Most business creators understand the importance of working with an experienced corporate lawyer to create the corporate entity. However, it is all too common for corporate leadership to assume that the process is complete when the articles of incorporation are filed. In fact, keeping a corporation operating legally requires much more. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with a law firm that knows your business and is able to track and manage the legal aspects of a corporation reduces both the burden on your team and the risk to your business and your officers.
Corporate Services to Ease the Burden on Your Executives and Protect Your Company
Managing the legal aspects of your corporate entity can be a challenge. In addition, regulatory details probably were not what you had in mind when you decided to start a business. The services described below are designed to shift the legal burden from your in-house team to a legal team with the knowledge and experience to effectively manage filings, licensing, maintenance of records, and other compliance issues.
Appointment of Registered Agents
To ensure that a corporation can be held accountable through legal process, the entity is legally required to appoint a registered agent for service in each state where the corporation does business. While some states allow a corporate officer to serve as registered agent, there are many practical reasons that it is preferable to appoint an outside professional as agent. In some cases, an attorney will serve as registered agent, while in others it makes sense to work with a larger organization that can provide registered agent services in multiple states.
Your corporation will be held legally accountable for any documents served on your registered agent, so it is very important that you appoint a registered agent you can rely on and keep your registered agent information up to date with the Secretary of State in each state where you are conducting business.
Filing Annual Reports
Requirements regarding the filing of annual reports differ from state to state. Working with a corporate law firm that stays abreast of the legal requirements applicable to you and your business helps ensure that you are compliant in every state where you are operating while relieving your executives of the burden of monitoring the legal and regulatory process in each of those states, including what must be included in an annual report and when it must be filed in each state.
Obtaining and Renewing Business Licenses
The nature of your business will partially determine the need for business licenses, but geography also plays a role. Depending on the type of business you are operating and the location, you may require one or more licenses at the state and/or local level. We make it our business to stay up to date on requirements impacting each of our corporate clients so that we can take the lead on ensuring that all necessary licensing is up to date.
Maintaining Annual and Ongoing Meeting Minutes
Corporations are required to create and preserve minutes of their annual meetings, as well as other special meetings that may take place from time to time. As with other aspects of corporate governance, the exact requirements may differ from state to state. Many corporations appoint their corporate lawyers as the guardians of those minutes, eliminating the need to shift responsibility for the minutes within the corporation as turnover occurs.
Facilitating Stock Issues and Transfers
Federal law and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations govern the transfer of stock, and those regulations can be complex and even counter-intuitive. A corporate lawyer who is familiar with both your business and the current state of the law regarding stock issues and transfers can guide your corporation through the process to ensure that you are both effective and legally compliant.
Let an Experienced Corporate Lawyer Take the Lead
The technical, legal, and regulatory requirements surrounding the creation and maintenance of a corporation can be difficult to manage internally. However, staying up to date and compliant with these requirements and regulations is critical to the survival of your business. Our law firm has the experience necessary to advise you regarding all aspects of ongoing corporate maintenance, and to provide you with updated information and direct services to protect your corporation while you focus on the substance and day-to-day operation of your business.