Organizing and growing a corporation or other business organization requires knowledge and attention to detail. The creation of your business entity will determine the legal rights and responsibilities of the principals, the tax consequences for the company and its owners, and the authority of the business to act in various circumstances. Our attorneys have guided hundreds of businesses through this process, helping them navigate new legal issues and challenges as their companies grew and evolved. We can do the same for you.
Corporate Governance Legal Services
The attorneys in our law firm put their years of experience in the establishment and growth of business entities to work for you in the following areas:
- Formation of Entities
- Advising and Qualifying Entities to do Business in Additional Jurisdictions
- Establishing Governance / Compliance Structure
- Agreements with Stakeholders
- Ongoing Corporate Services
- Structuring Executive Compensation Plans
- Financing and Funding Transactions
Formation of Entities
When you enter into business, you must determine the best way to structure your organization: as a corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. If you choose to incorporate, you still have multiple options. Will you benefit the most from forming an S Corporation, a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), or a C Corporation? Each has advantages and disadvantages, and your selection will impact your operations, taxes, profits and other core aspects of your business.
With extensive experience in structuring of business organizations of all types, our attorneys are ideally situated to help you determine which structure is most advantageous for you, and then to create that entity for you.
Advising and Qualifying Entities to do Business in Additional Jurisdictions
Once the structure of your organization is in place and your business is up and running, you may want to expand. Expansion offers the opportunity to reach a wider market, benefit from economies of scale and increase revenues. However, if you’re looking to expand into a new jurisdiction, there’s more involved than renting space and getting to work.
Ideally, you’ll get legal guidance before you choose the target for your next expansion, so that you can factor the ease or difficulty of entering and doing business in that jurisdiction into your decision.
Establishing Governance / Compliance Structure
If you’ve opted for a corporate structure, you will be required to establish a system of governance. This means establishing a system of officers and directors, allocating powers and responsibilities among them, creating checks to ensure that procedures are followed and establishing the rights and responsibilities of shareholders, if any.
This step includes determining the number of seats on the Board of Directors, how directors and officers will be elected, what the officers of the corporation will be responsible for and much more. Operational details such as how many Directors must be present for a quorum and what percentage is required to carry a vote will be set forth in the organization’s bylaws.
This structure will determine the ease or difficulty of accomplishing various goals of your organization, and will establish the balance of power among the stakeholders. In short, this structure will form the core of your operations. It’s worth the investment to ensure that you’ve selected the structure best suited to your plans and that the structure is properly implemented.
Agreements with Stakeholders
A key aspect of corporate governance involves managing roles, rights and responsibilities of Directors, Officers, advisors, investors, members, partners and other stakeholders. These agreements are critical to the smooth operation of your business. One key function of these agreements is to make each stakeholder’s commitment clear and explicit.
Agreements that are loose, vague, or fail to address all relevant issues can lead to problems as the business undertakes operations and it emerges that the expectations of different stakeholders do not match. Clear, exhaustive agreements will remove obstacles to keep your projects moving forward.
Ongoing Corporate Services
Structuring your organization and creating initial agreements with stakeholders is just the first step toward ensuring that your business operates legally and advantageously. New issues will arise, legal knowledge will be required in various areas of operations, and those initial bylaws and agreements probably won’t serve you forever.
Developing a relationship with a law firm that knows your business eliminates much lost time and crisis management by making it easy to address issues as they arise, before the situation becomes urgent or mistakes have been made.
Structuring Executive Compensation Plans
Compensation for lower-level employees is generally straightforward–a salary or hourly wage along with standard benefits such as medical insurance and 401(k) contributions. However, executive compensation packages can be much more complex, and are likely to be highly individualized.
A typical executive compensation package might include a base salary, a quarterly or annual incentive-based bonus program, long-term incentives such as stock options, and a benefits package. Structuring a package that is attractive to the employee and fiscally responsible for the employer may take some negotiation, adjustment, and even creative thinking. A law firm with experience structuring executive compensation plans can help you find the right combination for you and your leadership.
Financing and Funding Transactions
Financing and funding can be a tricky business. In addition to the financial differences, different sources and different agreements offer very different terms. These variations may impact how you can use funds, and may even grant some decision-making power or interest in your business to the financing party.
When seeking out funding, it is essential that you fully understand your options, the differences between them, and what you will be giving up in exchange for that funding.
Advantages of Our Corporate Governance Services
In a complex and multi-faceted arena such as corporate governance, where legal insights are required at every step of the process, from structuring of the organization to stakeholder agreements, hiring, funding and even general operations, there’s no substitute for a law firm that knows this area of law and your business intimately. Trying to go it alone, use templates to create your organizing documents or agreements, or work with an attorney who lacks direct experience in this field can be a costly mistake.
Our corporate lawyers have worked with hundreds of businesses and have the knowledge and experience necessary to deliver the same great results for your company.
Contact us Now to Get the Legal Guidance You Need
The sooner you get help with your corporate governance matters, the easier it will be to get your business running smoothly. Don’t delay, and don’t try to get started piecemeal on your own. Just pick up the phone right now, or send us a message online, to schedule a consultation. Gain the confidence and focus with knowing that this important aspect of your business is in capable hands.