Small Business Law governs how people conduct business in the government and private sectors. It covers the formation of a new business such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company and a franchise. It also covers nonprofit organizations which are business entities that have special purposes to benefit others and not intended to be for the profit of investors. Frequently referred to as IRS 501(c)(3) companies, nonprofits (such as charitable or educational foundations) are afforded special tax treatment.
Choosing the appropriate legal entity is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur can make. The limitations of liability and tax benefits vary between corporate entities and state laws. Incorporating a new business can be complicated and may require the creation and filing of a set of corporate bylaws, articles of incorporation and articles of organization. Corporate law covers shares, dividends, shareholders, officers, board of directors, mergers and acquisitions, franchise law, securities and antitrust regulations. Having a knowledgeable business lawyer on hand at the beginning of a venture can be extremely beneficial for individuals and startup companies.