Starting a small business in Texas is easier than you might think. However, there are still a number of things you’ll need in order to get your idea off the ground, including some key but often overlooked documents.
Business Formation Documents
Even in the first stages of starting your business, you will need some kind of structure to adhere to. Partnerships are the least restrictive and easiest entities to form, but you will still need a contract creating and governing the relationship between you and your partner. An operating agreement for an LLC can be very simple when you start out, especially as a single member LLC, but should nonetheless exist and reflect the kind of future you want for your business. Corporate by-laws and very important; you may not be able to open certain accounts or lines of credit without them and you will need by laws to when it comes to operating at all.
Client Service Contracts
If you are a service based small business, you will need a contract between you and the client describing the services you will provide, and the payment required by your client. “Nate’s San Antonio Lawn Care, LLC” may only have a few clients around the neighborhood and charge as little as $25/week for lawn care during the peak grass growing months. However, clients should still sign a contract that describes what services are going to be performed and on what timeline in order to earn payment. DO NOT rely on your own personal definition of things and a handshake agreement. When you tell your client you will provide “landscaping services,” does that include adding mulch or plants? Does it include any pool maintenance? Are you responsible for fertilizing, raking, or snow shoveling? In the fall and winter, how often will you be attending to the fallen leaves or when will the driveway be shoveled by after a snowfall? While snow may not be as big of an issue here in South Texas, you can see where this is going.
Product Warranties and Agreements
If you are selling a product, what kind of guarantee do you have for that product? Is there any kind of assumption of risk for individuals when they use the product? When you sell a product to consumers, you are making a kind of inherent guarantee that the product will be safe to industry standards. Obviously, a power saw can never be totally injury proof due to the nature of the product, but as a consumer you would expect that it would not blow up in your hand while you are using it on a piece of plywood. In addition, you may need some kind of notice regarding any windows for return, or reasons for return, repair, or replacement. If your product has a specific use and general lifespan for use, make sure to include these details in your Product Warranty that can be posted on your website, shop, or included in the packaging with the product. Warranties for certain flathead screwdrivers, for instance, specifically state the tool must have been being used for its intended purpose when the damage occurred, and not to open paint cans.
There a number of other papers and documents that you will need to in order to operate your business efficiently, but these examples should help you start thinking about your needs as a small business. As you start to grow your idea, keep a list or document somewhere with the ideas for documents you may need or things you want to have contained in those contracts. When you’re ready to get started San Antonio Small Business Lawyer Nathaniel Gilbert can help with a consultation regarding your concerns or ambitions with your enterprise. To learn more about Texas Business Law, Click Here. To get in touch with Nate directly, Click Here.