It is important to know when you might need legal assistance at different stages of starting, growing, and even closing your business.

  • Choosing a Legal Structure for Your Business – There are several factors to consider when choosing the best form of ownership or structure for your business. For example, depending on whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation, your taxes and liability may vary. Be fully informed of the advantages and disadvantages of each structure before making a decision and filing the paperwork.
  • Maintaining Your Business – For any business, it is important to stay in good standing by keeping timely records, obtaining appropriate licenses and permits, and filing any mandatory reports with the state. If you have a joint venture or partnership, you must make sure that appropriate legal agreements are in place. See advice too if your company needs to select a registered agent.
  • Getting Out of BusinessSelling or transferring ownership of your business is another time in the life cycle of a business when you need professional guidance and a solid exit strategy. The same goes for liquidating your assets or filing bankruptcy.
  • Obtaining Trademarks, Patents & Copyrights – Take appropriate action to protect your ideas. Find out more about trademarks, patents, and copyrights from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office before legal seeking assistance. 

Helpful Links

Alaska Lawyer Directory -- A directory of licensed attorneys in the state of Alaska.

How to Select a Lawyer -- The Alaska Bar Association's guide to choosing a lawyer.

Need a Lawyer? A Route to Free Legal Advice -- WSJ article on finding good and affordable legal help.

Setting Up a Business Structure

-- Deciding what kind of legal structure to form for your new business -- and when to do it -- may require more research and consideration than other tasks. Rules regarding eligibility to collect unemployment benefits vary by state, as do the costs associated with setting up the various types of entities. And each option has distinct tax, liability and administrative implications.