Starting a business is not often a simple matter. There are several steps you must take in the process, depending on where you live and the type of business. You’ll find that there are documents that commonly are required before you’re able to set up your business. A Maryland business attorney can assist you with this if you have trouble figuring out exactly what you need. They’ll also answer questions if you come across an obstacle throughout the process.
Name for Your Business
If you’ll be running a sole proprietorship or partnership in the state of Maryland and would like it to be named differently than the business owner or individual partners, you’ll need to file an Application for Trade Name with the Maryland DAT (Department of Assessments and Taxation). The name will expire after five years and you should renew it no longer than six months of expiration. If you’ll be running an LLC or corporation, it’s necessary to check that the name you wish to use isn’t already being used by a business that’s on file with the Maryland DAT.
Permits and Licenses
Many types of businesses must have permits and licenses in place before they can operate. The business itself would need a license as well as yourself and the professionals you hire may be required to have individual licenses. You can check to see if this is necessary after you have registered your business. Though you can find a great deal of these answers on the state and county licensing databases, you’d do well to speak to a Maryland business lawyer to be sure you properly meet this requirement.
A clearly written business plan with as much detail as possible is crucial to starting your company. It’s a means by which you show your professionalism and that you’re taking your prospects of starting a business seriously. There are a few elements of this that you’ll need to consider:
- Your target customer base
- Know exactly the product(s) or service(s) you’ll be offering
- Be well aware of the demand for the product(s) and/or service(s) in your area (or on a larger scale if you’re not only going to sell locally)
It is incredibly beneficial to get information that’s been derived from a reliable source such as the U.S. Census. Not only will this help you determine if your business idea is solid, but how you should advertise and market. The plus in doing this is that you’ll be able to anticipate marketing costs and who you might like to partner with for their strengths in this area. Once you know this, you can come up with official agreements such as contracts.
Most good businesses will have people or other companies/agencies with whom they work or collaborate in some way. If this is the case for your business, it’s important that you have contracts drafted to display the terms upon which you and the other parties agree. This is a way to make all the details of the business relationship clear so that misunderstandings are avoided. A contract is binding and legally enforceable. Though you may not want to bring an individual or company to court over an issue, at least both sides will have protection if the terms were not met or if there’s a breach.
Even though there are various places online you can find templates for business contracts, it’s in your best interest for a business attorney to create one using details that you give. You might even want to have a witness present when someone from your company and the other party sign the document.
Taxes and Reporting
In Maryland, it’s required that you have tax information on file for your employees and that you as the owner report tax information for the business. It is usually a good idea to keep records of this every quarter of the year and also pay on a quarterly basis if you can. This way, you’ll be ahead of the game and even if you estimated too high, you’d get it back as a refund.
Depending on whether you have actual employees who work on a regular basis or contractors, you’d give them different types of paperwork to fill out early on. If you don’t know the difference between these forms and need assistance, a Maryland business attorney is your best bet.
Business Documentation Is a Breeze with the Help of a Professional
Regardless of the type of company you’d like to start and how much experience you’ve had in business so far, it’s ideal to seek out guidance from a legal professional. They can walk you through what you need to gather for various steps of this process. It doesn’t need to be a frustrating task. Put your trust in the legal team at Lusk Law, LLC of the Frederick Maryland area, and we won’t steer you wrong.