There is much we can learn from listening to other’s stories, exploring professions and paths different than our own. This post is the next in a series of spotlights on entrepreneurship and small businesses. This month we spoke with Rylan McCloskey, a general law practitioner at Goldstein, Rosen and Rassos and learned how small businesses can benefit from seeking proper legal advice.

 

Law practitioners like Rylan assist individuals and businesses with corporate law, wills, estate, and real estate matters. Finding a lawyer with multiple specializations allows you to receive a whole-service approach to your legal matters, and they can anticipate and understand the overlap between the different transactions that many businesses need help with.

Some examples of services they can help your business with:

  • Estate and succession planning;
  • Buying or selling property;
  • Reviewing lease agreements and ensuring that the conditions fit the unique needs of your business;
  • Limiting the risks of your investments;
  • Helping navigate the process of incorporating your business; and
  • Drafting and reviewing contracts between your business, clients, vendors, and others.

Let’s say you approach a law firm like this because you are looking to purchase real estate or lease a property. They begin by getting to know your business’ needs, then they can review contracts and ensure that the agreement is best-suited for you. At the same time, they can help you plan for the future handling of these assets if you were to sell or transfer them to your successor in business and/or your children. In succession and estate planning, by proactively looking into the future there are moves that you can plan together, along with your accountant, that could limit the amount of taxes you would have to pay when you are considering retiring or what your successors will pay if you pass away.

Support through the Stages of a Business Lifecycle

The earlier you connect with a law firm the more you can benefit from proactivity and their knowledge of the different stages in the lifespan of a business. Goldstein, Rosen and Rassos have been in operation for 65 years and they have assisted many businesses as they have transitioned through multiple generations, now servicing the grandchildren of some of their first clients.

In the early stages many of the business owners who come to them have young families. As the firm provides service to the operation of the corporation, they will help you set up a plan as to what would happen to the business and its assets if something where to happen to the owner with their families in mind.

As a business moves forward you might see the younger generation become involved in the business at which point it might be time to make adjustments and discuss a plan for succession. The next transition sees the owner looking at retirement, as the firm helps the owner through this stage and they may also be supporting the business successor as they plan for the future of the business.

 

Establishing a Legal Home Base

Working and developing a relationship with Rylan and practitioners like him, can become a legal home base for your business. They spend the time really understanding the history and unique needs of your business which gives them an edge as they advocate through the different transactions your business requires.

Rylan compared his practice to that of a family doctor. You might regularly visit your family doctor for check-ups or see them when you have a health concern, but depending upon what they find they often consult and bring in other specialists.

General practitioners of law will often do the same thing, working with and connecting you to other professionals making sure they are able to properly address all angles of the transactions. Accountants, real estate agents, bankers and investment advisors are just some of the specialized professionals that they may bring in to close the service gap of where there their legal scope crosses over into other areas of business.

An accountant’s perspective becomes incredibly important when they are talking to a business owner trying to reduce financial liability but are also planning to take out future loans. An accountant can address what might be the most tax-efficient to bring money in and flow it back out. The firm might also bring in an accountant’s perspective as they are helping the business owner plan for retirement. One strategy the firm uses to limit the amount of taxes one must pay is an estate freeze – a measure you can take to pass on the value of future growth to the next generation. The owner might have seen considerable growth in their business over the years and want to avoid overpaying tax on the value of the corporation’s shares.

Whatever service you are looking for there is a lot a business owner can benefit from working with practitioners like Rylan, they know how businesses work and are able to help you navigate much further than the current stage you are in. They use their knowledge to operate on the basis of it is much easier to plan ahead of time and help you plan how the decisions you make today for your business will effect its future.