One of the most common questions we’re asked is: “I’m thinking of starting a new business, where do I begin?” While there can be many different answers depending on your circumstances and goals, there are a few solid resources we always point people to before setting up a consultation with a DLO attorney.
Check them out below—some are short and sweet and some are long and technical—but all are super helpful!
- This blog post from Davis gives a very high-level overview of the steps involved in taking any legal entity from 0-60, along with the general timelines associated with the phases.
- This (very long) handbook from the State of Minnesota goes into deep detail about each of the entity types and includes information about applicable regulations and necessary documents. We suggest taking a read through pp. 38-42 and 50-53 for a deeper look at what’s involved in partnerships and LLCs, the most common types of entities.
- Here’s a (short!) document from the Minnesota Department of Revenue that discusses forms and income reporting requirements for the different entity types. This is a good resource to get a sense of how your tax filing may look different as a business.
- The jurisdiction in which your business is located will have the most influence over some of your questions and decision-making points (such as on-site food preparation, liquor permitting, educational entity, etc.). Davis Law Office works most often with these issues in the context of the City of Minneapolis, and their business portal is amazing. Even if you’re not considering opening in Minneapolis, there is a lot of great information that would still give you an idea of things to think about even if the municipality you would like to do business in doesn’t have as robust a portal. Make sure you check the city websites for places you are interested in starting up in.
- Even after a complimentary consultation, fees will be an important component of your future business plans. We have some information regarding fees at DLO here and more about our philosophy on our blog here. Some areas you can expect to incur fees could be:
- Entity startup
- Trademarking your business/brand
- Terms & conditions on your website
- Contractor forms
- Vendor forms
- Employee handbook & personnel matters
- And if the fees outlined on our site sound too steep, a number of local law schools have business clinics that might be able to offer some services on a reduced-fee basis. We have a blog with a lot more business topics as well—look for the tags on the right-hand side to narrow your reading focus!
Hopefully, this gives you a jumping off point for narrowing your questions for when you meet with an attorney. And if you still have questions—please let us know! Best of luck on your entrepreneurial journey!