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Washington DC Business Lawyer
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Starting Your Own Small Business


The Washington Post recently released an article covering a small florist shop in Washington, D.C. that has been operating for more than one hundred years. Not all business owners want their companies to grow in size and become global corporations. Some are happy with a smaller company that has perhaps one or two storefronts that do well. Whether large or small, however, all businesses are subject to laws that affect them and must make similar decisions about their companies. If you are in the midst of setting up a small business, keep some things in mind.

Type of Entities

There are several entities to choose from when forming your business. The most common are sole proprietorships, variations of partnership, LLCs, and corporations. LLCs and corporations are preferred from a risk perspective. Generally speaking, they insulate the owners from liability that their businesses may encounter. Conversely, sole proprietorships and regular partnerships usually do not.

The location of incorporation or organization is also important. It is possible to claim your company’s jurisdiction of origin as the District of Columbia. However, it is also possible to incorporate or organize in another state and then register to do business in D.C. It all depends on the specific needs of your business.

Real Estate

If your company is like the florist shop mentioned above, then you will need to find a physical place to conduct business. Often, this requires leasing space from a building owner. You will have to determine which geographical area is best for your business, what type of space is available in that area,  and whether potential lease terms are favorable to you and your company.


If the company is one that will require several people for its operation, you will need to figure out whether those people will be owners, employees, contractors, or otherwise. Then you will want to make sure that they all respectively abide by the same company rules, whether those rules are written out in an organizing document, employee handbooks, or independent contractor agreements.


Depending on the nature  of your business, you may have to purchase anything from general liability insurance to product liability insurance. Additionally, in today’s technologically advanced climate, your company might also want to invest in some cybersecurity insurance.

Permits and Licenses

Again, depending on the type of business your company conducts, there may be various business and professional licenses or permits that either the company or its workers must acquire. These can range from federal licenses or permits to ones that are only required by the local jurisdiction. You will want to make sure you obtain all of the ones that are relevant and necessary to your company.

Plan Now and Prevent Issues Down the Road

Running a business can be very fulfilling, and if the business is a small one, you will be rewarded with a challenging job while enjoying personal relationship with your customers,  your employees and your neighborhood. However, no matter the size of your business, you must still follow governmental rules and be aware of relevant laws. Start off right and contact the experienced business law attorneys at Tobin O’Connor Concino P.C. in Washington DC to help you out today.




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