The Rau Law Firm provides formation services for professional practices, corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships, and sole proprietorships. When you are ready to form a business entity, we will meet with you to explore and evaluate the benefits and costs of different business forms and will help you select which entity is best suited to you and to your business venture.
In addition, the Rau Law Firm will assist in corporate and LLC maintenance, as well as providing assistance with regard to various governmental reporting requirements as the need may arise. Many of our business clients take the opportunity to meet with our attorneys to review business plans and activities that have occurred over the course of the year at the time of the annual meeting.
We prepare annual minutes, and resolutions and assist with restructuring ownership with the addition or retention of owners. We regularly negotiate buy-sell agreements by which owners may set the value of their interests and prepare in advance for the purchase of their individual interest upon death, disability, or retirement.
When your business requires contracts, bills of lading, licenses, leases, employment agreements, or other written contracts for future or pending transactions, the Rau Law Firm is experienced and prepared to respond quickly and to provide you "plain English," straightforward agreements. We endeavor to provide you with agreements which fairly reflect "your deal" and are not designed to invite negotiations or make more of a transaction than is necessary.
We also frequently invite our business clients to discuss significant transactions before they begin negotiating to offer alternatives and insights which the client may not have considered.
While a handshake and a verbal agreement may have been sufficient in the past, today’s business commitment requires written agreements to avoid confusion, misunderstandings, or one party’s taking advantage of the other. From our perspective, the written agreements don’t need to be long, filled with legal jargon, or overly complex. We endeavor to keep the contracts we prepare business-friendly and clear to meet the client’s objectives. We believe the parties to a business contract should be able to understand and to use the contract as a business tool without having to consult with counsel or to guess at what a term really means.
BUSINESS PLANNING AND GROWTH STRATEGIES
The Rau Law Firm provides the opportunities for businesses to enlist the assistance of counsel in planning and developing strategies for growth and expansion. Conversely, when the need is to reduce staff or decrease operations, our attorneys are again available to assist the business owner in setting priorities, evaluating risks, and engaging in processes to minimize costs. Our attorneys have great experience in working with privately held businesses and frequently will have perspectives and alternatives not readily apparent to the business owner associated with significant changes in operations.
BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING
The vast majority of Rau Law Firm business clients are closely-held or family-owned businesses or professional practices. Utilizing our experience in both estate planning and business operations, the Rau Law Firm has developed a practice area and expertise in business succession planning. This focus of practice may include the transfer of a business to a family member, to a key employee, to a third party, or, in the event of a professional practice, to another licensed shareholder or professional group. Transfer of a business or professional practice requires careful and thoughtful preparation for planned events, such as sales, retirements, or mergers and for unplanned events, such as disabilities or deaths. Effective preparation requires the principals of a business or a professional practice to begin the succession planning several years before the transfer is begun or completed.
The key to a successful plan is to develop a strategy which will ensure the integrity and the continuity of the business or practice during the transfer, while identifying multiple integral issues, such as recognizing and understanding family dynamics, inner workings of the non-family shareholders or partners, needs of non-owner employees, and the achievement of the goals and objectives of the principal owners.
When a business needs to acquire or sell real property owned by the business or by the business owner, the Rau Law Firm can provide counsel in documenting the transaction and assisting with the financing. Complex issues associated with asbestos, mold, and hazardous waste have made real estate acquisition and leasing a far more complex matter, requiring careful review and consideration.
Real property can also serve as the basis for careful estate planning and asset diversification and should be reviewed with various purposes in mind.
Commercial leasing, whether from a tenant’s or from a landlord's perspective, is complex and is a major expense or source of income. Our attorneys have substantial experience negotiating and drafting leases, looking for ways by which the interests and requirements of both parties to a lease can be protected.