Business transactions range from the mundane service contracts that customers sign every day to the purchase of major machinery that serves the heart of the business’s operations. No matter how big or how small the transaction, it’s important to carefully follow the legal process to reduce risk and avoid unnecessary losses.
For routine transactions, boilerplate contracts may do the job but only when you fully understand what is in them. The job of a contract isn’t to act as a formality on a transaction that goes well but to assign the loss when something goes wrong. Each contract should be carefully reviewed by an attorney to ensure that it covers all eventualities before it is put into use.
For more significant transactions, such as a large equipment purchase, a custom contract will almost always be preferred. This is so that any special considerations can be taken into account. For example, is there a range of acceptable deviation from the project specifications or is an exact match required? Could a delivery that’s even one day late cause a significant loss that won’t be reimbursed without a special contract provision?
While an attorney may seem like they are asking too many pessimistic questions or even trying to kill a deal, their job is to protect the business from the unexpected. John has seen countless businesses involved in disputes that the business client never even imagined were possible. Through their experience as a CEO and CCO of a multi-billion financial company, John understands the need to get the deal done and will work closely with you so that you can close the deal while mitigating your risk.
To get help with business transactions in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay, contact the John K. Carter Law today.
One of the most important decisions a business owner needs to make is what type of business entity they are going to use. A sole proprietorship can be started virtually instantly and gives maximum flexibility to a small business, but it also means the owner’s personal assets are at risk to cover business losses and liabilities. A corporation generally provides more protection but requires far more legal steps to be taken.
Often, there is a gray area when choosing which form of business makes the most sense. A business owner who personally performs most services or is in a special regulated profession may not be fully shielded from personal lawsuits even if they form a corporation. For some activities, insurance may be available that lessens the risk of forming a sole proprietorship. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to talk to an experience corporate law attorney about what kind of business you will be creating and what your plans are for future growth before you make any decisions.
Maintaining a Corporation
Filing the articles of incorporation is only the beginning for a corporation. Each year, annual reports must be filed, a board of directors must be selected, and shareholder minute meetings must be kept even if the corporation consists of a single shareholder who holds all of the board positions. If these corporate formalities aren’t followed to the letter of the law, a court may later determine the business wasn’t actually acting as a corporation and hold the owner(s) personally responsible for any debts or liabilities. Meeting with an attorney each year can help ensure that all of the paperwork is in order and good records are kept.
To talk to an experienced corporate law attorney in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, call John K. Carter Law today.