Starting a New Business

Starting a New Business in Washington | A Business Lawyer’s View on the Issues and the Process.


The most common misconception of starting a new business is that a business lawyer is only for Fortune 500 companies and Washington business lawyers only file forms and paperwork anyway.  A good business lawyer and their counsel is just as important for small businesses, start ups, and charities as it is for huge corporations.


I’m a Seattle based business lawyer and when I counsel new business owners, I am surprised at how few new business owners understand the true purpose of the incorporation process. I believe this is in part because Washington forms can be store bought, filed with the Washington State Secretary of State and clients are left with the impression that these documents are simple and complete formality. Short of a simple solo business … this is a terrible mistake. Properly crafted business plans and incorporation documents are the product of a sit down meeting with counsel that produces custom tailored road maps that anticipate future problems and insulate from liability. In going through this process with a seasoned business lawyer, one discusses, anticipates and put plans in place to address problems that can and do destroy businesses … for example:
–    What if your business partner gets cancer, what if someone develops a drug or alcohol problem or a mental health problem?
–    What if a business partner is investigated or charged with a crime, dies or gets a divorce?
–    Do you want to carry insurance to cover the loss of specific personnel including yourself?
–    What if a friendship falls apart and someone wants out?
–    What if a partner stops working or starts taking out excessive profits?
–    What if you need to liquidate … how do you divide liability, profits, and losses?  What if one person wants to keep part of the business alive?
–    What do you do if a partner isn’t pulling his weight?
–    How do you account for loans and problems with them?
–    What do you do you do in times of disagreement?

These matters are not solved with store bought forms but can be solved by meeting and discussing the issues upfront with a business lawyer who turns questions and issues into custom tailored business documents.

As a Washington State business lawyer who understands the law and as a business man with real world application and experience, Patrick Kwan understands how valuable planning is and how it will helps businesses and relationships succeed. You can modify these documents at any time (assuming your business documents allow for it), but as any business owner knows, is best to deal with problems upfront before there is a real problem.

Experienced business counsel will help you create a custom business document for your exact needs to protect your property, interest, and rights so you can focus on a successful business. Rhodes Legal Group is a Seattle area based law firm that handles business law matters. For more information on Rhodes Legal Group’s business law practice group, contact Patrick Kwan.

The business practice group is headed by Patrick W. Kwan, a Seattle area based business lawyer with over 25 years of business world experience owning, managing, and operating businesses. Patrick understands and relates with business owners and provides insight and guidance in business and legal matters with the full support of the litigation group.  Email or call 206-708-7852 to set an appointment today.

Patrick Kwan

With near over 25 years of business world experience as an entrepreneur, distributor and manufacturer, Patrick Kwan is the kind of experienced business leader and lawyer who understands business from conception to sustained, profitable, on-going operation. Mr. Kwan brings his proven track record of success in innovation, leadership, business growth, management, sales, and operations to the counsel and practice of law. As an attorney, he is highly motivated, resourceful, hard-working, goal-orientated, a great team player, well-organized, and able to transcend adversity. Read more >>
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