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Business Law

Business and Commercial Legal Services

Our attorneys regularly counsel small business owners up to mid-size corporations located in the Detroit Metro as well as the Ann Arbor, Dexter, Saline, Ypsilanti and surrounding communities and counties.  Whether you are first starting a business and a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner looking to sell the company and retire our business law attorneys can assist you.

–  The following is an overview of the business legal services we provide  –


Business Entity Formation

Our attorneys can help you choose the best entity for your business including limited liability companies, corporations, partnerships, or nonprofit.  We also advise as to the various federal tax classifications that are available for your new business including being taxed as a partnership, C corporation, S corporation, or a pass-through entity.

 

Limited Liability Companies – We assist our clients by drafting and filing the articles of organization, operating agreement, and other documents necessary to get your LLC off the ground and running.

 

Corporations – We assist our clients by drafting and filing the articles of incorporation, by-laws, shareholder agreements, and other documents necessary to get your corporation off the ground and running.

 


Common Business Agreements

Non-competition Agreements – A non-competition or non-compete agreement or clause is extremely useful in protecting your intangible business assets including customer lists, trade secrets, and other private information key to your success.  Our attorneys can assist in creating a non-compete agreement or contract provisions that protects your business and gives you the ability to enforce those rights.

 

Confidentiality Agreements – Confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are essential to protecting proprietary business information.  Similar to non-compete agreements a well drafted confidentiality agreement will provide a business with the legal ability to protect its assets.

 

Independent Contractor Agreements – Depending on the circumstances it may be more appropriate to hire an independent contractor due to the nature of the services provided.  An independent contractor agreement will ensure that the terms and scope of services being provided are clearly understood between the parties leaving little room for misunderstanding.  We also provide legal advice to our clients in determining when an independent contractor might actually be considered an employee under IRS regulations.

 


Corporate Governance and Best Practices

Running a business can be time consuming and so legal formalities and nuances are often overlooked. We regularly advise our clients as to best practices when it comes to complying with Michigan law, limiting exposure to liability, and avoiding litigation.

Intellectual Property

Trademark Registrations – Registering a trademark can involve more than just filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.  Our Michigan trademark attorneys can assist with the process including selecting a brand name, researching whether a name can be trademarked, and the best approach to filing with the USPTO or Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

 

Copyright Registrations – Although a written, visual, or auditory work automatically receives copyright protection upon creation in a tangible form.  Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office provides additional protection including public notice, eligibility for statutory damages and attorney’s fees, and other substantive protections.

 

Licensing – The owner of intellectual property (“IP”) may want to allow a third-party the right to use a trademark, patent, or copyright in return for royalties.  A licensing agreement enables parties to agree on the rights and obligations of the parties in using the IP.

 


Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Our firm represents a number of business owners who often need legal counsel involving the sale, purchase, or leasing of commercial real estate.  Our business clients appreciate the attention we give to the transaction and our cost conscience approach to providing legal services.  Some of the commercial real estate services we provide for businesses include:

 

Commercial Purchase Agreement for Real Estate – The purchase agreement is an extremely important document that describes the terms and conditions of the sale, as well as the rights and obligations of the parties.  Our attorneys can assist in drafting or reviewing a purchase agreement as well as providing advice regarding other aspects of a real estate purchase including surveys, inspections, title insurance, and review of closing documents.

 

Commercial Lease Agreement It is important to have the right commercial lease in place since some agreements can last 3, 5, or 10 years (or longer).   Whether you are a landlord or the tenant, it is important that you know and understand your rights and obligations under the lease agreement.  We have experience drafting gross leases as well as single, double, and triple-net leases, and can advise our clients as to selecting the best type of lease agreement.