Locating a property or a tenant for leasing can be a very time-consuming process, so it’s understandable that parties often rush to get the lease signed; however, having a good lease agreement that’s been drafted and reviewed by an attorney can be essential. If issues or disputes arise between the landlord and tenant, it will be too late to address problems with the lease agreement.
Almost everyone has had the opportunity to review a lease during their life, but commercial leases are far more complex. Further, consumer protection laws that save renters from bad landlords often only apply to residential leases, not commercial. With commercial leases, the laws generally assume you are a sophisticated business person and were not “taken advantage of” if your landlord or tenant gives you an unfair lease agreement. Continue reading “Commercial Leases – Drafting and Review”
Small businesses comprise a significant portion of our economy. Unfortunately, most small businesses do not survive into the next generation of owners. The hard work and legacy of the current and prior generations can be wasted without proper planning.
Small business owners often feel they have sufficient time to begin making the transition and will delay the necessary steps until some fateful event forces them into acting. This leaves little or no time to prepare the business and the family for the burdens, both financial and managerial, that can be caused by a sudden and unplanned transfer. Continue reading “Family Business Succession Planning”
Having your contracts being prepared by an attorney gives you the assurance it not only can be enforced in court but can also help you avoid court altogether. Properly prepared contracts also can improve the professional appearance of your business. For different reasons, people often attempt to create their own contracts or recycle agreements they find in the Internet. Companies that prepare their own documents without an attorney to at minimum review them roll the dice both on their contracts’ appropriateness and enforceability. Continue reading “Business Contract Drafting and Review”
In our modern economy, companies should attempt to cut costs wherever possible. But at some point companies hit a wall where additional cost reductions do not seem possible. Often, these cost walls develop because of overly complex corporate structures. Entities that were formerly useful can become burdens when their purpose disappears. Sometimes these entities remain from a merger or acquisition or may have been formed to facilitate a now defunct tax strategy or to hold a formerly important line of business. To get to the next level of cost savings, it is often necessary to look at the company’s legal structure, the company’s backbone. Continue reading “Streamline Your Company’s Legal Structure for Savings”
Persons holding equity interests in a business can use a buy-sell agreement to ensure the continuity of the business and to solidify their expectations regarding the taxes, rights, and obligations of each party. The buy-sell agreement can dictate the method by which a person’s equity interest will be purchased. Buy-sell agreements can be used by nearly any type of entity, regardless of whether the entity is a corporation, LLC, or partnership.
Continue reading “Buy-Sell Agreements”
Unlike most business debts, employees and owners of a Maryland business can have personal liability for the company’s tax debts. Similar to how the IRS pursues responsible persons and owners for payroll taxes, states, including Maryland, also pursue responsible persons and owners for certain state taxes. A person that normally would be protected from business liabilities by a personal liability shield, such as the corporate or LLC entity, will not be able to similarly avoid these tax liabilities.
The state of Maryland will pursue employees, managers, officers, and owners for unpaid taxes. The person does not need to Continue reading “Personal Liability for Maryland Business Taxes”
When purchasing real estate for investment, you should be concerned about the liability your investment property can create. Often, your biggest worry will be paying the mortgage, but don’t think that’s the extent of your possible liability. A personal injury attorney could turn your retirement investment into a wealth destroying nightmare unless you protect your assets.
The most common way to minimize your potential liabilities would be to have your properties held by and managed by a separate entity with limited liability. While you may consider the property to be separate from your personal assets, unless you proactively create that separation, an attorney will pursue your personal assets in addition to the value of the property itself… Continue reading “Form a Maryland LLC for Real Estate Investments”
Choosing an entity for your business can be a difficult decision. There are many types of entities available, and you are not limited to forming an entity in your state. Further, the entity you choose does not necessarily determine how the entity will be taxed. For instance, you may choose to form a Maryland LLC but also choose to have it taxed as an s-corporation. The decision depends upon many factors including: the business purpose, the property to be owned, expectations to terminate or sell the business, the owner’s estate planning concerns, and, of course, taxes. There is no universal “best entity”, and choosing the proper entity requires every business to be individually analyzed.
Most states, including Maryland, provide you with the following popular state entity choices: the sole proprietorship, the general partnership, the limited liability company, and the corporation. Other entities for more specialized purposes also exist, such as the limited partnership and the professional association (a P.A. or P.C.).
Continue reading “The Best Entity for Your Maryland Business: LLC or Corporation?”
The seventh article in a series on the purchase and sale of a Maryland business. In this article I address obtaining the necessary financing to fund a business purchase.
Many business buyers’ greatest challenge is obtaining financing. While a business purchase requires substantial funding, the buyer’s financing options are numerous. Factors determining the best financing choice include: the seller’s needs, the buyer’s ability to pay, the company’s cash flow and assets, and the general economic climate. Continue reading “Buying or Selling a Maryland Business – Financing The Purchase”
The sixth article in a series on the purchase and sale of a Maryland business. In this article I address business sale issues relating to employment agreements and related documents, including confidentiality and non-compete clauses.
A business transfer’s success or failure often depends upon retaining the company’s employees and their knowledge of the business. Many times, a company’s most valuable employee is its soon-to-be former owner. Further, the buyer must consider the company’s obligations to the employees and consider whether employee departures could harm the company. Of course, the seller showing confidential company information to prospective buyers has concerns as well. Continue reading “Buying or Selling a Maryland Business – Employment Agreements”