Legal preparation needed before starting a company

Entrepreneurs who are forming a corporation need to make sure they acquire an adequate amount of legal counsel and documentation.

In an a column for BusinessWeek, Charley Moore, founder and chairman of Rocket Lawyer, offers a list of legal steps that every small business should take. It is essential to plan how the company's assets will be protected, have documented proof of operations and establish a suitable tax structure.

Before filing incorporation forms, entrepreneurs need to think about their long-term business strategy. This will help when deciding on a business structure. Seeking advice from an incorporation service is also invaluable. Not asking for help is one of the most common mistakes small business owners make, according to Moore. Expert help early on can save money and time later.

It is important to remember to trademark and register the domain name of the company so that it can be claimed on blogs and social media sites. If an invention is the foundation of the company, entrepreneurs must get a patent.

Corporate documentation is critical if the company becomes involved in a lawsuit. Preserve the company's limited liability status by keeping corporate minutes and checking to see which records the IRS requires businesses to keep.