Do you want to start your own business? Do you have a family-run business? Are you getting ready to sell your business and retire? Have you made sure that you are covered by insurance or an agreement in the event that something unexpected happens?
Joan K. Fine serves as a legal counselor and adviser to her business clients in Winchester, Va., and all over northern Virginia. She assists clients in evaluating options as to choice of business entity and courses of action and counsels clients regarding liability, transferability of interest and control. She assists clients with start-up companies and provides ongoing business representation. She drafts and reviews documents such as employment contracts, buy-sell agreements and financing and acquisition documents, and negotiates transactions.
Ms. Fine is experienced in the following areas:
- Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
Limited liability companies and corporations are registered in Virginia with the State Corporation Commission and renewed annually. Both limited liability companies, or LLCs, and corporations are used to protect the business owners’ personal assets and property from liabilities in the event of an accident or other loss. There are different benefits based on what entity you, your accountant, and your attorney—working together—decide is best to fit your needs. Concerns for existing corporations or LLCs may include disputes related to assets, dissolution, and bankruptcy.
- Commercial Loans
- Corporate and Limited Liability Disputes
Are you facing an issue of conflict between or within stockholders in a corporation or members in a LLC?
- Purchase and Sale of Businesses
Are you taking over a business? Getting ready to sell your business?
- Succession Planning
Do you have a succession plan in place? Who is going to run the day-to-day activities of your business if something should happen to you?
- Integrative Negotiation (Negotiating Business Transactions)
- Employment Contracts, Non-Competition Agreements, and Confidentiality Agreements
Do you require your employees to sign a non-competition and confidentiality agreement to protect your business if they leave and work for a competitor?
- Buy-Sell Agreements
You should always have a lease that is in writing and reviewed by an attorney PRIOR to signing it. If the Commercial Tenant is late paying rent or fails to maintain the property, does your lease allow you to be reimbursed for attorney’s fees in the effort to collect?
If you opt for litigation, know the legal requirements and goals, and be prepared with all the evidence.
Non-binding mediation provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses to have control of the process. Each side prepares a report or memorandum to the mediator (usually a retired judge) who then meets with the parties separately and acts as a facilitator working toward an agreement that all parties sign.
- Contract Mistakes
You should always have your attorney review a contract before you sign the document to protect your best interests.
- Developed a successful plan so former employee could form his own business and avoid the pitfalls of his non-competition agreement.
- Successfully negotiated the division of assets of an LLC among its disputing members.
- Advised a business client from LLC formation, to the negotiation and purchase of real estate, to the financing and construction of a car wash and lube.
- Handled multiple purchases and sales of businesses, both stock and asset.