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!

Achieve Rapid, Sustainable Growth Using Outsourcing, Processes, and Technology

Growing your small business can be tricky. In fact, rapid growth can actually harm your company if you don’t plan properly. When you are first starting out, for instance, you may not have the revenue to hire the staff needed to handle the increased business that rapid growth brings, and trying to do everything on your own is neither effective nor efficient.

At the same time, if your operation isn’t scaled properly, rapid growth can cause your costs and workload to quickly reach unmanageable levels, making growth unsustainable and even causing your company to implode. Fortunately, using a combination of outsourcing, processes, and technology, even the smallest operation can maximize growth while keeping costs and workload at sustainable levels.

 

As your Family Business Lawyer™, we support you to incorporate the systems, processes, and technology to ensure your business is positioned properly for rapid, sustainable growth. To get your growth started off on the right track, consider implementing the following strategies related to outsourcing, systems, and technology.

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With Remote Work Here To Stay, Maximize Team Engagement And Productivity With These 3 Strategies

In March of last year, the outbreak of the pandemic forced businesses across the country to abruptly shutter their offices and have their employees work from home. Initially, most thought the shutdown would last for a few months at most, but more than a year later, millions of people are still working remotely.

The shift to remote work has transformed the way the American workforce operates, and even now that vaccines are widely available, many companies are choosing to keep a large number of their workers at home. At the same time, other businesses are taking a hybrid approach, where employees work both from home and in the office.

 

Remote Work Is Here to Stay

In fact, more than 80% of company leaders said they plan to allow their employees to continue working remotely at least some of the time after the full reopening from the pandemic, according to a survey by research firm Gartner. The survey found that 47% of respondents said they intend to allow employees to work remotely on a full-time basis, while 43% would grant flex days, and 42% would provide flex hours.

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Misclassifying Employees As Independent Contractors Can Cost You Big Time

As more and more businesses take advantage of the benefits of using independent contractors (ICs) in lieu of full-time employees, the line between worker classification can get easily blurred. While understanding the difference between the two can be quite complex, getting it right can be one of the most important business decisions you’ll ever make.

This is true not only in terms of productivity and your bottom line, but misclassifying your workers can also cost you big-time in penalties, including fines, back taxes, and unpaid benefits. What’s more, the Department of Labor (DOL) recently rescinded a Trump-era rule that would have made it easier for employers to designate workers as independent contractors, rather than employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

 

This move likely signals that the Biden administration will be more carefully scrutinizing independent contractor relationships with an eye toward classifying more workers as employees rather than contractors. In fact, as a candidate for president in 2020, Biden pledged to establish a federal standard for worker classification similar to the "ABC test, which was recently adopted in California. While we’ll cover the changes in legislation regarding worker classification in more detail in a future post, for now, you should make certain that you are taking every precaution to ensure correct classification.

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Five Mistakes To Avoid When Investing In Business Insurance

Business insurance is your first line of defense in protecting your company from a wide variety of different potential threats. Without the right insurance—or with too little of the insurance you do need—you could be at great risk from the costs of a lawsuit, judgment, or in the event of an unforeseen emergency or disaster.

There are numerous types of business insurance available, and some insurance policies are a must-have for nearly every business, while others you might not need. The type of insurance you require will ultimately depend on the specific risks your company faces as well as its assets, so you should meet with us, your Family Business Lawyer™, to identify the coverage your particular business should have in place.

 

In addition to not having the right types and levels of coverage, business owners make a number of common mistakes when purchasing business insurance. While we can help you determine the appropriate coverage for your company, here are a few frequently made errors to avoid when investing in business insurance.

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Five Factors To Consider Before Investing In A Franchise

If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business but find the thought of building an entire company from scratch too daunting, you might consider investing in a franchise.

When you purchase a franchise, you get an already proven business model and brand, which can make the startup phase significantly easier. In addition to getting a reputable brand, most franchises also come with turnkey operating systems, extensive training programs, and ongoing support from the franchisor.

 

That said, while franchises come with several advantages, they also have their own unique downsides, such as requiring you to abide by strict operational guidelines and pay ongoing royalty fees, so they aren’t the right fit for everyone. To determine whether investing in a franchise is the right move for you, do your homework and thoroughly research the franchise before signing on the dotted line.

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The Advantages Of Using Arbitration To Avoid Litigation

Whether it’s with an employee, client, a vendor, or a business partner, going to court to resolve a dispute is something you want to avoid at all costs, since even if you wind up winning your case, getting caught in the court process is time-consuming, expensive, and almost never good for your company’s reputation. To this end, the next time you find yourself in a dispute, you might consider attempting to resolve the matter through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

ADR refers to a variety of processes, such as mediation and arbitration, that help disagreeing parties resolve a dispute without resorting to litigation, and it is becoming increasingly popular with both business owners and the judicial system. Some courts even require you to use ADR before you can bring a case to trial, and it’s standard practice for big businesses to include a clause requiring ADR before litigation in their agreements. 

 

Indeed, whether you know it or not, if you use Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix, you’ve agreed to participate in ADR when you agreed to the company’s Terms Of Service. You might want to consider adding an ADR clause to your agreements, and if so, we can help with that.

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What You Should Know About Your Website's Terms Of Use

Although it’s the likely most boring part of your website, having a well-thought-out Terms of Use page for your company’s website is a smart move. Your Terms of Use page set the rules for your company’s website, and going without one opens your business up to a number of unnecessary risks.

Also known as “Terms and Conditions” or “Terms of Service,” your Terms of Use function as a legally binding agreement between your business and those who use your website. As such, your Terms of Use protect your company from liability by formally notifying users of the rules of your website and how your website’s content may, and may not, be used by others.

 

While you should work with us as your Family Business Lawyer™ to help create your Terms of Use, here we’ll discuss the basics of what these agreements should include and why they are so important. Keep in mind that depending on your specific business and whether or not you sell products or services online, your Terms of Use agreement may need to include much more expansive provisions than those covered here.

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Avoid Making Three Common Mistakes When Choosing Your Successor

Choosing the person to take over your business after your exit isn't about selecting someone who's exactly like you or even selecting someone you like. The most important thing is that you choose someone who's not only well-qualified for the role, but also has the vision and skills to lead your company into the future.

With so much riding on your decision, you should be careful to avoid these three common mistakes business owners often make when naming successors. Such missteps can cloud your objectivity and diminish your chosen candidate's ability to effectively take control of your company.  

 

1. Attempting To Clone Yourself

When selecting your successor, it can be tempting to look for someone who thinks and acts just like you. But choosing a successor isn't about cloning yourself—it's about finding someone to build upon what you've already accomplished and take your business to the next level.

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How To Maximize Your Startup Cost Deductions

Coming up with a solid concept for a new business and working to get your operation off the ground can be an expensive undertaking. But the good news is that you can write off a number of the expenses involved with the startup process.

That said, the rules for deducting startup expenses are a bit different from those for writing off general business expenses incurred by an existing company. For example, most startup expenses are considered capital investments and cannot be written off in the same year they are incurred, but instead, it needs to be “amortized” (meaning stretched out and deducted over a longer period) over 15 years. Let’s say, for example, that you have $15,000 in qualified startup expenses. Instead of deducting all of those expenses against your first-year income, you would receive a deduction of $1,000 per year for 15 years. However, there are some exceptions to this, as you’ll read below.

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Rethink Your Relationship With Legal Agreements: Deal With Change And Conflict In A Clear And Healthy Way

This is the fourth in an ongoing series covering the value legal agreements bring to your business beyond the surface. From boosting your bottom line and expanding your business to hiring the most talented team and improving every relationship you enter into, this series offers a comprehensive look at how effective legal agreements can enhance just about every aspect of your operation.

If you are like most business owners, you've likely presented with legal documents that contained terms you didn't fully understand. You may have even signed documents that you didn't completely read because you were intimidated by the confusing legalese. Surely there were times when a client or team member signed a legal document that you presented to them even without fully read or comprehending the documents they were signing.

 

Unfortunately, such scenarios are far too common. But it doesn't have to be, rather than creating confusion and anxiety, the agreement process should do the exact opposite.

 

Indeed, the agreement process is your opportunity to create clarity on your relationships, policies, procedures, and delivery of your product or service. Take it from us, as your Family Business Lawyer ™, if you avoid reviewing, rethinking, and revamping your agreement process, you are not only putting your assets and business at risk, but also short-changing yourself, your work, and your relationships.

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