Business Entity Formation Lawyers in Charlottesville
Owning and running a business can be exciting, but there are also risks involved. One of the crucial first decisions for business startups is the choice of business entity. The right choice can smooth the road for a successful venture. The wrong one can lead to unnecessary roadblocks in the future that can stifle growth and even lead to the early demise of your business.
At Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, we recognize that every business venture is unique. We begin our process with every client by learning about your business and goals. Using this information, we can provide guidance on the best way to legally structure your business.
With years of experience advising companies of all kinds, our business lawyers understand the importance of getting it right. We take tremendous care in delivering customized guidance to each client we represent. Contact our Charlottesville office today to schedule your initial consultation.
Selecting the Appropriate Entity for Your New Business
One of the first issues we will review with a client in selecting a business entity is that of liability protection for management. Another important thing to consider is how your business, and you as the owner, will be taxed.
Our business attorneys will review the advantages and disadvantages of every option, so you have the information you need to make the most informed choice. In addition to liability and tax provisions, other considerations might include non-compete and buy-sell issues.
Once we’ve determined which entity is the most suitable for your goals and business, our office will prepare and file all the required documents for formation. Some of the documents that we routinely draft for clients include Partnership Agreements, Shareholder Agreements for Corporations, Joint Venture Agreements, and Operating Agreements for LLCs.
Whether you’ve already chosen your business entity or need our help to review your options, our business legal team can assist you with:
Many small business owners choose to take the simplest path and operate as a sole proprietorship. This choice gives you 100% control over your business and its assets, which will remain in the owner’s name. The business is not considered a separate entity.
The downside to this type of arrangement is that you also assume all the risk as the business owner. If trouble arises, your personal assets could be seized to pay off business debts. Likewise, all income and business expenses are declared on the owner’s personal tax returns, which may not provide you with many benefits.
When a business has more than one owner, a partnership is more appropriate. With a general partnership, the owners share the costs of operating the business as well as the profits. Business partners not only share liability for business debts, but each general partner can also be held entirely responsible for the debt. Additionally, a single partner has the ability to enter into contracts that bind the partnership.
Limited Partnership (LP)
Limited partnerships allow your business to attract outside investors because those people will only hold liability equal to the amount of their investment in the business. This allows general partners to focus on daily business operations while also allocating and spreading business liabilities.
C-Corporations are what most people think of when picturing a “corporation.” You’ll be required to follow certain formalities and business procedures in exchange for protection from business debts and liabilities.
As defined by Subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code, an S-Corp is similar to a C-Corp except in the way that it is taxed. The business doesn’t pay taxes on profits, but they are instead “passed through” to each owner at their individual tax rate. These are common with smaller companies (less than 100 shareholders).
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
The main advantage of an LLC is that it limits the personal liability of the business owners, even if they significantly direct operations. Owners are also able to choose whether they are taxed as a corporation or partnership.
If you qualify, a non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, allows your business to be exempt from taxes and offer deductions to contributors.
Other types of business entities that we deal with include a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC), Professional Corporation (PC), and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
Assistance with Special Purpose Business Entities and Restructuring Existing Businesses
In addition to guiding clients with business formation, we also provide guidance and legal assistance to existing companies. If your business wants to purchase real estate or another business, for example, we can help you create a special purpose entity to offer tax benefits and limit your liability.
We can also assist existing businesses that want to restructure. This may be necessary to be rid of a troublesome division, plan for future succession, or to spin off part of your company. We can help you assess your reasons for restructuring and choose the right entity.
Licensing and Regulatory Compliance
Depending on the nature of your business, you may also require local, state, or federal licenses and my need to show evidence of compliance with various regulations. Our office can help your business with all regulatory and licensing issues.
Continued Support from Knowledgeable Virginia Business Formation Attorneys
After your business is legally formed, we encourage clients to turn to us with any problems that may arise in the future. We have extensive experience advising clients on all matters related to business formation, including:
- Insurance coverage
- Corporate bylaws
- Investment strategies
- Banking and lines of credit
- Corporate compliance issues
- Negotiating and drafting buy-sell agreements and contracts
If litigation is ever necessary, our legal team strongly advocates for the legal and financial interests of its clients.
Speak with a Qualified Charlottesville Business and Corporate Lawyer
Finding the entity structure that meets your needs is vital because it protects you from a variety of risks, unexpected expenses, and potential business disruptions. At Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, our commercial and business attorneys offer business owners a wealth of experience. Firm partner Terry Tereskerz has served as corporate counsel for businesses of every size, and will help provide the assistance you need for long-term success.
Contact our office in Charlottesville at 434-977-7977 or reach out to us online to schedule your initial consultation. An entity-formation attorney will help you with business planning that will minimize your exposure to personal liability and taxes. We provide representation to clients in Albemarle County and throughout Central Virginia.