2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250, San Mateo, CA 94403-1271 • Phone 650-341-2900
Providing Litigation, planning and transactional services

Competent Help Starting a Business in San Francisco

Let a savvy legal team offer you sound guidance at every turn

As exciting as starting your own business can be, it can also be risky. At Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP, we provide clients with sound advice on all aspects of business law. We are here to help you navigate the various legal pitfalls so you can create a business that thrives. For more than 30 years, our team of small business attorneys has worked diligently to support entrepreneurs in San Francisco and throughout Northern California. Let us do the same for you.

Types of business entities

Prior to starting any business, you should consult a lawyer who is experienced in business law. An experienced San Francisco lawyer can fully evaluate your situation and your needs and determine which of the following business models is most appropriate:

  • Corporation: Most larger companies choose the corporation model. While shareholders in a corporation may lose their investment, they enjoy limited liability and their personal assets are safe.
  • Limited liability company (LLC): In San Francisco, limited liability companies, or LLCs, are a combination of both partnerships and corporations. The main benefit of an LLC is that the liability of the owners is limited to their financial investment. Similar to a general partnership, the owners of an LLC have a right to participate in the management aspect of the business.
  • General partnership: Partnerships are ideal for small- to medium-sized companies that involve at least two individuals. You should understand that in a general partnership, each partner is liable for the debts and responsibilities of the other partner.
  • Limited partnership: Limited partnerships have two different types of partners: general partners and limited partners. Limited partners are not responsible for the management of the partnership and are only liable for their own investment.
  • Limited liability partnership: In a limited liability partnership, limited liability is given to all partners. Also, in an LLP, every partner is responsible for handling the management of the company.In California, the LLP form of ownership is limited to individuals who are licensed to practice in public accountancy, law or architecture.
  • Sole proprietorship: Many small business owners choose the sole proprietorship business model. You should realize that under this business entity, no distinction is made between your business and you as an owner — you are personally responsible for the debts and responsibilities of the company.
  • Flexible purpose corporation (FPC): This business model allows a company to combine the for-profit philosophy of a traditional corporation with the mission of a charitable organization by choosing a “special purpose” so that the company can pursue both economic and social objectives. Under this type of entity, owners and officers are not responsible if stockholders claim that the company’s social and environmental policies reduce the value of their stock.
  • Benefit corporation: A benefit corporation is required to include non-financial interests, such as social and environmental issues, as part of their legal charter. As in an FPC, owners and officers are not responsible if stockholders claim that the company’s social and environmental policies reduce the value of their stock.

If you need reliable advice on starting a business, contact Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP. The experienced lawyers at our firm are equipped to assist clients with all aspects of business law, from business transactions to contracts.

Professional business law advice in California

Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with knowledgeable guidance and attentive support. Our practice is concentrated in San Mateo County and San Francisco, but we also represent clients in the Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Peninsula and throughout Northern California. Conveniently located at the intersection of Route 92 and U.S. 101, we offer evening and weekend appointments as needed. For a complimentary consultation, contact us today at (650) 341-2900 or leave a brief message on our contact page.

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Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP
2000 Alameda de Las Pulgas, Suite 250
San Mateo, CA, 94403-1271 USA