It depends on whether you are right handed or left handed.  Ok, not really.  This is a question I hear on a regular basis and an important one to make sure you do correctly.  Many Michigan business owners form their company as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  They do this because they want to protect their personal assets from business liabilities, among many other reasons.  Many Grand Rapids business owners have read stories about lawsuits against a company and “piercing the veil” to access the owner’s personal assets.  That is definitely something to avoid.

A key component in avoiding “veil piercing” is to make sure you treat your business as just that . . . a business . . . separate and apart from you, the owner.  And how you sign documents on the company’s behalf can reinforce that notion.  I generally recommend the following: [Your Name], as [Your Title] of [Business Name].  For example, “John Doe, as Member of Masters of the Universe LLC.”

This clearly sets out that you are signing the document in your business capacity, not your personal capacity.  I also recommend always including the abbreviation for the type of business entity – LLC or Inc. – at the end so that you are putting the other parties to the document on notice that the business name is not just a sole proprietorship.

Sure, signing this way can take a little extra time and room on the paper, but it’s time (and room) well spent if it help reinforce your business entity’s existence and protect your personal assets from business liability.  If you need to make sure your Grand Rapids small business is working like a “well oiled” machine, call us at 616-827-7596 for a small business “tune up.”  Mention this blog post and we’ll waive the typical “tune up” fee ($950 value!).