Business Lawyer in Bakersfield & Mammoth Lakes
Business and Commercial Law
Business planning is a must if you are to protect your assets and your family. Planning a business begins with selecting the appropriate entity, perhaps a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC). You must then maintain your business to keep it in compliance with the law. If you buy or sell a business, it is imperative to include clauses in the agreement to help protect you and to ensure performance. The Law Offices of Robert H. Brumfield, P.C., would be honored to assist you with these issues.
Robert Brumfield has been practicing law since 1984. He has many years of experience in business planning. He has been recognized by his peers as one of the Top Lawyers in California. He has also earned the Client Distinction and Client Champion awards from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell lawyer directory. When not practicing law, Mr. Brumfield has served as President of the Bakersfield North Rotary Club. He has given back to the community as Chairman of the Board of the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault and Chairman of the Board of the Bakersfield Homeless Center.
Business Formation & Incorporation
Business planning begins with selecting the best entity for your business. You should consider organizing as a business entity, rather than conduct business as a sole proprietor or a general partner, to help avoid personal liability. Two of the most common business entities achieve this purpose. They are the corporation and the LLC.
If you are seeking outside investors, the corporation is probably the better choice. On the other hand, if your business is just you or a few others, the LLC might be better. The LLC avoids double taxation by allowing profits to flow through to the individual owners rather than be taxed at both the entity level and the individual level. A corporation can be similarly structured. Contact our Bakersfield & Mammoth Lake business lawyer Robert H. Brumfield today to discuss your goals and options.
With our experience in business law and estate planning, we can customize a plan for all types of transitions related to retirement, management and partnership changes, and other planned or unplanned events, including death and disability. We work with clients to maximize, preserve and protect the value of businesses through proactive preparation for the transition or sale of the business and its assets.
Business Planning Includes Corporate Maintenance
After you have organized your business entity, business planning continues. In other words, it is important to set up a proper bookkeeping system, pay the various state and federal income and employment-related returns and taxes and file required reports with the state of California.
In California, business entities must pay an annual franchise tax of $800. If your company fails to pay this tax, you can be held individually liable for it. Mr. Brumfield, who also earned his Master’s degree in Taxation from the McGeorge School of Law, can help you with these issues.
It could be that you decide to purchase a business or to sell your own business. This is normally done in one of two ways. You can enter into an agreement to buy or sell the assets of a business. Alternatively, you can agree to buy or sell the business itself, a transaction that includes the business assets.
In either event, careful business planning requires that you include clauses in your agreement that will protect you and your family should the deal fall apart. For example, if you are buying a business, you may wish to request a non-competition agreement from the seller. If you are selling a business, you may wish to be given a lien on its stock or assets which you can seize should the buyer fail to pay you as required under the agreement.
Dissolution of Entities
Dissolving a business entity is just as important to business planning as organizing one. Perhaps you have started a business that did not prosper and you want to wind it down legally so that you will not be held personally liable for any debts that it has. In another situation, you and your business partner might decide to part ways. Failure to dissolve the entity can lead to continued taxation even after the business ceases to operate. Again, proper dissolution can help to avoid individual liability.
General Counsel for Business Planning
When we hear the phrase “general counsel,” we usually think of an attorney who is a full-time employee of a large corporation. But smaller businesses also need attorneys available to assist them as issues arise. They cannot afford to hire a full-time general counsel, but they can have a relationship with a local attorney to help as needed. Mr. Brumfield can serve as general counsel for local businesses. The relationship makes for good business planning because, when legal issues arise, the general counsel is already familiar with the business. The business will not have to pay excessive attorney’s fees that an attorney unfamiliar with the business would charge to learn about the business.
Every business needs thoughtful business planning. Mr. Brumfield is a business attorney with offices in Bakersfield & Mammoth Lakes who is ready to put his extensive experience at work for your business needs. Please feel free to contact him at (661) 416-3753 or by submitting a contact form through our website here.