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Business Law

Are you starting a business or purchasing an existing business? The attorneys at Hannah Sheridan and Cochran have over fifty years of combined experience in navigating the legal challenges that North Carolina businesses face. We regularly assist clients with everything from selecting the best business entity type for their needs to ensuring continued compliance with complex state laws. We are well-versed in contract law and routinely guide clients through contract negotiations and drafting, as well as contract and business disputes.

Business Formation

Starting a business is both an exciting and daunting task. As an entrepreneur, you may have your business plan in place, but now realize there are several logistical steps to take before your business opens its doors to the public. HSC routinely counsels clients in the business formation process.

Though based in Raleigh, NC, our business lawyers assist clients across the state through a seemingly overwhelming list of legal formalities.

During business formation, you will face tasks with which we can assist, including:

  • Filing legal documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State
  • Drafting bylaws, operating agreements, and other foundational documents
  • Counseling on the process of obtaining tax identification numbers
  • Opening bank accounts and making the necessary tax elections
  • Guiding you through the process of purchasing the assets of an existing business
  • Reviewing corporate lease agreements and personal guarantees
  • Formulating compensation arrangements among business owners and key personnel
  • Educating on the importance of well-maintained corporate documentation

Through sound business practices, you can avoid expensive and time-consuming issues that could arise once your business becomes operational.

Business Contracts

Get help establishing a contract that states the agreement between two or more parties, and outlines the rights and obligations of each. Whether it is a non-compete agreement, a transaction between buyer and seller, two business partners, or a service provider and recipient, the contract is an integral part of doing business legally.

A well-written contract is often the linchpin of a successful business relationship, setting forth the expectations of each party while also providing an aggrieved party with legal remedies against a breaching party.

However, many business owners neglect to seek legal advice before drafting or signing a contract, exposing themselves to substantial risk. Whether you are starting a new business or expanding an existing one, it is crucial you have a clear understanding of what your obligations are and how to enforce them if necessary.

You will need to understand the legal implications of entering into contracts and protect yourself from dangers that can threaten your business. Our lawyers can assist you with this, as well as develop appropriate agreements.

Business Dissolution

If you are facing a situation that requires you to cease operations or close your business, the business dissolution attorneys at HSC can help. While our attorneys do not participate in debtor bankruptcy filings, we can assist a business in following the statutorily mandated steps for dissolving a business.

There are two types of dissolution that exist within the North Carolina General Statues.

The first is voluntary dissolution. In accordance with North Carolina law, a corporate entity may be affirmatively dissolved by action of its board of directors, managers, or shareholders, depending upon the corporate form of the entity.

Failure to file annual reports can result in the second type of dissolution, which is administrative dissolution.

Revenue suspension is more punitive and requires immediate attention to remedy. Receivership mimics bankruptcy, but is a state law remedy. Chad Cochran and Nan Hannah have served in the roles of receiver and/or counsel for receiver for a small company.

The attorneys at HSC can help companies with resolving suspensions and assist with reinstatement. Or, can act as receivers assisting businesses with reorganization or dissolution.

Business Disputes

Resolve business disputes efficiently and effectively without apprehension and frustration. HSC attorneys are experienced at negotiating and litigating matters throughout NC and understand the litigation concerns businesses face that can impact from the profitability of the business. We advise you on the best options to resolve legal issues and protect your interests.

At HSC, you can find representation in areas of business disputes, including contract-related disputes, employment-related contracts, non-compete agreements, disputes between business partners or shareholders in areas including profit-sharing, alleged breach of fiduciary duty, and business divorces, business disputes that arise between two or more businesses, and disputes arising out of business and asset purchases.

Starting a business involves consideration of what type of business entity to organize, and each option has consequences, including tax implications and liability issues. Your choice of a business entity, as well as how the organizing documents are drafted, can significantly affect your profitability and exposure to liability. The attorneys at HSC can give you guidance and necessary advice based upon years of legal and business experience.

Employment Law

Employer’s and employees’ interests are protected through employment law. Employment law is meant to offer significant benefits in the form of rights and responsibilities, ensuring all parties follow the rules set forth and are treated fairly. The experienced attorneys at HSC will be your advocates in employment disputes.

Employment law generally refers to a broad set of laws that originate from a multitude of sources, including:

  • Federal statutes
  • North Carolina general statutes
  • Administrative rules and court opinions

These laws regulate employment contracts, hiring, firing, and layoffs; they also contain provisions that protect employees from discrimination and harassment and help to ensure employees and employers alike are held accountable for their actions and expected behaviors. The goal of employment law is to protect employees while still allowing for profitable businesses to operate.

The employment attorneys of HSC represent employers in employment law disputes before the state courts of North Carolina as well as the North Carolina Division of Employment Security and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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