Business Lawyers in St. Petersburg
Serving You and The State of Florida
Every business starts with a bright idea and the best intentions, but you must lay the proper legal foundation before it can flourish in a successful enterprise. Ensuring a successful business means anticipating future needs concerning both yourself and your clients.
Establishing secure contracts, understanding intellectual property, and implementing critical regulations are just a few essential steps to take with a paid professional’s guidance.
Whether you have a new company or want to ensure your current business is legally sound, allow us to provide effective representation. Lopez Law Group has an abiding commitment to supporting hardworking Florida business owners and can see you through the intricate legal workings of entrepreneurship. Here are just a few areas in which we can assist:
- Negotiations and contract drafting
- Intellectual property
- Employment law
- Immigration law
- Collections and finances
It is essential to understand that the way you form a business will impact taxes and the potential amount of liability you will have as a business owner. The Lopez Law Group works very closely with business owners of many small and medium-sized offices.
We can assist with the formation of both commercial and residential businesses. We can consult with experts who specialize in tax, accounting firms, and financial planners to get your business up and incorporated.
In addition to abiding by state and federal tax requirements, a business lawyer can assist with sorting through any registrations, licensing, or permits required to finalize your product distribution. Especially if you are creating a multi-state entity, the conditions for conducting business may differ from those within a single state. Perhaps most importantly, understanding both your personal and business liability will help ensure that risks are kept to a minimum moving forward.
When you create a business, your partnership agreement, the articles of incorporation, and the company’s bylaws are all extremely important. All of these documents will be critical if you ever find yourself in legal trouble or involved in a business dispute. The following are the most critical agreements when establishing a company:
- Partnership Agreement– partnership agreements will spell out the percentages of ownership and the distribution of profits and losses. The agreement will describe how management powers and duties will be handled, and it will cover how a partnership can be legally terminated.
- Articles of Incorporation– the articles of incorporation essentially establish the corporation as a business entity and list details concerning name, contact info, and information about stocks. The articles of incorporation will list details about the corporation’s purpose, the name of registered agents, and information about the corporate office.
You must file your articles of incorporation with the state’s business filing agency. Typically, there will be a fee associated with this filing, and if it is approved, you will get a certificate indicating formation.
Having an attorney involved can make the formation of your business and the process less stressful. An attorney can make sure that you fully complete the forms required and make sure that you abide by all of Florida’s filing instructions. The last thing you want is to do it incorrectly and for the process to be delayed. An attorney can also assist in making sure you pay the correct fee.
Once everything is established, it’s good to have a business lawyer around for various reasons. Most business owners are not experts in business law, and therefore require consultations with a trained professional when issues arise. Some of these issues may include commercial litigation and derivative actions.
The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group have experience handling litigation concerning shareholder and partnership disputes and business contract disputes. When a business deal breaks down, or a business is facing a dispute from within, we will be able to assist. Even when businesses try their best to set everything up accordingly and partners go into the agreement with good intentions, things eventually sometimes break down. In Florida, if there is a dispute as to the way in which a business is managed or as to the finances, all of this is classified as a shareholder dispute.
Often, disputes come from one of the following:
- Violations of an agreement
- Disputes about the relocation of the business or addition of personnel
- Conflicts between shareholders about various issues
- Violations regarding fiduciary duties
- Issues related to pay or compensation
Contracts are a significant part of successful business endeavors and can differentiate between a successful or unsuccessful transaction. When discrepancies appear, or the value of work comes into question, a contract can legally hold both parties to the agreed-upon rate or project duties. While simple contracts may hold up in a court of law, you may not be appropriately protected from loss of products or wages depending on the severity of the case.
Having clear and concise contracts that indicate responsibilities and ownership is critical when working with clients. Hiring the right attorney can help with this. In addition to increasing customer service and transactions’ efficiency, having a lawyer assist in establishing your business’s foundations will prevent legal issues as your new endeavor begins to flourish.
Derivative lawsuits are those which a shareholder files against a third party. Typically, the lawsuit is aimed at an executive or member of the company’s board. The defendants are usually accused of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, deceptive financial practices, or some other improper action. Only shareholders or those who received shares from someone who can file a derivative claim.
Derivative claims are found in Florida Statutes Section 607.07401. This statute requires a written demand to be made to the company before filing suit requesting that they correct the alleged offenses. If you do that, and you allow 90 days to pass, and they reject your demand, you can then sue. When you file a derivative action, you have the right to specific evidence, including minutes of board meetings, accounting records, shareholder info, information on current directors and officers, the bylaws, and other laws of the corporation.
Daily representation/general counsel
Day-to-day corporate governance of a business is not an easy task, and an attorney can provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to make the best decisions. A business attorney can be there to mentor you and oversee tasks like:
- Corporate transactions
- Annual meetings
- Serve as your company’s registered agent
- Counsel you on your rights
- Handle various issues as they arise
- Representing you in court
One of the hardest parts of starting a business is knowing how to build your infrastructure; that includes legal representation. Having the right attorney on your side should things go wrong is just as critical as having someone there to help lay your business’s building blocks. Setting yourself up for success means putting the right practices in place before anything has a chance to go wrong. Whether you need simple guidance or strong representation in court, our business attorneys are here to help.
Keep your business running smoothly
Hiring a business lawyer comes with several benefits and can protect your business from future legal issues. In addition to having airtight contracts that uphold both you and your clients to a certain level of operations, a business lawyer can help anticipate risks and resolve problems. Should a client be late with a payment or a product not arrive when expected, your legal team can step in to quickly resolve the issue and take further action if need be.
A simple contractual mistake or error in bookkeeping can turn a business upside down for years to follow. Having a professional on your side to consider changes to your flourishing business and act as a support system throughout the duration of operations will provide peace of mind and prevent significant discrepancies from taking place. Although it may be an investment, it is a considerable step to take towards securing your business interests.
How to select a business lawyer
Always interview your potential candidates to see if they would be the right fit for your company culture. Additionally, ensure that their particular skills are suitable for your type of business operations. Be specific about what you need regarding your business and any issues where you anticipate the need for assistance. Having a mutual understanding of expectations and requirements of the job upfront will ensure a successful partnership. Successful partnerships and transparent communication suggest a more secure foundation for your business and its clients.
The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are skilled in business formation and have experience helping get a business off the ground. Whether it be assistance with filing the articles of incorporation or drafting the required documents, we are here to assist. If there is a dispute between shareholders, we can step in and assist in reaching an amicable solution for all parties involved.
We can be reached at 727-933-0015. We can speak to you at no cost to see if we would be able to assist you. Contact us today for a consultation!
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What Our Clients Say
Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!