You are ready to launch your business, enter into a lease agreement for your headquarters, or license your company’s intellectual property. Alternatively, you may be ready to sell your business and retire.
All of these actions require legal expertise and knowledge of federal and state laws. To ensure your company is protected no matter what stage of growth it is in, contact a New York business lawyer for legal advice. At Sparks Law, our experienced attorneys can help create an effective strategy to meet your goals.
The first step in achieving one’s business goals is to create the entity. Owners have a choice between a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), professional service corporation, or an S or C corporation. Even if the owner is not required to register the company with the Secretary of State, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, other actions may apply.
If the business name is a trade name, the owner must file a fictitious name certificate with the county clerk’s office. Zoning clearance, occupational licenses, and permits are required, as is an Employer Identification Number for tax and banking purposes. Partnerships should adopt a Partnership Agreement.
Corporations and limited liability companies are taxed differently than other business structures. Both entities have unique advantages, so entrepreneurs should discuss with a local corporate lawyer who could explain which structure is best for them.
Location is everything, and once an entrepreneur has located a suitable space for operations, the landlord will insist on a commercial lease. In time, a lease will have to be renewed or renegotiated. An attorney experienced in lease negotiation could save a business a lot of money.
Depending on the type of entity, a business is run by owners, managers, or shareholders. A Partnership Agreement, Operating Agreement, or Shareholders Agreement are crucial for setting forth the rights and responsibilities of those who invested money. If problems ensue in the future, bylaws and company records can help resolve disputes in an efficient manner.
For example, if three members charter an LLC but no Operating Agreement is adopted, New York LLC Law § 504 provides that any distributions will be allocated based on the value of a member’s contribution. If that value is not recorded, disputes could arise over how much a non-cash contribution is worth.
Other defining documents critical to a business’s success are:
Neglecting important documents often leads to battles that land the company, managers, and owners in court or in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The business attorneys at our New York office are skilled at negotiating and drafting and reviewing a wide range of contracts. Business contracts typically cover a wide variety of employment matters, including confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, settlement and release agreements, and independent contractor agreements. There are also various contracts for investors, suppliers, creditors, mergers and acquisitions, and clients. However, this list is not exhaustive. Whenever parties doing business agree on something, a contract drafted by a skilled attorney is probably necessary.
If a contract is vague or incomplete, it is easier for one party to breach it without repercussions. No business owner wants to be in this position, so it is best to ask an attorney with significant contracts experience to draft or review documents before signing. If a breach occurs, an attorney could negotiate a settlement, participate in arbitration or mediation, or take the case to civil court.
New York businesses that need to register a copyright or trademark or stop an infringement should contact a seasoned lawyer who deals with intellectual property licenses. If the owner wishes to sell intellectual property rights, an attorney at Sparks Law could also handle that transaction.
No matter what you are selling or providing, your company will need legal assistance at some point. Our team of professionals anticipates that and is here to help you.
Call Sparks Law today to schedule an appointment with one of our New York business lawyers. We are here to ensure your business runs smoothly and help you achieve your goals.