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Confidential Business Start-Up Information Questionnaire

It's advisable that you seek the counsel of an experienced business law attorney to help you through the process of launching your business start-up. Even if you don't feel the need for an attorney, you probably do need help with compliance, tax issues, or any of the myriad legal issues that come into play when launching a business. And simply not knowing about a particular law -- be it federal law, state statute, county regulation, or local ordinance -- can end a business before it has a chance to succeed.

In order to do the best possible job on your behalf, your attorney needs information about the business venture, the entrepreneur(s), and other parties involved at the highest levels. At your first meeting with your attorney, you should be prepared to provide, as applicable, the following business start-up information:


Name __________________________________

Date of Birth____________________________

Home Address




Business Address




Home Phone Number ____________________________

Work Phone Number ____________________________

Other Phone Number ____________________________

Facsimile Number____________________________

E-mail Address____________________________

Web Site Address ____________________________

Have you ever declared bankruptcy, been accused, convicted or found liable for any violation of a federal or state securities law or regulation, or entered into a consent decree with, or had an injunction granted against you by, any federal or state enforcement agency or commerce department? __________(If yes, provide details)


Present Employer____________________________

Employment Position ____________________________

How long have your worked there?__________

Do you intend to remain employed there? __________

If yes, for how long?__________

Did your current employer or any past employer require you to sign a noncompetition or confidentiality agreement? __________ (If yes, provide a copy of the agreement to your attorney)

Did you develop your business concept on company time or premises?__________

Did you use any company resources in developing your business concept?__________

If yes, what resources?______________________

Have you approached your employer with your business venture?__________

If yes, what was your employer's response?______________________


(Your business partners, if any, should provide the same information you have provided above)


Have you taken any steps to incorporate your business? __________(If yes, provide details)

Who is expected to initially own the business, in what percentages, and for what contributions?


Which of the owners are expected to be employed by the business? __________________

In what capacities? ________________________________________________________

For what compensation? ___________________________________________________

Are there any written contracts between the owners?__________ (If yes, provide your attorney with a copy)

Do you have a written Business Plan?__________ (If yes, provide your attorney with a copy of it)

Have you offered to sell or sold any interests in your business to any investors?_________ (If yes, provide details)

Have you obtained or sought to obtain any loans for your business?__________ (If yes, provide details)

Have you retained any consultants, accountants, or tax professionals?__________ (If yes, provide details)

Have you promised an interest in the company to any consultants?__________(If yes, provide details)

What assets does the business own?__________

Do you, any of your partners, or the business own any inventions the business intends to exploit?__________ (If yes, provide details)

Is the business a party or potential party to any joint venture, license, or similar agreement?__________ (If yes, provide your attorney with a copy)

Does the business have any trademarks or logos you wish to protect?__________ (If yes, provide details or renderings)

Does the business own or lease any real estate?__________ (If yes, provide details)

Does the business have any written financial statements?__________ (If yes, provide your attorney with a copy)


(Make a list of other pertinent questions to ask your attorney)

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Find the Right Lawyer for Your Business Needs

There are many different disciplines within the larger context of business law. Some lawyers focus on business tax issues, while others specialize in employment law or financial matters. Still, others provide general services for small businesses and may be able to refer you to other legal professionals should the need arise. See FindLaw's Business Lawyers and Resources section for more information, and (after gathering the necessary business start-up information) check out the directory of business and commercial lawyers to find a professional near you.

More tips and resources can be found in FindLaw's First Steps to Start a Business section.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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