Ocala, FL Business Law FAQs
Common Questions About Business Law in Florida
At Schatt Hesser Mcgraw, we represent individuals, corporations and more in the realm of business law pertaining to the formation of a business or corporation; drafting and revising contracts, non-competes, employment agreements and other documents; merging, buying or selling a business; and other areas that are often plagued with disputes between parties.
Find the answers to the most-asked questions about business law in Florida from the experienced business law attorneys at our Ocala law firm.
What is business law?
Business law is a branch of civil law that governs business transactions as well as partnerships, corporations, and other legal business entities. If you are interested in how these laws apply to your unique business situation, talk to an Ocala lawyer who specializes in this field at Schatt Hesser Mcgraw.
What factors should be considered in choosing the type of business form for my business?
This is a complicated issue that should be discussed with an Ocala attorney. In general, a business can be legally structured as a:
- Sole proprietorship
- Nonprofit corporation
- General partnership
- Limited partnership
These each have a set of rules dictated by both federal and Florida law, as well as several subtypes.
What is the difference between a subchapter C and S corporation?
Subchapter C and S corporations are the two most common ways for a business to incorporate. Both offer protection from personal liability, but there are a few key differences. In general, S corporations are small businesses and all profits "pass through" directly to the shareholders, who are generally the owners. C corporations are larger and profits do not pass directly through to shareholders. Consult an Ocala law firm if you are unsure which subchapter to choose.
What does it mean to “pierce the corporate veil”?
A corporation is usually treated like its own legal entity, with shareholders and owners sharing no liability. However, in some circumstances, a court will 'pierce the corporate veil' and hold an individual responsible for the actions of a corporation. The assistance of a business law firm is crucial in situations like this.
What is the difference between a joint venture and a partnership?
There is a great deal of overlap. When you go into business with another person, this is a partnership. When you undertake a single project with another person, it is a joint venture. Talk to a corporate law firm if you are unsure which set of laws applies to you.
What is a non-profit corporation?
Nonprofit corporations have a mission outside of making profit. There are several different kinds of nonprofit, and all are tax-exempt to some extent.
How often should a corporation hold meetings and update its minutes?
In general, there should be an initial meeting with minutes taken when a corporation is formed and then at least annually thereafter. Corporate meetings can be held more often if needed.
Is it a good idea to have a Buy-Sell Agreement?
A buy-sell agreement is important for all business owners and should be drafted with the help of an experienced business lawyer. This agreement describes what should happen in the event of an owner's retirement, bankruptcy, incapacitation or death. It also can affect the sale of one's share in a business.
What is involved in a corporate merger?
In a corporate merger, one or more businesses become part of another business. This can happen either from the formation of a new company and dissolution of the individual companies that merged or through a legal merger in which the companies each retain their names and identities.
Do I need a lawyer to start a business?
When a small business is first starting out, you may be able to handle many tasks yourself. As a business grows, it is important to consult with a business lawyer in Ocala to limit your liability and ensure that you are compliant with Florida and federal laws.
Do I need a business plan?
Most businesses need a business plan to provide direction for the company and to acquire necessary funding from financial institutions.
Where can I get money for my business?
Funding for a business can come from investors, selling shares in your business, or getting loans from a bank.
What permits, licenses or registrations do I need for my business?
This depends heavily on your industry and the nature of your business. Talk to a business law firm to ensure you have the appropriate paperwork to legally conduct business in Florida.
What kind of insurance does my business need?
This also varies by your industry. Our business law firm can give personalized advice to protect you and your business.
What kind of books and records do I need to keep for my business?
Every payment to and from your business should be recorded. In addition, you should keep records related to employees and to potential legal events (such as a fall on your property).
How do I know what kind of business to form?
The laws pertaining to each business type are listed on the Florida Attorney General's website. Contact our corporate law firm if you need more guidance.
What should I bring to the first meeting with an attorney?
It is better to bring more paperwork rather than less to your first meeting with an Ocala attorney. At a minimum, bring business financial statements, a list of advisors, and articles of incorporation if these exist.
What should I do if my business has been sued?
If you business is being sued, contact our Ocala law firm immediately.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects you from losses due to title or deed defects or liens on property in which you have a financial interest.
What should I do if the insurance company refuses to pay my property damage claim?
Insurance companies often try to deny a claim if they think they can get away with it. Have your business lawyer contact them immediately; they will reconsider.
How do I know if I have sufficient insurance?
You have enough insurance if your insurance meets legal standards for your line of business and will cover all of your losses in an event covered by your insurance. Most business owners need more insurance than the legal minimum.