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Business start up - Mail/Package forwarding

Richmond, VA |

Other then needing an atty to write up the legal documents and contracts what else do I need to start a mail forwarding company. My intent would be not only basic mail forwarding but paper to email, mail holding and package forwarding US and Foreign packages. Do I need to be an LLC and do I need permits licenses etc. I am also in search of a business atty. I feel as though the person that is most helpful for free is most likely going to be the most diligent when being paid.

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Attorney answers 4


You need to do a LOT more to start up a compay--state and city licensing, fees, filings, EIN with IRS, liability insurance and more. You DO need a business attorney. If you get the start-up wrong, you could end up in hot water with the State or Federal government.

FWIW, Your intuition about free and helpful equating to payment and diligence is wrong.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


I agree with my colleague that you will need a business attorney and that free and diligent are often incompatible. I've written a short informational guide regarding starting a business. It's by no means comprehensive and your case will be unique, but I find it helpful.

The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


Good counsel, good guide. Hope the asker reads it and takes advantage of your diligence!


I agree with everything my colleague has said. To the list of what you'd need to start a mail-forwarding company, I'd add "permitting from one or more agencies in the Department of Transportation." Possibly.

What you need to do is sit down with a good business lawyer and discuss where you *are* and where you want to *go*. How do you choose one? Well, I've gotten several clients from church, so you might start there. (Who's likely to be more sympathetic?)

Avvo is also a good place to look for lawyers. Check out the profiles of some business lawyers, including mine, and see how we've answered other questions. Most lawyers on Avvo will provide a free phone consultation, which will let you (and them) see if there's a "fit."

If this is a business you really want to do, don't cheap out. Free legal advice is worth what you pay for it.


Starting any business will require that you consider any number of legalities (business structure, master service agreements, trademark, permits/licenses, etc).

No one here is going to be able to offer you any specific advice regards to these things without the benefit of understanding your situation in more detail. If you were asking, for example, "should I choose an S-Corp or an LLC?" many of us would offer our general insights on the subject and the combination of them would give you a good idea of how to think about the question.

But I have no idea if for example you offer mail forwarding services to clients in VT if they required some kind of business registration or permit without exploring the issue in more detail.

Avvo is a great place to look for a lawyer and most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult. So I urge you to reach out to several and get a feel for who they are and how they charge, etc. I will link you to some helpful general info below as well.

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.