Practices / Services
Our firm offers services in the following areas of the law:
- Legal Entity Selection and Formation (corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships)
- Partnership Agreements
- Joint Ventures Agreements
- Buy & Sale Agreements
- Corporate Governance
- Business Succession Planning
- Wills and ancillary documents (directives to physicians and family, power of attorneys, declarations of guardianship)
- Real Estate Law
- Construction Law
- Intellectual Property Law (Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets)
- Minority Certifications
- Non Profit Organizations
- Commercial Litigation
Our Core Practices
One of the first decisions a business person should make when starting a new venture is the type of legal entity for the business. Such decision may not be so easy and could get quite complicated. Particularly, when the business is in a high risk industry where the business owner might be exposed to unlimited personal liability. However, risk is not the only consideration in choosing the type of business entity. There are many other issues that affect the business and should be considered before making such an important decision. Appropriate legal advice and planning is fundamental when starting a new business and choosing the appropriate legal entity.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS & CONTRACTS
In Texas, generally, agreements in connection with real estate property transactions must be in writing. The same writing requirement applies to other transactions. Such a requirement is commonly referred to as the “Statute of Frauds.” Although, there might be a few exceptions to the general rule, most people should be aware that they need a written contract when real estate is bought or sold. The written requirement also applies to oral modifications, amendments, and extensions to a written contract. In addition to the “Statute of Frauds” law, the old adage that if it is not in writing is as if it never existed, not only applies to real property but to other transactions as well. We can help you structure and document real estate and other business transactions through the appropriate contractual documents.
BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING
An estate plan is usually NOT a good device to transfer ownership of your business. The ESTATE PLAN can get ownership of your stock or partnership interest into the hands of the people you choose–but it CANNOT help them run the business they then legally own. It also may not provide added operating capital that businesses often need when the founder becomes ill or dies. Often, the business must support the founder’s family after the founder is no longer around to generate cash flow or other income. If the founder is not the sole owner of a business, a BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLAN will decide how the owners will “buy one another out.” Also, a business succession plan will help to smooth out the transition of ownership to the business owner’s heirs, partners, or the business employees, as might be appropriate. We can assist in properly designing a business succession plan based on your situation and personal needs.
The term Intellectual Property (“IP”) generally refers to creations or products of the mind, such as literary and artistic works, inventions, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. In many circumstances, IP is the most valuable asset that a business might have. Such IP is generally associated with the “Goodwill” of the company, and definitely worth protecting. There are many laws that protect IP, for example, patents, copyright, trade secrets, and trademarks, are protected by several Federal and State laws. Such laws allow people to earn recognition and/or financial benefit from what they invent or create and provide protection from misappropriation by others. We can assist you in protecting your valuable IP through applications for copyrights, trademark registrations, and agreements to prevent non-disclosure of trade secrets.
MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE CERTIFICATION
Minority Business Enterprises (MBE’s) can benefit from certifications federal, state, and local governments, as well as from certifications from the private sector. Such certifications require that the MBE’s must be a currently functioning for profit enterprise that is at least 51% independently owned, managed and controlled by one or more designated minority groups. Adequate documentation of such minority ownership and control are fundamental in achieving minority certification. We can assist with the application and with the preparation of corporate documentation required in the minority certification process.