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Avoiding common mistakes when forming a business

As you set out on a new business venture, plan to take on many important and often challenging decisions head on. Starting a new business in Ohio involves a number of large scale and minute details, most of which will fall to the owners and founders of the business.

Before you begin the process of launching a business venture, consider some of the errors others have made as a guideline for what not to do. Far too often business owners find themselves in a bind down the road because of cutting corners or making simple mistakes at the start. To avoid this potential future, consider some important elements of prudent business planning during the formation process.

Choosing the correct structure

Long before you begin hiring, launching a product and entering the market, a crucial first step in forming your business is choosing the correct structure to fit the needs of the company. Whether you’re a sole proprietor or part of a larger ownership structure, choosing the structure can help set the business off in the right direction.

As you choose the structure of the business, consider liability, tax obligations and the level of personal involvement you want to commit to. With multiple owners, one key element is defining the roles and responsibilities of each individual and planning ahead for potential dissolution from the beginning of the new endeavor.

Making hard copy commitments

One essential piece of advice when launching a business is to get it in writing, no matter what the agreement entails. Whether you’re establishing a partnership or ownership agreement, employment contracts, vendor agreements or other commitments, having a hard copy of any agreement will work as a preventative measure against disputes down the line.

A shareholders’ agreement can address a potential dissolution of ownership. An employment contract can stipulate codes of conduct and expectations for all hired personnel to meet. Having a working, comprehensive agreement in place can provide clarity and a pathway for dealing with disputes during the operation of the business.

Seeking outside input

One major failing of many business ventures is that one or two people try to take on work outside their area of expertise. No matter how savvy a salesperson or manager you are, there is realistically no way you can prepare to handle every legal, financial or otherwise professional responsibility of business ownership all on your own.

Consider seeking the advice and partnership of financial experts, human resource specialists, business law attorneys and other helpful resources as you take on a new endeavor. Seeking assistance can often be the best pathway forward for a business. There is likely no failproof guide to avoiding business disputes, but you can make a solid start by avoiding some common errors along the way.

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