Are you in the process of beginning a start-up company? Depending on your industry, your company may be subject to a number of federal and state regulations regarding safe operations, environmentally friendly practices or financial filings. As you look for an attorney that can provide for your needs, you will have to give the chosen counsel information about you and your business. On your initial meeting with your legal counsel, you should be prepared to fill out a version of a confidential business start-up information questionnaire.
General Information and Contact Details
Just like many of the forms you’ve already filled in your lifetime, you’ll probably be asked for basic contact and personal information. You can expect to provide information of this variety:
•Phone numbers: home, work, etc.
•Company website address (if applicable)
Additionally, your legal counsel will likely ask if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or had issues with federal and/or state securities regulations. If you have had any past issues in this legal area, be prepared to provide details about the situation, and whether you were convicted, accused or found liable.
For the employment section, you won’t have to provide a resume or similar details. Instead, you’ll answer questions regarding your relationship with the company. Expect to answer questions similar to these:
•Who is your current employer?
•What is your position within the company?
•How long have you been with the company?
•Do you intend to stay with the company in the future? If so, how long do you intend to remain employed at the company?
•Are you under a confidentiality or noncompetition contract? (If so, be prepared to provide a copy.)
•Did you participate in developing the business concept?
•Did you utilize company resources to develop the business concept?
If you have any business partners, they should provide responses to the same queries.
After making your role within the company clear, you and any partners you may have should be prepared to provide thorough information regarding your business’s current state. For many of the following questions, your legal counsel will need you to provide documentation supporting your statements or detailed information regarding your actions so far. Consider putting together an informational packet or briefing that answers these questions:
•What steps, if any, have you taken towards incorporating your enterprise?
•How will ownership be distributed?
•Do you have any contracts between owners? What is each responsible for?
•Do you have loans or assets?
•Do you have a business plan?
•Do you have logos, trademarks or real estate?
Questions for Your Attorney
You may already have a myriad of important business questions for your attorney. During your initial meeting, be sure to ask about any pressing legal issues. Especially if you are concerned about providing a safe work environment about your employees, you may find you need to make immediate changes to operational practices to meet current legal codes and regulations.
Pay Attention to Legal Specializations
At this point in your start-up process, you’ve probably pinned down your industry and niche market. Now, you’ll need to identify your legal liabilities and vulnerabilities and safeguard against possible future issues. As you develop a legally viable business model, you’ll want to work with a legal team that already understands the your industry and niche demands. For instance, a technology company will want to safeguard against cyber threats, while a landscaping firm will want to consider worker’s compensation lawsuits.
If you want to give your counsel the tools to succeed, you’ll need to give them sound and complete information about your business and your role within the company. Remember to bring documentation and related information to support your answers to the confidential business start-up questionnaire.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.