Whether you are going through the formation or dissolution process, or you are involved in litigation surrounding your business, you can benefit from getting capable legal counsel on your side. Based in Kingston, Attorney Michael S. Mehrmann offers sophisticated guidance to business owners throughout the South Shore at reasonable rates. The life cycle of a business can involve many complexities that you may not necessarily expect. Plymouth County business lawyer Michael S. Mehrmann can help you avert or navigate around obstacles while protecting your interests.Business Formation
The structure or form that you choose for your business can have a huge impact on many aspects of it, including whether or not you are successful. It is important to choose a form that provides the right level of personal protection and benefits for the business. For a very small operation in which only you will be handling day-to-day affairs, it may be appropriate to have a sole proprietorship. However, there are also situations in which two or more people come together to create a business. In those cases, it may be appropriate to create a partnership or LLC and develop an operating agreement that will cover the rights and responsibilities of each person.
In situations in which you foresee expanding significantly, need to protect individuals from liability, and need to raise capital, a corporation may be the most prudent choice. The form of the business will determine the initial steps taken. For example, if you choose to form a corporation, you will need to complete many tasks, including choosing a name, preparing articles of incorporation and bylaws, setting up a corporate records book, holding a board of directors' meeting, and filing an annual report.Business Litigation
Business litigation can occur in connection with a contractual breach, a breach of warranty, interference with contracts or other business torts, unfair trade practices, insurance disputes, partnership or shareholder disputes, employment litigation, and many other issues. In some situations, the parties to a dispute agree to settle their case through a method of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. However, there are situations in which a matter is of enough importance that it makes sense to take it to trial. It is important to retain a business attorney in Plymouth County who understands these different options, as well as your business plans and goals.Contract Disputes
Contracts can be written or oral in Massachusetts. They are voluntary and legally enforceable promises between two or more parties that are competent to perform legal acts in exchange for consideration. However, certain agreements must be in writing to be valid. These include contracts for the sale of land, for services not performed within a year, and for the payment of the debt of another party. Generally, courts will enforce the precise terms of a valid, enforceable contract. Unless the words are ambiguous, they will make determinations about the contract based on what is written there, rather than on other agreements or documents.Employment Disputes
In most cases, employment is at-will in Massachusetts. This means that an employment relationship can end at any time and for many reasons. Employers must take care to draft enforceable employment agreements, including covenants not to compete. These agreements can set expectations for both parties. For example, an employer may agree that an employee will not be fired before a certain date, except in cases of wrongdoing. Although employment is at-will, there are certain dismissals that are considered wrongful terminations because they violate a contract, statute, or public policy. For example, if an employee claims that he was terminated due to his race, he may have a claim for wrongful termination and discrimination under Title VII and the Massachusetts Equal Rights Act.Partnership Disputes
Ideally, partners create a partnership agreement or operating agreement when they go into business together. This type of agreement can provide for partners' rights and responsibilities with regard to the business and each other. Massachusetts is fairly flexible about what partners can decide to do when building a partnership. A well-drafted agreement may provide a mechanism for resolving disputes and determine whether all of the partners have the right to an accounting and to inspect the books. In these cases, the agreement will govern the dispute. However, there may be other situations in which it is necessary to take a partner to court or some form of alternative dispute resolution. You should retain a Plymouth County business attorney early in the dispute to try to negotiate a solution that both parties can accept. If the matter proceeds to trial, it can get very expensive, and the outcome may be the dissolution of the business.Business Dissolution
The form of a business and the reason for its dissolution determine the tasks that are necessary to wind it up. There are situations, for example, in which a business is involuntarily dissolved by a court order. However, there are many other situations in which the partners or members of a company decide for a variety of reasons to dissolve it. Often, an operating agreement spells out a specific procedure that should be followed for a business to decide to voluntarily dissolve. If there is no operating agreement, a law will cover the procedure for dissolution. For example if you are running an LLC on the South Shore, the Massachusetts LLC Act allows you to dissolve the business through the unanimous written consent of the members of the LLC. You will also need to cancel any registrations that you have as a business. For an LLC, a certificate of cancellation signed by an authorized member or manager should be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions can be complex and entail a need for multiple negotiations and the drafting of many documents. Depending on the nature of the transaction, such as which type of merger or acquisition is involved, it may be necessary to obtain shareholder approval and conduct substantial due diligence regarding existing liabilities and assets. In some cases, it is necessary to develop contracts in connection with the intellectual property of each business and make decisions about the name. There may be employment concerns, such as whether an acquiring company is taking over existing workers or whether there will be layoffs. Mr. Mehrmann has 30 years of experience as a business lawyer serving Plymouth County residents, and he can bring that experience to bear on the situation to make the deal go more smoothly.Commercial Real Estate Issues
When entering into any sort of commercial real estate transaction, whether it is to buy, sell, lease, or rent the property, it is important to understand whether you will be able to conduct business activities on the property. Zoning is the use of bylaws and ordinances to regulate how the land and structures on the land can be used. You may only be able to make certain uses of the land, and in some cases, special permits must be obtained to authorize a particular use. In some cases, it is possible to ask for a variance or to appeal a decision made by a local authority. In other cases, it is necessary to litigate a dispute related to the transaction. At the Mehrmann Law Firm, we can provide legal representation in connection with many different types of commercial real estate disputes.Meet with a Sophisticated Legal Advisor and Advocate to Discuss Your Needs
You do not need an in-house attorney to receive trustworthy legal advice and representation for business law matters. Our firm takes pride in providing superior legal services at a fair rate. Attorney Michael S. Mehrmann has the experience and skills to provide strong representation. He assists clients in areas such as Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury. Call us at (781) 585-3911 or use our online form to set up an appointment.