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Starting-To use a lawyer or not?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by ericalan33, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    The LLC that an individual can set up is not the same caliber that a lawyer puts together. Its worth the extra dough. I paid more for mine than your lawyer quoted for yours and he gave me a discount.
    You really don't need a lawyer to draw up a contract....just find a few good ones and fuse them into your own.
  2. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    Regardless of whether or not you hire a lawyer or even a CPA, make certain you understand what is going on with what you want to do. If you do the research and understand what you are doing then there is absolutely no difference between a person or a lawyer filing the paperwork for an LLC or a Corp. Lawyers don't have special powers. They simply did the research and know what they are doing. You don't have to pass the bar exam and become a licensed attorney to file necessary paperwork. It just takes knowing what paperwork to file and where to file it.
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    This depends greatly on the state. Some states require an attorney to file the articles of incorporation to form an llc, s-corp, c-corp, & etc. If that is the case, you can usually go the cheap route, such as legal zoom, you fill the paperwork out online and pay the fees and they will have an instate attorney file for you. I looked into this and found that the process was completely different if you hired your own attorney directly. I found that here in MA many companies who used legal zoom, and later found themselves being sued did not have the proper protection that an llc or corp should provide to the owners.

    Also, as far as contracts go. What we have found to be the best route is we write our own first, then our attorney goes over it and makes revisions to be sure it is proper. This allows us to save a great deal of money as compared to having the attorney write the whole contract.
  4. zacher

    zacher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    ......sooo you pay a ton of money to form an LLC because it is not the same "caliber" as one a lawyer can put together. Well I dont know how it is in other states but in Georgia there is no smoke and mirrors magic. It is very straight forward and an easy process. There are plenty of helpful guides readily available.

    I just think its funny how awe I am gonna pay a lawyer a bunch of money...but my legally binding contract I can just "throw a few good ones together and make my own" .... that is how customers and their lawyers find loopholes if for any reason something ever goes wrong...

    Dont take this advice...put in the legwork and review how to form an LLC properly and correctly in your state save a few dollars and THEN go to the lawyer and have him draft up a contract for you or however your business chooses to hire the lawyer...definitely don't just throw something together..
  5. Mikegyver

    Mikegyver LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,810

    On the LLC, basically my lawyer made my LLC a lot more bulletproof then if I had gone through legal zoom or filed the paperwork myself. I.e. setting up the membership structure,Unanimous Written Consent, company agreement, etc. You don't get that paperwork from just sending in the form to the state. Like i said (at least in texas) that the LLC a lawyer puts together is a lot better than one that you do yourself.
    on the contract, many people just find several good ones and fuse them together. I had a friend generously offer me the one that he uses and I edited it to fit what I needed to do. It fills the purpose just fine.
    Im not saying that the way I've done it is the right way but its worked for me and ultimately thats the bottom line, do what works for you.
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    Well, I think that came from your lawyer. As long as the LLC is set up you are provided the intended protection- for what it's worth. An LLC is treated differently by different states and I believe some states don't recognize an LLC at all. The IRS does not recognize an LLC. Come tax time you are a sole proprietor or partnership, whatever the case. So if you want some kind of protection look to either an S corp or a full C corp. But keep in mind that even with those the corporate veil will not protect you if gross negligence is alleged or protect you from creditors since suppliers are smart enough to get personal guarantees unless you have been in business a long time and the business credit is good. So as far as I'm concerned, if you are thinking of forming an LLC you would be just as "protected" by operating as a sole propreitorship and save your money.
  7. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    That did not come from my attorney who filled the LLC. It came from a close family member who does corporate law, they recomended the corporate attorney over legal zoom when I was asking them if it was worth the extra money. When going through LegalZoom they go the chepest route, the minimum paperwork is filled, and the instate attorney who is suposed to review the paperwork and file it, is the attorney who is willing to do it the cheapest. Where as if you hire your own attorney, their are additional optional forms that they can file along with your articles of incorporation. But like I said in my post, every state is different.

    I do agree with you on the limits of protection a LLC offers. I have numerous posts on here warning guys of the samething. An LLC basically offers no additional protection if you are a sole operator. The only real protection it does provide is in the event of a lawsuit brought on by the neglect of an employee. Then the owners personal property may be protected, so long as it can not be shown that the owner was in any way negligent. I think most sole oporators form LLC's for one of two reasons. They either, wrongfully believe it offers protection, or they do it simply to look more lagitimate than a DBA.
  8. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    They do it simply to look more legitimate than a DBA... or they don't know any better. So unless you know something about the various business entities such as what they provide and their tax implications in YOUR specific situation I would advise consulting with an accountant and attorney.
  9. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

  10. clydebusa

    clydebusa LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,660

    I have thought this a million times reading some of the stuff on here. !

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