Advice from the Experts: Legally Setting Up & Protecting Your Business

March 6, 2024  | 

This blog post contains the transcription of a free virtual Lunch & Learn we hosted in February 2024 titled, “Legally Setting Up & Protecting Your Business.” You can view all of our upcoming webinars here.

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Who are the Top Experts to Know?

Tania Shah is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of the Academic Success Department at Western State College of Law and Westcliff University in Irvine, California. Additionally, she owns LawTutors, LLC (a legal education company), Shah Law, LLC (a business law firm), and is co-owner of In The Know Legal (a legal template company for women-owned businesses). Tania has published 6 legal books through her publishers, Aspen Legal publishing. She has also spoken extensively during her 23 years as a business attorney about the importance of small businesses setting up for success. Tania is currently writing a law review article on Generation Z as budding entrepreneurs, and the unique challenges and advantages they face. Tania was born and raised in Southern California, where she currently resides with her beloved rescue dog, Toothless Johnny (TJ) and loves making up bar-exam related rap songs for her law students. Tania is licensed in Massachusetts and just recently took and passed the California Bar Exam.

Lisa Sigman is a single mom, entrepreneur, and business attorney with over 18 years of experience working with small businesses across a variety of industries. As a Primary Care Attorney for her small business clients, Lisa acts as out-sourced general counsel, drafting contracts, commercial leases and forming legal entitles for businesses. She is also co-founder of In The Know Legal (with fellow business attorney Tania Shah), an online resource for DIY legal templates for coaches and consultants.

Sam Allen is the founding attorney of Law Mom®, helping families and business owners protect their loved ones, maintain control over their property and preserve their legacy. When she’s not with her clients, she’s renovating homes with her husband, raising awareness for childhood Type 1 Diabetes, and going on adventures with my two sons and their Lolli and Pops (also known as her parents!).

What Goes into Legally Setting Up and Protecting Your Business?

The Importance of Legal Protection

Legal protection for your business is not just about complying with regulations; it’s about securing your assets, intellectual property, and the future of your enterprise. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or new to the entrepreneurial world, understanding the legalities that come with starting and running a business is essential. This guide, inspired by insights from legal experts, aims to demystify the process and highlight the importance of legal protection.

Choosing the Right Legal Structure

Selecting the appropriate legal structure is one of the first and most crucial decisions you’ll make. This choice impacts your tax obligations, liability, and the ability to raise funds. Here are the primary structures you might consider:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: Simple to set up, but offers no personal liability protection.
  2. Partnership: Ideal for businesses with multiple owners, yet still lacks personal liability protection.
  3. Limited Liability Company (LLC): Offers liability protection without the formalities of a corporation.
  4. Corporation (C or S): Provides maximum liability protection, suitable for businesses planning to raise capital.

Each structure has its benefits and limitations, so it’s essential to choose one that aligns with your business goals, size, and nature of operations.

Legal Documentation and Compliance

Beyond selecting a legal structure, ensuring that your business complies with all relevant laws and regulations is crucial. This includes obtaining necessary licenses, adhering to employment laws, and protecting your intellectual property. Regular legal audits can help identify potential risks and ensure ongoing compliance.

Protecting Intellectual Property

Your business’s intellectual property (IP) is one of its most valuable assets. Protecting it through copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets can prevent others from using your creations without permission, giving you a competitive edge. Consider consulting with an IP attorney to develop a strategy that fits your needs.

Contracts and Agreements

Well-drafted contracts and agreements are your first line of defense against legal disputes. Whether it’s with clients, suppliers, or employees, clear and concise contracts can save you from potential legal headaches down the road. Never underestimate the power of a solid contract in protecting your business interests.


Business insurance is another crucial aspect of protection, acting as a safety net for unforeseen events. From general liability to professional liability insurance, the right coverage can shield your business from significant financial losses.

Consulting with Professionals

Navigating the legal landscape can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Consulting with legal professionals who specialize in business law can provide you with personalized advice and peace of mind. They can help you establish a solid legal foundation, avoiding common pitfalls that many businesses face.


The legal aspect of starting and running a business is often overlooked but is essential for its survival and growth. By understanding the importance of legal protection, choosing the right structure, and ensuring compliance, you can build a strong foundation for your enterprise. Remember, investing in legal protection early on can save you from significant issues and expenses in the future. Protect your business, protect your dream.

Resources for Massachusetts Businesses

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Interested in getting more support on topics just like this one? Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the several resources we have available, especially our Lunch & Learns, blog, and podcast. Have a specific request? Please fill out our contact form.

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