Multi-national companies often maintain a team of in-house attorneys to keep abreast of changes in the law and take appropriate actions to protect the best interest of the company. On the other hand, small to mid-sized businesses may choose to spare the resources as an in-house legal department can be expensive. However, with constant regulatory changes and changes in your industry, small to mid-sized businesses are well advised to regularly consult an attorney to analyze a business’ exposure and implement any recommended changes.
Businesses must comply with laws at every level - local, state, and federal. Moreover, certain industries require licenses or permits to operate. An attorney can audit a business to ensure compliance with new and existing laws as well as reviewing the status of your business’ licensing and permits. For example, New Jersey recently passed legislation related to employment practices. An attorney can review your business’ current employment policies and practice to confirm or recommend changes for compliance with New Jersey employment laws.
In the corporate context, audits may help ensure that the business is observing the necessary corporate formalities. As previously discussed, observing corporate formalities helps to shield a business owner’s personal assets from any liability for business debts. An attorney can also advise on other corporate issues such as liabilities, tax obligations, and corporate structure.
Attorneys are also able to examine the intellectual property rights of a business. An attorney can recommend ways to protect a business’ trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. Such a review can help to ensure that your business does not inadvertently infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.
Family-run businesses should consult with an attorney to devise a succession plan that allows ownership to be transferred to the next generation. A succession plan helps ensure a gradual succession in line with a family’s desires while avoiding (or at least mitigating) potential tax liabilities incurred as a result of such a transfer.
For example, a family business owner may be able to retain control over the business while he or she simultaneously engages in a succession plan. Alternatively, if the younger generation is not interested in operating the business, an attorney can assist with finding potential investors or buyers to take control of a business. In either event, an attorney will work with a financial advisor to devise and implement a succession plan that is in the best interest of the company and a family.
Please contact Parker McCay’s Corporate Department to discuss your business’ legal compliance and succession plan.
The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.