Thompson works with startups to establish succession plans as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. In short, having a business succession plan will avoid business interruptions if you were to become incapacitated or die prematurely.
We provide advice and guidance on choosing a successor, help determine the value of the business, and prepare the necessary buy-sell agreements to ensure a smooth transition. When you partner with us, you will have peace of mind knowing that your interests, your legacy, and your loved ones will be protected.
Contact our Fort Worth Startup Business Lawyers
The best way for a startup to capitalize on the business opportunities in Texas is to work with the right business law attorney. Carey Thompson has dedicated his practice to serving businesses across the state and he understands the exigencies of the startup community. When you consult our winning legal team, you will be better-equipped to achieve your objectives. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation.