Starting a business is exciting work, full of dreams for success and growth. Starting and running a business is also full of legal steps, challenges, and issues. From business formation to mergers to lease agreements and employment, legal needs form a major part of building a successful business. And those legal needs can be complex; without the right help, small business owners and entrepreneurs can find themselves lost in a sea of laws, regulations, and costly litigation instead of enjoying day-to-day business operations and seeing your business grow.
At Norwood Law Firm, our team of experienced attorneys is here to help your business succeed. We provide a range of small business transactional services to help get your business up and running and keep your business in line with state, local, and federal regulations. We understand the needs of small Tulsa businesses and will work with you throughout the life of your company to handle your transactional needs, protect your profitability, and avoid litigation so you can focus on what you do best.
Explore Norwood Law Firm’s Business Legal Services
When it comes to looking out for the legal health of your business, you need more than just a legal technician or online template contracts. You need an attorney with comprehensive, holistic small business legal services who can be a trusted legal and business advisor. That’s where Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa comes in. Our services cover all of your business needs, including:
- Entity Formation and Governance: Business formation includes determining what type of business you will create—an LLC, a partnership, a corporation—and going through the legal process to form that business through filing the correct documents, registering with the state, and creating any needed partnership or other agreements. Business governance services include creating and maintaining the documents and agreements which dictate how your business will operate. These documents and services include creating bylaws, establishing articles of incorporation, determining operating agreements, and more.
- Business Purchase and Sale: You may come to the point where you want to sell your business. In that case, our attorneys will guide you through the purchase and sale process including drafting, negotiating, and reviewing purchase and sale agreements to ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
- Mergers and Acquisitions: One way to grow your business is to merge with another company to create an entirely new business or to acquire another business and absorb them into your company. Whether you are merging with another company, acquiring a new business, or your business is being absorbed, Norwood Law Firm can ensure your business’s needs are met by creating, examining, and negotiating merger and acquisition agreements and by guiding you through the transfer of business ownership.
- Business Disputes: Disputes are inevitable in running a business, but having a strong attorney can help your business avoid potential disputes and resolve any that do arise. Common disputes arise from partner disagreements, underperforming products, and employee-related disputes. Our attorneys will assist work with you to implement policies to avoid disputes and represent you through dispute resolution and litigation if necessary.
- Noncompete Agreements: Noncompete agreements prevent partners or employees from going into competition with your business after employment or business dissolution. There are strict legal limits to non-compete agreements in Oklahoma that a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate to ensure your non-compete agreements are enforceable and your business is protected.
- Landlord and Tenant: From negotiating your commercial lease agreement to navigating the tenant-landlord relationship, an experienced lawyer will help ensure your business needs are met, your rights and responsibilities are clear, and that your rights are protected.
- Contract Drafting, Negotiation, and Disputes: Contracts are an essential part of any business. They include lease agreements, partnership agreements, vendor contracts, employment agreements, and more. The small business attorneys at Norwood Law Firm are experts in business contracts and will work with you to draft, negotiate, and enforce the contracts you need for your business to succeed.
- Employment Law: Employment laws in Oklahoma set standards for wage and hour policies, conditions of employment, worker safety, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment regulations, and more. Norwood Law Firm’s employment attorneys will work with you to create and maintain employment policies and procedures that will bring your business into compliance with Oklahoma’s labor laws, protecting both your business and employees and helping you avoid unwanted lawsuits.
- Regulatory and Government Issues: From taxes and food-handling regulations to environmental protection laws and privacy laws, there are myriad federal, state, and local government regulations that may affect your business. Whatever the size and type of your business, our knowledgeable attorneys will work with you to make sure your business is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations, so you can worry about running your business instead of government issues.
Business Formation and Governance Definitions You Need to Know
Deciding what type of business to form and how that business will be governed is perhaps the most important legal issue to consider when starting a business. Here are some helpful definitions for understanding the different types of businesses and tools for governing them.
Business Formation Definitions
Limited Partnership: A limited partnership is a structure where two or more people own a business together. They have one general partner who has unlimited liability and any number of other partners who each have limited liability.
Limited Liability Partnership: Limited liability partnerships are another type of partnership between two or more people who come together to form a business. In this type of partnership every owner has limited liability and is protected from debts against the partnership.
Limited Liability Company: A limited liability company (LLC) is a structure that keeps business assets separate from the personal assets of owners. An LLC may be made up of one or more owners and protect you from personal liability. LLCs are subject to self-employment taxes, but pay a lower tax rate than a corporation.
Sole Proprietorship: If you do not register as any other type of business, your business will be considered a sole proprietorship. In a sole proprietorship, your business assets are not legally separated from your personal assets, leaving you personally liable for any business debts.
General Partnership: A general partnership is a partnership with one or more people where each owner assumes responsibility for the business’s debts and obligations. This means both partners are personally liable for debts against the partnership.
C Corporation: A corporation is a business that is a legal entity separate from its owners. In corporate structures, owners are protected from personal liability. C corporations can also raise funds through selling stocks and are governed by shareholders. Profits from C corporations are taxed twice, once for company profits, and once in the personal tax returns for dividends made to shareholders.
S Corporation: An S corporation is very similar to a C corporation, with the exception that an S corporation is designed to avoid the double taxation on C corporations. Like a C corp, an S corp will have shareholders and be a separate legal entity from its owners, with separate liability. S corps allow some profits to be passed through directly to the owners’ incomes to avoid being subject to corporate taxes.
Non-Profit Corporation: Non-profit corporations are organized very similarly to S and C corporations. However, non-profits have a tax-exempt status and are often established to do charity, educational, artistic, scientific, or to provide other public benefits.
Business Governance Definitions
Certificate of Formation: A certificate of formation is a document that new businesses, specifically LLCs, need to file with the Oklahoma secretary of state in order to officially form the business and have it be legally recognized.
Articles of Incorporation: Articles of incorporation are a special document that includes basic information about a corporation and which must be filed with the state in order for a corporation to form.
Bylaws: Bylaws are the set of rules which govern how a corporation will operate. One of the first steps after a corporation is formed is for the board of directors to create the bylaws document.
Resolutions: Resolutions, also known as corporate resolutions, are needed for every action taken by a corporation’s board of directors. A resolution is a document which details a corporate action or decision and holds the board accountable to those actions.
Partnership Agreements: A partnership agreement is the contract between partners in a partnership. It details the responsibilities of each partner and the relationship between partners.
Operating Agreements: An operating agreement is a document used by LLCs to govern how the company will make financial decisions and how it will functionally operate. It details the rules, regulations, and any provisions for operating the business.
Security Holders Agreements: A security holder agreement is an arrangement between security holders and a company which outlines the security holder’s rights and obligations to help ensure they are treated fairly and their rights are protected.
Whatever Your Business Needs, Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa is Ready to Help
Whether you are just starting the process of forming a business or you have been in operation for years, Norwood Law Firm in Tulsa has the legal services you need to keep your business running smoothly. Our experienced small business attorneys will work with you to protect your business and avoid litigation. And if litigation is necessary, we will expertly represent you and your company.
Learn more about how a partnership with Norwood Law Firm can help your business and contact us today.