Frequently Asked Questions
Should I hire a law firm like Rational Unicorn Legal Services LLC or should I do everything myself?
Hire an attorney. There are things we can do ourselves and things that are too important not to seek help for. I don't fill my own cavities, I call a dentist. Maybe I could do my own dentistry work....Hmm.
Should I use one of those quick pay, legal forms in an instant and submit/click-click sites?
You are welcome to and for some people, these sites are ideal. The issue is however with these services is that there is a lack of personal correspondence. You are only able to ask limited questions, you may not be able to meet the attorney, and you may submit your documentation and have no idea where it went or when you will hear anything back about the process. You're also usually submitting anything with the expectation that you're ready on your end and then they process whatever you submit. What if you're not ready and are missing something and the person helping doesn't know that-meaning a trademark for instance gets filed and it's not what you wanted?
Why should I hire Rational Unicorn Legal Services LLC and not Gomez Lovato Swift?
In addition to a no-cost consult for new clients, if you pay for any services you are allowed (yes I have to say allowed as other firms don't believe is the case) to contact us by email or phone about your projects. This does not apply to hourly consulting that must be paid for separate from said services. You will not receive a bill like you may at other firms that shows charges for 10 simple email replies billed out at 15 or 20 minute increments, adding $400 to your already enormous bill.
Moreover, cost wise we will always be at or below market rate for all firm services offered. We are transparent-you know what services you are paying for and why you are paying for them. We are great at communicating both with potential clients during the consult process and throughout the project. We don't take your money and run/ghost you. We are local, community based and not in the industry of blood-sucking. We care about your business goals and want to see your dreams come to fruition. We work hard, but have fun.
Your headquarters are in Oregon and you are barred in Oregon. I and my business are not in Oregon. Can I still hire you?
Yes. Some areas of law are very state specific (Criminal Law, Family Law, Probate Law). While business formation may require filing forms in your state or your desired state of incorporation, business attorneys with some exceptions can maintain clients throughout the United States. Some things we are extra careful about is in your written contracts writing things like, "This agreement is governed by the State of (Insert your state here)." For intellectual property purposes, if you are filing a state specific trademark, we can file it in that state. Both copyrights and federal trademark applications are governed by federal law and filed with federal agencies. Simply put, the answer is we can help you regardless of state, we just need to have a conversation about where you and your business are located, where you are doing/will be doing business, and any other particulars that may affect the work.
I've heard the word 'corporation' thrown around -what is a corporation?
A: It's an entity that is different from it's owner, an individual. For example, if you are not a corporation and run your business as a sole proprietor, expenses and liabilities go directly to you as an individual. If you have a corporation, you the owner, are shielded from personal liability (in most situations). Applying to form a corporation and maintaining corporate status require filing fees and specific paperwork. Additionally, having a corporation comes with formalities such as required annual meetings, the electing of directors, recording meeting minutes, and so on.
Do I need permits and/or licenses as a small business owner?
You may need a license to participate in the business you are pursuing (ie. lawyers (state bar license), hair dressers (cosmetology license), etc. This will vary based on the type of business and the area where your business will be located. But you may also need permits (food permits, city coding permits related to building use, etc.). We can sit down with you and assess what your business will be selling, where, and to whom. Then we can look into necessary permits and licenses needed and apply for them accordingly.
Should I be concerned about zoning?
Yes. You may be looking at a commercial space that is zoned for commercial and residential but only for certain trades. Or you may want to open a liquor store but the zoning says that there can only be 4 within a mile in that area (if there are already 4, you can't have a 5th liquor store there). We can pull any necessary zoning documents and ordinance codes and make sure you are in compliance. If necessary, we can ask for a variance (an exception to the zoning requirement that will still allow you to have a business in that area). Permits, licenses, regulations, and zoning are all important!
I'm the owner of a business, but it's not new. Do I still need you?
While we do new business formation and contract services, we also help businesses at any stage. Do you have no formal contracts or agreements and want them formalized? Have you been working with someone and maybe need a partnership agreement with them? Do you have a logo and company name but want to trademark them now? Or, do you have all of these things but it's been years since a contract has been reviewed or edited? Or, maybe you were working from a home office and are now looking at commercial space and you would love a lawyer to help you negotiate your commercial lease or review the lease the property owner wants you to sign? We are happy to help wherever you are in the business process and would love to grow with you.
Can I have an attorney with me at small claims court?
No. Attorneys aren't allowed at court as your representative. You must represent yourself in front of the small claims court judge. That said, if you hire us for our small claims court preparation service, we can help you assess your claims, prepare your documents, and get you ready for your court date.