Starting a Business in Maryland
If you are thinking about starting a new business in Maryland…Congratulations! There are many considerations to take into account when starting up a new business, and in this article, I am going to touch on a few of them.
With startup capital limited, you will need to determine what you reasonably can do on your own, and what tasks require the assistance of an attorney. Early on, you will need to determine what type of business entity makes the most sense for your enterprise – whether it will be a limited liability company, a traditional C-corporation, an S-corporation, a limited partnership, or something else. This decision can have tax implications, as well as other practical implications.
There will also be legal questions surrounding the choice of a name for your business – including compliance with trademark law. You don’t want to select a business name and invest a lot of money in branding, only to find out that another company owns the trademark rights to your chosen name, and can legally exclude you from using your desired business name.
Depending on the type of business structure you decide to use, in most cases there will be a formational legal document — such as articles of incorporation for a corporation, or articles of organization for a limited liability company. Typically, you also will wish to go beyond that organizational document to have a governing document for the entity – such as bylaws for a corporation, an operating agreement for a limited liability company, or a partnership agreement for a partnership. Particular types of business activities may need specific provisions to be included in the governing documents. For example, a partnership that is formed specifically to own real property may have different provisions than a partnership formed to operate a different type of business.
It’s also almost always a good idea to have an accountant, bookkeeper, and perhaps other financial advisors, lined up and available to work with you from the early stages of your business entity.
If your entity is going to hire employees, or retain the services of independent contractors, it’s very important that you follow all applicable requirements under state and federal employment laws and understand the circumstances under which independent contractors may be used.
This just scratches the surface of topics to consider in standing up a new business, and I encourage you to consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable about Maryland business law. Our firm has the depth of experience to provide this type of help, and we would welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact me with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 489-1996.