In my opinion, a business needs a lawyer before starting the business. If for no other reason than helping decide on what type of business entity the business should use. That is, will the business be a corporation, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or a partnership. I was looking at the Indiana Secretary of State's site yesterday and its description of the different business types inspired this post. This link will take you to the same page. Ia m reading this and trying to figure out what any layperson would get out of this mess of abstractions. I do not think very much. Sit down with a lawyer, put forward what kind of business you want, and out of this conversation should come a decision on the best form for your start-up company.