The number of responsibilities new business owners take on when launching a new venture may seem immeasurable. Business owners in New York make many decisions – big, small and in between – during the formation process that can have long-lasting effects on the business down the line.

There’s no definitive guide for starting a new business and finding success in that endeavor. Every business and owner varies from the others, but there are a few key missteps to be wary of in the beginning of your company’s development.

Formation and agreements

One of the first steps in starting a new business is choosing the entity and structure of the company. If you’re going into business independently, establishing a sole proprietorship structure gives you complete control of your business as well as sole responsibility for any future liability.

If the business is a joint venture, a few business structure options may best suit the new endeavor. Whether establishing a partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or some form of a corporation, multi-owner businesses need clearly defined ownership agreements.

In case of future changes such as one owner’s divorce, death or outside business ventures, your company will benefit from a solid agreement that defines expectations for potential future developments. Your business should not end up tangled in a mess of personal conflict because of a failure to plan ahead from the beginning.

Human resource needs

A mistake that could prove detrimental to a new business down the road is not addressing human resource needs from the start. Everyone associated with the business from owners and managers to employees and contractors should know the expectations for their performance and conduct.

Put together an employee handbook with guidelines for everyone associated with the business. Use this resource to lay out civility expectations, codes of conduct, hours of operation, the chain of command, benefits and more.

Even without a dedicated human resources department, utilize outside legal and business resources to create a tangible, enforceable set of guidelines for those affiliated with your business. Future disputes can find quicker resolutions if expectations are defined and available for all from the very beginning. Your business deserves the best chance for success from the beginning. Consult the necessary resources to ensure its productive future by avoiding some major errors at the start.