Choosing A Structure For Your Olympia, Washington Business

by | Jan 15, 2018 | Business Law

Business documentThis is the next post in my series on starting a business in Olympia or elsewhere in the state of Washington. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney to fully understand all of your options. Counsel can help you to select the structure with the best mix of legal protections and flexibility so you can grow your company. In this article I will provide basic information on the type of entities/business structures which you may wish to choose from. It is important to understand that businesses are not cookie-cutter affairs.  Everyone’s circumstances differ. It is best to speak with a lawyer to get advice fitted to your specific situation. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also serve Tacoma, Southwest Washington, and other areas in our state.

Olympia business owners may shield themselves from liability by starting a separate entity

There are several structures available to entrepreneurs starting a new business. The simplest, most flexible, and least safe is to operate as a “sole proprietor.” This means that an individual obtains a business license and operates the business as an individual as opposed to operating as a separate entity.  A more complex, fairly flexible, and safe option is to operate as a separate entity, such as a Limited Liability Company (L.L.C.). An L.L.C. is considered to be something separate and distinct from its owners. The company will be able to buy or sell property, to sue or be sued, and to hire and fire employees. The most complex, less flexible, and safe option is to form a corporation, which is also an entity that is separate from its owners. Each of these forms has its own pros and cons.

Olympia business owners will often find that a sole proprietorship is the easiest business to form, as it needs little more than a business license. Being a sole proprietor, however, has substantial drawbacks. The primary drawback is that the owner will be personally liable for any business-related lawsuits. That means that if your business is sued and loses, it is as if you were sued personally and lost. Your personal assets, and not simply the assets which are considered “business” assets, can then be seized to pay the judgment. An L.L.C. or a corporation, by contrast, will usually shield the owners from such personal liability. Choosing between these business structures will largely depend on a company’s capital needs, the need for ownership flexibility, tax considerations, and more. An attorney can help you understand which of these business forms may best suit your given situation.

A business law attorney can help Olympia and Tacoma business owners decide how to best structure their venture

When choosing a structure for your new venture it is important to set things up in a way which will meet your immediate needs while allowing for growth that is consistent with your future plans. Picking the wrong type of structure today can lead to severe complications tomorrow. By retaining an experienced business law lawyer you help to make sure things are handled properly from the outset.

I regularly handle the formation of companies for entrepreneurs. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cites of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.