The law firm of Eric H. Light, P.A. has represented numerous businesses and would-be businesses over the years. We have advised and counseled our clients to help them make the best choice in selecting the entity structure of their business, whether it be operated as an S corporation, C corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP). Associated with setting up the new entity we have implemented new shareholder agreements, operating agreements, partnership agreements, and buy-sell agreements. The firm has extensive experience in converting or merging business entities and advising as to appropriate business jurisdictions. We have also negotiated transactions on behalf of our clients in regard to the sale or purchase of business entities as well as the sale or purchase of specific business assets.
Because one of the main goals of establishing a business entity is the asset protection of the individual business owners, we frequently advise our clients to take certain measures to prevent the likelihood of creditors of an individual owner from potentially coming after assets owned by the business. For instance, we advise our clients against commingling their assets with that of the business entity. Furthermore, the business should be operated as a separate entity and therefore certain formalities should be followed such as annual business meetings where officers and directors are appointed to manage and business agreements should be legitimate and effectively carried out.
We have also worked with our clients to implement thorough business succession plans that address what happens in the event of the death, disability or retirement of the primary business owner. In the case of closely-held businesses the primary goal is to minimize conflict among the various members of the family in order to allow the business to continue and to achieve the primary business owner's desired estate planning results. In the case of businesses owned by non-related parties, the goals are similar but generally, the deceased business owner's family will no longer be part of the business and therefore it is necessary to address how the deceased owner's interest is bought out so that his or her beneficiaries receive the proceeds.
This is usually accomplished through a properly drafted Buy-Sell Agreement that addresses business valuation and the procedure for buying out another business owner when a certain situation occurs. Implementing a business succession plan often involves meeting with the various parties, including key employees, to address their concerns prior to signing any documents. Each business has its own issues and the law firm of Eric H. Light, P.A. is skilled at structuring a carefully constructed business plan that accomplishes its long term and short term business goals.