Business Attorneys in Springfield
Helping Massachusetts Clients Start, Grow, and Protect Their Businesses
Building a business can be challenging, especially without help. Many have great ides but are not sure how to formally organize or legally protect themselves. Others have the basic groundwork but are struggling to grow. And some have built robust businesses that are now in the position of needing legal advocacy to protect their interests.
Regardless of your situation, our Springfield business lawyers at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC are prepared and equipped to help. We have substantial experience in numerous areas of business law and can legally assist you regardless of the maturity of your venture. Our legal team can assist you in areas of business formation, contracts, litigation, and more. We are also able to assist with business hardships developed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that, for many, your business is your livelihood, and we will do everything to protect and honor what you have worked so hard to build.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you and your business will be in a position where litigation is necessary to resolve a dispute. Perhaps a vendor refuses to honor the legally enforceable terms of their contract, a customer claims you have engaged in an unfair or deceptive business practice, or an employee brazenly violates the terms of their nondisclosure agreement. Conversely, a third-party could erroneously decide that you have violated an agreement despite clear evidence to the contrary. These scenarios could quickly force your business into litigation, where you need a strong legal advocate to champion your interests.
At Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC, one of our greatest assets is our litigation team. Our Springfield business attorneys together boast over 100 years of collective experience, much of which has been spent litigating on behalf of our clients. No matter the circumstances, we can give your business the advocate it deserves.
If you are developing the framework for your new business but have never taken the steps to formally create one before, you may need the services of a qualified attorney to avoid common mistakes. For example, there are multiple types of business entities, each of which have different advantages depending on the goals of the business and circumstances of its owners. Choosing an entity type in which to form your business can be critical to early success as well as protecting your individual interests.
Some of the factors to consider when choosing a business entity type include:
- Limited liability
- Management structure
- Tax efficiency
Though in many cases it is possible to change a business entity type should your business grow or metastasize, understand that selecting an entity type is not an arbitrary endeavor. You should carefully evaluate the details of you and your business partners’ financial situation and immediate and long-term goals. Our experienced lawyer can advise on what entity type is likely to be the most beneficial to your present circumstances and explain any potential long-term implications.
Some of the business entities our business lawyers in Springfield can help you form include:
- General partnerships – where two or more partners run a for-profit business without formal organization, which can lead to liability and ownership disputes without clearly written agreements indicating who is entitled to and responsible for what
- Limited liability partnerships (LLP) – fundamentally similar to a general partnership except, as the name would imply, limited liability insurance is required to protect owners from company tort; this entity is also formally registered with the state
- Limited partnerships (LP) – a more organized and structured version of an LLP whose articles are registered with the Secretary of State
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC) – a structurally customizable, formally registered entity with some flexibility on how it is taxed
- Corporations – a complex entity with many subcategories and often the most formal organization; generally includes a board of directors, shareholders, and officers, all governed by established company bylaws
While it is possible to form a company on your own, you may not understand the full implications of the classifications you select or make common errors in your filing documents. This can lead to substantial liability and tax problems down the line, just as your business is likely to be hitting its stride. Our legal team at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC can provide guidance to make sure your business’s first steps are done right.
Beyond your products and services, most companies are built on a network of legal agreements amongst their employees, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, financiers, and other vendors. Legally enforceable agreements help define the terms and obligations of your relationship with each party as well as proactively work to prevent and protect yourself from disputes.
The consequences of failing to properly draft, review, and maintain contracts can be immense. A vendor might fail to live up to your previously understood obligations, for example, but without a contract specifying the details, you may only have limited recourse in pursuing damages. In another scenario, failing to use and maintain non-disclosure agreements could lead to trade secrets escaping the safety of your company – again, with limited legal options for remuneration.
Some of the contract categories that may be relevant to your business include:
- Employment contracts – documentation defining the relationship and obligations between the company and employee, including terms regulating noncompete, nondisclosure, or dispute resolution agreements
- Business governing contracts – often documented when a business is formally created, these contracts define the infrastructure of your company, including its mechanisms for selecting leadership and obligations to shareholders
- Real estate agreements – the lease, rental agreement, mortgage, or other type of agreement used to secure your company property
- Third-party contracts – agreements defining the terms of your company’s relationship with a vendor, individual, or another third-party
- Purchase or sale agreements – contracts that define the terms of an acquisition or sale of a portion or entirety of a company’s assets
Our legal team at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor, LLC can help either draft or review the legal agreements your company needs in the course of conducting business. If you have been presented with a contract for a potential new relationship with a third-party, for example, it is likely in your best interest to have an experienced business lawyer review the contract’s language to make sure your interests are safeguarded. Similarly, if you are looking to propose an agreement to a new vendor but do not have experience writing legally enforceable contracts, it may be wise to retain the services of a qualified attorney who can draft sound language that protects all parties. No matter your situation, we are prepared to assist you with your contracting needs.
While our firm has a proud history of supporting Springfield businesses, we are conscientious of the COVID-19 pandemic’s adverse impact on businesses of all levels. Our lawyers are prepared to help if your business is struggling with the economic fallout. We can work to identify potential legal solutions to keep your company solvent, safe, and thriving, now and well into the future.