One of the most costly mistakes a business owner can make is waiting until they're in the middle of a crisis situation to seek legal guidance. The vast majority of legal concerns affecting business owners can be avoided with proper planning. Whether you're just getting your business off the ground or you have questions about the steps you should take to protect your company's future, The Goralka Law Firm can help.
Forming a Business
When you have an idea for a new business, it's easy to get so focused on developing your product or service that you forget to attend to the legal aspects of business formation. Our team can help you with tasks such as:
- Identifying the best form of entity to own, operate, or manage a business or an investment asset
- Preparing reports and filings required by state and federal law while ensuring all governing documents are up to date
- Safeguarding the intellectual property involved in forming your business
- Ensuring employee and vendor contracts are written to protect your interests
Buying or Selling a Business
If you're thinking about purchasing an existing business, we can help you determine if the company is a worthy investment and structure the purchase agreement in a way that protects you from unplanned expenses. For example, we recommend that you require the sale to be structured as an asset purchase so you won't be held legally responsible for the prior liabilities or expenses of the business. However, if you purchase more than half of the seller's inventory and equipment as part of a bulk sale agreement, additional steps will need to be taken to minimize your liability.
If you've decided to retire or you simply wish to pursue another endeavor, we can help you receive a fair price for your business while protecting you from the consequences of a buyer defaulting on their payment obligation. We can also help you avoid common pitfalls such as an inadequate down payment for an installment sale.
Even if you take every reasonable precaution, it's still possible for litigation to put your assets at risk. For example, a customer could get hurt falling on a slippery floor, an employee could accuse you of discrimination, or your company could be involved in a breach of contract claim.
Forming limited liability entities such as corporations, limited partnerships, or limited liability companies can help protect your personal assets from liability or creditors. However, asset protection trusts combined with an LLC can provide even greater protection. Let us help you evaluate your options.
Proactive Business Compliance
Proper and timely management of a company's administrative duties can be a complex undertaking. However, The Goralka Law Firm offers a Corporate Shield™ service to let you focus on running and growing your company with the assurance that your business entity is protected. This innovative service includes benefits such as:
- Periodic review of and regular updates to the corporation's governing documents to ensure that they are compliant with current law
- Proper documentation of corporate actions and business decisions
- Timely filing of required reports with the Secretary of State
- A yearly legal "check-up" meeting
- Access to periodic educational workshops and webinars
To provide greater flexibility, we offer two levels of service for the Corporate Shield™ plan: basic and premium. Our premium members enjoy access to enhanced benefits such as notary services and increased frequency of document updates.
Any business owner entering into a contract must be extremely careful. An improperly drawn contract could ruin a business, so you should never sign an agreement you haven’t had an attorney review. Ambiguous or unclear language can have serious consequences.
We have the ability to create and review contracts for a wide range of business transactions. This includes asset sales, purchases, and transfers. Let us make sure your interests are being protected. We act as corporate counsel for a number of clients drafting or revising agreements and documenting a wide range of key transactions
Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can help your company expand into new markets and ensure long-term profitability, but these transactions are legally complex and have consequences that can reverberate both internally and externally. We can create a “road map” and time frame for your deal so you can proceed with confidence.
Our services are personalized to fit each client’s specific concerns, but we can assist with tasks such as obtaining the appropriate financing, assessing regulatory obstacles, evaluating tax implications, drafting contracts, and negotiating the terms of a proposed deal.
Succession planning is a formalized process for preparing new leaders to take over when the current management team leaves the company. If you have a family-owned business, detailed succession planning ensures that your children or grandchildren are ready to step in when you decide it's time to pass the torch.
A succession plan can be thought of as an estate plan for your business. It outlines roles and responsibilities so that the company you worked so hard to build will continue to function after you're gone. We can create a succession plan that is customized to fit the unique needs of your business.
Do You Need Help With a Business Planning Concern?
The Goralka Law Firm works with business owners in the Greater Sacramento area and throughout California. If you need assistance planning for your company's future, we're here to help. Contact us today to get started.