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Answers to some common business formation questions

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. One impression readers might have from that statement is that it must be very easy to get a business up and running. But experienced Florida business law attorneys will surely agree that is not the case. There are layers of law – federal, state, county and municipal – and complications can surface at any one of them. Care in legal compliance is necessary from the outset.

Seasoned entrepreneurs might have something of an edge when it comes to their understanding of legal requirements. Newcomers to business, however, are bound to have questions. What follows are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers regarding legal aspects of business. It's not a comprehensive rundown.

Do I need a license?

Most likely, yes. Nearly every business requires licensing or permitting of some kind. To operate the business, you'll probably need to be licensed by the state, city or county. Most businesses will also need an employment identification number (EIN) issued by the IRS.

What will my tax obligations be?

The answer depends on what structure you decided to use to set up your business. Regardless of what model you employ, it is critical for you to understand what you will be liable for and how the government expects payments to be made. Obviously, it's important to maintain good records. It's also wise to keep personal and business taxes separate.

What are the different business types and which is best for me?

If you own the business alone, you could file as a sole proprietorship. Other options include a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation. Taxes are different for each type, as is the owner's personal liability. The specific elements of your business will help determine which is best for you.

It might be tempting to forego legal compliance when starting your business on the assumption that you can always retain a lawyer if you find yourself in trouble. However, is it worth the risk?

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