...for your career, your business, your life...
Rosemarie Tully, P.C.
44 Elm Street
P.O. Box 1054
Huntington, New York 11743
Tel: (631) 234-2376
Fax: (631) 234-8876
“It's better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."
Jackie Joyner Kersee
Welcome to The Company Counsel, a service of the law firm of Rosemarie Tully, P.C. Here you will find some helpful considerations for business owners, large and small.
Every business should have effective legal counsel - an attorney who understands the nature of the particular business, its market, and its nuances - who can guide the enterprise as it grows. Some businesses employ in-house legal counsel to navigate a host of law-related issues for the business. As an employee of the company, in-house counsel is regularly available for consultation and guidance, and to implement best practices that avoid legal tangles proactively. While in-house legal counsel may seem expensive, hiring litigation or other outside counsel after an issue has gotten out of control can be infinitely more costly.
Mind Your Business Plan
Having worked with successful businesses, we have developed a cost-effective program which offers businesses legal counsel at manageable rates. We call it the Mind Your Business Plan. We get to know your business, provide preemptive guidance, and we're on-call as needed throughout the life of your business. We are your outside, in-house counsel.
What's Your Plan?
You've created your company and have taken steps to move your business forward. So far the business partner relationship has been informal, but, like all successful enterprises, how ownership is structured needs to be formally addressed. Is the ownership 50/50? How will profits and losses be distributed? What if the partners want to bring in investors? These issues and others (e.g., disability, death, etc.) need to be addressed and memorialized in a formal writing (partnership, shareholder, or operating agreement). If left unresolved, they have the power to upend much of what you've worked to build.
Whether your business is a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership, maintaining proper records is critical. For companies with multiple owners (read: more than one), it is especially essential that company books and records be complete and current. If the company is subject to audit and the records are in disarray, it may be more difficult to convince the auditor that the company is really doing what it claims to be doing. Similarly, any potential buyer of the company will want to see a complete set of organizational records and operating documents as part of the due diligence.
Of Course We Own Our Website...Don't We?
What about that company logo that was specially designed for our business cards? We must own that, right? And our catch-phrase – used in our marketing – it has to belong to us! Doesn't it? Well, it depends; what written agreements do you have in place?
Trademarks, Tag Lines, Illustrations, Logos, and the like are all examples of Intellectual Property. Yes, they are property; they belong to someone. And in most cases, if you are using them in your business, they ought to belong to you.
Labor and Employment.
Most companies utilize the services of a payroll company to handle payment of employee wages, and that usually works well. There is, however, more to the relationship than the provision of services (by the employee) and the payment of wages (by the employer).
Should you have an Employment Agreement for all or merely some employees? The importance of an Employee Handbook and Sexual Harassment Policy shouldn't be overlooked either. What about Separation Letters for employees that have resigned or been terminated? If you work with Independent Contractors, should there be some form of written agreement?
Unfortunately these issues cannot be addressed in a one-size-fits-all fashion. They are in many ways, business-specific.
We would be happy to arrange a business consultation for your growing business. Please call us at 631-234-2376.
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