California Business Lawyer

Owning a business is both rewarding and challenging. You work hard to provide products and services to consumers and deserve to reap the financial rewards. However, you may also face various challenges along the way regarding employees, business practices, mergers and acquisitions, or dissolution.

No matter your circumstances, your business can benefit from the legal expertise of an experienced attorney. At Sparks Law, our California business lawyers can help you with contracts, litigation, real estate transactions, and more. We are here to discuss your goals and help you achieve them.

Forming a Business Entity in California

Business owners must first choose what type of entity their company will operate as. This can involve complex nuances, so it is best to work with a knowledgeable attorney to determine which business structure is most advantageous. For instance, a corporation is considered a non-human person capable of contracting with others, doing business and accumulating profits and losses. In most cases, its owners are not liable for its debts (unless a plaintiff in a lawsuit can prove fraud).

In California, business owners must file specific documents with the Secretary of State. These documents include:

  • Articles of Incorporation for general stock corporations, close corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit mutual benefit corporations, nonprofit public benefit corporations, nonprofit religious corporations, and common interest development associations
  • Articles of Organization for limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Certificate of Limited Partnership for limited partnerships
  • General partnerships could file a Statement of Partnership Authority or the partnership can be recorded with the county in which the partnership operates
  • Application to Register a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Businesses must also comply with zoning regulations and secure occupational licenses or other required permits. The IRS issues an Employer Identification Number used for employee tax and company banking purposes. This number may also be required in other scenarios, such as securing a business loan. Because there are many legal nuances for filing these complex documents, it is wise to consult a nearby business attorney familiar with the paperwork process.

Should I Buy or Lease for my Business?

Owners need to pick the best location for their operations, which will involve a commercial lease or a real estate purchase. Leases are less expensive upfront but can be costly over time. Purchasing a building for operations may be advantageous, but business owners should consult an attorney with real estate experience to determine whether to buy or lease.

Corporate Records

Business owners should work with a lawyer on several types of agreements to establish rules for their companies. These include:

  • Partnership agreements
  • Operating agreements
  • Shareholder agreements

Other documents, such as bylaws, director and shareholder minutes, and annual reports, are also necessary for businesses. When disputes arise, these documents help ensure an efficient and smooth resolution without having to spend time in court.

The Art of the Agreement

Business contracts cover employment, debt and equity agreements, vendors, restrictive covenants, and business combinations (buying, selling, or merging with another entity). Whenever two parties agree to something, a California business lawyer should draft a contract or review those already signed.

Breach of Contract

When parties to contracts renege on their obligations, or if contracts are vague and misinterpreted, the signors often land in court. However, litigating these issues without legal guidance is costly and time-consuming. A better tactic is to work with a California business attorney who can draft specific agreements, negotiate settlements, or represent clients in court.

Intellectual Property

Companies who depend on unique logos, inventions, creative work, and anything that identifies them to the public should also seek legal advice for intellectual property issues. At Sparks Law, our California business lawyers are skilled at handling copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Besides registering copyrights and trademarks and applying for patents, our legal team can also advise on licensing or selling intellectual property rights.

Call a California Business Lawyer for All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are chartering a new company or have years of experience running your business, you may need an attorney to help with legal issues. The California business attorneys at Sparks Law are experienced in a wide range of legal areas and can help you determine an effective strategy for your unique situation.

Call us today so we can schedule your initial consultation. We are here to guide your legal decisions and contribute to your business’s success.