Business Planning

The contemporary marketplace presents opportunities as well as challenges to both new and established businesses. Whether it’s forming new enterprises, conducting successful transactions, engaging in strategic alliances or resolving business disputes, success often hinges on having proper legal representation.

At GM Group we provide comprehensive business and legal services to a wide range of clients in and around Santa Barbara and throughout the state of California. This includes business formation strategies, transactional analysis and negotiation, dispute resolution through litigation or arbitration, and business succession planning.

Business Formation

Starting a business not only entails thorough planning and effective marketing strategies, but also selecting an appropriate business structure that will protect owners from personal liability.

Our legal team works with new business to form legally sound organizations, such as

  • Subchapter C-corporation
  • Subchapter S-corporation
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Partnership (including PC)
  • Joint Ventures

Our services include preparing foundational documents such as Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, submitting the necessary filings with the state, obtaining tax identification numbers and any required business licenses. Regardless of the nature of the business, we design strategies that will allow our clients to achieve their objectives.

Business Transactions

The business law attorneys at GM Group help clients devise innovative strategies relative to an array of business transactions. We leverage our negotiating and drafting skills to prepare all types of transaction documents including shareholder agreements, membership agreements, stock and asset purchase agreements, employment agreements, confidentiality and noncompete agreements.

Additionally, we routinely conduct due diligence investigations and provide comprehensive solutions related to business entity financing, state and federal tax planning, regulatory affairs and dispute resolution. Our objective insights are designed to enable clients to make strategic business decisions.

Dispute Resolution

Our experienced attorneys are well versed in all aspects of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration and mediation. We are comfortable handling disputes involving breach of contract, enforceability of partnership, shareholder and employment agreements, among others. We are keenly aware that a prolonged dispute can be disruptive to business operations and have an adverse impact on the bottom line. For this reason, we often encourage clients to reach negotiated settlements. When the situation warrants, however, we are fully prepared to litigate any matter in court.

Business Succession Planning

The goal of any business owner is to achieve success which can take a lifetime of dedication and hard work. Nonetheless, many businesses are not equipped to survive into the next or succeeding generations. At GM Group we help closely-held and family run businesses design succession plans to ensure the company will survive in the event of a key person’s sudden death, illness or retirement.

The first consideration is selecting a successor and establishing clear guidelines for how the business will continue operating. Additionally, it is critical to determine the value of the business. We are well-versed in valuation methods such as the asset, income and market approaches:

  • Asset Approach – Evaluates the stated assets and subtracts the liabilities. This is a straightforward analysis of the balance sheet that does not consider market conditions or good will.
  • Income Approach – An analysis of past earnings plus a projection of future earnings which requires evaluating future cash flow and capitalization in order to determine a present or future value of the business.
  • Market approach – Involves a comprehensive analysis of similar companies in the industry that have been sold that considers differences in the size, duration and market risk of the business.

We routinely collaborate with a team of accountants and financial professionals in order to arrive at fair and accurate business valuations to ensure your interests are protected.

Additionally, we negotiate and prepare the necessary buy sell agreements that will allow for the seamless transition of a business including cross purchase and entity purchase agreements. A cross purchase agreement is one in which each partner buys and owns an insurance policy on the others. If one partner dies, the proceeds of the policy are paid to the surviving partners in order to purchase the deceased partner’s interest. In an entity purchase agreement, the business purchases a single policy on each partner, but the business is also the beneficiary. In the event of a partner’s death, the business uses the proceeds to buy out the deceased individual’s share.

By collaborating with a respected network of financial professionals, we can help you design a business succession plan that will avoid potential conflict and confusion among remaining owners, partners and family members. Our objective is to help our clients protect their personal and business assets, and ensure that their loved ones are protected.

Santa Barbara Business Planning Attorneys

In the end, navigating the contemporary business landscape requires the advice and counsel of capable attorneys. At GM Group, we combine the sophistication typically found at a large law firm with the personal service of a boutique firm.

We are committed to helping our clients achieve their business goals and avoid the pitfalls that can arise from mistakes and disputes. Our guiding principle is to always put our clients’ best interests first. If you are launching a new business, looking to grow an established business, or need assistance designing a well thought out succession plan, call our office today to set up a consultation or complete the contact form on our website.