Perhaps the most common step after filing your Articles of Incorporation is to ask what's next. Just how do you start to get a Florida Corporation off the ground? For most, the next step is creating the company's bylaws. Let's take a look at what those are and how you should get to work on that.
What are Bylaws?
Bylaws are the hows, whys, and what fors of your company. They provide rules and regulations that give a framework for company's operations and management. Bylaws can specific the rights, qualifications, liabilities of ownership, and the powers, duties, and grounds for the dissolution of the company. Though the latter isn't often necessary if you're a sole proprietor and this LLC is only there to protect you or give you anonymity, they are incredibly important if you are going into business with others.
The terms with which you can dissolve your company should always be laid out in black and white, fully agreed upon, and otherwise voted for under record at all times.
How do I Create Bylaws?
If you are a single owner of a business, it's pretty simple. Settle down with your favorite method of writing things down (whether it's a laptop or a pen and paper, it doesn't matter) and get to work. Plot out what you find to be acceptable. Look up the laws regarding your particular business in your area. Search for issues that other business owners like your business have come across, including lawsuits and problems with partners. This will give you a good starting point to create your bylaws.
If you are not a single business owner, we recommend involving a lawyer if it at all feasible. This way, you will have witnesses and a paper trail to fully coincide with your bylaws and any issues that may arise in the future. This essentially gives your bylaws the credibility that they may need to hold up in a court of law.
Regardless of your particular bylaws, we do always recommend making sure that a lawyer looks them over to be certain that they fail in line with local, state, and federal laws. This is usually a fairly cheap expense (compared to the rest of getting off the ground) and should not be overlooked
What Happens Without Bylaws?
Well, probably not. Bylaws are there to protect your company, your employees (if you have any), and you. They're also very, very good guidelines for continuing to run the business should anything happen to you. Accidents and incidents happen every day. People come down with illnesses that impair their ability to run their businesses. Sometimes, just having a guidebook like your bylaws can give those who would need to step in, at least, some idea of what's going on behind the scenes.
You may also be violating laws you didn't even know existed. See why we encourage a lawyer to take a look at your bylaws? You find out so much. Remember, ignorance is never going to get you off the hook in a serious violation. It's better to spend the time and effort to make sure you're doing everything right, even with your bylaws and your process of running your business.
Where to Toe the Line?
Anywhere your employees are concerned (if you have any), and anywhere where money will cross between people is where you must, absolutely, keep an eye out for any accidental violations of your own bylaws.
While this will be old news for old hands in business, many beginners end up in deep trouble because of an undotted I or an uncrossed T. Don't be that person.
Bylaws are an absolute necessity for all involved for all involved in the fascinating act of being an LLC or, even in many cases, being a corporation. Your business is run by these bylaws. While others may also substitute guidelines and other facets, bylaws are the things that lay that groundwork. They're what your employees and your partners will reference if there is confusion or a debate to be had. And they're what needs to be in line with the laws, no matter what business you're running.
Many underwriters and lawyers are glad to take on the business of making your bylaws for you, often with editing included in their charges. Our service provides corporate bylaws for you, and we can also assist with filing an S-Corp Tax election.