ENTITY FORMATION

Starting a business is exciting but it can also be very overwhelming. With so many things to consider and bases to cover, it's important for a business owner to start out on the right foot by choosing the right type of entity. Because different business forms have different liability and tax consequences, the formation of your business is an important first step to avoiding problems down the road. By organizing your company in the form that best fits your business purpose and professional style, you'll be able to limit your personal liability and protect your assets. We're ready to help you get your foundation set up and make the right decisions for your:

  • Sole Proprietorship

  • Corporations/S-Corporations

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • Partnership and Limited Partnership (LP)

Team Meeting
 
  • General questions about your running your business

  • Recruiting and termination issues

  • HR and Employer/Employee issues

  • Privacy laws that affect your online presence

  • Handling serious customer service complaints

  • Breach of contract with a supplier

  • Questions involving advertising or marketing language

  • Terms of Use for your Web site

REMOTE GENERAL COUNSEL

When it comes to the experience of operating a small business, we can relate because, well, we are one. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses. In California, small businesses account for 99.8 percent of businesses, which employs nearly 49 percent of all of California's workforce. That means about one out of every two people make their living from a small business and this is why staying lean and mean is crucial for the health of the business and for profitability. To make sure businesses have what they need and nothing they don't, our firm is proud to offer affordable and flexible outside general counsel services by subscription and on demand so that clients can keep overhead low, right-size resources to fit their needs, and maximize profits while still getting help with the handling of important legal affairs. DIYers, you don't need to do the heavy lifting alone. Keep us on your favorites speed dial list for help with:

 

BUSINESS AGREEMENTS

Mutual agreement is an integral part of day to day operations for any business. Having expertly crafted written agreements that reflect the circumstances surrounding different business transactions is important for defining the roles and responsibilities of internal team members, as well as setting expectations and obligations that relate to external strategic alliances. Business agreements are indispensable and can create the foundation and outline the process for how you're going to achieve your goals, increase revenue, and shield against liabilities and risks. 

  • Operating agreements

  • Management agreements

  • Construction agreements

  • Subcontractor agreements

  • Supply chain agreements

  • Independent contractor agreements

  • Employer/Employee agreements

  • Nondisclosure agreements

 
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WORKPLACE POLICY

Employee policies, procedures and handbooks are often overlooked for their practical purpose but also their legal significance. In fact, they are an essential ingredient and communications tool for establishing relationships between employers and employees. All businesses should have a comprehensive document that clearly outlines and explains important workplace policies that relate to an organization's practices, including rules and regulations, operational procedures, information about the premises, guidelines for conduct and more.  When workplace disputes arise, a company handbook is often the first place to look to determine if an act or omission violates the understanding and agreement between a business owner and the business's employees. We work closely with clients to create relevant policies to protect your business and avoid litigation.

  • Comprehensive employee manuals

  • Sexual harassment guidelines

  • Internet use policy

  • Code of conduct clauses

  • Nondisclosure agreements

  • General company policy

  • Employee benefits information

  • Disclaimers

 

BUSINESS SUCCESSION

You've worked hard and you care about your business. But have you thought about what should happen to the fruits of your labor once you retire, relocate or some other unexpected event occurs? You've got plans to secure your family's future, so why not plan to secure the future of your business, too? Let us help you contemplate a strategy and make the necessary arrangements to secure business continuity and keep the returns coming.

  • Buy/sell agreements

  • Employee incentives

  • Designating successor managers

  • Compensation agreements

  • Transition agreements

  • Operating agreements and by-laws

  • Family business succession planning

 
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CONTRACTS

Contracts are an effective and often necessary tool every business owner should be using. By reducing your negotiations into a written document, you will be able to clearly set forth important terms in your business dealings that reflect things such as relevant parties, payments, delivery deadlines, product quantities, descriptions, scope of service, and many other types of obligations and rights for your mutual agreements. In short, contracts reduce conflicts. We offer contract drafting and review to protect your business and avoid costly confusion and ambiguity.

  • Contract drafting

  • Existing document review and interpretation

  • Negotiation and contract modification

  • Nonlitigation contract dispute resolution/collaborative dispute resolution

 

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS COUNSEL

Strategic communications is the use of communications to achieve a particular result. The practice focuses on a strategic approach that utilizes several different disciplines, including public relations, advertising, marketing, social media outreach, and management communication. The process involves examining communications objectives, identifying intended audiences, developing specific messaging to impact those audiences, and implementing creative outreach tactics and activities to obtain the desired outcomes.

A strategic communications program has many applications and can be used to protect interests by business and community leaders, nonprofit organizations, special interest groups, educational institutions, government bodies and individuals spanning public and private sectors. Strategic communications outreach often intersects with legal affairs within a business context, such as when a legal strategy must also incorporate a public relations (PR) strategy in order to effectively and wholly address an important issue that poses a communications challenge.

Today, the digital space has brought communications challenges as well as opportunities. This communications model is ideal for organizations and entities interested in establishing relationships with new audiences, building and maintaining awareness to capture marketshare, fostering dialogues with key strategic partners, while managing and controlling the flow of information at all levels.

 
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CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT

Unlike strategic communications, which is a proactive approach to managing current and future communications challenges, crisis communications is responsive and often involves mitigating negative information circulating about a business or its leadership organization. In the digital age, because information, particularly negative news, can spread quickly, a business can suffer a disastrous PR crisis if the organization fails to have an effective, ready-to-implement crisis plan.

A professional crisis management strategy is key to assessing a potential problem, including identifying specific risks, and neutralizing past or present threats. A crisis management team can analyze the issues, create a crisis communications plan, and implement a coordinated effort to respond to and conduct outreach to preserve brand reputation, reassure key stakeholders and preserve business continuity. Doing nothing and hoping for the best against a fast-evolving business climate can make things exponentially worse.

 

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

Reputation management encompasses both law and communications. According to Pew Research, an overwhelming 89% of Americans turn to the Internet, apps and social media for their news. Because information, especially negative news, can travel at the speed of a click and be shared by social and traditional media outlets alike, business organizations and individuals must be ready with an approach for maintaining and managing their reputation.

 

A good reputation is a huge asset that takes time and resources to build. Having a good reputation means that you have credibility among peers, you are an authority in your field, and you enjoy public trust that positively impacts your name and brand health. Being regarded as an authority or thought leader can ultimately lead to increased sales and future goodwill for your business and for you. Ultimately, your reputation is how you are known in a community. When negative news or misinformation about you or something you're connected to appears, the impact on your livelihood and image that you've worked so hard to earn can be ruinous. Doubt and a damaged reputation can cause a business and its leaders to suffer devastating consequences, including lost opportunities, financial harm, broken relationships, and loss of trust. And, it can happen very quickly. Although a tarnished professional image can seriously jeopardize an organization's future, a coordinated reputation management program can help to mitigate or even prevent reputational harm from having lasting effects.