HCMP attorneys regularly handle business transactions, financing, and litigation matters with national and international clients. Also, HCMP is the only Seattle law firm selected to be a member of Meritas, a network of 185 high quality, medium-sized law firms throughout the USA and in virtually every other country in the world. Our Meritas connection enables us to have a presence in most major business centers in the world and access to some of the best legal talent in those areas. When transactions or matters involve issues in other states and countries, with a simple phone call we can engage services of qualified firms experienced in those areas. We work together to meet your objectives in national and international matters. For more information, see Meritas.
Yes, we can. One of the most important decisions a new business owner can make is what type of entity to use for his or her business. There are generally four types of business entities: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. The one that is right for you depends upon a balancing of liability, tax and other business concerns.
For liability purposes, a sole proprietorship and certain partnerships are not treated separately from their owners, so that any obligations or liabilities that the business incurs become the personal obligations or liabilities of the owners. On the other hand, some types of partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations are treated separately from their owners, so that in general, if they are properly established and operated, the liabilities and obligations of the business do not become the personal liabilities and obligations of the owners.
Accordingly, a business owner who is engaged in a business that may create a variety of different liabilities (for example, a construction business) is better protected if he or she chooses a limited liability company or corporation for his or her business rather than a sole proprietorship or most partnerships.
For tax purposes, sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and some corporations, known as S corporations, are not treated separately from their owners. The taxable income, tax deductions and tax credits they generate pass through to their owners and appear on their personal tax returns. Conversely, some corporations, known as C corporations, are treated entirely separately from their owners and must pay their own tax on their income. A new business owner should therefore determine whether, given the tax rates and expected income and losses, it is better for him or her to pay the taxes or for the business to pay the taxes.
There are also other considerations. Selecting the right entity is a process that requires careful analysis before the business begins. The Business Group attorneys at HCMP can help you through the maze to the right choice for your business.
Advance planning is needed to make sure your assets will be handled and your loved ones cared for, in the way you would like them to be after your death. The first step is to prepare lists of those who you want to share in your estate and the assets that you have. We ask our clients to provide us with this basic information in the form of a Confidential Estate Planning Questionnaire. Please give us a call if we can help you. We'd be happy to sit down with you and discuss the alternatives and assure that your goals are met.
Although our client list includes many large companies, we frequently work with individuals, families, and small companies, too. We are very sensitive to costs. We staff matters appropriately, working closely with clients to determine what part of a project they want us to handle and what part they can appropriately handle themselves, and we make extensive use of skilled paralegals. Sometimes you need just a little advice. We can provide that and help you chart the path to follow. Because of our considerable expertise and years of experience, we provide that advice in a very cost-effective manner.