“The business of America is business.” (Calvin Coolidge, 1925)
At J.D.Milliner & Associates, we understand Business Law and appreciate the fact that small businesses are the engine that drives our local and national economies. We also understand that entrepreneurs and business owners face a myriad of legal issues in starting, running, building, and eventually selling their businesses, or passing them on to the next generation.
As business attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah, we can assist you with essentially every step of your entrepreneurship process from entity selection and formation, to ongoing entity governance, to regulatory compliance, to negotiating and documenting important contracts and transactions, to litigation, to succession planning.
CALL US AT 801-505-5600 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY!
Business Entity Selection, Formation and Governance Advice for Utah Companies
There are many types of business entities. The most common are Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company (or “LLC”), and the so-called “S” and “C” Corporations. Each business form has different rules for personal liability, tax liability, and internal governance. For reasons we can explain during our initial consultation, we believe that the LLC, the “S” Corporation, or the “C” Corporation are the best choices for the vast majority of businesses.
Once you have selected the proper form for your new entity, in addition to drafting, signing and filing articles of organization (for an LLC) or articles of incorporation (for a corporation), you probably should also have an operating agreement (for an LLC) or bylaws (for a corporation) to govern how your company is run – especially if there will be more than one owner. You may also want a member agreement (for an LLC) or a shareholder agreement (for a corporation) to govern how major owners will conduct themselves when significant events happen.
Our business lawyers in Utah assist you with negotiating, drafting, properly executing, and implementing these important documents. We can also guide you with understanding and complying with the on-going governance rules that apply to your entity.
Business Transactions, Mergers & Acquisitions Attorneys in Salt Lake City
At some point, every business is involved in important transactions that are critical to the continued success of the organization and/or to the owners’ ability to realize a profit on their hard work and investment. Whether that transaction is the purchase or sale of a significant asset (be it real property, personal property, or a combination of the two) or the merger with, or acquisition by or of, another company, our legal advice as your Salt Lake City Business law attorneys is vital. We can help ensure that everything is properly negotiated and documented, ensuring that you avoid unpleasant surprises or catastrophes that can occur if you don’t have someone making sure “all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted.”
To have consideration in business, an agreement or contract must have what is referred to as “consideration” to be legal and binding in commercial business law. Transactional services may be performed through our subsidiary firm, Strategic Legal Advisors, L.C.
Navigating Bankruptcy Laws for Utah Businesses
More and more these days, bankruptcy is becoming a regular part of the business and financial landscape. When a notice of filing is received, business people are frequently inclined to simply curse under their breath and write off the debt in the belief that they’re never going to see any of the money that’s owed to them. While that may have been true in the past, it isn’t necessarily true today.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made it a bit more difficult for an individual debtor to file a traditional “no asset” Chapter 7 bankruptcy case – especially if the debtor makes more than the median income for his/her state of residence. If these high-income debtors want relief they now must file either a Chapter 13 or a Chapter 11 case.
A Chapter 13 case requires debtors with “regular income” to pay all of their discretionary income over to a bankruptcy trustee, for a period of at least 3 but not more than 5 years. The trustee then distributes these monies to creditors according to the terms of the debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan, which must meet certain requirements.
A high-income debtor who wants bankruptcy relief, but who doesn’t have “regular income,” must file a more complex and administratively expensive Chapter 11 “reorganization” case. Like Chapter 13, Chapter 11 requires the approval and completion of a plan, but the requirements for a Chapter 11 plan are somewhat more flexible than in Chapter 13.
As Business Lawyers in Utah, J.D.Milliner & Associates will help you maximize your potential recovery, whether in Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or Chapter 11, by making sure your claim is properly filed and handled by any applicable plan, and by looking at the possibility of getting a “nondischargeable” judgment against the debtor, which would survive the bankruptcy process. Many creditors are not aware that a loan or other obligation that was obtained by fraudulent or otherwise illegal means may not be dischargeable in bankruptcy if the creditor acts promptly.
Another frequent issue for bankruptcy creditors is where a bankruptcy trustee sues to recover as “preferences” monies or other property that was transferred by the debtor to the creditor within the 90 days immediately prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case using the trustee’s so-called “strong arm” avoidance powers.
As Business Law Attorneys in Salt Lake City, J.D. Milliner & Associates provides only the highest quality of legal services, and we can also help you to minimize the damage of having to deal with a trustee’s avoidance suit.
Call 801-505-5600 for your Free Consultation!
To learn about some of the other legal services that our Salt Lake City business attorneys provide, click on these links:
Business Law FAQs
What Does a Business Attorney Do?
Business law includes the formation and governance of business entities, keeping them in compliance with applicable laws, and every kind of business transaction imaginable. Business attorneys help protect the rights and interests of entrepreneurs and existing businesses by making sure business entities are properly formed, documented, and run, by drafting contracts and related documents to make sure that business transactions are properly documented and secured, and by helping to manage potential risks. Business attorneys who are also litigators also focus on resolving disputes that arise in connection with the performance of contractual and other legal obligations and duties by means of negotiations between the parties, mediation utilizing a third party with specialized skills and experience, and litigation in the courts or before regulatory bodies, or arbitration, which is a streamlined form of private litigation before one or more arbiters instead of through the court system.
Why Do You Need a Business Lawyer?
As an entrepreneur or business executive, your strength is coming up with business ideas, assembling the resources needed to launch those ideas as viable business operations, growing your business, and/or making the business as profitable as possible. You need a business lawyer to help you avoid potentially costly legal mistakes you may make along the way because you don’t know any better. You will also need a business lawyer to represent your business entity in the event of a lawsuit where it is a party. While you can always represent yourself if you are sued personally, we also recommend that you retain a competent business lawyer for this purpose.
How Do You Choose a Utah Business Lawyer?
While cost is one factor to consider in choosing a business attorney, it should not be the overriding consideration. Lower cost attorneys tend to have less skill and experience than higher-cost attorneys. However, as with most things, there also tends to be a point of diminishing returns where the marginal additional benefit is no longer worth the marginal additional cost. At J.D. Milliner & Associates, we try to strike the appropriate balance. Our experienced general business attorneys have a broad range of skills sufficient to address the vast majority of business-related legal matters, the most important of which is the ability to identify particular issues that may require additional research, or the bringing in of a highly focused specialist, before advising and assisting our clients. In short, we believe that we provide a compelling value proposition. Probably the most important factors to look for are someone who seems to understand the issues involved in your situation, and who is willing to take the time to explain things in a way that is understandable to you. As with most things, ask lots of questions!
What Will Hiring a Business Attorney Cost?
While some attorneys are willing and able to perform certain routine tasks, such as forming a single-member limited liability company, for a relatively low flat fee, you should expect to pay by the hour for any legal service that is at all complex – with litigation being one of the more complex and time-intensive services that business lawyers are called on to perform. Business lawyers in the greater Salt Lake City area typically charge $150.00 to $500.00+ per hour for their time, depending on their level of skill and experience, and whether they have developed a highly-specialized practice niche. While this may sound like a lot, it costs far less to pay a competent business lawyer to spend a few hours helping you avoid potential problems in the future, than it does to pay a competent business lawyer for many hours of litigation that might have been avoided with proper planning and documentation. While there are times that litigation simply cannot be avoided, good risk spotting and legal documentation can go a long way toward making the litigation quicker, cleaner, and less expensive.