Many entrepreneurs, understandably, focus on their products and services and put off getting legal advice. It is very important to decide the best legal structure for your business as the decision you make will have an outcome on various matters such as taxation and the way in which you can bye sued. We can guide and assist you on choosing the legal structure best suited to your needs and circumstances. Your convenience is important to us and we aim to minimise the amount of time you have to spend on the process. We offer video calls to save you from travelling to meet us and you can meet us at times convenient to you.
The different legal structures to consider are sole trader, partnership, limited company, limited liability partnership and co-operative.
This is the most straightforward form. As the name suggests, only one individual owns and runs the business but you can employ others. You are required to register for any applicable taxes with the Revenue Commissioners within 30 days of setting up the business but there is little paperwork apart from that. However, you are legally liable for the business if it fails and do not have any protection. Both your personal and business assets can be used to pay off your creditors if this is the case. Due to the risk involved, it is best you seek advice from your solicitor before choosing this legal structure for your business.
This concerns 2 or more people agreeing to run a business in partnership with each other. Ownership is based on the amount invested in the business. If the business fails, all partners are jointly responsible for the debt. A partnership agreement should be drawn up setting out the rules of how the partners will work together, and we can help you with drafting this.
If you choose to set up a limited company, it must be registered with the Companies Registration Office and the company reports and accounts must be returned to the CRO each year. Your ownership of the company is through owning shares in the company. Unlike the sole trader structure, the business is a separate legal entity and if company gets into debt, creditors usually only have a claim on the assets of the company. However, when a company generates profits, they are the company’s property and you can only extract them by paying a dividend to the shareholders or through a salary as an employee. Under the Companies Act 2014, private companies limited by shares can be registered as an LTD or a DAC. As the set up can be more complex than other legal structures, we can guide you through the process.
Limited Liability Partnership:
This is legally similar to a limited company but acts like a partnership where tax is concerned. This structure is more suited to medium and larger sized partnerships. We can advise on whether this structure is best suited to you or not.
Starting a new business and choosing the correct legal structure can be daunting but we can guide you throughout. As well as advising on the initial structure choice, we can also give you guidance on your obligations as an employer to ensure your business runs smoothly.
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