Articles Posted in Limited Liability Companies

AdobeStock_119264482-300x204Naming a business is a critical component of branding strategy for a person or entity involved in a California business. When the name of the business does not include the owner’s last name, a person or entity has to file a fictitious business name (FBN) statement with the office of the Registrar-Recorder or County Clerk in the specific county location for the business. This process is also known as registering a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or “Trade Name,” and a business without a location in California will have to register with the Clerk of Sacramento County.

The DBA requirement can be confusing for many people, but you do not have to handle everything on your own. Contact an LA business formation attorney with Structure Law Group, LLP for help with all your DBA needs.

When DBAs Apply

AdobeStock_255732380-300x200There is no legal requirement that you have an attorney to set up an LLC. There is also no legal requirement that you have a defense lawyer represent you in the criminal court, but in both cases, your legal rights can be seriously impaired if you do not get legal advice. Structure Law Group is a Bay Area business law firm that helps business owners set up LLCs with as much legal protection as possible. Our Silicon Valley LLC attorneys have helped entrepreneurs form businesses in a wide range of industries.  Here are some of the most important reasons you should hire a lawyer to help you set up your LLC.

A lawyer will make sure you select the right business entity.

There are many business entities from which to choose. An LLC is just one of several options, and it may not be right in every situation. It is important to consult with a business formation attorney to be sure that you are selecting the best business entity for your specific needs. The IRS recognizes many business entities, including:

Untitled-design-22-300x200A limited liability company (LLC) is an option for people wishing to start a business in California that combines the tax advantages and flexibility of partnerships with the liability protection that comes with a corporation.

Starting an LLC in California still requires rigorous oversight. Make sure you are working with a Silicon Valley start-up company attorney at the best start-up law firm in Silicon Valley, Structure Law Group, LLP.

Limited Liability

AdobeStock_386942563-300x131Entrepreneurs of all kinds face a daunting choice when trying to determine whether to establish their businesses as limited liability companies (LLCs) or S Corporations (S-corps). While an LLC will be a separate business structure, an S Corporation is actually a tax status, so forming an LLC involves filing paperwork with the state of California, while an S Corporation will involve filing paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The decision between LLC and S-Corp status is not an easy one to make, so make sure you have proper legal guidance every step of the way. You will want to work with a San Jose business formation attorney at Structure Law Group, LLP.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LLCs

AdobeStock_429521227-300x212After California has fully reopened its economy on June 15, 2021, many California employers and employees alike have been wondering, “Can an employer compel its workforce to get vaccinated prior to returning to work?

The short answer is, “Yes.” An increasing number of companies in California have mandated vaccination policies for their employees. Under federal and California state law, employers can require all or some of their employees to be vaccinated in order to return to work.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers are allowed to mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 as long as the decision to require an employee to be vaccinated harasses or discriminates against the employee. Employers should also keep in mind that they are required to provide reasonable accommodations related to employees’ disabilities and religious beliefs.

LLC-300x297As a business owner, one of the first decisions you will make is to choose a business entity type. California recognizes many different types of business entities. Each comes with both benefits and limitations, so it is important to work with an experienced California business lawyer to be sure that you select the business entity type that is right for your unique business. The right business entity type can give you flexibility in running your business, confer tax benefits, and ensure that your new business is run as effectively as possible. Learn more about the flexibility – and limitations – of LLCs and corporations in California.

Flexibility Of LLCs Versus Corporations

Many business owners are familiar with the benefits of an LLC. Because the company is created with limited liability, owners can not generally be held personally liable for debts of the business so long as they continue to meet LLC legal requirements. This means that the business owner’s liability is usually limited to whatever funds are invested in the business. Entrepreneurs are usually familiar with these benefits and instinctively want to form an LLC to avail themselves of these benefits. But an LLC is not the only business entity you can form. In some cases, a corporation might give your business greater flexibility to raise funds and conduct business.

AdobeStock_67958307-300x187Delaware has long been known as a popular state for incorporation of a new business. Some entrepreneurs think this is solely because of tax benefits, but there are many legal and practical benefits to incorporating a new business in Delaware. Here are some of the most common:

Management Friendly

The Delaware General Corporation Law is considered to be friendly toward the management of corporations. There are many specific provisions that help corporations run more efficiently: for example, Delaware corporations have the option of using cumulative voting, while other states make it compulsory for corporations that are not publicly traded. The DGCL also allows for shareholder approval of mergers without separate votes in each class of outstanding stock. Special meetings can be limited to a call by the Board of Directors, which prevents the complications associated with shareholders calling special meetings. Finally, the DGCL embraces new technologies and now allows corporations to use distributed ledgers or blockchains to create and maintain the corporate records required by law. These and other provisions help corporations run more efficiently under Delaware state law.

AdobeStock_414492192-300x169Secured creditors use collateral to protect their investments. Collateral can be a good form of financial protection, but the security only exists if creditors follow all legal requirements. If all legal requirements are not met, a secured creditor might not have priority over other creditors – or have no legal rights to the collateral at all. An experienced securities lawyer can help your business protect its assets by securing your transactions appropriately.

There are many ways that a creditor can gain priority over other creditors. Mortgage lenders, for example, file specific legal documents along with the recorded deed to ensure that they have a secured interest in the home if the borrower stops making required mortgage payments. These documents are made publicly available by the county recorder. As a result, the mortgage lender is able to claim priority over other claimants to the home and even secure priority in any bankruptcy proceedings the borrower might file.

The same principles apply to businesses that have a secured interest in collateral to protect their investments. Documents are drafted to conform to the Uniform Commercial Code. These “UCC filings” are then sent to the office of the Secretary of State to be recorded. These public records serve as notice to other creditors. Like a mortgage recorded at the county recorder’s office, the security is protected because other creditors have been notified that the secured creditor has priority.

AdobeStock_377846636-300x225Shareholders have important legal rights under California law. These rights protect a shareholder’s ability to make informed financial decisions about their ownership rights in a company. If you do not understand these legal rights, a company can try to get around them and benefit itself at the expense of its own shareholders. The experienced shareholders’ rights attorneys at Structure Law Group can help you protect your legal rights in order to shield your financial interests. Learn more about your shareholder rights – and the limitations placed on these rights.

Statutes

The California Corporations Code provides shareholders with the specific legal right to inspect corporate documents. The statute allows for the inspection of the accounting books, records, and minutes of proceedings of the shareholders and the board and committees of the board (or a true and accurate copy if the original has been lost, destroyed, or is not normally physically located within the State of California). This inspection can be made with a written demand on the corporation by any shareholder (or holder of a voting trust certificate) at any reasonable time during usual business hours. The statute requires that the demand be made for a purpose reasonably related to the holder’s interests as a shareholder.

AdobeStock_288866301-300x200When real estate is transferred in California, it generally constitutes a change in ownership that triggers a reassessment of the taxable value of that property. There are, however, a few key exclusions that can be used to avoid this trigger and protect your business from added tax liability. If you are considering transferring any property to or from your business, be sure to consult with an attorney about the best way to do this. The investment of attorney’s fees can pay dividends in reduced legal and tax liabilities. Errors, however, can lead to costly reassessments, in addition to tax penalties and interest on the added amount due.

Protecting Property Through the Creation of a Business Entity

There are a few different ways to transfer property to a business entity without triggering a reassessment. One is the legal entity exclusion. This rule allows you to avoid a reassessment if 50 percent or less of the interest in a legal entity is transferred to another legal entity. So if real property is held by a legal entity, up to half of the interest in that legal entity can be transferred without triggering a reassessment. If 51 percent or more of the legal interest is transferred, there will be a reassessment. The strategy is often used by business owners who are creating a new legal entity without changing the ownership of their business.