Business Formation and Maintenance
Formation. No matter what type of business you are in, it is important to determine whether your new or existing venture meets your current needs. We work with your tax, financial and insurance advisors to determine whether your current or future operation should be a corporation, a limited liability company or something else. We use our expertise in business law to assist our clients with forming partnerships, S-Corporations, C-Corporations, joint ventures, and limited liability companies.
Maintaining Corporate Formalities. Forming your business entity is only the beginning. Corporations must be maintained annually or else you can expose yourself to personal liability for failing to adhere to proper corporate formalities. Annual minutes reflecting director and shareholder meetings are required for every California corporation. In the event your business is sued it is critical to make sure you have updated minutes and your books and records are kept in a manner that would let a court “pierce the corporate veil.”
Business Forms Review. The forms used in your business should be reviewed by an attorney annually. Laws change each year and an outdated form can expose you to unnecessary liability. Each day new cases come out that discuss the technicalities of liability releases, leases, sales agreements, and employment. Moreover, the way you do business can change over time. The only way to make sure your business is keeping up with these changes is to have your forms periodically reviewed by counsel. Do not wait for a small legal question to become an expensive legal problem.
Business Practices Review. It is also important to periodically review the methods you use when doing business. Is your business obtaining proper releases when necessary? Are you using written contracts when required? Are you engaging in proper debt collection practices? Are you adequately insured? Loss prevention and risk management are an important part of every business and the only way to make sure you are avoiding unnecessary risk is to constantly review and, when necessary, update your business practices. All of these issues should be discussed with your attorney and reviewed periodically.
Facilities Review. As important as how you run your business is where you run your business. Leases often have deadlines and requirements for exercising options and these deadlines can be inadvertently overlooked. Business premises need to comply with a myriad of laws from licensing and zoning ordinances to ADA Compliance. Some businesses are required to post legal notices at their place of business. Business owners need to keep up with these requirements annually.