Legal Aspects of Starting a Business

Business Law and Corporate Law

When forming a business, it is important to keep in mind the various laws and regulations that govern the industry you are entering. Zoning laws, for example, may restrict where your business can be located, and employment laws will determine the terms and conditions under which you can hire, manage, and treat employees for your business. Your New York business may also be subject to consumer protection laws protecting consumers from unfair or unsafe practices, and intellectual property laws protecting your company’s trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets. Environmental laws may also apply to your business, depending on its activities. By understanding the laws that govern your industry, business owners can avoid many potential headaches (and legal costs related thereto).

The need for a New York business lawyer for your business arises from the fact that there can be hundreds of laws that need to be followed and each industry may have its own particular regulations and rules. There are federal laws, business laws and corporate laws for each state, and generally most cities, and local municipalities that, at times, can overlap or even contradict each other. A small business owner should engage a New York business lawyer be understand which laws are applicable to their business.

The Difference Between a Business Lawyer And Corporate Lawyer

While there is no distinct difference between corporate law and business law, corporate law generally refers to how businesses are formed, governed, administered, and managed, while business law refers to the areas of the law that are associated with how the business operates, such as their vendor and customer relationships, employment law, business contract law, domestic and international tax law, and business disputes/litigation.

Business Lawyer

While the size of a company doesn’t necessarily determine if a corporate lawyer or a business lawyer is needed, business lawyers are more commonly retained by businesses that need a wide range of services.
Business lawyers help on legal aspects used in corporate acquisitions and mergers, formation of the business entity (e.g., partnership, corporation, or limited liability company, to name a few) and the rights of the businesses’ members, investors and shareholders. New York Business lawyers also advise on other aspects of the business including employment law, customer and vendor facing contracts and other agreements, and intellectual property rights. A business lawyer can help advise how the corporate entity is or will be affected by business decisions and can help manage the relationships between a business and its customers, vendors, or suppliers.

Corporate Lawyer

Business Lawyer and Corporate Lawyer

New York corporate lawyer representation can be similar to a business lawyer, which may involve assisting businesses with a number of matters related to the day-to-day operations of the business. Corporate lawyers may work on a merger or acquisition, dissolution of the business, tax guidance, drafting and reviewing corporate documents, agreements, and contracts, recommendations involving the issuance of securities or investment in securities, counsel regarding the purchase or sale of businesses, assets, and rights, assisting in real estate development and transactions, and providing advice as to bankruptcy matters. Corporate lawyers may specialize in certain areas like bankruptcy, tax or employment matters.

The corporate attorney may serve as general counsel or outside general counsel to the business and will work with other departments within the corporate entity to help the business make sound decisions and stay in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. An understanding of global capital markets enhances a corporate lawyer’s ability to provide good advice to clients. Corporate lawyers can also help with compliance with local, state, national, and international laws that regulate businesses and transactions.

Corporate lawyers may work for larger companies and help write contracts, help with the behind-the-scenes corporate legal work, and help avoid litigation.

Situations Where Business Lawyers And Corporate Lawyers Can Help

corporate law conflict

New York business lawyers with an in-depth knowledge of both business law and corporate law will help protect your company’s best interests against the many challenges that can arise during the course of doing business. This might include defending against a lawsuit for a product that malfunctioned, changing the business structure for a limited liability company, drafting legal documents, or just providing counsel to the business; business attorney consultation is important to the success of a company.

Forming A Business Starting your own business means putting together an organizational structure, hiring employees, and registering with the appropriate government agencies. Once you have a business structure in place, you’ll need to follow the law. Business owners should be aware that laws and regulations change and they should implement a compliance policy . It’s also important to be aware of employment and consumer protection laws, intellectual property laws, and environmental laws. All these factors will help ensure a smooth and successful launch of your business.

Buying And Selling A Business – When looking to acquire a business, prospective purchasers should do diligence on the commercial real estate used by the business (does it have the requisite leases, licenses, permits, etc.). Businesses are also affected by things like environmental regulations, how real estate and properties are used, and many more areas of overlap.

Continuously Changing Laws and Regulations – As a business grows, it is important to be aware of changing local, state and federal business laws that could impact your business in a positive or negative way.

Employment Law – A New York business lawyer can help you be familiar with applicable state labor laws and to have a workplace employee policy in place.

Consumer Protection Laws – Your corporate lawyer should be able to advise of applicable local, state and federal laws related to advertising, sales practices, and product liability.

Licensing and Permits – Having the correct licenses and permits is critical to starting and running your business (and helps avoid future problems).

Intellectual Property Laws – A New York corporate lawyer can help you identify, license and protect your company’s trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and other proprietary intellectual property.

Environmental Laws – It is important to be familiar with state and federal environmental regulations that could impact your business.

Expand Your Business Overseas – An in-depth understanding of global business markets allows a New York corporate lawyer to provide good advice for clients and meet the demands of capital markets in the U.S. and overseas.

Bankruptcy – Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. There are various types of bankruptcy, commonly referred to by their chapter within the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding carried out to allow individuals or businesses freedom from their debts, while simultaneously providing creditors an opportunity for repayment.

As New York business lawyers and corporate lawyers, we routinely handle legal issues related to all aspects of Business Law and Corporate Law. Choosing and forming the correct legal entity, preparing contracts to clarify the relationship between business owners and employees, negotiating business contracts, investigating in companies, and completing mergers and acquisitions, buying or selling a business or its assets and business succession planning. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our New York business and corporate lawyers to get the help your business needs.