Many new business owners start selling services or products without ever taking a serious look at the fundamentals of choosing a suitable form of business organization, entering into appropriate contracts, and obtaining the necessary business licenses. Not a good idea! Be serious about your business from the beginning. Your customers and clients will sense the difference, and down the road, you will avoid such potential disasters as disputes over business ownership and control, liability for unpaid taxes, dealing with dishonest or insolvent business associates.
We recommend that business owners consult an attorney before closing any transaction, whether it is the organization of a new business, a purchase of real estate, the buying of assets from an existing business. It has been our experience that many transactions involve legal issues that are not immediately obvious. For example, one buying the assets of a business will want to be sure s/he is not held responsible for the former owner's tax obligations. There may be regulations that limit when and where certain types of business can be conducted. The marital status of a business partner may be an important consideration.
If you and the consulting attorney enter into an attorney-client relationship, you will be provided with a written fee agreement that will describe the legal work to be performed and what the attorney will be paid.
Our goal is to help business owners by offering them a chance to address legal issues before they turn into lawsuits. Many larger businesses do this by hiring a "general counsel," i.e. an in-house attorney who provides initial input on all legal issues that come up in the business. We would like to become your "general counsel" on an "as needed" basis. That means that if a legal question came up, you would be able to call an attorney you know who already knows your business. Then, if the question were outside of our areas of expertise, we could help you identify the type of lawyer needed and could help you find such a person.
Areas of Concern
Perhaps you already have prepared the documents to set up your business as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Our service would be to review those documents and ensure that they are current and complete. While your banker and accountant can tell you about the business reasons to choose a certain form of organization, we can look at such legal issues as: Who will run the business if I die or become disabled? Also, licensing and tax rules vary from city to city, so we can consider the legal effect of where the business is located.
Actual resolution of legal issues depends upon many factors, including variations of facts and state laws. This website is not intended to provide legal advice on specific subjects, but rather to provide insight into legal developments and issues. The reader should always consult with legal counsel before taking action on matters covered by this website.
Law Office of Norma Ann Dawson Copyright - 2005 Annie Lee Taylor Publications. All rights reserved. Revised: August 22, 2010