How do you set up a business in Florida – Continued
Law Office of David Steinfeld Florida Business Law Blog on How do you set up a business in Florida - Sections 6 through 9
How do you set up a business in Florida * Part 6: The benefits of the LLCThe likely primary reason why the LLC has become the dominant business entity in Florida is the relative ease by which it can be managed. Our LLC laws do not require that the owners, who are either managers or members, necessarily have a written operating agreement between them, but without such governing document, the owners are essentially stuck with what the Legislature has given them, which may or may not be what they desire or intend. While the LLC is governed by an operating agreement or Chapter 605, which is Florida*s LLC laws, the governance documents used in a corporation, which is designated by *Inc.*, are bylaws and a shareholder agreement. Thus, two separate documents are required for the corporation whereas only one is needed for the LLC and the cost to the business for these is then cut in half with the LLC.
While governance documents for a Florida business, such as an operating agreement for an LLC, bylaws and a shareholder agreement for a corporation, and a partnership agreement for a partnership, enhance and guide the internal operations of the business between the *partners* in common parlance, the business can also enhance its own value and add protection to its brand through trademarks or service marks. The State of Florida has its own trademark statutes that complement the Federal trademark laws, but the Florida trademark and service mark is far less costly than a Federal mark. For start-up businesses that only plan to operate in Florida or intend to initially do so, the Florida trademark may be of great value and benefit, which is a common discussion topic between new business owners and Mr. Steinfeld in consultation meetings.
How do you set up a business in Florida * Part 7: Non-Florida business doing business in FloridaFlorida encourages and provides an easy means for non-Florida businesses, that is a business either registered in another State or Country, to register to conduct business legally in the State. The method is similar to creating a business here and is done online on the State*s website, Sunbiz. If a foreign business as it is called, either a corporation or LLC, has a credit card, internet access and a registered agent to accept service of process of lawsuits, it can register to do business here. There are even businesses in Florida that cater to such foreign businesses and offer their services as a registered agent for the foreign business in Florida.
Although a foreign business need not always or absolutely register to do business in Florida, the benefit of so doing affords the business benefits that it would not otherwise enjoy. How such benefits will apply to a particular foreign business and whether it is helpful for a particular business to do so is a topic better addressed in a discussion with David Steinfeld. The Law Office of David Steinfeld employs a great deal of technology to move at the speed of its business clients. Therefore, a foreign business wishing to discuss these topics will find it easy to do so from anywhere in the country or the world.
How do you set up a business in Florida * Part 8: An introduction to protecting your businessWhen a business opens in Florida, it will generally either provide a service or sell merchandise. In either case, the intent is usually to operate the business to earn a profit for its owners and to that end they strive to market and promote the business to increase sales and generate that profit. But, what many business owners overlook in their quest for growth is the need to protect and insulate the business from attacks. Such battles can develop internally, which is why governance documents, like operating agreements for LLCs or bylaws and shareholder agreements for corporations, are beneficial. These fights can also come from employees or independent contractors from adjacent to or outside the corporate entity or from competitors or vendors outside the business.
Protecting the brand of a business promotes the growth and development of the business and enhances the possibility for profit that the owners seek. Protecting a business in this regard is not limited to the filing of a trademark application on Sunbiz, for example, but is an operational program as to how the proprietary information of and developed by the business can best be protected. Designing such a program for the business is a service provided by David Steinfeld and the Law Office of David Steinfeld.
How do you set up a business in Florida * Part 9: Trademarks are not your only protectionWhile trademarks and service marks are one method by which a business can add value to and protect its brand, non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosures are also mechanisms by which a business can place itself in a position to more easily enforce its rights and protect itself. However, there are certain legal restrictions that apply to some of those documents leading one to the recommendation of *don*t try this at home*. Business owners that elect to create their own contracts or download these documents from an unknown source and opt not to invest in expert business law advice, such as that from Florida Bar Board Certified business litigation lawyer David Steinfeld of the Law Office of David Steinfeld, usually create a bigger and more expensive problem for the business later.
A business that relies on its self-created documents can, for years, believe that it is protected by such defective documents only to find out when it tries to enforce them that the business is unprotected, has exposed its proprietary and confidential business information, and created its own competition that can damage or destroy the business. After spending years and significant sums to grow a business, one of the worst imaginable issues that the owner or owners can face is learning that they are helpless to fight off an attack from a former employee or new competitor who has absconded with what the business owner thought was protected proprietary business information.
Thus, sophisticated business owners invest the time and money to consult with Florida law business experts like David Steinfeld to understand the options available to them and to be able to make informed decisions on those points, which avoids more costly future disputes ever time.