Articles Tagged with California Business Attorney

AdobeStock_96879652-300x200When you are selling a business in California, it can be a somewhat complex but still rewarding process that requires an exit strategy to realize the gains from building and operating a successful business. The number of moving parts when selling a business makes documentation of the terms of a sale critical, and there will generally be four stages to follow.

You are going to want to make sure that you have legal counsel when you are negotiating the sale of your business. A California business attorney with Structure Law Group, LLP, can walk you through the entire process.

Preparing to Sell the Business

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_414456803-300x118Both employees and employers need to understand how stock options work. Employers who issue stock options without understanding them can lose significant value or control of their businesses. Employees who do not understand their stock options could miss out on a significant part of the compensation they are owed for their employment. The experienced California stock option lawyers at Structure Law Group help employers and employees understand their legal rights and obligations regarding stock options.

A Timeline Of the Stock Option Life Cycle

Like other financial assets, stock options have a life cycle. Understanding this life cycle can help you understand the true value of the asset. There are three general phases in the life cycle of stock options:

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.

AdobeStock_316499043-300x199In California litigation, each side is generally expected to pay their own attorney’s fees. This can be a significant amount – one that is especially hard for businesses to bear when they are new, or small or subject to difficult market conditions (such as the coronavirus pandemics). There are, however, certain situations in which a party can recover attorney’s fees. Learn more about how you can mitigate the expenses of litigation.

Recovery Through Statutes

There are certain statutes that specifically provide for attorney’s fees. If a party successfully pursues a claim under a specific statute, the court can award attorney’s fees at the end of the case. This is why it is important to work with an experienced business litigator who knows which claims you can pursue under state statutes that specifically allow for attorney’s fees. These statutes typically involve cases of serious misconduct, such as fraud, concealing evidence from the other party, or lying to the court. One frequent example is California’s “Anti SLAPP” statute. Section 425.16 of the California Code of Civil Procedure prohibits frivolous lawsuits that use the judicial process to restrict another party’s right to free speech. The statute also specifically allows attorney’s fees to be awarded to a prevailing party on motions to strike filed under this statute.

covid-court-300x200In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State and Federal Court in California have become severely backlogged. For months, the courts were closed entirely, hearing only the most urgent cases (such as domestic violence, restraining orders and other protective order type cases). The courts have slowly expanded operations and started hearing other non-urgent matters by video conference. Unfortunately, jury tirals are still on hold and these limited operations have not begun to make a significant dent in the major backlog of cases to be heard. There is a reported backlog of over a thousand criminal trials in California courts. Criminal defendants have the right to a speedy trial, so these cases must generally be given priority over civil matters.

California Statutes That Create Civil Trial Preferences

Without any relief, the current backlog means that it could be months or even years before a civil case is scheduled for trial on a normal court docket. That being said, the California Code of Civil Procedure does create specific categories that allow a civil case to be given preference in trial scheduling. An experienced civil litigator can explain which, if any, of the following circumstances apply to an individual’s case:

Fotolia_171059478_Subscription_Monthly_M-300x200A right of first refusal is an important legal right in business law. It gives a certain party the opportunity to engage in a transaction before another party can do so. The right of first refusal can be used in many different contexts and can be extremely important for many companies. If a right of first refusal is granted and not subsequently honored, it can lead to a legal dispute.

If you are including a right of first refusal provision in a contract, you should always have a skilled business lawyer review the contract to ensure the provision properly protects your rights. We can also ensure the contract allows you the appropriate remedies should another party breach the contract provision.

Situations Involving a Right of First Refusal