The constant whirlwind of excitement and activity surrounding the launch of your startup can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You can get so focused on the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of getting your operation up and running that you neglect some of your company's most vital legal components. Because you're so busy and likely not generating much revenue during the startup phase, it may be tempting to try to handle everything on your own and not seek out the support of a business lawyer.
When you realize that your biggest personal and business expense is taxes, it can come as quite a shock. Seeing so much of your money wind up in the government's hands can feel like a shakedown. So, it's crucial to strategize to reduce your taxes. Some people resist enforcing creative tax strategies because they're worried it will get them in trouble with the IRS. However, as long as you do things properly, there's nothing illegal about strategizing to pay the least amount of taxes possible.
Although paying taxes is a largely unavoidable part of running a business, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is one common type of tax you can often avoid paying. Capital gains tax is one of the few taxes you can avoid paying, but only if you plan ahead and plan wisely. Since we're only a few weeks away from the end of the year, it might seem like it's too late to save on capital gains taxes in 2021, but you may still have time if you act immediately.
You may be wondering why you need to hire a lawyer to help you run your company. This is true today when you can access just about every conceivable legal document online for cheap from the countless online do-it-yourself document services. But without the guidance and support of trusted legal counsel, you're likely not aware of all the ways your business is leaking money, putting yourself and your family at risk, and possibly limiting the positive impact you have on the lives of your clients.
Often owners and managers of small businesses often know each other before they go into business together. Sometimes, they're even related. Preexisting relationships can help propel small businesses forward, especially when there are high levels of trust and competence. However, familiarity is sometimes accompanied by a lax attitude toward operational formalities. So, it's best to have a skilled business lawyer who can help you structure your operational strategies properly.
The entity you choose for your business affects everything contracted by your company. Your business entity will determine the amount of taxes you pay, what kind of records you keep, and how vulnerable your assets are to lawsuits. Among the different business entities, all companies should be one of the following legal structures: a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC).
When starting a business, you have to make a ton of decisions. Deciding what to name your company and hiring employees, what kind of products or services you should sell, and how to fund your operation, getting your business off the ground comes with a nearly endless number of decisions. Of all these decisions, perhaps none is more important or has a more significant impact on your success (or failure) than your choice of business entity structure.
Taking your clients out to dinner or to a sporting event can be a great way to get to know the people with whom you are doing business and help you develop a closer relationship. Plus, it can be a legitimate business expense (with some exceptions) that you can deduct from your company’s income taxes. The rules for deducting meal and entertainment expenses from your taxes have changed quite a bit over the last few years, and these changes can be pretty confusing.
Planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death, regardless of your financial status, is something that you should take care of immediately, especially when you have children. While Aretha lived a relatively long life, you'll never know when tragedy may strike, and through diligent estate planning, you can save your family from the needless disputes, expense, and embarrassing public exposure the late singer's loved ones are currently enduring.
Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” whose earnings are worth $80 million, died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. Yet, due to poor estate planning, her children have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately receive will be significantly depleted by back taxes. Also, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha ever had a valid will. Her story shows how destructive poor estate planning can be for the loved ones we leave behind.