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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Thinking about buying or starting a business this year?

Gregory A. Lang

The seasons in Minnesota are truly distinct. Whereas the climate in much of the rest of the nation remains either warm or relatively mild year-round, Minnesotans are accustomed to extreme summers and winters, bookended by visually stunning springs and autumns. It is perhaps in part due to the significant changes in the seasons that Minnesotans tend to be hard-working, strong and creative. After all, one cannot engage in the same occupations year-in and year-out in Minnesota when virtually everything about life tends to change four times annually.

Many hard-working, strong and creative Minnesotans eventually turn their attention to small businesses. These businesses may be seasonal in nature and operate only three or four months per year or they may be year-round operations. Either way, small businesses allow Minnesotans to put their work ethic and creativity to good use. However, it is important to remember that this admirable approach and the courage to venture into something new should not be directed into purchasing a small business without some significant legal help.

The way in which your small business is incorporated will determine whether you can be held personally liable if the business's finances fail. If your business cannot cover its debts, you may be held liable to creditors if your business is incorporated in one way, while your personal assets will be insulated from creditors if you incorporate your business in another way. This is one of the many reasons why it is vital that you seek the guidance of a business law attorney you can trust before jumping on the small business bandwagon.

In addition to incorporation matters, an attorney experienced in business law can help to ensure that you understand your business's tax-related obligations, contracts with vendors, suppliers and employees, advertising restrictions, safety requirements and a host of other business-related matters. The act of assuming a small business can be rewarding beyond measure, especially in a place like Minnesota that has a business-friendly environment and strong communities. However, it can be overwhelming, financially risky and generally hazardous to jump into a small business without consulting the guidance of an experienced attorney first. 

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