Future-Proofing Your Company

 

Attorney Brian Lynch and Mark Stiles are back to discuss issues related to small businesses.

In video one, Brian and Mark discussed the different corporate structures that are available. In video two, they discussed two common structures: corporations and limited liability companies. In this video, Brian and Mark discuss some of the other documents that you may need to start your successful small business.

Many small business owners need agreements between owners or key employees. These agreements dictate the relationship between the parties. For instance, many agreements include provisions handling owners or key employees who are leaving. Some dictate whether the company or other owners can purchase the departing owner’s share.

Next, most small businesses have documents that deal with employees and contractors. Perhaps there is proprietary information that an owner does not want to be disclosed to third parties—a non-disclosure agreement may be in order. Perhaps an employee or contractor will be privy to information that would make a non-compete agreement appropriate.

Finally, many businesses will have relationships with vendors. Having contracts in place helps to make this relationship more predictable and stable. Some common agreements include: master service agreements and end user agreements. Most importantly, these agreements lay out the expectations and requirements of both parties.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

LLC or Corporation: What’s Right for Me?

 

In last week’s video, we discussed starting a new company and all of the entities that you have to choose from. This week, we are going to focus on limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.

Corporations are owned by shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors who make high level decisions. The board of directors also appoints officers who handle day-to-day operations of the corporation. LLCs are owned by members. The members can operate day-to-day operations; however, the members can nominate a manager to handle day-to-day operations.

Both corporations and LLCs can be treated identically for tax purposes. A so called “S-Corp” designation will result in the owners, whether shareholders or members, being taxed individually. This is often called “pass through” taxation. A “C-Corp” designation will result in the corporation being taxed as a separate entity. C-Corps are often used for a corporation that intends to seek financing or venture capital.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Forming a Business in 2020

 

Stiles Law has a question for you this week: What’s your 2020 vision? Are you thinking about starting your own business? Brian Lynch, our business attorney, is here to discuss the different types of structure a new business should consider.

The first is Sole Proprietorship, which means conducting business in your own name. The second is General Partnership which entails two or more people working together. LLC, an abbreviation for Limited Liability Company, is the third; and the fourth is a Corporation.

There are four main business structures: sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. An entrepreneur may choose to structure their business as an LLC or corporation over sole proprietorship or partnership to shield personal liability from the activities of the business. In other words, creating a separate entity can protect personal assets from the debts of the business. Creditors of sole proprietors and partnerships are able to satisfy debts by seeking personal assets of the owners.

The first step to establish a corporation or LLC is assembling a team to develop a strategy that will work best for each member. The second is to have an attorney properly draft documents and file paperwork with the state. The third is ensuring you have a good accountant as there are a number of important tax considerations.

If you have any questions about starting a business, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts

The Gift of Estate Planning

 

What is a gift that you can give to a loved one that provides security for their future? Estate planning. Planning for the future and the inevitable may be difficult but assuring that everything is in order for you and your family can only alleviate stress and lift the weight off your shoulders in the long run. Often, after planning their own estate, people will ask how they can get their adult children in to do the same. There may be no better way to get their foot in the door than by paying for their estate plan, even if it is just a portion. Getting the ball moving may give them the motivation to do it.

This gift works in the inverse as well, young adults may gift their mother and father with estate planning so that they recognize that they need to be prepared for when the inevitable comes.

If you have any questions about estate planning, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Estate Planning

 

One of the hardest things to do is pick guardians for your young children. A guardian is a person that you trust and empower to take care of your minor children. Parents are left paralyzed in an effort to figure out who could take on the role of raising their children. Often times, when planning for the future, parents leave the guardianship nomination blank and without a nomination the decision will be left up to the probate court. This means that if something were to happen to both parents, the arrangement for the children will be decided without parental voice or opinion. The individuals that seek guardianship over your minor children will then have to go to the probate court to ask the judge to appoint them as guardians. This will be occurring during a time where the children have presumably lost both parents and now, they are going through a court battle where relatives may be fighting over them. Although intentions may be good, the children will be pulled in multiple different directions when it is important that they have a stable atmosphere.

This all stems from not proactively dictating what happens. To avoid this, as a parent, it is important to create a stand-alone guardianship nomination that tells the court exactly who you want to have guardianship of your minor child.

Another option is a temporary guardianship nomination. It is useful if you are on a trip and your children are at home and need medical care. This temporary nomination also covers the 60-day period after your death before the court officially appoints a full time guardian. This helps to avoid pulling the children between all these well-intentioned individuals at a time when they need to grieve.

We have recently launched a website that focuses on estate planning, www.stiles-estates.com, where you can find more information and a contact form, or you can contact us directly to schedule a consultation.

If you have any questions about estate planning, contact Stiles Law by calling (781) 319-1900.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.

Ghosts, Suicides and Homicides: Do Sellers Need to Disclose?

 

We received another viewer’s question: I am listing a home and I have learned that the former owner committed suicide, do I need to disclose this to all of the potential Buyers? We often receive this and other similar questions like: there is a suspicion of a ghost in the house, someone has died due to a homicide, do I need to affirmatively disclose these facts?

In short, under M.G.L. 93A § 108, there is no need to affirmatively disclose these types of items. It is important to remember that if a Buyer asks a specific question the Seller cannot lie whether that lie is explicit or by omission. Misrepresentation is very different from a duty of affirmative disclosure. The Seller must be truthful and honest when specifically asked. The statute specifically states that if a property is psychologically impacted, that is not a material item that must be disclosed.

If you have a question about what needs to be disclosed in a MA real estate transaction, contact Stiles Law at (781) 319-1900 or stiles-law.com.

Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy. Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.