Houston Business Formation Attorney
Choosing the right business structure to operate your company has huge impacts on how you and the business are taxed; the liability of the business and your own personal liability; who is responsible for making major business decisions and dealing with daily operations; and how the business is later sold, transferred or dissolved. A trusted Houston business formation attorney at the Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC will take the time to sit down with you and discuss in detail your needs and goals for the business. We’ll advise you on your options and take all the steps necessary to establish your company as a legal business entity authorized to do business in Texas.
Below is a look at the most common types of business ownership in Texas along with important facts about each type of structure. To schedule a consultation about entity formation for your Harris County business, contact the Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC in Houston at 713-463-6000.
Sole Proprietorship – No special procedure is required to operate your business as a sole proprietorship, other than obtaining an assumed name certificate if your business name is different from your name (aka “doing business as” or DBA). Although maintaining your business as a sole proprietorship is simple and does not require any special filings or fees with the Texas Secretary of State, you remain personally exposed to any liabilities the business encounters, as you and the business are essentially one and the same legal entity.
General Partnership – Two or more people can go into business together and form a partnership without filing any papers with the state of Texas. In fact, the partners don’t even need a formal, written partnership agreement in order to operate as a partnership. However, without a written agreement, disputes between the partners can be difficult to resolve without complex, extensive litigation. Also, in a general partnership, all the partners are liable for the debts or actions of the partnership.
Corporation – By incorporating, the business owners obtain a level of protection between themselves and the business. A corporation is a legal entity or “person” that can sue and be sued, enter into contracts and conduct business on its own behalf. Business owners are therefore shielded from personal liability for debts or acts of the corporation, so long as the corporation is not merely used as the “alter ego” of the business owner. Creating a corporation requires preparing and filing the appropriate certificate of formation with the Texas Secretary of State and preparing various corporate documents, such as by-laws and shareholder agreements. Our Houston business lawyer can perform all required tasks to form your corporation and provide on-going corporate counsel services including representation in any corporate or commercial litigation.
Limited Liability Company – One often-cited drawback of incorporating is the double taxation involved, since shareholders are taxed on their personal income from the company after the corporation itself has already been taxed on corporate income. The LLC is an attractive solution that combines the tax treatment and freedom of a partnership with the liability protection of a corporation. Liability is generally limited to the member’s investment in the LLC.
Limited Partnership – A limited partnership consists of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. Limited partners have limited liability but also a more limited role in control of the company compared to general partners. A business formation attorney at the Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC can help you create a limited partnership to meet your business needs or other needs, such as using a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) as an effective tool for estate planning and business succession.
Limited Liability Partnership – With an LLP, the liability of general partners is limited along with the liability of limited partners, whether the LLP is otherwise a general partnership or limited partnership.
Get Your Business Off to the Right Start with the Help of Our Experienced Houston Business Formation Attorney
Houston attorney Leigh Meineke has been helping Harris County business owners with business entity formation for over thirty years. At the Stephens | Domnitz | Meineke PLLC, you’ll have the benefit of a business lawyer with decades of experience in Texas business law advising you on the right structure for your business and helping you with every aspect of business entity formation. Call 713-463-6000 to discuss your business formation needs.