Business Law & Growth

If you're the kind of entrepreneur who wants to make a real difference while you're in business and leave behind a body of work that continues to do good for your family, your customers, and the world after you're gone, you've come to the right place.

Business formation is a pivotal time in your new company's lifecycle. Your choice of entity impacts ownership, liability, taxes, profit sharing, ongoing management, eventual sale, and much, much more. Sky Unlimited can help you make the ideal choice.  

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We help our clients leverage their IP, establish a competitive position for the future, and achieve important milestones for growth.  Our chief goal is to identify key areas in which IP protection is the most critical for achieving the company's business objectives, determine the most effective methods of protection, and create strategies to avoid issues with third-party patents.  

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The traditional law business model is flawed. It incentivizes lawyers to spend more time on matters (since they are billing for every hour in six-minute increments), increase conflict (the more conflict there is, the longer the engagement), and constantly focus on the next new client (one off transactions are the norm in most legal practices). Plus, the world has shifted and quite a lot of legal work has become commoditized into online legal drafting software, documents on demand and do-it-yourself lawyering. 

 

Lawyers, not being entrepreneurs, tried to compete and became mere shadows themselves - document drafters, doing one-off transactions for clients, such as incorporating business, and then went on the hunt for the next new client.

 

Not us! We build lifetime relationships with our clients. Because a legal relationship not built upon a lifetime foundation is worthless. Really. If you want a transaction, go online and find a document drafting service. If you want someone great that will help you move your awesome idea into a revenue generating business, take your existing business to the next level of excellence, and prepare you and your business to leave behind a legacy of significance, you've come to the right place.

 

Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory will work with you to grow your business from day one. We support startups and small businesses through their exciting lifecycle, from business formation to sale - and every challenge and opportunity in between.


Entrepreneur Weekly

Articles from the Chief Counsel's desk.  Sign up for our newsletter to receive these in your email!

5 Cost-Cutting Tips To Reduce Your Company’s Expenses

When running a small business, every dollar counts, so it’s critical to keep a tight rein on your expenses, especially when you are just starting out and have limited revenue. If not monitored carefully, spending can quickly get out of control and put a serious strain on your operation’s financial health.

Outside of hiring an experienced bookkeeper to keep track of your expenses and monitor areas where you might be bleeding cash, there are several other ways you can keep your expenses in check. And you don’t need an accounting degree to put these strategies into practice.

 

With this in mind, here are five cost-cutting measures that can help your company stay in the black.

 

1. Encourage Remote Work

During the pandemic, telecommuting and remote work became the norm rather than the exception. And even now that the shutdowns are over, many companies are choosing to keep a large number of their workers at home or adopt a hybrid approach, allowing employees to work both from home and in the office.

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3 Legitimate Reasons To Put Off Estate Planning—And How To Do Right By Those You Love

If you have yet to put in place an estate and succession plan for your business, you’re going to leave the people you love most—your clients, your customers, your team, and your family—in the lurch when something happens to you. And while that probably won’t be tomorrow, it could be.

We get it—there are plenty of reasons to put off estate planning, and as business owners ourselves, we truly understand the common excuses for why you probably haven’t created your estate plan yet. But we also know what to do about it, so you don’t leave the people you love at risk. Read on for the top three excuses to avoid estate planning, and what you can do to overcome those excuses and do the right thing for the people you love now.

 

1. I don’t have enough time.

When running a company, it can be a serious challenge just to get all of your most-pressing daily tasks done on time. This is especially true in today’s fast paced business environment, where you move from one task, one meeting, one email, one phone call, one text to the next—and before you know it… a year has gone by, and then another, and it just keeps going.

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4 Issues To Consider When Trademarking Your Company’s Name

When it comes to your company’s brand identity, nothing is more vital to your company than its name. By developing a highly catchy name for your business, you can quickly get your company recognized, remembered, and respected.

That said, coming up with the right name for your company involves a number of critical legal issues. After all, your name is among your company’s most valuable assets, and as such, it deserves the proper protections available under intellectual property law. 

 

First and foremost, you’ll want to trademark your company name, which can be done by  registering your business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, registering a trademark with the USPTO can be a lengthy and complex process, especially if you aren’t familiar with intellectual property law. 

 

With this in mind, while you should always work with an experienced business lawyer like us, your local Family Business Lawyer™ to officially register any trademark, here are four of the top issues to consider when choosing and trademarking your company name.

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Ensure Your Intellectual Property Is Fully Protected & Leveraged With An IP/Brand Audit For Your Business

Although intellectual property (IP) has always been an essential part of most companies’ overall value, with the rapid rise of internet-based technology and e-commerce over the last few decades, IP is increasingly becoming the primary source of value for businesses both large and small.

In fact, studies show that today up to 80% of the value of a typical business is IP. And as of 2020, more than 84%—$19 trillion—of the S&P 500’s market cap is represented by intangible assets like IP.

 

Despite the critical importance of these assets, even the largest corporations aren’t always properly valuing or protecting their IP.

 

“Very few companies recognize the value of their intellectual property, nor have they secured an IP strategy that mirrors their long-term corporate strategy in order to maximize this value,” said Brian Hinman, Chief Innovation Officer at Aon and Head of EMEA for Aon’s Intellectual Property Solutions.

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6 Ways You Can Still Save On Your Company’s Tax Bill For 2021

In light of the pandemic, the rules and programs governing income taxes for businesses have changed numerous times over the last two years, which has caused confusion and headaches for more than a few business owners.

And while many of the pandemic-inspired programs and tax breaks have already ended or will end soon, a few of these programs still stand to impact your taxes in 2021.

 

The good news is that even though many of these programs are ending, the impact on the overall taxes paid by most small businesses is not expected to be all that significant. Moreover, in some cases, business owners can still apply retroactively for certain pandemic-related benefits they might have missed out on when the tax breaks were first offered. 

 

With this in mind, here we’ll cover a few of the tax breaks left over from the pandemic-inspired programs that are still available to businesses in 2021. We’ll also outline some of the most valuable deductions and credits that are available to tax savvy business owners every year. 

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Must-Have Business Insurance For Startups

When you are just starting your business, it’s easy to lose sight of just how many potential risks your company faces. Yet a single accident or lawsuit can wipe out your company before it even has the chance to get off the ground.

While setting up a business entity like a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation can protect your personal assets from liabilities incurred by your business, it won’t protect your business assets—that’s where business insurance comes in. 

 

You can’t protect your business 100% from every single threat, but you can greatly improve your chances of surviving by having the proper insurance coverage in place. That said, there are many types of business insurance out there, and some policies can be extraordinarily expensive, so it’s critical to know the specific risks your company faces and what types of insurance will best cover those risks.

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5 Strategies For Boosting Your Startup's Cash Flow

Cash is the lifeblood that sustains every business. Far too many business owners fail to manage their cash flow properly.

Albeit statistics consistently show that running out of money is one of the main reasons new businesses go under.

 

Trying to run a business without carefully managing your cash flow is like fighting a rising tide: sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself underwater. If your business generates healthy revenue, you can still experience the occasional cash crunch—which is especially true during your first few years of operation.

 

To avoid joining the ranks of bankrupt startups, get smart about boosting your cash flow by implementing these five strategies.

 

1. Get Professional Support

To save money, many new business owners try to manage their books on their own, but this is a significant mistake. Managing cash flow is too time-consuming, complex, and critical to your company’s survival for you to fit it in with all of your other responsibilities. In fact, the very first team member you hire should be a professional bookkeeper/financial manager.

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How to Move a Business to Another State

A business owner may relocate a business to another state for a variety of reasons, including increased real estate costs, property taxes, business taxes, or business regulations in the old location; changes in the target market; or even personal or family reasons.

Relocating your residence from one state to another requires that you complete several tasks, such as changing your mailing address, utilities, insurance policies, and possibly banks. Moving a business is much more complicated, and it may be difficult to determine what to do first. The steps needed for a successful move vary depending on your business structure.  

 

Sole Proprietorships 

 

One of the main advantages of forming a business as a sole proprietorship is that you do not have to comply with the formalities and requirements necessary for most other business structures. What you need to do to move your business will depend on the requirements of both your old state and the new state; however, there are certain steps you must always take. First, notify your clients and vendors about the move. Depending on the terms of your contracts, you may be required to provide a certain number of days’ notice. In the absence of any contractual notice requirements, a conservative approach of providing three months’ notice will allow your vendors and clients to prepare and accommodate the new location. If you will no longer be working with certain clients or vendors, thank them for the relationship and stay in touch.  

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9 Topics To Cover In Your Employee Handbook

If your company has (or plans to have) employees, a well-written employee handbook is an essential communication resource between you and your team.

An effective handbook can set expectations for new hires, outline company policies, simplify onboarding, as well as enhance training and enforcement. Ultimately, your handbook ensures that your team is not only aware of your rules and policies, but also the federal and state laws governing their employment.

 

You can use your employee handbook to introduce your team to your company and its culture, explaining what’s expected of them—and what they can expect from you. Though it should never take the place of employment agreements, your employee handbook can provide you with an extra layer of legal protection if an employee ever decides to take you to court.

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Protect Your Business And Family With A Buy-Sell Agreement

Whenever you have a partner or multiple owners in a business, one of the most important—but often overlooked—aspects of the relationship are planning for how it will end. It’s crucial that you come up with a clear exit strategy, and do so at the start of your relationship when things are going well, and not wait until you encounter problems down the road.

Indeed, the more thought you put into your exit plan ahead of time, the smoother things will be when one of you finally does move on. Formally documenting your exit strategy is done with what’s called a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement outlines exactly what would happen to the business in the event an owner leaves the company for any number of reasons, or when one of the owners die or becomes incapacitated.

 

Getting Clear On The What Ifs

When creating your buy-sell agreement, you need to consider all the ways you might potentially exit the business, and then outline what will happen to your ownership interests in each of those scenarios. For example, what would happen if you decide to retire and sell your stake in the company? Would you be able to sell to an outside party, or must you first give your partner the option to buy you out?

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