Business/Commercial Transactions & Contracts

Gudeman will help give certainty and assurance to you, your clients and anyone else your business does transactions with by devising contractual legal agreements. For all business owners, transactions are an essential part of business activity. Commercial transactions typically involve the selling and purchasing of goods or services such as vendor agreements, sales contracts, purchase orders, payment obligations, licensing agreements and independent contractor agreements. The central documents that govern business transactions are contracts, which are legally valid and enforceable agreements between two or more parties that create obligations that are binding on all parties involved. Parties can include any types of entities that are capable of participating in business transactions including individuals, private entities, corporations and government agencies. To help you to confidently move forward, Gudeman will help your business negotiate, draft, review, interpret, defend and enforce contracts.

Business Plans

Whether you’re a brand-new startup or your business is getting for the next phase, Gudeman will help you create a long-term strategy and a business plan. All entrepreneurs and business owners should have a business plan to assist in critical decision making and to maximize financial and operational success. Like a blueprint, a business plan lays out the business approach and objectives, strategies used to meet the goals, possible issues that may arise, solutions to potential concerns, the amount of capital required to finance operations, organizational structure including titles and responsibilities and an exit strategy, to name a few. Overall, a business plan is an articulate road map to success. Gudeman can help you create a successful business plan that will give confidence to you, your clients, talent, stakeholders, lenders and investors.

Buy-Sell Agreement

For any co-owned businesses, it is necessary that the owners have a buy-sell agreement in place to safeguard both of the owners and their futures. A buy-sell agreement, also known as a buyout agreement, protects everyone’s interest by setting the price and terms for a buyout. A buy-sell agreement is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation if a co-owner wants to retire, chooses to leave the business, goes bankrupt, wants to sell the shares to someone else, goes through a divorce or passes away. A buy-sell agreement is an approach used by sole proprietorships, partnerships and closed corporations to divide the business interests and setup details for the business buyout agreement, such as flexible payment terms instead of an immediate, lump-sum cash payout. Every co-owned business needs a buy-sell agreement to protect both of the owners, and Gudeman will construct an agreement where all the owners and their families are protected.

Corporations & Shareholder Agreements

Selecting the right type of company or corporation for your business model will help to advance your chances of financial and operational success while minimizing liability, expenses and tax obligations. If you choose to have your business incorporate and it qualifies under the IRS stipulations, it becomes its own legal business structure. A corporation is an independent legal entity; therefore, the corporation is set apart from the individuals who founded the business. Corporations operate as a separate entity, and they pay their own taxes, can own property, enter contracts, and can sue and be sued independently of those who own the company. Overall, the corporation itself is held legally liable for the actions and debts the business occurs and not the shareholders who own the corporation. When forming a corporation, it is then essential to create a comprehensive Shareholder Agreements where specific rights and obligations are precisely laid out. The contents in a Shareholder Agreement depends on the corporation and the shareholders, but overall, it is a contract between the shareholders of a corporation. For example, a Shareholders’ Agreement is an arrangement amongst the shareholders describing how the company should be operated and the shareholders’ rights and privileges. To help you, your partners and your shareholders, Gudeman can help you Incorporate and develop all-inclusive Shareholder Agreements.

Entity Formation

When beginning a business, it is very important to decide what form of business entity to establish because it will help determine the business plans, long-term strategy and the overall business future. Common types of business structures include limited liability companies (LLC), sole proprietorship, partnerships, C corporations and S corporations. Selecting the right type of company or corporation for your new business helps to maximize your chances of both financial and operational success. Entity formation is important for many reasons, and it also helps to determine which income tax return forms you must file. Likewise, the business entity states that the transactions associated with a business must be separately recorded from those of its owners and other businesses. This requires the use of separate accounting records for the organization that completely exclude the assets and liabilities of any other entity or you, the owner. To help protect you, your family and your new business venture, Gudeman can help you establish your entity formation.

LLC Operating Agreements

If you are thinking about forming a company where you safeguard your limited liability and still benefit from the availability of pass-through income taxation, Gudeman will help you file for an LLC and prepare a formal LLC Operating Agreement. A limited liability company or LLC is a private company, and although it is business entity, it is not a corporation. It is a business structure that is a hybrid, having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. An LLC is more flexible than a corporation, and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner. If you ever find yourself in a court of law, having an LLC Operating Agreement will give you more credibility and leeway. Without the formality of the operating agreement, your company may be viewed as a partnership or sole proprietorship. An LLC Operating Agreement is a legal document that establishes the rights and responsibilities of each LLC member, and it provides details about the LLC’s internal management such as finance operations, organizational structure including titles and responsibilities and how new members are admitted. Gudeman can help you create and file for an LLC and prepare an LLC Operating Agreement that will give you confidence and protection to meet your goals.

Retirement Plans

Business owners have several types of retirement plans to consider, and Gudeman can assist you in choosing the best option for you and your business. Retirement plans can range from owner-only with no employees to those with up to five employees to an established business with up to 100 employees. In most cases, small business owners may want to consider a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP IRA), Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE IRA), Self-Employed 401(k) plan or a 401(k) plan, and these plans depend on your budget, goals, tax advantages and the number of employees in your company, To help you with selecting a Retirement Plan for you or your whole company, let Gudeman simplify the process and help you find the plan that meets all of your objectives.

SBA Loans

The Small Business Administration is an independent agency of the United States government that protects the interests of entrepreneurs and small businesses and ensures that they receive a fair share of government contracts. The SBA offers a variety of loan programs, grants and surety bonds for very specific purposes, and the SBA Loan program is designed to provide financing for the purchase of fixed assets below market rate. Through a partnership, loans are made through banks and credit unions, and the SBA provides a government-backed guarantee on part of the loan. SBA loan proceeds can help finance a wide variety of businesses purposes, and basic uses include expansion of an existing business, the purchasing of equipment, machinery, supplies or other business materials and refinancing of existing business debt to name but a few. If you would like seasoned professionals to help with determining eligibility and assembling support paperwork, Gudeman will guide you every step of the process to help ensure you come out ahead.

Succession Plans

When it comes to your ultimate goals and the final outcomes for your business, Gudeman can help you create a long-term vision and strategy. As a business owner, you may have plans of eventually selling your business, going public or retiring and handing your business heritage onto your children. A succession plan is a serious endeavor that has implications on your family, employees, business structure, assets and tax obligations. A succession plan is an outline for the succession or transfer of ownership of your business, and it will help you make important decisions for both foreseen and unforeseen circumstances such as the choosing and training of a successor, financial hardship, retirement, disability or death. To help you create a plan of action for the final conclusion of your business, Gudeman can help you create a succession plan for your business and legacy.