I started my career focusing on helping small businesses get their agreements drafted and negotiated, accounting for each owner’s perspective, and creating the simplest, most common-sense solution for their need. Though my passion lies in fighting large businesses when they act poorly, I recognize the immense value small businesses add to our economy and enjoy counseling their owners to help them achieve success and provide peace of mind.
LLC and Corporation Formation
Starting a new entity comes with many questions that attorneys are trained to answer. The choice of entity, as well as the agreements between partners regarding control, financing, and other rights and responsibilities, can have enormous impacts on the success of the relations between the owners, and therefore on the success of the firm. Hire me to ensure that these decisions are made after careful consideration of what matters.
When two or more people start a business, they generally don’t think about what will happen if a partners moves away, divorces, becomes incapacitated, or meets their end. But any successful business will certainly outlive its founders, so careful planning up front will help avoid certain headaches and potentially bad feelings down the road. Buy/Sell Agreements ensure smooth and fair transition of ownership when a transition is necessary or desired, often requiring the sale of the exiting partner at a fair price, to be paid out over time or with insurance proceeds. Hire me to ensure a well-thought-out, well-drafted agreement written (mostly) in plain English.
Real Estate Leases & Purchases
Real estate is frequently a business’s second-largest expense after its personnel. The location and quality of the business’s operations are paramount to its success. Leases should only be entered into after careful consideration of the possibilities of growth and demise. For growth contingencies, frequently the business will want the landlord to allow them to trade up to a larger space owned by the landlord, without penalty or increase in the lease duration. To protect in the instance of failure, the avoidance or restriction of personal guarantees is paramount, so that the owners are not putting up their homes to secure the landlord’s rental income. When purchasing property, these risks are exacerbated ten-fold. Hire me to negotiate the best, most flexible lease or purchase terms you can get.
When buying a car or a house, you pretty much know what you’re getting. Sure there are more issues with homes than with cars, which are pretty standardized, but at least the tangible asset exists and can be toured and inspected prior to purchase. When people buy a business, they’re usually excited about buying certain things – the good will of a strong brand, well-trained and loyal employees, equipment, business arrangements – and may completely ignore other things – bad contracts, workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, the value of the previous owner to the company, the variability in earnings and reliance on too few customers, the list goes on. Hire me to perform a serious due diligence review of the business you’re buying, and to negotiate favorable terms to handle these uncertainties.
Commonly known as Employment Agreements, I’m actually talking about “Restrictive Covenants Agreements,” which bind employees to confidentiality, non-competition, non-solicitation, non-disparagement, invention assignment, and other terms. Wisconsin law surrounding these agreements is highly technical, as the courts have decided that they don’t like them and will invalidate any agreement that oversteps these technical boundaries. Hire me to protect your business from employees jumping ship with company secrets, joining a competitor, hiring away your other employees, or defaming the company or its employees.