Business Advisory

Business Advisory

We here at Total Counsel Law Group like to meet you where you are whether you are looking to hand your business down to the next generation, just starting a side hustle, or somewhere in between we can walk you through the steps you need to take.

There’s a lot to take into consideration when you are just beginning a business. You’ll want to decide what kind of business to become. Partnerships, C-Corporations, and S-Corporations all bring with them their own benefits and pitfalls. We can walk you through what designation is best for you and your company. Just because your sister’s, brother-in-laws, Uncle runs a landscaping business doesn’t mean that they know what’s right for the bookstore you want to open.

Corporations also come with their own tax needs. Tax returns are much more complicated for corporations. We can take that burden off your shoulders. 

If you have a thriving business and are looking to the future you may be thinking about what will become of this business you’ve grown with your blood, sweat, and tears. That’s where we come in. We can help talk you through your options. Perhaps you have a child, or employee who would be just right to take over your business. If that isn’t possible but you don’t want to shutter the business for good you can think about selling to an interested party. If neither of these options seems viable you may simply end the business by liquidating the assets. 

If you are still wanting to run your business a few years more but also have chosen a potential successor now is the perfect time to begin mentoring them in the ways of running a business. After all you started it and who better to show the new guy the ropes? 

Existing as a corporate entity is an ongoing process, which involves annual obligations such as filings, meetings and taxes.  Our firm is well versed in this process and can help your corporation at every step.

Whether running with an existing business or starting your own from “scratch”, we offer help in forming or converting the appropriate type of entity for your interest, taking into consideration the operations of your business and why you exist.  The process involves entity selection and education, filing your corporation with the State, preparing organizational minutes of meetings, bylaws or operating agreements a “corporate kit” specific to your entity, reviewing annual obligations to the State and Federal governments and reviewing the roles and obligations of the corporate officers. Since business advisory is not the only thing we do here at the law firm our approach takes into account tax implications, and how your business may affect your estate plan.

I’m buying a business, how can you help?

If you are purchasing an existing business, we offer assistance with the purchase and sale process, as well as lease negotiations and tenancy issues. 

I already have a successful business, why do I need you?

Once your corporation is established, we offer ongoing maintenance, which includes support with bookkeeping and accounting services, tax planning and review, budgeting, payroll services and assistance, annual filings with the state, and reviewing any changes in state and federal laws pertinent to your entity.

I’m ready to sell, what can you do for me?

If you are selling your business, we can assist with the legal aspects of the sale and/or succession planning.  If you decide to dissolve your corporation, we help in this area, as well, to ensure that your state and federal obligations are met and that burdens which could carry over to you personally are minimized. 

I want to retire, how can I make sure my business goes on without me?

If you are starting to think about retirement, then it is also time to think about business succession.

You can try to tackle this on your own, but your best bet is enlisting the assistance of an experienced business succession attorney, like those at Total Counsel Law Group. We will have the background and skills to help you plan for the future, putting you and your business in the best position for a profitable and smooth transition when that time comes.

What can I do to make my business succession successful?

You need to have an exit strategy. Determining what will happen if and when you are no longer able to run your business is critical. The attorneys at Total Counsel Law Group will discuss various scenarios with you. This process can help both us and you evaluate all of the “if this, then that” scenarios.

These scenarios may include how you will leave the business at retirement, including whether you will wind up the business, sell to an interested party, or pass it down to a member of your family. Also, remember to consider the consequences if you were to be unexpectedly struck with a serious illness or injury. Your attorney can help you set up short-term protocols if your unexpected exit is of a shorter duration and other protocols should your absence be long-term or permanent.

Disability insurance is an essential funding consideration to help keep the business and your family afloat should unexpected or unforeseen events alter your succession plans. In such instances, make sure you have the right kind and amount of disability income insurance to support you and your family. Also, key man disability insurance can help keep the business running without you.

If you have not done so, then now is the time to start a retirement plan. A comprehensive retirement plan typically includes tax-deferred investments (e.g., think 401K, SIMPLE Plans, etc.), after-tax savings vehicles, trusts, and all manner of assets designed to provide the greatest return on your hard work for a future retirement. Your estate planning attorney will have ideas uniquely tailored to your specific situation and will work in close coordination with your financial advisor. This teamwork is essential given the tax planning and beneficiary designations involved. This is one area where the attorneys at Total Counsel Law Group really shine. We can not only help walk you through your business succession we can also help you with your estate plan.

Are you mentoring your successor? Think about what makes a good “you” in your business. What does it take to run your business efficiently and effectively? Once you have identified those personal qualities and traits, then it is time to select a successor — the person you want to take over. Choose wisely.

You should develop a flexible, written timeline. While it need not be set in stone, you should know generally when you would like to retire and sell, close, or transition your company to a new owner.

How do I start?

Pick up the phone and call us today, or contact us online.