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Idaho Business Law Coronavirus: Can my Business go on Without Me?

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Business Attorney

There is no bigger impact the coronavirus has had in the world than on small businesses. In the United States, which includes the state of Idaho, small business makes up the vast majority of business that takes place.

Small businesses are created in a number of different ways depending on the owners, the type of business involved, and where the business is located. The purpose of these articles is to help answer your questions and provide you with information about your Idaho small business. We have assisted thousands of clients in either creating or operating their small business in Idaho. This has provided us with a vast amount of experience and knowledge and helping each of our clients.

The main point of this article is to have you ask the question: can my business go on without me? The answer to this question has never been more important than it is now with the coronavirus pandemic. Even without this virus, this is still an important question for you to ask yourself. the reason for this is that it gives you the ability to create a plan that allows your business to move forward even without you.

We offer a free consultation to talk with you about your small business and to answer your questions. We encourage you to contact us at your convenience. During the coronavirus, and the isolation and quarantine that is going on, we complete these consultations by phone or by video conference. We would be happy to schedule it either way to help you and we encourage you to contact us.

Are You a Sole Owner or a Partner?

The question of whether your business can go on without you depends in part on how you have structured the business. If you are the sole owner of the business and the only person in the business who is doing any work, then the business really depends on you. However, if you are a partner, or even if you are the sole owner but you have employees, you may still be able to have the business go forward, even without you.

Do You Have Key Employees Your Business Depends on?

However, if you do have employees, it’s important to determine whether you have some essential or key employees that your business depends on. If you do, it may be wise for you to figure out a structure or a system that allows you to have backups, or redundancies in place, especially when it comes to your employees.

If it’s at all possible to avoid it, you do not want to have an employee that your business depends on. The reason for this is obvious. If something were to happen to that key employee your business may come to a grinding halt.

While the coronavirus may be the motivation for doing an assessment of your business, it should be the only reason this gets done. Every business owner should do an assessment of their business from time to time to make sure that their business can continue to go forward even if the owner, or certain employees are no longer able to work.

The Operating Agreement/Bylaws of Your Business

One of the main suggestions we have for small business owners is that they take a look at their corporate documents. If you have an LLC, you this document would be the operating agreement. If you have a corporation, this document would be the bylaws.

An operating agreement is a contract between all of the owners of the business. It specifically designates who the owners are, the percentages of ownership each owner has, and how management in the business will occur. Additionally, the operating agreement also provides specific language about what happens to an owner’s ownership interest if they die, become disabled, would the bankruptcy, or simply decide they no longer want to be an owner.

Similarly, the bylaws to a corporation provide specific information about the management structure of the business. It designates who the president of the corporation is, whether there is a board or board members that operate the business, and it also provides for other officers of the business. Additionally, the bylaws will control how and when meetings occur with the shareholders of the business, and how the management structure of the business can be changed if the shareholders determine that a change is necessary.

The Coronavirus has had a devastatingly large impact on small businesses in Idaho. However, we are ready to help. If you have questions or concerns, we would be happy to answer these for you and help you with your small business. Please call us today for a free consultation.

ENLIST AN IDAHO BUSINESS ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU

Our team of Idaho business lawyers can help you with any of your business structure or operation needs. Whether you are seeking to create a new business or review a current business, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho business problems.

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