Business and Contract Law
Closely‐Held Private Businesses
If you are considering operating your own Small Business, there are several important issues that you must be aware of to protect yourself and your business.
The Law Offices of Linda G. Anderson & Associates have been assisting Small Business owners for several years in a wide variety of legal areas. Put our expertise to work for your business.
Establishing a New Business
There are several different forms of business organizations, such as: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations. The business form which most easily allows you to obtain your long and short term goals is the correct business form for you.
Much documentation is usually necessary to get your business off the ground, such as:
- Articles of Organization
- Bylaws or Operating Agreement
- Application for tax identification numbers
- Forms to register with state and local agencies
- Negotiating Purchase or Lease of Commercial Real Estate
- Buy-Sell Agreements for Business Assets
- Equipment - Land - Good Will - Contracts - Liability
- Retained Customer Lists, etc.
- Lease-back Arrangements
- Risk Management
- Accounting and Employment Law
- Tax Appeals (click here to go to our Tax Appeal Section)
Business–Common Legal Issues That May Arise
Every business, once established, hopes it will run smoothly without interruption; however, often that does not happen.
Linda Anderson’s philosophy is to anticipate possible problems and to try to prevent them ahead of time. However, when problems occur, occasionally legal intervention is necessary.
If you or your company are being sued, or if someone is threatening suit, Linda G. Anderson can review the details of the matter and give you a legal opinion, evaluation and suggestions for a course of action.
Issues can be varied and numerous. Some common examples include:
- Wrongful Termination
- Civil Suits
- Sexual Harassment
- Insurance Claims
- Establishing Employee Handbooks & Rules
- Product Liability
- Property Damage
- Theft of Property
- Dealing Effectively with Terminating a Key Employee
A contract is an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are generally enforceable by law. In Michigan, there are five elements of contract formation, all of which must be met in order for a contract to be enforced by the courts. They are as follows:
- The parties must be competent to contract
- The subject matter of the potential contract must be proper
- There must be legal consideration
- There must exist mutuality of agreement and
- There must exist mutuality of obligation
Dangers of the Verbal Contract
“Get it in writing!”
Unfortunately, legal disputes involving verbal agreements are rarely quick, easy, or cheap to resolve because each party to the transaction often has a totally different understanding as to the obligations of the other. As a result, it sometimes takes a lengthy lawsuit to prove the contract’s terms and intent. This can be very expensive in time, money and resources for all parties.
Those who fail or refuse to use written agreements accept the risk that any number of problems can occur.
For example, the contract may not be enforceable. By law, a verbal contract might be unenforceable, depending on its terms. A contract that cannot be performed within a year generally must be in writing to be enforced, or a contract for a conveyance of land generally must be in writing.
Another example is higher costs: Lawyers charge far more to resolve legal disputes than they do to prevent them. Consequently, the legal expense to draft a written contract (that can help avoid a dispute) is often a small fraction of the fee if a legal dispute arises from the verbal contract.
Not every written contract will prevent all disputes. Sometimes even the most sophisticated contracts can generate disputes. However, written contracts generally can help narrow the grounds of a dispute, often resulting in savings of time, money, and aggravation.
We provide services in contract negotiation and contract formation in the following areas of contract law:
- Contract Negotiation
- Contract Formation
- Contract Interpretation
- Breach of Contract
It is important to hire an attorney prior to signing any contract.
We understand that properly-executed contracts can help any transaction run more smoothly. It is always our intent to honestly advise our clients and negotiate contracts with our clients’ best interests and desires in mind. We would much prefer to keep our clients out of court by properly drafting agreements, and if necessary, negotiating settlements of any disputes outside of the court system.
Closely‐Held Private Businesses
Linda G. Anderson provides legal counsel to closely-held private businesses in the local area by offering advice aligned to the needs, goals and objectives of the owners. By working closely with the company owners and managers, an understanding of the company culture, its business, management style and business ethics is formed, resulting in comprehensive knowledge of their risk tolerance and the priorities of their personal lives and families.
These owners are concerned with issues such as: keeping/terminating key employees, facilitating estate planning and transition planning; wealth preservation and strategies for generational transfer of wealth; business continuity plans and business valuation.
At times it is imperative to involve other professionals for consultation purposes. When doing so, Attorney Anderson is able to evaluate potential solutions and if the situation requires, recommend, interview, hire and coordinate legal or other types of representation with the appropriate outside sources.
The Law Offices of Linda G. Anderson & Associates will provide competent, clear, and concise representation, including researching current legal statutes, cases or information relative to all matters directly affecting you and your business.
Contacting the Attorney
To obtain a private consultation concerning Small Business and Contract Law matters, please call during normal business hours:
Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 734.425.0379
Evening and Weekend appointments can be arranged.