Atlanta Business Formation Lawyer
Choosing how to structure your new business will have ramifications that touch on many different areas, including taxation, liability, management and control, transfer of ownership, business succession, dissolution and more. The Atlanta business formation lawyers at MendenFreiman take the time to get to know their clients and understand their needs. We make sure our clients fully understand their options and the best choices to help them reach their goals.
Corporation, Partnership or LLC?
Some of the most common business entity choices include corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, also known as LLCs. Corporations offer protection to officers, directors and shareholders, who typically cannot be held liable for corporate debts or negligence. Most corporations are subject to double-taxation, however, where income is taxed twice – once to the corporation and again to the shareholder. Corporations of a certain limited size can avoid double taxation by electing S Corporation status. Family-owned and closely held businesses may want to consider filing as an S Corp. MendenFreiman can advise you on the steps required to make an S corp election and the appropriate timeframe for doing so.
In a partnership, there is no double taxation; the partnership itself is not taxed on income and only the partners pay tax on profits. Partners are liable for debts and actions of the partnership, however, and do not enjoy the protection of the corporate shield. One solution is to form a Limited Partnership rather than a General Partnership. In this case, only the general partner(s) have liability exposure, while the limited partners enjoy protection from liability. Even this limited protection may not be right for everyone, though.
A third option is the Limited Liability Company (LLC). Members of an LLC can enjoy the liability protections of a corporation yet be taxed as a partnership. Family-owned and closely held businesses may want to consider forming an LLC, although this structure is not always optimal for franchisees or companies where the owners cannot feasibly share management and control.
An individual can also operate a company as a Sole Proprietorship. The sole proprietor has complete control over the business and is the sole recipient of business profits, as well as the sole taxpayer. Since there is no legal distinction between individual and business, both the business and personal assets of the sole proprietor are exposed to liability. Very little is required from the administrative/regulatory side to do business as a sole proprietorship.
Family Limited Partnerships
As a law firm deeply committed to serving families across generational lines, our attorneys provide advice and assistance in the creation of Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) as a vehicle through which to operate a family business. The FLP is a valuable asset protection and estate planning tool as well as business structure and is often used as a means to control assets or investments and transfer ownership of business interests across generations in a tax-advantageous manner.
Comprehensive Business Entity Formation and Organizational Support
The attorneys at MendenFreiman take the time to get to know your needs and goals, so that we can advise you on your best options for the proper business entity. We draft all the organizing documents required to establish your entity with the secretary of state, such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreements or operating agreements. Additionally, the firm prepares all the ancillary documents necessary for the establishment and long-term success of your business, including buy/sell agreements, commercial leases and lending/financing documents. MendenFreiman is here throughout the life of the business with business law advice and representation and to serve as your outside general counsel whenever you need us.
Get Your Business Off to the Right Start By Contacting Our Atlanta Business Formation Lawyers
Start your business off right by knowing you have chosen the best business structure and the right law firm to help you with all your business legal needs.