Our firm is committed to building and maintaining productive relationships with business owners.
Hull & Chandler, P.A., is a full-service business transaction law firm that provides affordable legal services and respects your business plan and budget.
Operating a successful business in today’s world requires a skilled attorney on your team. The days of making all of your decisions based on supply and demand seem long gone. Today’s executive or business owner relies as much on an experienced attorney as on a banker, key staff member, or dependable supplier. We help business owners and operators address all of their legal concerns from employment contracts and collection matters to complex mergers and acquisitions.
Our attorneys take time to understand your business’ needs, goals and financial objectives. Your bottom line is our priority. Contact Hull & Chandler, P.A., today at 704-375-8488 for answers to any questions you may have about business law.
Business incorporation is the formation of a new legal entity that is effectively recognized under the law. Incorporation provides several key benefits to business owners, managers and entrepreneurs. By incorporating your business, you reduce your business risk and liability and provide protection for your personal assets. If you operate your business as a corporation, your personal assets are protected against the company’s debts and obligations, meaning creditors can’t pursue your home or car to pay business debts.
Business Formation Services
Limited Liability Company (LLC): A limited liability company, or an LLC, is a business structure that combines characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. Similar to owners of partnerships or sole proprietorships, business owners of LLCs report business earnings or losses on their personal income tax returns, meaning the LLC itself is not a separate taxable entity. However, similar to owners of a corporation, LLC business owners’ personal liability for business debts and claims is protected, giving the name “limited liability.” This means that if the business acquires debt or faces a lawsuit, only the business’s assets are at risk. Creditors and debt collectors typically cannot reach to the personal assets of the LLC owners, such as their house or car.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a business partnership where all partners are given a right to control the entity; however, each partner is protected from personal liability for negligent acts committed by other partners or by employees not under his or her direct control. All partners must be individuals licensed in the profession performed by the LLP, and are allowed to participate in the management of the partnership without risking exposure to personal liability. Unlike corporate shareholders, partners in an LLP have the right to manage the business directly.
There are multiple corporation statuses you can choose from. At Hull & Chandler, our attorneys will ensure your corporation operates under the most beneficial status for your business.
- S Corporation – An S corporation is a regular corporation where owners enjoy the limited liability of a corporate shareholder but pay income taxes as if they were a sole proprietor or a partner. Additionally, business profits pass through to the owners, who report them on their personal tax returns, similar to sole proprietorships, partnerships and LLCs (meaning the S corporation itself does not pay any income tax). Owners of the corporation can also pass business losses through to their personal income tax return, which can be used to offset any income that they (and their spouse) have from other sources. In addition, S corporation shareholders are not subject to self-employment taxes, where active LLC owners are.
- C Corporation – A C corporation is a regular corporation where the company itself is taxed on business profits. The owners pay individual income tax only on money they receive from the corporation as salary, bonuses or dividends, not on business profits and losses.
- Non-Profit Corporation – A non-profit corporation is a business specifically formed for purposes other than operating for profit. Non-profits can also be referred to as 501(c) corporations in IRS documents. Once a non-profit corporation reaches 501(c) status, owners may be eligible to omit paying federal income taxes and other types of state taxes. The purpose of the organization and the structure of the organization will determine whether the non-profit corporation will qualify for tax exemption status under 501(c).
When business disputes arise that cannot be resolved by negotiation or arbitration proceedings, business litigation can be used as a way to fix the situation. The following are common areas where business litigation is the best remedy for private individuals or business entities.
- Non-compete agreements: Non-compete agreements prevent employees from performing certain work or revealing methods or skills for a competitor after employment has ended. They are also intended to ensure that during the term of employment or for a period thereafter, an employee or former employee will not directly compete with his or her employer.
- Breach of contract and contract disputes: Breach of contract essentially means one has failed to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse. Breach of contract can occur if a party fails to perform any term on time, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, or not at all.
- Breach of fiduciary duty: A breach of fiduciary duty can cause a strain between business partners or shareholders in closely held corporations. If one member violates his obligation to operate in good faith and loyalty, the other partners can recover with business litigation.
- Intellectual Property/Trademark Disputes: Intellectual property refers to different creations such as inventions, symbols, names, literary works, artistic works and designs used in business. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted specific rights to a variety of intangible assets. Any infringement on a patent, trademark or copyright is grounds for business litigation.
- Shareholder disputes: Disputes between shareholders (minority and majority) can be resolved with business litigation. Our experienced attorneys litigate disputes including ownership issues, squeeze-out issues, freeze-out issues, valuation issues, minority oppression issues and breach of fiduciary duty issues.
- Franchise disputes: Buying a franchise, or franchising your successful business, is becoming more common for business owners. Yet, as in every business venture, disputes can arise. If your franchisee or franchisor is failing to live up to the terms of the franchise agreement, contact one of our attorneys who understands franchise disputes.
- Collections: Businesses often face a difficult task in collecting debts owed to them; however, creditors have a legal right to seek payment on outstanding debts. By hiring a business litigation attorney who has extensive experience helping businesses collect what they are owed, you will receive fast, cost-effective and efficient solutions for your business.
- Insurance coverage disputes: If insurance companies undervalue or deny a fair claim, then it is possible for small businesses to recover the amount they are entitled to with business litigation. Some insurance companies will attempt to avoid paying the full amount in a legitimate claim, or possibly avoid paying it at all. If this happens, contact us immediately.
Business Purchase and Sales
Hull & Chandler, P.A., works closely with individuals who are looking for a new business opportunity, as well as business owners interested in selling their business or franchise in the Charlotte area. Our attorneys guide clients through the entire process and assist with every aspect of the transaction until closing.
When buying or selling a business, buyers and sellers need to be aware of many factors that might affect the outcome of the transaction or lead to business litigation. We assist clients with transactional business matters involving real property, intellectual property, trademarks, taxes and shareholder rights. Preparing purchase agreements, negotiating acquisitions, preparing employment agreements, assisting in business valuations, tax considerations and drafting contracts are amongst the services needed throughout the process by both buyers and sellers.
Both clients investing in new business opportunities and clients selling their hard-earned business will be assisted by our attorneys every step of the way. We work directly with our clients to establish the best plan and ensure they continue their day-to-day business operations while we focus on the purchase or sale of the business.
In addition, the attorneys at Hull & Chandler have extensive knowledge and experience working with mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Mergers and acquisitions refer to the corporate strategy, finance and management involved with the buying, selling, dividing or combining of business entities. We are experts in these matters and offer advice to clients on transactions that may not involve a direct sale.
At Hull & Chandler, P.A., we provide area construction businesses, or anyone involved in a construction-related dispute or issue, with high-quality services in construction law. We represent the homeowners, property owners, construction companies, engineers, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and employees with services in construction law.
The area of construction law is vast, and in it, any number of legal issues can arise. We understand that working with an experienced construction law attorney can make all the difference.
Construction Law Services
- Materialman’s liens (also known as mechanic’s liens, which gives a security interest in property to someone who supplies materials used during work performed on that property)
- Contracts – Drafting, negotiation, agreements, modification and disputes
- Cost disputes
- Construction defects
- Construction insurance
Construction defects are a major problem for home and business owners. Most often, the defect is not found until months or years after a construction project has been completed. Additionally, a construction defect may create more problems, and could even result in total structural failure.
Construction defects must be dealt with, and construction companies must be held accountable. Our attorneys assist home and commercial property owners in dealing with construction defects.
Intellectual Property and Trademarks
How much is an idea worth? Although there is no definitive answer to this question, at Hull & Chandler, P.A., we believe that a good idea is priceless, and we work hard to protect your ideas and preserve your intellectual property.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property refers to different creations such as inventions, symbols, names, literary works, artistic works and designs used in business. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted specific rights to a variety of intangible assets. Common types of intellectual property rights include trademarks, copyrights, patents and trade secrets. Intellectual property laws were created to give inventors, entrepreneurs and business owners “absolute protection” to be innovative and legally entitled to the full value of their inventions.
While there are similarities among the various kinds of intellectual property protection, copyrights, trademarks and patents are different and serve different purposes. Our attorneys regularly consult with business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors to identify which type of intellectual property protection they need, and help develop a strategic plan to secure a competitive edge.