Business & Commercial Law
Our Specialties Click on a specialty to learn more
Initial Organization, Governance and Succession Planning
The choices made in starting a new business or in operating an existing one on a day-to-day basis are numerous and varied both in complexity and impact. These daily decisions can affect not only the financial security of the business owners themselves but also of their employees and the families of everyone concerned. Cooper & Riesterer, PLC represents businesses of all sizes across a wide spectrum of industries. From setting up new businesses to providing general, transactional, and litigation counsel to large established organizations, Cooper & Riesterer provides the experience, answers, and resources businesses need to succeed.
Beyond pure legal advice, we understand that your business is not like any other. We take the time to fully understand and appreciate the particular aspects of your unique business concern, so that we can evaluate all of the alternatives and help you decide on the course of action that will best meet your needs. Not just to deliver legal advice in a vacuum. Our goal is to ensure we provide the guidance you need in the context of your business environment. We want to your partners in business, not just technical legal advisors.
Initial Organization. We help our clients get off on the right foot with their new ventures by addressing a wide range of start-up issues including:
- Selecting the appropriate organizational structure (limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, sole proprietorships, etc. cetera)
- Advising on tax matters where appropriate and coordinating with tax professionals to create a structure that will maximize tax benefits during start up and during the life of the entity;
- Helping with capital needs, including assessing those needs and helping locate funding sources and options when needed;
- Creating all required initial documentation including Shareholder Agreements or Operating Agreements to clarify the rights of all participants and ensure everyone is on the same page from the start.
Governance. Business entities are set up to enhance the efficiency of your business and to minimize your personal liability. As you conduct your business, questions and issues are going to arise. We are here to answer those questions and address those issues, to ensure you do not make a misstep that will undo the protections you created for yourself when you set up your organization. We will be there for your business to provide ongoing services, including:
- Reviewing and monitoring the ongoing structural health of your organization to ensure all documents and policies are up to date and in place where needed;
- Addressing Officer / Director governance and liability concerns;
- Answering ongoing business questions as they arise;
- Drafting documentation required for new or exiting partners; and
- Assisting with restructuring and reorganizing entities when needed and drafting required documentation.
Succession Planning. As part of our goal to assist businesses with their goals and plans it is critical for every business to keep their ultimate end game or transition plan in sight, even if it is several years down the road. There are many steps a business owner can take over several years of business ownership that can facilitate a transfer that simply cannot be done within a month or two when the owner decides it is time to sell, dissolve or transfer a business. The best succession planning begins years before an anticipated transition. We understand the steps that can be taken and can work with you to ensure your business is structured properly so that you can maximize your goals when you are ready to transition. As examples, those transitions could include:
- Buy-sell agreements with third parties, business partners or employees;
- A merger with or acquisition by a competitor;
- Estate-related business succession plans to transition ownership to family members; or
- A business dissolution
Most transactions we conduct on a day-to-day basis are simple — we need something, someone agrees to provide it, a price is determined, the money and the needed item change hands. Everyone’s happy. Happy exchanges like this occur every second of every day everywhere in the world and we rarely give them a second thought. But, when the dollars or consequences of the transaction are higher, for business owners and businesses alike, transactions have to be considered a bit more carefully. At the law firm of Cooper & Riesterer, PLC, we provide an astute and carefully considered legal perspective on all business transactions to our clients, including the following types of contracts and transactions.
- Buy-sell agreements
- Distributor and supplier agreements
- Design and manufacturing agreements
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Event contracts
- Corporate finance documents
- Private equity transactions
- Joint venture agreements
- Commercial real estate transactions
- Real estate investments through IRAs
- Estate-related business successions
- Franchise agreements and Franchise Disclosure Documents
- Licensing agreements
- Employment Agreements
- Marketing materials and contracts
- Sweepstakes materials and promotions
The attorneys at Cooper & Riesterer understand all aspects of the business process, including the important, but sometimes confusing issues that arise from the employee – employer relationship. Our attorneys provide strategic counsel on all employment-related issues, from employee benefits and contracting to employment litigation. Our advice ensures that employers can successfully navigate the myriad of regulatory hurdles present in today’s employment legal landscape, as well as meet specific employment-related goals and objectives. Our attorneys also provide advice to employees on matters such as compensation plans, severance agreements, and other employment-related issues.
The attorneys of Cooper & Riesterer understand that when it comes to employment matters, the applicable federal and state laws are extensive and missteps can be costly. That’s why our attorneys stay up to date on the most recent developments in the wide-ranging laws and regulations governing the employer-employee relationship so that we are prepared to counsel all types of businesses in ensuring compliance with these laws.
We understand that preventing employment disputes is preferable to the costs of litigation. However, sometimes litigation is necessary. In those instances, the attorneys of Cooper & Riesterer is prepared to vigorously litigate employment-related claims if necessary. In litigating these matters, our attorneys are able to draw on wealth of experience in both prosecuting and defending these claims in federal and state courts, as well as before state and federal administrative agencies. Our attorneys tailor our litigation efforts on behalf a client to the necessities of the situation, as well as the needs of the client.
Non-Compete, Non-Disclosure, and Trade Secrets
Agreements restricting competition with an employer’s existing business by a current or former employee (or business owner following sale of the business to a new owner), as well as agreements protecting vital proprietary information from disclosure are indispensable to many businesses. The attorneys at Cooper & Riesterer understand the value of these agreements and have extensive experience in crafting agreements that comply with applicable law and meet the specific needs of business owners and others who need to protect themselves again unfair competition or safeguard their valuable trade secrets against misuse. As a result, our attorneys also understand the ramifications of signing these types of agreements for high-value employees and independent contractors as well, which is why we can provide critical counsel to these individuals as well, both prior to and after signing these types of contracts.