Business Law 101

Looking for a crash course in Business Law 101? Are you wondering if you need to form a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or nonprofit corporation in Maine? Consider joining me on June 8th in Portland, Maine, as I join some of my former colleagues, Connor Beatty and Kevin Haley from Brann & Isaacson, and Kelly Hoffman from Norman, Hanson, & Detroy, to present a full day seminar entitled: “Business Law: Top Challenges,” through the National Business Institute. Maine attorneys can get 6 hours of CLE credit for attending. The seminar will cover options for financing a new business, the basics of writing a good business contract, protecting your intellectual property, employment law basics for managers (including employee handbooks), and the ethics of a business law practice.

Setting Up a Corporation or LLC

I will be focusing on some of the common challenges that entrepreneurs face when deciding whether to form a business entity, and which form of business formation is right for them. This is one of my favorite topics to cover with clients because it enables me to share in their exciting journey as business owners. However, I’ve also learned that sometimes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that spotting issues such as control of the company (especially when two entrepreneurs each want to own 50%), setting up a board of directors, and working with investors who may want to take an equity stake in the business, can be thorny issues. For example, Maine allows a corporation to have a Board of Directors, or a closely held corporation can elect to be managed directly by its shareholders under 13-C M.R.S. s.743. Which is right for you? Another key decision involves the tax classification for an LLC. As the most flexible form of business entity out there, a Maine limited liability company can decide to take almost any shape for income tax purposes, including as a corporation. So, what’s the difference between forming a corporation and forming an LLC but electing corporate tax status, and how do you go about making that election?  We’ll talk about those issues and more. They’re kind of fun for dorks like me, and maddening for entrepreneurs like many of my clients.

My job as a Maine business lawyer is to strip away the “fun” intellectual exercises that lawyers do, and to pare things down to simple decisions for the business owner. If you’re looking to get a lot of that knowledge in a single day, I hope you’ll consider attending in June.