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Archive for November, 2016

Hire an Attorney… When or Before You Need One?

“Hire an attorney” are three words most new or early-stage business owners never want to hear. The phrase is commonly associated with being in trouble or experiencing frustration with an abundance of overly complicated paperwork required to perform what would appear to be a simple, straightforward deal or arrangement. As an attorney, I understand the reluctance to seek legal counsel… and to pay for it. I get it.

When to Hire a Lawyer

Reluctance is a normal reaction when anyone has to engage in a process or establish an unfamiliar relationship. Fear or anxiety at having to invest additional time, money, and effort to engage legal counsel when you are already investing time, money, and effort contributes to the reluctance. It is a fear of the unknown combined with dread of the known. Many people do not know what an attorney does or can do, and popular culture leads people to expect the worst.

Good News

In business, needing an attorney is often a

Organizational Structure Graphic

What to Consider When Choosing an Organizational Structure

Although the ideal time to decide the structure of your organization is before you establish it, there may be reasons to consider restructuring your business once its established (and by restructuring your business and organizational structure, I’m referring to the arrangement of roles and responsibilities; for example, hierarchical, flat, etc.). Even a company operating for decades can benefit from taking a closer look at how it is structured and determine the best structure for meeting the organization’s present and future needs.

Organizational Structure Graphic

On its surface, choosing a structure may appear to be a simple exercise. For a one-owner/one-business operation, that is typically the case; however, more complex businesses have a variety of issues to consider when structuring the organization. When deciding how to structure your business, be sure to make the following key considerations:

Letters of Intent — Are They Worth It?

Who would think a non-binding document could create so much stress when you are putting a deal together. A letter of intent (LOI) is such a document. Simply stated, an LOI which may also be referred to as a “memorandum of understanding (MOU)” or “term sheet” expresses the intention of two parties to do something. While the purpose of such letters is to facilitate transactions by proactively addressing potential areas of disagreement, the question of whether to use an LOI can itself become a point of contention.

Letter of Intent

Opposing Views

Whether an LOI is worth the time and trouble stirs opposing views:

  • Pro-LOI: This side views the LOI as an efficient, inexpensive and quick way to determine whether the deal is even worth the time of the two parties to engage in negotiations.
  • Anti-LOI: This side thinks the better approach is to draft a more detailed deal document from the very start and then sort out any issues.

Disagreement also arises over the