Are you looking to start a new business, resolve a business dispute, or have a contract drafted or reviewed?
We do so much more than handle your current needs;
we help you fine tune your business to help prevent future legal problems.
Your first contact with us might be to handle a business dispute, a business purchase, a contract review project, or to address some other transaction or business law matter. The business attorneys at our law firm can certainly handle whatever issues are at hand. But, consider this, a typical small business will encounter legal problems routinely during its existence. Preventing these problem from occurring is generally easier, cheaper, and better than waiting to deal with a crisis. So, what can you do in your business to prevent legal trouble before it starts?
Well, our law firm's representation of your business doesn't stop at the end of a case or project. Our attorneys take a more holistic approach to business law. No matter how you first arrive at our law firm, our team of lawyers and legal professionals are eager to carefully examine how your business handles its customers, employees, vendors, finances, taxes, and regulatory matters. The lawyers at our law firm can even find ways to improve the legal relationship between you and your business partners, and to protect your spouse and children if you are unable to continue working.
In fact, we've developed a proprietary three-stage preventive-law methodology. It will help you head off legal disputes before they start, optimize your company's operations, and take care of your family.
clear up existing Disputes
Our lawyers are business law experts; attorneys who will help you achieve an optimal outcome in your business litigation matter, whether that means going to trial or negotiating a reasonable settlement that lets you get back to focusing on your company.
Prevent Future Problems
Have a business law specialist at our law firm examine every aspect of your business operations and identify any areas of risk that can be covered with our proprietary preventive law tools.
shelter your assets
Our asset protection attorneys will work with you to create a practical plan to protect your business and personal assets.
get Legal Advice whenever you need it
You don't need to worry about the clock running when you call our law firm. There's never an hourly charge for our lawyers' time. Most everything our attorneys do is billed on a contingency-fee or a flat-fee basis. So you can take comfort in having open access to the full resources of our law firm whenever you want.
Run your business with peace of mind
Our law firm is solely focused on business law matters. And, as business attorneys, we know what it takes to reduce the legal burdens on your company. So, leave the legal issues to us and focus on doing what you love: Making your business even more successful.
Your knowledge and experience are clearly valuable, but it's your insightful analysis, judgement, creativity, and clear focus that distinguish your firm. I can’t thank you enough.
Terry WardCEO of Ward Photonics, LLC
They put forth the unexpected effort to understand their clients' issues. We give them our highest recommendation.
Liz AndertCEO of Vestal & Associates, LLC
Great advice! The firm is very knowledgeable in helping guide businesses every step of the way. An excellent experience working with them, they care and it shows.
Charlie KiesterCEO of Southern Cross Media, LLC
I was impressed with their passion and commitment to my case.
Arif RajanCEO of Atlantic Eastern, LLC
The attorneys at Small Business Counsel have structured their practice areas to address virtually everything a small business owner could ever want in a law firm.
Here's a list of some of the key services we provide:
Virtually all successful business owners find themselves involved in business litigation disputes from time to time. The difference between winning and losing a case, and knowing when to settle and for how much, is all in the early-stage planning.
When a dispute first arises, we will work with you to prepare an early case assessment. This will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case and your opponent's as well. Our commercial litigation attorneys will use the assessment to form a strategic plan for your case. The attorneys will work with you to decide if it is best to settle or proceed to trial.
Qualified business litigation cases (see descriptions of some of the cases we handle) are typically handled by our law firm on your choice of an alternative-fee basis, including a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis, a contingency-fee basis, or a hybrid arrangement. So, when you engage our law firm to handle your business dispute, you only walk into the courtroom prepared to achieve your litigation goals, and never worry about fees.
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Building strong relationships with vendors, customers, employees, investors, joint-venture partners, and other stakeholders, is critical to the growth and success of your business. Having a contract lawyer help you negotiate a clearly-worded agreement to define your rights and obligations in these relationships not only prevents the risk of future litigation, but facilitates growth and prosperity.
Because our law firm has handled contract drafting projects for most every type of business relationship, across a variety of industries, our business attorneys can professionally negotiate and draft a document to suit your needs.
Besides, most contract drafting and review work is done at our law firm is billed on a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis. So, you never need to be concerned about hourly fees.
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Business Purchases (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Buying an existing business can jump start a successful business. But there are hidden risks and liabilities involved in these transactions. It's important that you have professional help from a competent team of professionals, led by a business attorney who is experienced in mergers and acquisitions law.
Our law firm will be there with you throughout the process. Our business attorneys can provide you with valuable advice and guidance on nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements, letters of intent, purchase and sale agreements, promissory notes and other financing arrangements, such as SBA financing, due diligence, and closing documents. Moreover, most of the contract drafting and review work associated with mergers and acquisitions done at our law firm is billed on a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis. That way, you can focus on the deal instead of wondering how much it will cost.
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Business Sales, Business Exits, and Succession Planning
Building a business is a challenging process. When it comes time to exit, whether that involves a traditional business sale, giving or selling it to the next generation, or something along the lines of an employee stock option plan (ESOP), navigating the legal issues to extract maximum value is a tricky undertaking. So, the best time to start planning for an exit is now, even if the actual event is years away.
Our law firm helps business owners decide on the best exit strategies for their situations, considering both the potential value, family issues, and tax implications. Our business lawyers help sellers focus on the key issues, such as maintaining confidentiality and protecting intellectual property, negotiating favorable sale terms, decreasing the risk of post-sale disputes, and making appropriate tax elections.
Because most of the planning, drafting, and review work associated with business sales, exists, and succession plans is done at our law firm on a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis, you can think about on maximizing value instead of how much the legal fees might be in the end.
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When two separate businesses forge a relationship, the result can be the creation of a relationship that is far stronger, longer-lasting, and more beneficial than an ordinary contractual agreement.
A contractual joint venture is sometimes carried out through the formation of an entity (in which case the deal terms are memorialized in a written operating agreement), or through a joint venture agreement. In either situation, our business attorneys can help you navigate the legal issues that this form of business relationship entails.
Since most of the planning, drafting, and review work associated with these sorts of joint venture formations are done at our law firm on a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis, you can think about the business issues instead of what the legal fees might end up being when it’s complete.
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Labor and Employment Matters
Leveraging human capital is key to even the smallest enterprise. But hiring and maintaining a workforce comes with its own legal minefield of obligations, duties, taxes, and, regulatory compliance issues, and with those comes the potential for litigation initiated by an employee or independent contractor.
The best way to handle these issues is through a human resources preventive-law program. Our labor and employment law attorneys work with business owners to develop employment contract, independent contractor agreements, employee handbooks and employee policy and procedure manuals, and restrictive covenants (such as confidentiality, nonsolicitation, and noncompete agreements).
Because much of the contract drafting and review work associated with employment law matter is done at our law firm on a flat-fee basis, you can focus on training and growing your workforce instead of the legal costs.
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For many small businesses enterprises, intellectual property rights are its most undervalued and under-protected class of assets. These rights can involve copyrights, patents, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, and other aspects of corporate identity. And, as an integral part of the business, where infringed upon, the wrongdoer can threaten the viability as a going concern.
Our intellectual property attorneys advise clients on the best available protections for each element in a company’s portfolio. We also handle infringement claims, on behalf of either the plaintiff or the defendant.
Moreover, most the work we do on with trademark and copyright applications and portfolio planning is done on an up-front, reasonable, flat-fee basis, while most of the litigation is accepted on a contingency-fee basis. That means you can concentrate on the branding and marketing of your business without thinking about the legal spend.
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Threats to individual and business wealth arise from a variety of sources. Some claims stem from legitimate and expected contract creditors, such as consumer and bank debt. But, occasionally, unexpected claims arise from guaranties, contingent liabilities, joint and several partnership obligations, and business litigation. Business owners are frequently surprised by the extent of their exposure and the powerful collection tools available to creditors. The results for an unprotected business owner can be disastrous.
Fortunately, business owners can take advantage of a variety of wide-reaching asset protection tools. The asset protection lawyers at our law firm can design a plan that's right-sized for your needs, by restructuring your personal and business holdings, including, where appropriate, establishing domestic asset protection trusts, offshore trusts, and offshore holding companies.
Since most of the planning, drafting, and review work associated with asset protection strategies are done at our law firm on a reasonable, up-front, flat-fee basis, you can rest assured your assets are sheltered instead of worry about spending them on legal fees.
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Business Litigation Case Types
Breach of Contract – Breach of contract claims are disputes involving the performance of contractual obligations or the exercised of contractual rights. The case can be brought in court or in an arbitration proceeding, and can involve a wide variety of subject matter, including matters such as leases, promissory notes and debt obligations, customer agreements (including class actions), labor and employment contracts, noncompete agreements and other restrictive covenants, uniform commercial code (UCC) transactions, sales of goods or services, business purchase and sale agreements, shareholder or operating agreements, or anything else related to business operations and transactions.
Business Torts – Business torts are civil litigation cases that involve some form alleged wrongdoing beyond merely a breach. They include cases involving deceptive trade practices (usually brought under Florida’s Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Act, either standing alone or as a corollary to a violation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act), civil racketeering claims (usually brought under the Florida RICO Act); fraud and fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and civil theft claims; defamation; tortious interference with contractual or business relationships, and conspiracy (sometimes called aiding and abetting or aider and abettor claims) relating to allegations of participating or assisting others in committing any of the foregoing claims.
Construction Litigation - Lawsuits pertaining to construction defects and delays, disputes over express or implied warranties, breach claims for nonpayment, and professional malpractice claims against architects or engineers.
Labor and Employment Litigation – This category of claims involves any lawsuit against or brought by an employee or independent contractor. It includes claims for wages, commissions, or benefits; and claims under Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination In Employment Act, the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act; the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974; the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act; the Civil Rights Act of 1991; Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866; the Family and Medical Leave Act; the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the National Labor Relations Act, as amended; the Uniform Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act; the Immigration Reform and Control Act; the Fair Credit Reporting Act; the Equal Pay Act; Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); Florida Civil Rights Act; Florida Whistleblower’s Act.
Intellectual Property Litigation - Claims over patent, trademark, or copyright rights, including infringement actions, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition.
Commercial Real Estate Litigation - Representation of purchasers or sellers concerning a commercial real estate transaction or the subject property.
Corporate Shareholder, Limited Liability Company Member, and Partnership Disputes – Cases involving claims raised in privately held business entities, sometimes referred to as derivative actions, minority owner oppression or freeze-out cases, and includes statutory inspection claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and litigation over shareholder agreements or operating agreements.