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West Chicago - Cleaning professionals starting a new business without consulting an attorney can be making a big mistake, according to Michael Schaffer, a senior executive with Tacony’s Commercial Floor Care division and president of Tornado Industries®, manufacturers of professional cleaning equipment
“There are all kinds of issues, including tax consequences, that are best addressed before a business gets off the ground,” says Schaffer. “A qualified attorney can be a key resource both when starting and after the business gets going.”
However, many entrepreneurs in the professional cleaning industry are not sure how to select a qualified attorney.
To help with this, this month’s Tornado’s Business of the Business offers some suggestions on how to find the right attorney for a new enterprise:
· Ask other business owners which attorneys they work with and if they recommend them.
· Contact your local bar association for a list of attorneys that specialize in business organization.
· Make sure the attorney has expertise in business organization--for example, setting up a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.
· Ask the attorney if business organization is their specialty. Most attorneys specialize in different legal arenas; an attorney that specializes in wills and probates would likely not be a good attorney to ask for help starting a new business.
· Consider any special needs you may have; for instance, if English is your second language, it might be best to work with an attorney that speaks your primary language.
· Make sure the attorney is licensed to practice law in your state; different states may have different rules affecting businesses operating within their borders.
· Once an attorney is selected, ask how much he or she will charge you to legally organize your business and for further consultation.
“The [legal] costs to set up a new business typically are relatively small,” adds Schaffer. “But legal fees can vary. You want to make sure you understand exactly what the costs will be before retaining the attorney.”