General counsel services for small and medium-sized business
March 20, 2021 by GKwriter
Small and medium-sized businesses in Virginia often don’t have enough legal work to hire a full-time in-house attorney. Yet, they still need legal insights to protect their business, its owners and stakeholders.
Hiring an outside firm to handle general counsel services is a great way to get the legal counsel you need without the expense of hiring an in-house attorney. Plus, having a full law firm instead of just one lawyer helps you get more diverse expertise to handle the wide variety of law services you might need while growing your business.
Here’s a look at some of the valuable legal assistance a law firm can provide.
The right business formation documentation sets your business up for success. Or the lack of proper documentation opens you up to litigation or questions about how your business’s ownership is distributed.
Depending on what type of business you’re forming, you’ll need many forms and documents. These documents might include:
- Annual report
- Articles of incorporation
- Articles of organization
- Board resolutions
- Business name reservation
- Corporate bylaws
- Form S-2553
- Meeting minutes
- Operating agreements
- Stock certificate
- Shareholder agreement
Some of these documents are ongoing needs, like board resolutions and meeting minutes. So even once you’ve formed your business, the legal work isn’t complete.
Handshake agreements are not sufficient for important business changes. If you’re looking to form a new partnership or to sell your company, you’ll need an agreement for that.
Even hiring a new contract employee might involve drafting a nondisclosure agreement to prevent loss of intellectual property. Downloading standard agreements from the internet is not generally sufficient to protect your business from disasters and disputes.
Contract drafting and review
As a business owner, you’ll be presented with plenty of contracts to sign in the process of your operations. You should not sign a contract that your legal team has not had a chance to review.
A business contract can include extremely limiting clauses or concessions you simply don’t want to make in your business.
If you want your contracts to be enforceable, you need to ensure they include proper language. Your legal team can also draft contracts that are clear and enforceable.
Real estate transaction review
Purchasing or leasing commercial real estate requires intense due diligence. You should not sign a lease agreement without legal review. The result could be that you end up losing your storefront or office space with only a few days’ notice due to clauses within your agreement.
When purchasing real estate, you need legal protections written in, like the option to complete a full property assessment and appraisal to make sure you won’t encounter surprises. And if the property doesn’t pass the process, you still have room to get out of the transaction.
Those are just a few examples of what could happen without a legal team reviewing your real estate paperwork.
Mergers, acquisitions and company sale
Expanding your business operations sometimes means merging with another company or acquiring that company. This process is extremely tedious and takes careful and thoughtful documentation.
Likewise, selling your company to another business or individual also requires careful documentation and contracts. Trying to complete this process on your own could result in getting less for your business than it is worth.
Business owners need to have a succession plan. Documenting this plan helps create a smooth transition and makes it clear what happens to your business in case of your passing.
Whether you’re planning to pass the company on to a family member or sell your portion of the business to a partner, you need to have a clear outline of how this process will work and what your wishes are.
Commercial litigation representation
Even with the best contracts, forms and documents, your business might still face litigation. Large corporations with a large in-house legal team can face such litigation, so it’s no surprise that small to medium-sized businesses can also face this challenge.
Your general counsel team can provide the following assistance to minimize the impacts of litigation:
One lawsuit could cost your company so much that it goes out of business. Your legal team will work hard to prevent litigation but we’ll also be there for you once litigation begins.
Gore & Kuperman Virginia general counsel services
Gore & Kuperman has a team of knowledgeable and experienced business attorneys ready to protect your business and its stakeholders. From forming your business to protecting it from litigation, we’ll look out for your best interests.
Contact us to learn more about our business legal services.