The attorneys at The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates have decades of experience with corporate and business law. They are also familiar with the local communities and understand the unique interests that businesses in the Gainesville area may have.
Starting a business is no easy task and a greater number of businesses fail rather than succeed. Often times, the failure of a business is the result of uncontrollable economic forces. However, a lack of experience and knowledge frequently contribute to a business’ failure. In order to have the best chance of success in running a business, you will likely need professional advice and guidance from attorneys, accountants, marketing consultants, insurance agents, and financial advisors.
A good attorney can assist you in deciding which business structure would be most beneficial, provide information that will be helpful in maintaining the integrity of your business, refer you to other professionals that can be of assistance in the growth of your business, and, perhaps obviously, provide counsel in any number of legal matters that may arise in the course of business.
When starting a business, one of the most important steps is to choose the best legal structure for your company. Our attorneys can help you examine the following options and create a corporate or other structure suitable for your business needs:
With this structure the business is a separate legal entity that is owned by its shareholders. The shareholders, directors, officers, and other employees of the corporation are generally protected from personal liability for civil actions taken by the business, and corporations generally have an unlimited life that can extend beyond the lives of the owners.
Corporations entail many legal formalities, and they are overseen by state and federal regulations and rules. Corporations are also taxed as a separate entity from the owners, and stocks and bonds may make it easier to raise capital for the business.
A close corporation is a good structure for groups in which the owners will be actively involved in management, as they are limited to a small number of shareholders. Some members may also be involved on a more limited level.
Close corporations do not have a public market for corporate shares, and removing an investment is difficult unless other investors are willing to purchase the share.
A corporation is normally subject to taxes on its profits and its shareholders are additionally subject to taxes on distributions. S Corporations can be desirable because they are able to avoid double taxation but still allow shareholders to be protected from business liabilities. With S Corporation designation, shareholders’ personal incomes are taxed, but the corporation itself is not taxed on its income.
Not every corporation can elect to be an S Corporation. A number of specific guidelines must be met in order for a corporation to receive this status and companies which file as an S Corporation are limited in the number of shareholders they may have.
A non-profit organization works for the public good rather than for profit. Non-profits may qualify to be exempt from federal income taxes, and the directors and members are generally protected from personal liability for the acts of the organization.
The simplest type of legal structure for a business involving two or more principles is a partnership. The partnership entity itself is not liable for income tax in the manner a corporation is. Rather, tax liabilities pass directly through to the entity’s partners. Filing requirements for a partnership are much less intensive than that for corporations, but each partner can be held personally liable for the business’ debts. There are other types of partnerships which can limit liability of the partners.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest off all business legal structures and also tends to be the least costly to establish for a business owned and operated by a single individual. Sole proprietorships typically do not need to be registered with the state and do not pay taxes as a business, but there is generally no legal or financial protection for the sole proprietor.
A limited liability company is an entity which shares the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership/sole proprietorship. It can be desirable because it combines the liability protection for owners that a general corporation provides and the advantage of pass-through taxation that partnerships are subject to with the flexibility in management and organization that an unincorporated business has.
The general information above merely serves as an introduction to the options available to you when forming your business. Laws pertaining to business corporations are complex and intricate, but the benefits and stability offered by a corporate structure are substantial. An experienced business attorney is essential in guiding you through the incorporation process to help you understand the guidelines and terms and to efficiently start your company. Do not be intimidated by the immense amount of work that goes into a start-up business. With the assistance of our attorneys, we can help make the experience less stressful and less confusing. Seeking help from our office will potentially benefit you and your business greatly in the long run. Contact our office today to meet with our attorneys that specialize in business needs such as:
Initial business organization
Articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws
Mergers and acquisitions
Shareholder and partnership agreements
Once your business entity has been formed, you can rely on the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates to assist you in dealing with issues that may arise in the course of your business. Our attorneys can help you with following services pertaining to your business:
Writing a business plan
Choosing a legal structure
Licensing and permitting arrangements
Drafting contracts such as: Confidentiality agreements, Employment contracts, Non-compete agreements, Licensing agreements
Our business attorneys can also assist with a company’s dissolution process or assist with a company seeking to do business in a different state. At any period in the life span of your business entity, the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can be of service.
The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates provides legal advice and representation for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners in Gainesville, Florida, and communities throughout north central Florida, including cities such as Ocala, Starke, Palatka, Lake City, Middleburg, Trenton, Bronson, Lake Butler, Cross City, Williston, Chiefland, Alachua, Jasper, Live Oak, and Jacksonville, Florida.
Alachua County ● Putnam County ● Clay County ● Bradford County ● Union County ● Columbia County ● Gilchrist County ● Levy County ● Marion County ● Hamilton County ● St. Johns County ● Dixie County