It is important to prepare for your first appointment with an LLP 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.
A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a type of business organization that combines the benefits of a general partnership with those of a limited partnership. In an LLP, partners can actively participate in the business’ management and profits are distributed according to its partnership agreement. However, partners in an LLP are protected if another partner commits malpractice or incurs liability. (However, limited liability does not protect you from all lawsuits.)
Some states, including California, New York, Oregon, and Nevada, only allow individuals who are licensed to practice a professional service (such as law, medicine, or accounting) to structure their business as an LLP. In other states, any group of two or more people can form an LLP. A business lawyer can help you determine whether an LLP is the best business structure for your venture.
The process for creating a limited liability partnership 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:
- Do you have an existing business organization?
- What kind of professional services do you perform?
- What name you are planning to give your LLP?
- What are the names and business roles of your partners?
- What is your business address and contact information?
- Have you appointed a registered agent?
- Do you have malpractice and other business-related insurance?
- Do you have existing business licenses, permits, or tax identification numbers?
- How financially secure is your business?
Additionally, be prepared to describe how your business currently operates. Your LLP lawyer must help you create a limited liability partnership agreement. This agreement will set out each partner’s rights and responsibilities—and it is important to have a well drafted and legally binding agreement. If you have an existing partnership agreement, bring it with you.
It is important to bring any information you have to your first appointment. This may include:
- Any documents dealing with your current business organization (including existing partnership agreements),
- The names and contact information for your partners,
- Information concerning your business’ finances,
- Any insurance or malpractice policies, and
- Copies of your business licenses and permits.
This information will help the lawyer evaluate and understand your business organization.
Creating a limited liability partnership involves more than filling out a simple form and paying a fee. You must draft a detailed partnership agreement that defines the partners’ rights and responsibilities. You also must obtain sufficient insurance coverage and may have to file ongoing reports with your state’s business agency. This can be difficult to do alone. An experienced business lawyer can evaluate your business model, help you form the correct type of business, and protect you and your partners’ interests.