Birmingham Business Lawyer

Hiring A Small Business Attorney in Alabama

Any perusal of literature about business or being an entrepreneur shows it is common wisdom every business needs an attorney, if not from the beginning very early on. The reasons for hiring a business attorney are not always obvious. A small business attorney who has experience in corporate litigation can provide key assistance in nearly every aspect of your business, from copyright and trademark advice to basic zoning compliance or even incorporating the business officially if that still needs to be done. A lawyer’s fee can be an unwelcome expense, but this is a preventative measure against much greater costs in the future.

Do I need a business lawyer?

The nature of your business will naturally decide what kind of attorney you need. While specialization has become more common in law, if you are a small business, it is best to find a lawyer with experience in several different areas. A lawyer should be able to understand contracts, and help you decide whether it is appropriate to form your business as a limited liability company (LLC), a Type S-Corporation (S-Corp), or possibly something else. A lawyer will help register your business for state and federal taxes and explain the reason and consequences of the different methods. They will also help you to understand the nature of the intellectual property and whether any type of federal trademark or copyright protection is necessary. A small business attorney may be able to perform this or have a close working relationship with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property.

What type of attorney should I get?

If you have a business, are forming a business, or forming an LLC, contact an attorney with experience in small business law, transactional work, probate law, and most importantly, someone with a professional courtesy that will work to understand your needs.

Small business owners are subject to some, but not all, of the laws and regulations applying to large corporations. An attorney experienced in small business law can help sort out the actual requirements of your organization while saving you the trouble of unnecessary steps. Whether you have questions about contracts, employment and labor laws, or finances, a small business attorney can answer your questions.

Do I need an attorney for my small business law matters?

A business attorney is capable of helping with every aspect of your small business, whether you are just beginning and organizing the business, requiring a business reorganization, or even dissolution. For an existing small business, your legal matters may be much bigger than the size of your business. This is no reason to be overwhelmed by the daunting demands of the business law world. As a small business owner, you must consider and address regulations such as environmental and financial contracts, workplace safety and health, online business, intellectual property, and many more. All these regulations and requirements are manageable with an attorney that has experience in all of these matters. A quality attorney with experience in business law can help you maneuver the law to your advantage. Regardless of the size of your business, our firm will be dedicated to managing your organization’s legal matters with detail and attention so you can be confident you will be well prepared for any legal challenges that come your way.

Starting a Business or LLC in Birmingham, Alabama

You’ve got a great idea for a business! Now what? Starting a business or LLC from nothing is a daunting task. Benefitting from the experience of someone who knows how to properly form an LLC. or business can potentially be the difference between success or failure. Hiring a business attorney familiar with the legal aspects of business formation can therefore be one of the smartest decisions you can make for your startup.

How do I start a business?

Starting a business in Birmingham, Alabama, can be very easy or very complicated, depending on what you are trying to do. While some businesses are fairly straightforward and can be formed by an individual, the complications of business formation often benefit from an attorney experienced in business,

Do I need an attorney to start a business?

If you are starting a new business in Birmingham, Alabama, get a business lawyer with the experience to help you get set up properly. She can explain the legal requirements, pitfalls, and general advice to have your new business take flight. Developing an idea for a successful business takes enough work of its own. She will take care of all legal matters and allow you to focus on creating and running your business. If you are creating an LLC. or new business in Birmingham, Alabama, contact a small business attorney today to discuss how she can help you move forward.

S-Corporation vs. Alabama LLC (Limited Liability Company)

For the small business owner or partnership, the purpose of forming either an S-Corporation “S-Corp” or Limited Liability Company “LLC” is to create a barrier of financial protection between the actions of the company and the owners of the company. In doing so, if the company gets sued or goes into bankruptcy, the owners of the company are not personally liable; in other words, the owners will not lose any more than what was placed into the company, assuming that there is no a piercing of the corporate veil.

Should I form an Alabama S-Corp?

S-Corporation is designed to be used for small, closely-held corporations that do not intend to have more than 100 shareholders. All existing shareholders must be United States Citizens or permanent residents. S-corporations are only allowed to have one class of stocks, so there is no common and preferred stock, just voting and non-voting stock.

An S-Corporation is as equally formal as a C-Corporation. They must have a board of directors, hold and record board meetings, as well as record corporate minutes. Changing an S-Corporation’s structure or making major business decisions requires a board meeting to be held so that board members may vote on the decision at hand. Shareholders that hold a voting stock elect the board members, who then vote on decisions of the corporation.

S-Corporations are known as pass-through companies, which means that the profits are passed on to the shareholders through dividends. So the company does not pay taxes on its profits, but the shareholders pay taxes on the company’s profits in their personal income taxes. Conversely, this also means that the company’s losses can be passed to its shareholders’ personal taxes.
S-Corporations and LLCs both require that funds be kept separate from those of the members or shareholders in order to receive the legal protection of being an S-corporation or LLC.

Should I form an Alabama LLC?

LLCs are created for the purpose of protecting their members. Members are the owners of the LLC and typically share equal ownership in the LLC unless apportioned otherwise. The idea that members of an LLC are equal owners does not mean that each member must receive equal portions of the profit. For example, if one member does most of the work while the other member is primarily acting as an investor, then the allocation of the profits could be 75% for the working member and 25% for the investing member. This type of decision should be agreed upon by both parties. This varies from an S-corporation in that shareholders own a percentage of the company based on the number of shares they own and how many shares are outstanding.

Typically each member shares the day-to-day responsibility of running the business; this is called a Member-managed LLC. Another option form of an LLC is a Manager-managed LLC. A Member-managed LLC is when a manager is chosen to manage the company. This option is often used when there are many members, and it is not feasible to have all of the members attempting to manage the day-to-day operations or when an LLC might have passive investors as members. When choosing a Member-managed LLC, it must be clearly stated in the formation, as well as it’s a good idea to write out the powers and obligations that the Managing member will have.

LLCs are considered to be much less formal than S-Corps because there is not a separate level of management. This separate level of management, in an s-corp., can add to many more costs such as legal fees, board member costs, filing of the corporate minutes, etc. Most small businesses simply do not need a separate level of management. Since an LLC is not as formal, its structure can be changed at any time, whereas an S-Corp. Must have a formal board meeting in order to change its structure.

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