One of the most overlooked aspects of starting any type of business is the paperwork that will be needed.  Will you have partners? Will you have investors? Make sure that you and your business are protected.  People always have the best of intentions when opening a business with a friend or colleague but too often people are unprepared when things go wrong. Too often business fail for one reason or another and the legal process between owners can be both extremely expensive and long if there is no Agreement in place that states what will happen in that situation.  Although it is a last resort a court will only spend so much time trying to come up with a resolution that everyone can accept. At some point the Court will have enough and issue an Order that all the business property be sold and split down the middle.

Will you need a Partnership Agreement or Shareholder Agreement?

Does the State require an Operating Agreement to be filed?

If you are opening any sort of retail business will you rely on the Agreements that your vendors provide to you or will you feel more comfortable with a Vendor Agreement of your own?  Do you know that in many states, including Pennsylvania, you are only allowed to collect attorney fees in a legal action if you have a contract that specifically grants you this right or if there is the (very rare) state law that allows for attorney fees to be paid in your specific situation.

Will you need an Employment Agreement?

Is it in your interest to have employee sign a Non-Compete Agreement or Non-Solicitation Agreement?