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013: Common Legal Mistakes Businesses Make with Skyler Showell

February 2, 2017

The Bearded Tog Podcast by Washington DC Wedding Photographer Adam Mason

When you are starting your business, the question of legality is sure to come up. How do you get your business registered? Should you be an LLC or an S-Corp? A search on the internet will bring up thousands of tips and advice, but they might not be best for what you should do in your unique situation. So what should you do? It might be best to talk to a lawyer. 

In this episode of The Bearded Tog, my own lawyer, Skyler Showell of Showell Ventures LLC discusses the common mistakes businesses make when it comes to legal situations and how to set yourself up for success. We discuss how having a lawyer who understands the needs of a small business can be helpful for you whether it’s your first year, or you’ve had many years in business. 

The Legal Advice we can Share 

(Of course, be sure to consult your own lawyer for a personalized legal consultation for your unique situation.) 

  • Business lawyers can advise you on many aspects of your business. They can help you decide whether you need to be an LLC or an S-Corp, businesses plans, tax audits, real estate, bankruptcies, partnerships, employees, contractors, contracts and customer agreements, anyone suing you, ect. 
  • There  is a lot of misinformation on the web. Laws vary from state to state, and the information you find online may not match your unique business situation. 
  • The different types of business entities usually provide similar risk litigation. They’ll differ on tax obligations and business structure. So, just saying, “oh, I’ll be an LLC” may not fit your situation. Similarly, you may not need to be an S-Corp if you are just starting out. 
  • When looking for a lawyer, be sure to find someone whose fee or packages you can afford, and who you vibe well with and get along with. 
  •  If you are operating as a non-profit, you may be surprised you have to follow a lot of the same procedures and rules as that of for-profit businesses. 
  • Laws are always changing regarding employees and contractors. Generally, if a person is personally trained and managed by you, and using your equipment, they are an employee. If they come in, to do work in a different field than you do, and are their own business and own their own equipment, they are a contractor. A business lawyer ca look at your specific situation to help you classify. 
  • Federal Trademarks have to do with your business name, logo, rading, and reputation. Copyrights have to do with declaring you are the creator of a specific work of art. 
  • Skyler highly suggests getting a lawyer if you are wanting to file for a federal trademark. 50% of trademark applications are rejected because of errors
  • When should you get a lawyer? As soon as you have a concrete idea for your business and are ready to take action on it.

Connect with Skyler Showell online. 

Twitter: @skylershowell

Website: showellvc.com

Email: sshowell@showellvc.com 

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