This is a brief summary of four issues we see quite often with our business clients – and why you, as a business owner, may care.
- Choice of Entity. This is an important decision when starting a new business – whether to set up as a corporation, partnership, LLC, s-corporation, or sole proprietor? The answer involves many factors, including but not limited to the type of business, industry, number of employees, number of partners, long term business plan, taxes, and liability concerns. It may be helpful if you review these factors with an experienced lawyer and/or accountant to determine the right structure for your business.
- Employees v. Independent Contractor. Another common issue, and one with potential long-term tax and legal implications, is whether someone should be treated as an employee or an independent contractor. Many states, including CT and MA, have laws that attempt to clarify this, with disastrous consequences for improper classification.
- Non-Competes. Many industries are both highly competitive and afford for employee mobility. As a business owner in one of these fields, you need to make sure that the people you hire do not hurt your business if they leave. Non-compete agreements may be enforceable, but only in certain circumstances and only if drafted properly, as they must be reasonable in geographical distance, time duration, and scope.
- Conflict Resolution – Settle or Sue. If you own a business, then you will have to deal with this issue some day. Most of the conflicts we see arise with former employees or partners, or over customer contracts. The simple solution is to avoid expensive and unpredictable litigation if possible, but it may be helpful to have an attorney on your side who is familiar with your business and who can help you navigate through conflict resolution issues.
For assistance with your business or estate planning legal needs, contact Fournier Legal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.670.3535 now for a consultation and planning session.
Joseph E. Fournier is an Attorney and a CPA who has more than twenty years of experience in a variety of business legal matters, including start-ups and company formations, drafting shareholder and operating agreements, contracts, employment law, commercial litigation, tax planning and audit defense, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He also handles estate planning matters, such as business succession planning, wills, trusts, and probate.