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Owning a small business can be a simple or complex practical matter depending on how your business is structured and the goods or services you offer. Regardless of how easy or hard it may seem in practice, though, there is a myriad of legal issues to consider as a small business owner in Florida.
For business owners in Orlando, Miami or Tampa, it's important to understand state and federal laws and know how to proceed when a legal issue develops. LawInfo has the Florida small business law information you need from financing a small business to workers' compensation.
As an owner of a startup business, you'll want to consider the possibility of leaving your business in the future and prepare accordingly. A common method to do this is to create a buy-sell (or buyout) agreement, which protects the business in the event of an owner's departure. The agreement is made between the owners of a business and details the purchase of a departing owner's shares of ownership by the remaining owners.
Buy-sell agreements are often used in family businesses where there may be multiple generations of business owners and the possibility of divorce. The agreement can ensure that there is a smooth transfer of ownership from an older and possibly dying owner to a younger owner. It also helps to reduce the friction a divorce may create for the business, especially if a divorced owner would threaten the welfare of the business.
A buy-sell agreement can also protect a business from an owner's bankruptcy. Under a buy-sell agreement, the business can be protected from asset liquidation to pay for a bankrupt owner's debts. The bankrupt owner would sell their shares to their co-owners and dedicate the resulting profits toward paying their debts.
The type of business structure you choose for your company will affect you and your co-owners' (if any) financial and tax liability. There are several major types of business structures, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. You should consult with a small business attorney to determine which structure suits your business needs.
The types of business structures you can make in Florida include:
A small business owner should get assistance with legal matters as they can ruin a business if mishandled or ignored. Issues like defending against wrongful termination claims or negotiating the acquisition of another company's assets are complex and time-consuming. Retaining an attorney to help prevent legal problems is a wise move.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified business lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local business attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.