It’s important to prepare for your first appointment with a LLC or business lawyer. In order to evaluate your claim and provide accurate legal advice, the lawyer must have a lot of information. You can help streamline the interview process by compiling this data in advance. While every lawyer has his or her own interview process, this is a list of common questions.
Limited liability companies (LLCs) are a common form of business organization in the United States. An LLC combines the tax benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship with a corporation’s limited liability protections. For tax purposes, an LLC is not considered a taxable entity and LLC members (or owners) only pay personal income taxes on their LLC income. However, a member’s personal assets are typically protected from creditors and lawsuits. However, there are exceptions to these limited liability protections.
LLCs are permitted in all 50 states and even sole proprietorships can convert to an LLC. (You only need one member to form an LLC.) If you are concerned about business liability and want to protect your personal assets, you should consider forming an LLC.
However, not all businesses are allowed to form as an LLC. For example, banking, insurance, and trust companies cannot operate as a limited liability company. Also, some states prohibit certain professions (such as doctors, architects, and certain health care workers) from creating LLCs.
The process for creating a limited liability company varies from state to state. In order to guide you through your state’s procedure, the lawyer will need some specific information. Typically, you will be asked:
- What kind of business do you operate?
- Do you have an existing business organization?
- What name you are planning to give your LLC?
- What are the names and business roles of your co-owners?
- What is your business address and contact information?
- Do you have investors?
- Do you have existing business licenses, permits, or tax identification numbers?
- How financially secure is your business?
The lawyer will need this information to guide you through the LLC formation process. While most states offer a relatively simple, fill-in “Articles of Organization” form (which is often available online), you may also need a formal operating agreement and other documents.
While the process of forming an LLC is relatively simple, you may benefit from a business lawyer’s assistance. For example, a lawyer can help you draft an operating agreement (defining your LLC’s structure and the members’ responsibilities). Additionally, if your business accepts money from investors, you may want to speak with a lawyer about SEC compliance. Your business’ success is important. A business lawyer can provide peace of mind and important legal guidance.