North Carolina Business Lawyer

State and federal laws impact your company daily, and it is important to be aware of all the rules and regulations governing your operations. However, you cannot be expected to run a company and handle complex legal matters on your own. If you own a business, you should strongly consider meeting with a legal professional about your company. A North Carolina business lawyer can support you throughout the life of your company.

Understanding the Different Types of Business Entities

There are several types of business entities each with its own legal requirements and tax structures. If you are starting a company, you should choose the legal structure that best fits your goals. Our dedicated attorneys can review your business plan and determine which legal entity would work for you.

Sole Proprietorship

Individuals own and operate sole proprietorships. The Secretary of State does not require you to file charter documents to form a sole proprietorship, but you must register a Certificate of Assumed Name with the County Register of Deeds where the business is located. In a sole proprietorship, you are personally liable for the business, and profits and losses belong to you.

General Partnership

General partnerships are owned by two or more people, all of whom contribute capital, labor, or special skills. Partners manage the business and share profits and losses. In North Carolina, all partners are legally responsible for the actions of other partners.

Like sole proprietors, partners must also submit a Certificate of Assumed Name to the county. However, no filing is required by the Secretary of State. If you are forming this type of business, you should execute a partnership agreement to make sure everyone involved is aware of their role in the company.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Owners of limited liability companies are afforded limited personal liability for business activities. LLCs are separate entities from their owners and benefit from a pass-through taxation status which prevents double taxation to owners. You must file Articles of Organization and annual reports with the state to operate a limited liability company. These filings must also be accompanied by the appropriate filing fees.

C and S Corporations

If you choose to form a C corporation, your business will be a separate and distinct entity. With this legal structure, you and other owners are shielded from personal liability. You would file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State to form this type of corporation.

S corporations pass income, losses, deductions, and credits through to shareholders as a tax strategy. The pass-through is reported on shareholders’ personal tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. The tax rate is the same as shareholders’ individual tax rates. The company is responsible for tax on some built-in gains and passive income.

Negotiating and Executing Contracts in North Carolina

Contracts are the foundation of all business deals. In a valid agreement, each party promises to forgo something in return for something valuable. For example, employers give up money to gain competent employees. Some common types of contracts our experienced attorneys draft and negotiate include:

  • Employment contracts, including those with non-compete, confidentiality, and non-disparagement clauses
  • Independent contractor contracts
  • Vendor agreements
  • Business combination agreements, such as mergers and acquisitions
  • Creditor agreements
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Licensing agreements for intellectual property

Strong contracts are crucial to the success of any business. A business law attorney from our firm can help you negotiate, draft, or review your legal agreements.

Breach of Contract

When one party does not perform obligations memorialized in a contract, it is considered a breach. If the other party to your contract breached the terms of the agreement, or you were accused of violating the contract, a lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement or take the case to court.

Our North Carolina Business Attorneys Can Provide Legal Guidance

From filing business registration paperwork to making succession plans, there are many legal aspects of running a company that you may need help with. At Sparks Law, we can guide you through all these crucial legal processes to help you maintain your business. Contact us today to speak with a North Carolina business lawyer about your situation.