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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

Putting the "own" in business ownership

The excitement and anticipation of owning a business is a thrilling adventure for many entrepreneurs in Minnesota. However, it is rarely a process that can be eased into slowly. Rather, it requires someone who is willing to take risks, has a clear vision of future goals and is committed to refining their competencies to stay a step ahead of the competition. 

Over time, budding businesses will discover what strengths are needed to keep operations running smoothly. Through trial and error, they will identify methods that capitalize on resources and allow them to successfully attain new goals and opportunities. According to The Hartford, one of the most important things that business owners can do is to identify and set goals that are realistic and clear. In defining these goals to their team members, they need to provide a timeline for measuring how successful efforts are along the way. Other things they should be doing include the following:

  • Identifying what sets them apart from the rest. 
  • Relying on the support network of other successful business owners and mentors. 
  • Avoid getting distracted by little details that will not matter in the long-term. 
  • Take advantage of delegation and find trustworthy individuals to contribute to team efforts. 

A closer look at the necessary components of partnerships

When businesses begin investigating the possibility of forming a new partnership, there are often deep discussions about a relationship's potential, how it will affect organizational synergy and whether or not it will generate desired benefits. For many Minnesota companies, creating new relationships is crucial to success as they leverage each contributor's strengths to create a strong, long-lasting and rewarding partnership. 

When a company begins negotiations with a potential partner, they may find that certain aspects of personality, ways to conducting business or even core belief systems, vary in ways that could potentially affect the organization's success. While these differences can be positively used to find compromise and achieve new successes, ignoring these differences can lead to detrimental problems that could ultimately affect a company's success. 

What you need to know before hiring employees

There are many requirements that Minnesota business owners must fulfill in order to have employees. Noncompliance with federal and state regulations can get a company in big trouble.

According to Intuit Inc., here are some of employers' legal and tax obligations:

  • Apply for an IRS employee identification number; this number is necessary before an employer can legally hire workers
  • Verify employee eligibility through the I-9 form; employees must prove that they are authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Classify workers as employees or independent contractors
  • Report information on the new employees to the state directory within 20 days of hiring them
  • Post information on workers' rights

Who can benefit from a limited liability company?

The easiest way to start your own business is to run it as a sole proprietorship. However, just because this is easier -- and cheaper -- to get up and running doesn't mean it will save you money in the long run. In many cases, it could be well-worth your time and investment to create a corporation.

The primary difference between a corporation and a sole proprietorship is the fact that your corporation will function as an independent tax and legal entity. In other words, the corporation will file its own tax returns on the profits it generates. Meanwhile, you will only pay personal income taxes on the money the business pays you as income.

Are there healthy ways to grieve your loved one's death?

A close family member has recently passed away in Minnesota and you are left gathering the pieces and trying to make sense of everything that has happened. While your loved one took initiative to create and finalize a well-rounded estate plan while he or she was still living, nothing could quite prepare you for the sting of death. Fortunately, there are healthy and productive ways that you can grieve without focusing too readily on the intense emotions you may be feeling. 

An estate plan can provide a lot of clarity in regards to distribution of assets, allotment of financial gifts and your loved one's desires for what should be done with personal belongings and property. Once the execution of his or her will is underway, you are faced with reality of living life without the presence of your beloved family member. According to the American Psychological Association, it is important to remember that talking about your loved one's passing is healthy and can actually provide comfort and healing. Discussing how you feel can give you a chance to acknowledge your emotions rather than trying to stay quiet and hide how you feel. 

Learning the benefits of planning guardianship for your loved one

You are beginning to recognize that your elderly loved one is showing signs of confusion when faced with making important decisions regarding his or her future. You are worried that the lack of focus and understanding may cause him or her to make a choice that could compromise the security and comfort of the future. As such, you are interested in arranging legal guardianship to make it so you have the power to assist in making critical decisions in a timely and responsible manner. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have helped many families in Minnesota to coordinate guardianship of their elderly loved ones.

Obviously, a decision as important as obtaining guardianship should not be undertaken without the approval and input of your family members and the person in question. Because of this, having these types of important discussions before it is too late is an excellent way to facilitate your loved one's desires and guarantee that future decisions will be made in his or her favor. 

What are the requirements for a legal will?

When you die, the last thing you want is to leave behind a messy estate for your loved ones. You have probably witnessed or at least heard about someone dying without a will in Minnesota and the headaches it causes for those left behind. To be properly prepared, you at least need to have a legally valid will. According to the Attorney General, there are specific requirements that must be met to make this estate document legally valid and enforceable under state law.

To being with, you have to be a legal adult of at least 18 years of age. You must put the will in writing and sign it or have someone you have appointed sign on your behalf in your presence. It must also be written when you are of a sound mind to do so. You need to have it also witnessed and signed by at least two other people, and it should be clear that this document is a will and is to be used as the directive for your estate upon your death.

What business licenses and permits do you need?

When starting a new business in Minnesota, there are many things you have to do. It is essential that you ensure your business is legally ready for operation. This means making sure you have all the permits and licenses required. According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, not every business requires business licenses and permits, but if your business does and you operate without them, you could face stiff penalties.

Licenses can be issued by local and state governments. One such license that almost all businesses need is a general business license that permits you to operate a business in your location. You may also need a license if you are in a specific trade or conducting a specific type of business, such as a bar or construction company.

How to pick an ideal business partner

As you start a new business, you decide you do not want to start it alone. You need a business partner who can bring some additional qualities to the company. For instance, perhaps you have a great idea for a new product and you know how to design it, but you do not know anything about the manufacturing process. Or, perhaps you do not have the business connections that you know can make your company thrive.

Regardless of your reason for looking for a business partner, it is very important to find the right person. This partnership can make or break the company. Here are a few things you should consider as you look for the ideal fit:

Suggestions that can facilitate the process of creating a will

Many people put off writing a will because they do not see the value in doing it when they are young, raising a family or focused on a career. However, a person's decision to prioritize writing and finalizing a will is actually one of the most responsible and rewarding decisions that can be made. When people in Minnesota are prepared with a legally sound will, they can be confident that their wishes will be honored following their death. 

Beginning the process of articulating one's wishes in a will can be overwhelming. Many people wonder where they should even begin. One of the first things they should do is to narrow down their options for beneficiaries. Who do they wish to name as heirs on their will? They should also select an executor who will be tasked with overseeing that all of the components of the will are completed properly and in a timely manner following the death of the person who wrote it. Naming guardians for children, and witnesses to sign the finalized document are other contacts that people should make. 

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