Frequently Asked Questions for the Business Law Group
At the Business Law Group, we welcome questions about business matters. Our firm handles legal issues for clients who need assistance with the formation and maintenance of business entities, estate planning and probate for business owners and their families, or business transactions. Here are brief answers to some commonly asked questions about our practice areas. Please note that these answers are not legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
Do I Need a Corporation for My Business?
For some business owners, forming a corporation is the right choice. A corporation allows you to access certain tax advantages available to corporations. It also provides some protection from personal liability for corporation actions. However, you must ensure that you observe the laws regarding corporate formalities and business maintenance to keep these benefits. Talk to your business lawyer about the pros and cons of forming a corporation for your business.
Do I Need an LLC (Limited Liability Company) for My Business?
Forming an LLC (limited liability company) is the right choice for some business owners. An LLC can provide some protection for your personal assets. Business owners who do not have LLCs or other business entities in place risk creditors accessing their personal assets to satisfy business debts. An LLC could also be a good choice for a growing business with several partners who want a written agreement documenting their responsibilities. For some business owners, a different entity type might be a better fit. To determine which entity would best suit your business, speak with our highly experienced team at the Business Law Group.
Does Your Firm Handle Business Transactions?
Yes, we work with business owners to prepare agreements and advise on business transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, asset or stock sales, and business exit planning. We also work with business owners who need assistance with ongoing business maintenance. This can include the preparation of contracts for business relationships, advising on corporate recordkeeping, and more. We pride ourselves on the business and legal knowledge of our highly experienced team.
As a Business Owner, How Can I Make Sure I am Following the Laws?
Many different laws affect businesses, and specific industries may have their own sets of laws to follow. The best way to protect your business and receive advice on compliance is to hire an experienced business lawyer. You need an attorney with both knowledge of the law and the ability to give practical recommendations to you as a business owner. The Business Law Group can handle the variety of legal issues that your business may face while helping you grow.
I’m Ready to Sell My Business. How Do I Make It Happen?
You’re in luck! The Business Law Group helps clients with what we call "business exit planning". We are here to advise on the options you have to sell or transfer your business. You may be able to sell your business to a third party or transfer it to a business partner, family member, or your employees. Our services include analyzing possible exits, structuring your chosen option, and documenting the transition.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Business Contracts?
Any time you plan to enter into a new business contract, it is a good idea to have a lawyer prepare the contract. At a minimum, have a lawyer review the contract before you sign. A good business lawyer can analyze your contracts and flag any legal issues that could cause your business problems. When you ask the lawyer to prepare your contracts, you have the advantage of getting documents tailored for your specific business needs (rather than using a generic template or a document favoring the other party to the deal). Collaborating with a lawyer can protect your business while helping it grow.
Can I Leave My Business to My Family in My Will?
We often help clients with business succession planning. There are two important aspects to passing on your business to family or others: what your business’s agreements say and what your estate plan says. You need to ensure that these documents all reflect your desire to pass on the business in a certain way. The Business Law Group can review your business documents and help you create an estate plan that aligns with your wishes.
Do I Need a Living Trust as Part of My Estate Plan?
Some people choose to form living trusts as part of their estate plans because they can allow heirs to receive an estate without the need for probate. Depending on your goals, you may want an irrevocable trust or spendthrift trust instead of a living trust. It’s best to consult an estate planning lawyer to determine which tools and strategies will work best for you.
Will My Estate Have to Go Through Probate?
Depending on your specific estate plan, how much money is in your estate, and other factors, your estate may need to go through probate. Probate is the process of gathering up your estate and distributing it to your heirs, often supervised by a court. For a variety of reasons, you may want estate planning strategies that keep your estate out of probate, such as a living trust or asset protection entities. Discuss your estate plan with a knowledgeable attorney to learn more about your options.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Prepare My Will?
You need a lawyer to prepare your will because it must comply with many laws to be considered valid. If your will is not legally valid, your estate passes to your closest living relatives. This is called intestate succession. If your estate is distributed according to intestate succession, the end result may not align with your wishes at all. Get a lawyer to prepare the will so they can ensure it follows the law. In addition, talk to your lawyer about any additional estate planning steps you need to accomplish your goals. If you own a business, for example, you may need a lawyer to prepare documents that allow its transfer after your death to the person you choose.
The Business Law Group: Helping California Business Clients
The Business Law Group’s highly experienced attorneys can work with you on a variety of business legal issues. Our team has decades of experience helping California business owners understand their legal rights, form new entities, and enter into contracts. We also advise clients about probate matters, trust administration, estate planning, and more. Please contact us at your convenience to schedule an appointment. You can reach the Business Law Group by calling (408) 979-7800 or by filling out our Contact form.