Many clients choose to involve the firm early in the formation of a new business. This allows our clients to make proper decisions when choosing the type of business entity, making the appropriate tax elections, establishing the proper governance structure among the directors, officers, managers and owners of the business, securing the ownership and exclusive rights to intellectual property of a business, such as through federal or state trademark or copyright registrations (See Intellectual Property), and structuring the relationship of the business with its employees. In addition, the firm helps limit the risks many new businesses face by advising clients on any liability protection concerns while structuring a business.
As businesses grow, ShuffieldLowman provides guidance to clients desiring to create holding companies and management companies, purchase and/or lease necessary real estate, and maximize the value of assets such as intellectual property and goodwill. The firm regularly suggests the best way to leverage its assets to obtain the additional capital necessary to implement growth and expansion programs. The firm also assists in the preparation of various contracts, including manufacturing and distribution agreements, sales representative agreements and the various services agreements used by businesses, either with their clients and/or independent contractors.
The firm also provides expertise in developing compensation packages including employment and severance agreements, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, supplemental executive pensions, equity participation plans, stock option and performance plans, stock or equity appreciation rights, discounted stock options, and stock bonus plans. These compensation packages are designed to help clients retain key employees and often include non-competes, non-solicitation covenants and trade secret protection.
The Exit Strategy
When the time comes to exit a business, our corporate team will guide clients in setting up business succession plans, ESOPs, stock options, and other exit vehicles, and advise on sale and gift strategies with family members, and our mergers and acquisitions team (See Mergers & Acquisitions) will guide business owners through the marketing and ultimate sale of the business. With respect to any type of exit, our attorneys always factor in the best possible tax advantages on behalf of the client (see Tax Advice & Controversy).