Articles Tagged with business attorney

AdobeStock_330935716-300x169Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential businesses have been shut down, resulting in an unprecedented economic downfall for many employers.  In efforts to provide relief for employers, the government has passed the CARES Act, which will allow employers to save costs by deferring their Social Security payroll tax (6.2%) payments.  This deferral period applies to employee wages accrued between March 27, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  Once the deferral period has passed, the employer will be obligated to pay the “deferred amounts” to the U.S. Treasury in two installments.  The first half of the deferred amount of payroll taxes will be due on December 31, 2021, while the remaining half will be due on December 31, 2022.  The CARES Act also applies to all employers regardless of their sizes, including individuals who are self-employed.  The only exception is employers who have already received Small Business Act loans that are forgiven under the Cares Act.  These employers do not qualify for the payroll tax deferral.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Silicon Valley Business Attorney

Contact Structure Law Group at (408) 441-7500. Our experienced Silicon Valley business lawyers know how to prevent business disputes and proactively address other business issues.

AdobeStock_292580187-e1576014509781-300x183A partnership is like a marriage. It takes effective communication to meet mutual goals. You can avoid many partnership disputes by creating a clear operating agreement before the partnership starts doing business. The experienced San Jose business attorneys at Structure Law Group can help you avoid unnecessary partnership disputes. By executing a clear, binding, and specific partnership agreement, you can save time and expense that ultimately hurts your business. Call (408) 441-7500 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled San Jose business lawyers. We have helped many Northern California businesses create effective operating agreements.

How to Create an Effective Operating Agreement

There are several important steps to follow in order to create an agreement that will effectively resolve disputes in future business transactions:

AdobeStock_252648156-300x200Drafting contracts that properly protect your legal interests requires training, a unique skillset, and years of experience as a business attorney.  Contracts that are not drafted by experienced counsel often fail to provide adequate protections to the parties involved.  For example, contracts prepared by business people that are not attorneys often contain key terms that are vague or are missing key legal provisions and fail to offer business owners sufficient legal protection. A well drafted contract can provide a business owner predictability and will save significant time and money by avoiding pitfalls that can be a significant burden on a company.

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Draft Your Own Business Contracts

  1. The Agreement May Not Reflect Your Intentions. Although a form contract purchased online might look enticing, it may very well fail to meet your specific needs.  You might not properly understand its provisions, legalese, or legal terms of art. Lengthy terms in a form contract can be confusing to the untrained reader and can contain terms that are dangerous to include in your specific situation. They can address complex legal theories that are best understood by an experienced attorney.  Ultimately, using a form contract without individualized legal advice can lead to your business being bound to legal provisions that you never intended.

AdobeStock_119342156-300x200Selling your business can be an exciting time. An acquisition can represent a new stage of growth for a company. However, a poorly drafted acquisition agreement can also jeopardize the legal and financial interests of business owners who do not adequately prepare for such an event.

What Issues Should Be Studied During the Due Diligence Process?

Each business is different, and every merger or acquisition requires a host of critical issues to be examined by both buyers and sellers.  Here are some – but of course not all – of the issues that must be addressed:

AdobeStock_279822215-1024x683LLCs are a popular business entity that can provide comprehensive legal protection. Unfortunately, business owners who do not properly form or operate their LLCs can still be personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business. Call Structure Law Group at 408-441-7500 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We have helped many business owners throughout California protect their assets and rights through solution-oriented counsel and representation.

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity. When formed and operated properly, an LLC can protect business owners from liability, and shield their assets from being used to satisfy the debts of the business. This is because the LLC is a separate legal being from the individuals who own it. As a result, creditors can only access assets in the LLC’s name to satisfy the debts of the LLC. The owner’s personal assets are not available to business creditors.

AdobeStock_125549643-300x200Employee benefits can be goods, services, or deferred compensation provided to employees in addition to wages. Federal law governs certain mandatory employee benefits, such as sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), while other benefits are voluntary perks of employment. In addition to the minimum requirements required by federal law, many states, including California require additional benefits.

For example, California requires employers to pay into or carry short-term disability insurance. Understanding mandatory employee benefits and the laws governing the same are crucial to starting a business in California. Business of all sizes that fail to adhere to federal and state employee benefits regulations may face costly litigation and/or tax penalties.

Types of Employee Benefits  

It’s no secret that years of corporate research indicate that strategic debt can be beneficial for a business. Taking on corporate debt may confer certain tax benefits, and debt can be used to grow earnings and increase the value of the company. Companies may also be able to create higher returns on the borrowed money than the interest rate they are paying on the debt. However, too much debt or a poorly structured or executed financial strategy also negligently impact the marketability and value of a company, including Silicon Valley startups. In addition, both California startups and creditors alike must be mindful of the federal and state laws that apply to debtor/creditor relations.

Commercial Debt and The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) 

The primary federal legislation governing debtor and creditor rights is the FDCPA; however, this legislation typically does not apply to business debts. It may apply to certain late payments of commercial debts. California’s version of the FDCPA, the California Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“CFDCPA”), while broader than the FDCPA, also typically does not apply to business debts. As such, business debtors aren’t afforded the same protections as consumers but business and their creditors also have more latitude to negotiate and structure the financial arrangement they deem most appropriate. There are few, if any, state and federal laws that regulate business-to-business debt, but the FDCPA can provide some guidance for creditors. For example, creditors should generally not:

So, you’ve decided to incorporate your business in California and form a corporation. This corporate structure provides multiple benefits in California, including certain California tax benefits and legal protections. Every state has different requirements for forming a corporation, and California is no different. Whether you’re incorporating a new business, a small business converting to a corporation, or a multi-national corporation coming to the states, the experienced corporate attorneys at Structure Law Group, LLP can help. Contact our experienced business attorneys at 408-441-7500 or online to schedule your free corporate consultation.

Types of Corporate Entities in California 

There are multiple types of business entities in California. From a sole proprietorship to a general stock corporation, you must choose the entity that’s right for you. Once you elect to form a California corporation, you must choose which type of corporation best suits your business. California recognizes the following types of corporations:

Some of the world’s most successful companies started as partnerships. Microsoft, Apple, McDonald’s, Warner Bros., Ben & Jerry’s, and Google are only some examples of now corporate giants that began with only two people working together to start a business. Unfortunately, many partnerships do not work as well, often because of disputes between the partners. Many of these disputes may be avoided by simply drafting and signing a valid and appropriate partnership agreement at the beginning of operations. An experienced business attorney can help you identify which issues need to be addressed in your particular partnership arrangement.

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The law does not require an agreement

Anytime two or more people begin business operations, they automatically have a partnership. Much like a sole proprietorship, a partnership requires no filings with the Secretary of State or other formalities in order to establish the business entity. If you do not have a partnership agreement and a dispute arises, you will have little control over how the dispute is resolved. In cases without an agreement in place, California law will govern the situation and not the wishes of the respective partners, which can be problematic in many cases. For example, California law allows each partner an equal say in the management of the business, as well as an equal share in profits. This would not be fair if one partner contributed substantially more time, effort, or money to the business than the other. Therefore, not only will a partnership agreement help to avoid misunderstandings in the first place, but may also lead to a fairer resolution of any legal issues.