West Houston & Katy Business Attorney
If you are a business owner or an aspiring business owner, you need an attorney who can advise you at all stages in the life cycle of a business.
New Business Formation
When you are starting a new business, there are a lot of decisions to make. What type of product or service will your business provide? Who are your target customers? How many employees do you need? Where will you open your business bank accounts? Where will your business be located? How will you advertise your business? These questions and more will need to be answered.
In that context, deciding whether your business is structured as a corporation, partnership, LLC (limited liability company), or simply a sole proprietorship with a D/B/A may seem like an afterthought, but it is actually one of the most important decisions in the life cycle of your business. Many people may not realize that incorporation (i.e. forming and structuring the business as a corporation) is not the only way to set up their business. The type of legal entity chosen for your business determines important factors such as: how your taxes are reported; whether you as the owner can be personally liable for legal action taken against your business; and whether you can attract investors with shares of the company stock.
Start your business off on the right foot by hiring an attorney to advise you and guide you through the formation process.
Running the Business
Once your business is formed and registered with the Secretary of State’s office, you can get down to running the business. Much of the day-to-day operations of a business boils down to negotiating, executing, and performing duties under a contract. For example, does your business own or lease real property? If so, you’ll need to deal with commercial lease agreements or even contracts for the purchase of real property. Having an experienced attorney draft your business’s contracts and leases can help your business run efficiently.
Will your business employ other people? If so, you’ll need to have employment agreements so that your employees will know exactly what is expected of them—job duties, pay scale, benefits, grounds for termination, etc. Furthermore, you need to know what to expect if an employee leaves your employment either voluntarily or by termination. If your business depends in part on privacy regarding for example, the ingredients of a product that you sell or the list of customers that you serve, you’ll need to have a non-compete or non-disclosure agreement in place with your employees. Protecting your business means being proactive in employee relations and having a business attorney draft all of the contracts between you and your employees, including the employment contract, any non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, and any confidentiality agreements.
Does your business buy or sell goods or services to or from other businesses? If so, you’re dealing in business-to-business (B2B) contracts. Professionally-drafted contracts can also go a long way to preventing business litigation. But, sometimes even with well-drafted contracts, your business may end up in a contract with a party who just won’t hold up their end of the deal. If another party breaches a contract with your business, you need an attorney experienced in business litigation.
Moving on from the business
Someday, you may decide that you no longer want to own or manage the business. You may, for example, wish to sell the business to a third party. The sale of a business can be accomplished in several different ways and under a variety of terms. Are you selling the assets or the entire balance sheet? Is your buyer going to assume any of the business’s existing contracts? What is a fair price for the sale of your business? Are you going to stay on board as a manager, employee, or consultant after the sale? Remember also that selling your business can have different tax consequences depending on whether it is done as a sale of the assets or a sale of the entity. An experienced business lawyer can advise you on the best way to sell your company so that you receive the most money possible from the sale.
On the other hand, perhaps you don’t want to sell your company; you’d rather transfer ownership to a business partner or family member, or just wind up the business altogether. A seasoned business lawyer can make your exit from the business as smooth as possible.
Click to contact your West Houston & Katy business attorney.