Here are some of the services we offer:
One of the first steps in making your dream of owning your own Business into a reality is deciding what form of Business entity you want. There are basically 5 types of business entities:
- Sole proprietorships
- S Corporations
- Limited Liability Corporations
Which one you choose will affect everything you do in your business not only from a liability perspective and a tax perspective but also your day to day operations. It is not a decision to make lightly. At Tomes & Hanratty, PC, we will guide you through your various options and assist you with selecting which entity is right for you.You may also need to have certain internal documents, such as By-Laws, an Operating Agreement, a Partnership Agreement before you begin business. Yes, those documents are available online either for free, or even worse, through paid services, like LegalZoom, RocketLawyer and others. But they are not all inclusive and do not cover all areas that may be necessary, including for the State you are doing business.
Additionally, online services cannot draw out specific needs of a business owner the way a face to face interview with a business lawyer can
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Compliance means meeting your obligations as a business. Do you have the right licenses and registrations? Are they laws, regulations and ordinances you need to be aware of? Failing to be aware of all your legal and regulatory compliance needs can put you at risk of lawsuits, fines and penalties and even criminal liability and jail time.You will want to make sure you are not only in compliance at the beginning of your business but that you are aware of any changes as your business grows.
Having a trusted legal advisor at your side will ensure that.
Making Agreements and Sealing the Deal
Contract law seems simple. Yet, although everyone thinks car accidents account for most of the court system’s backlog, contract disputes far outnumber injury claims.
Although oral agreements are binding in many situations, they are not binding in all situations. Contracts should be writing even if the law does not require it to avoid confusion or disagreement.
Make sure all the details are spelled out. Often a crazy rule known as the Parole Evidence Rule (why it is called that, no one knows) will prevent you from arguing other representations that were made orally.
Some agreements require more. What state law would govern – they do differ! Do you want to go to court or to arbitration? Do you want attorneys fees if someone doesn’t do what they are supposed to do? Do you want to specify the damages if there is a loss of business? Do you want anything to be confidential? Are there laws that say you need to have certain statements in your agreements for them to be valid?
These are just some of the questions that often give rise to extended litigation and a business lawyer will discuss with you.
Human Resource and Labor Law Protection
Job Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Family Leave, Overtime, Workplace Safety, Immigration, who is a contractor or an employee.
These are just some of the issues that can affect a growing business. Are you aware of all the laws that affect employees or independent contractors you hire and how often they change? Are you aware of all the records you need to keep in case of an audit by the Labor Department? Are you aware of all the records you should keep in case you are sued by an employee and actions you should take to limit your chance of being sued?
These are just some things we would discuss as your trusted legal advisor to limit your risk of lawsuits, fines and penalties as well as damage your business reputation
Protecting your Business with the Right Insurance
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all insurance policy. Additionally, as your business grows, you made need additional policies or different policies. Failing to have the right insurance could result in you or your business having to pay substantially out of your own pocket. The types of polices you need will change depending on your business. As your trusted legal advisor, we review those policies for you on an ongoing basis and discuss them with your agent. If you chose to buy them online (not something we recommend!), we will have them reviewed by our trusted insurance advisor.
Protecting your Business with the Right Technology
Businesses today run on technology. Nothing today can be worse than a cybersecurity threat, lost backup or even downtime of computers and software problems. The disastrous results could be astronomical. Do you want a service management system, an invoice system, email set up and encryption and archiving text responders, phone systems that can push calls to your cell phone when you are not in the office and don’t want to give out your number, remote set up, 24/7 monitoring system to identify issues before you get to the office. The right technology can transform your business
Financial Growth, Planning and Tax Strategy
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20 % of small business fail in their first year and 560 % by their 5th year, and 70% in their 10th year. Business fail for many reasons, but cash flow and poor financial planning and tax strategy is one of the highest.
Developing a financial plan for your business is a necessity, not only for keeping it alive in the long run, but to give you a good night’s sleep. You can better manage cash flow to handle any downturns in your sales. A financial plan will also help you see which products or services are more profitable and whether any should be cut. A budget will keep you on track of not spending beyond your means and needing to borrow money. If you do need to borrow money, a financial plan will help with debt repayment.
Small businesses often become focused on crises that arise and don’t plan for their long term future and growth. A financial plan will also help you see your progress and your way to success.
Even a one person company should have a financial plan, that should be reviewed on an annual basis with a trusted financial advisor.
Business Succession Planning
Business succession is the process of determining what will happen to the business if the owner or one of the owner dies or has a disability. Not doing this in advance of the crisis can cause problems and may result in the shut down of a business. Even if you are young, you may still have an accident that could result in death or a disability that will prevent you from running your business. Even retirement needs business succession planning, if the goal is to provide you with an income stream afterwards.
The options that exist in a planned business succession far outweigh the choices in a crisis. Your business lawyer can help with choosing which option is best for you and will also allow the orderly transition from one generation to the next.
A dispute with a customer or an employee or a vendor can distract you from the areas you are needed in your business. In New Jersey if you are incorporated you cannot represent yourself unless you are an attorney. Because the stakes in litigation are high, it is important not to choose a lawyer
Having someone who is not only a seasoned litigator but who also understands your business is iimportant to your success in the dispute.