Forming a new business is an exciting venture that requires planning and proper execution. Starting a new business in Maryland takes careful consideration and in some cases, complex legal requirements.
The type and size of the new business determines how complex it will be to get started. New business owner can benefit from consulting a Maryland business lawyer.
A lawyer can guide the business owner through the formation process, and explain the legal requirements for operating in Maryland.
Starting a New Maryland Business
New Maryland businesses have to file certain paperwork with the state indicating the type of business. The most common types of new businesses in Maryland are:
- Sole proprietorship: the business owner is solely responsible for the business, and runs it alone
- Partnership: a business with more than one owner
- Cooperation: a business owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services
- Limited liability company (LLC): this type of business protects the owner (known as an LLC “member”) from being held liable for business itself
Each type of business has unique benefits and drawbacks. A Maryland business lawyer can help clients decide which business structure will benefit them most.
Negotiating Business Contracts
Contracts serve two purposes: to create a binding, legally enforceable agreement among the parties to the contract; and to ensure that all parties to the contract are in agreement to the terms.
A properly negotiated agreement can make enforcement easier and can often reduce the chances of going to court over a misunderstanding or disagreement. Well-drafted vendor contracts, employee contracts, licensing contracts, leases, and other types of business contracts are essential to running a company.
The cost of properly drafting a contract is typically insignificant to the damage to a company if the contract is breached. If, for example, a supplier fails to deliver essential items or services in violation of its contract, the non-breaching party’s operations can grind to a halt. Litigation is expensive. A well-negotiated contract can often help avoid lawsuits.
When the other party refuses to meet their contractual obligation or refuses to pay for their breach of contract, litigation may become necessary. Often, however, an experienced business lawyer in Maryland can avoid litigation but still obtain compensation in the case of a breach of contract.
Handling Employment Issues
As businesses grow and gain employees, employment issues arise that require legal resolution. Businesses in Maryland often face employment law issues when employees leave under difficult circumstances.
It may be necessary to let an employee go when his or her poor performance is hindering the business. However, a terminated employee may try to sue the company for wrongful termination or file an EEOC charge.
Maryland is an “at-will” state, which means that an employer can generally fire an employee at any time for almost any reason. Typically, employees do not need to provide any reason whatsoever for terminating an employee.
There are some exceptions to the rule, however. For example, federal law and Section 20-602 of the Maryland Code protects employees from discrimination due to certain characteristics, including:
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- National origin
Consult with a Maryland Business Attorney Today
Certain laws protect employees from termination based on a variety characteristics. Wrongful termination suits can arise where a former employee claims discrimination led to his or her firing.
However, when a disgruntled former employee brings a wrongful termination lawsuit, a business should be prepared to defend against such claims. If your business is facing a wrongful termination suit, or other related issues, a Maryland business attorney can help protect your business in court.
Maryland business lawyers can help you form a new business. Experienced attorneys can also represent your established business in a legal or employment dispute.