Santa Barbara & Ventura County Business Law Attorney
The Law Office of Brian L. Fox APLC is a premium southern California law practice, specializing in business law and estate planning. Because of our targeted focus, we are extremely knowledgeable about business law. Our gifted attorneys have well-honed skills in all legal aspects of business, including startups, partnerships, joint ventures and the establishment of various types of corporations.
We look forward to serving your legal needs whether you are looking to form a new business, buy out or sell an existing one, or need advice about operating or non-compete agreements, antitrust laws or non-disclosure agreements. At the Law Office of Brian L. Fox, we are dedicated to serving all of your legal business needs, well aware that every step we help you to take moves you closer to the enduring success you seek.
Our Business Law Attorneys Routinely Help Clients With Business Startups
First of all, it helps to be aware that the majority of businesses in California are considered small businesses and employ approximately half of the workers in the state. Businesses, whether large or small, however, have a great many of the same concerns, including doing the following in accordance with California and federal employment laws:
- Hiring, managing, and firing employees
- Filing business taxes
- Making legally binding contracts of various types (e.g. to hire independent contractors)
- Choosing appropriate and sufficient business insurance
- Deciding which type of legal structure best suits your business (corporation? partnership? limited liability company?)
- Extending credit and collecting past due amounts
- Complying with health, safety, and environmental regulations at your work sites
- Figuring out best investment strategies
Various Types of Business Structures
There are many complex issues affected by your business structure and you may feel confused or overwhelmed by the number of choices. Our savvy business attorneys will assist you in determining which business structure will work best in terms of your taxes, investments and the administrative aspects of your company.
In California, the shared ownership of a business by two or more individuals is structured as a partnership. The partners share both profits and losses, but the amount of personal liability each partner takes and the management structures of the firm are typically based on which type of partnership is formed.
- General partnerships — Partnerships in which each partner has an equal portion of responsibility and obligation, including debts, liabilities, and profits. Each partner pays taxes through personal income tax.
- Limited partnerships — In limited partnerships each partner’s personal liability is limited to the amount of his or her investment, but at least one of the partners must assume “general partner” status, which opens that partner to greater liability and debt exposure.
- Limited liability partnership (LLP) — In LLPs the limited partners are protected from much of the partnership’s liabilities and debts while being granted some of the tax advantages of a general partnership
- Limited liability company (LLC) — In LLCs there are features of both a corporation and a partnership, so that the owners pay their business taxes as part of their personal incomes, but also manage to shield their assets from personal liability
There are also corporate structures and single-person business structures to choose from:
- Corporations offer the strongest liability protection for owners since corporations are freestanding legal entities, essentially the equivalent of a person; for this reason the corporation may be sued while the owners are protected fully from liability. Corporations are subdivided into S and C corporations which differ in in terms of taxation and shareholders.
- Sole Proprietorships have only one owner and, although you must obtain all necessary licenses and permits, the paperwork is very simple; the downside of a sole proprietorship is that as the sole owner you have no protection from liability.
Other Documents We Can Help You Prepare, Negotiate and Put into Effect
These include the ongoing documents of business operations, including:
- Buy-sell agreements
- Service contracts
- Releases and waivers
- Property agreements
- Shareholder agreements
- Operating agreements
- Lease agreements
You can be sure if you engage the meticulous business attorneys at the Law Office of Brian L. Fox, they will also help you navigate the full range of ongoing transactions involved in running a successful business by discussing the value of the following in your particular situation:
- Joint ventures
- Asset purchases
- Stock purchases
- Buying and selling businesses
- Non-compete agreements
- Management decisions pertaining to relocation
Whether you are starting a business, expanding or downsizing, relocating or restructuring, the Law Office of Brian L. Fox will stand by you, helping you to figure out what moves will be best for your company. We will assist you in weighing the pros and cons of various decisions in terms of profit and taxation, location, personnel changes, and compliance with federal and state law. In addition, we will draft and review all pertinent documents. If you’re establishing or making changes to, a business in southern California, get in touch with us to give yourself the optimal chance to succeed. We can be reached by phone, email, or through one of our website content forms.