Do You Need An Attorney To Start An Olympia Or Tacoma, Washington Business?
This is the next post in my series on starting a business in Olympia, Tacoma, or elsewhere in the state of Washington. My last article discussed several issues to consider when starting a company. How you form your business can impact liability, the ability to raise capital, and how you will deal with disputes between owners. By making the right decisions from the start you can help to ensure against future problems. In this article I will discuss a commonly asked question – “Do I need an attorney to start a company?” While counsel is not required, there are significant benefits to retaining representation. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
An attorney is not technically required to form a new business. The process is handled through the Secretary of State’s Office. The Secretary of State maintains a useful and accessible website, which allows you to complete the business registration process online. If you are forming a corporation, a basic set of Articles of Incorporation can be generated from the information provided to the Secretary of State on this site and printed out. However, certain other documents are required that cannot be produced in this was. LLCs require LLC agreements and corporations require bylaws. Templates for these documents, partnership agreements, and other contracts can be obtained through private websites or even from Office Depot. However, these documents are not tailored to your business, often are not based on Washington law, and may have other problems.
Once you have formed your entity through the Secretary of State, and executed their membership agreements, you will typically be able to open a bank account and perform other necessary functions. Business licensing and tax registration are perhaps the most critical of these. These tasks are generally best done through a qualified accountant, who can also serve as the accountant for the business thereafter.
An experienced business law lawyer will help you form your business in a way that minimizes future problems. First, counsel can make sure, or work with your account to ensure, that you obtain all necessary licenses and permits for your type of venture. Second, by drafting contracts, LLC agreements, or bylaws that are specific to your needs, an attorney can put you in a position where your time is free to worry about the most important thing – your business. While retaining counsel is not required for starting a company, it is usually wise to do so.
If you are forming a new company then contact my Olympia office today to schedule an initial consultation. I have extensive experience in helping entrepreneurs and I am ready to assist you. 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 cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.