Stories about entrepreneurs overcoming the odds to realize their vision of business success are a staple in popular media. Having the courage to try out a new idea or make a go of it in an established competitive field is always a risk and that’s a hook for audiences. Of course, these dramatic depictions usually gloss over the complexities of employment law, fiduciary duty, and contract negotiations—the numerous legal issues that every business, large or small, needs to resolve to minimize liability and unnecessary risk.
Beckemeier LeMoine Law has experience working with businesses in the St. Louis area on a wide spectrum of issues, from establishing a legally-sound structural foundation and efficient operational practices, to choosing smart strategies for expansion and growth, to advising on the best way to bring things to a close. Our attorneys can help your business minimize the potential financial, legal, and personal risks of owning and managing a business and, if you are already involved in a claim or dispute, are available to provide aggressive representation to resolve the issue in or out of the courtroom.
When do you need a business attorney?
Before making an important decision, successful business owners usually consult with board members or partners, or a subject-matter expert, in order to ensure their ultimate decision is a sound one. There are numerous legal considerations to be addressed throughout a company’s lifespan, and it’s advisable to consult a reputable St. Louis business attorney at each stage.
Starting a business—At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, we use our knowledge of best practices and federal and state regulations to ensure that the business you establish is legally compliant and structured to avoid unnecessary and costly conflicts, including:
- Entity formation (corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC), close corporation, partnership, nonprofit)
- Operating agreements
- Legal documentation
- Buy and sell agreement
Operational practices – We also offer counsel regarding issues that come up in the day-to-day operations of your business, such as:
- Financial plans
- Employee relations
- Intellectual property
Expansion – Growing your business is a worthy goal, and again, consulting with an experienced St. Louis business attorney beforehand is prudent. Beckemeier LeMoine Law has worked with clients to create successful strategies for expanding their business involving:
- Stock offerings
Winding Up – The decision to break up or dissolve a business is never easy. We can explain your best options and walk you through the legal processes required whether that involves:
Litigation – At Beckemeier LeMoine Law, we do everything possible to make sure our business clients are operating on a strong legal foundation. However, if a dispute or conflict arises, our St. Louis business law attorneys will safeguard your business’s legal rights and work to secure the best possible outcome regarding:
- Resolving conflicts
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Contract litigation
- Shareholder litigation
- Employee claims
A number of clients have retained Beckemeier LeMoine Law to serve as general counsel for their business, utilizing the firm to provide a comprehensive plan for all of their legal needs and to manage and address the risks inherent to running their unique business.
Extensive scope of business services
While the St. Louis business lawyers at Beckemeier LeMoine Law are equipped to provide effective counsel to companies of any size, the firm is especially well-equipped to address the challenges faced by small businesses with less than 100 employees.
If you are starting your own small company, your first order of business is choosing the business entity that best fits your needs and goals. Each type of entity has its own restrictions and requirements. Besides ensuring that all documents are filed correctly, Beckemeier LeMoine Law can give you a roadmap to help you avoid potential problems, including:
- State registration
- Appropriate operating agreement
- Partnership agreement provisions
- Intellectual property safeguards
- Commercial lease agreement
We can also help you establish best practices for employee relations, including:
- Employment agreements
- Non-disclosure and non-compete agreements
- Employee handbooks, including information about enforcing and resolving disputes
One tenet of business law is to ensure a level playing field so all companies, large and small, have a shot at success. To support this, Beckemeier LeMoine Law has flexible and affordable legal counsel arrangements for small businesses.
The state of Missouri recognizes several options for business formation, including:
- Limited liability corporation (LLC)
- Subchapter S corporation
- Close corporation
Each type of entity is regulated by a different set of legal codes and laws and offers distinct advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right entity is a crucial first step for your business plan, and Beckemeier LeMoine Law can advise you on the type of entity that will be most beneficial for your needs.
Making sure your interests are well-represented during contract negotiations is imperative, as is making sure the final contract meets all applicable legal standards. In the course of your company’s operations, you will likely need to make contract arrangements and business deals with many different parties, including:
You can rely on the acumen of the St. Louis business law attorneys at Beckemeier LeMoine Law to prepare contracts that minimize your liability and serve the best interests of your company. In addition, we are experienced contract negotiators, and will advocate for your best interests during the bargaining process until a reasonable and fair agreement has been reached.
What is the difference between business and corporate law?
Every business entity in the St. Louis area, from family-run shops to large corporate agencies, must adhere to federal, state, and local laws that regulate their operations. These laws are in place to prevent larger businesses from gaining an unfair advantage in the marketplace. They also make businesses accountable to their consumers, users, partners, and shareholders. Just as important, they provide protections and avenues of redress for business owners against fraudulent or unfair claims or practices. Case law in this area of legal practice is complex, but generally can be broken down into two categories: business law and corporate law.
Business law refers to the regulations and requirements governing many of the strategies, practices, and legal areas relevant to a company’s day-to-day operations, including:
- Shareholder agreements
- Employment law
In contrast, corporate law encompasses the legal requirements and guidelines for how businesses are structured and how they conduct business, especially the purchasing and sale of products.
Beckemeier LeMoine Law is proud to have a team of business law attorneys who have a deep understanding of business and corporate law in Missouri and how these regulations apply to our St. Louis clients. In all cases, our goal is to find creative, effective solutions that minimize your liability and stress and strengthen your company’s ability to meet long- and short-term goals.
The business model we employ when dealing with clients is simple. We provide informed and effective business law counsel to our clients in the St. Louis area at a reasonable cost. If you schedule a consultation with us, one of the business law attorneys on our team will answer any questions you have and offer a realistic assessment of your options. Call us at 314-965-2277 to request a consultation.