By Liz Witbeck
Starting a new business is no easy feat. Many people who start a business do not understand the scope of laws and regulations involved. An attorney is a valuable resource for people looking to start any kind of venture and unsure where to begin.
Several attorneys specializing in real estate and business law exist Saratoga Springs and the greater Saratoga County area to help with planning.
“Many people don’t know the legal ramifications involved in the process,” said attorney Robert W. Pulsifer.
Pulsifer operates a law firm at 562 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs. He has been practicing law for 25 years and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from West Virginia University. He advises business owners to obtain two types of counselors when starting a new venture: an attorney and an accountant.
He said virtually all business owners should consult an attorney. There are several laws regarding taxes, the IRS, zoning and more that may be complicated. An attorney can talk to business owners about their individual situation and give advice that is specific for them.
One of the most common types of services is helping owners decide on a business structure best suited for them. Often, they fall into one of three categories: sole proprietorships; partnerships; and corporations.
“If a person is opening a restaurant and is going to be serving alcohol, then I highly recommend forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect them from that liability” said Pulsifer.
“On the other hand, if a person is running a business out of their home, then an LLC is not necessary.”
Another important thing to keep in mind when starting a business is where to establish it. Many cities have zoning laws that need to be followed. An attorney can help business owners decide if the space where they want to locate is designated for the intended use.
Starting a business is difficult and Pulsifer recommends entrepreneurs do the homework necessary to make sure it goes smoothly.
“Eighty-five percent of businesses fail. In order to be part of the 15 percent that succeed, you need to do your homework. You need to know that it’s a viable business,” he said. “And you need to have some reserved capital. Many business owners underestimate the amount of money it takes to start up.”
Pulsifer handles. among other aspects of law, real estate law, closings for residential and commercial transactions, planning and zoning, business law, corporations and purchases and sales of Businesses.
He can be reached at 587-9105. His website is pulsiferlaw.com.