The Benefits of a Florida Corporate Lawyer
What is Corporate Law?
In the state of Florida, Corporate Lawyers and corporate law are an important part of building your business. Corporate law encompasses all of the legal issues that a corporation may face. You may be wondering what counts as a corporation. A corporation is one of four main business models. Businesses choose to usually be formatted as a corporation if it is a large business, with many owners. As far as the law is concerned they are treated as if they were people. This means that corporations are separated legally from their shareholders (another term for the business owner). Just as you and I do, these corporations have to pay income taxes. When dealing with matters pertaining to corporate issues in Florida, you will need to have a qualified Florida Corporate Lawyer in your corner.
Types of Corporations
There are two different types of corporations; there are C corporations and S corporations. The main difference between the two has to do with how they pay their income taxes. C corporations are subject to double taxation. The first taxation comes with the taxation of the corporation’s net income. When the shareholders take home their portion of the profits it is taxed again; this is the second taxation. Unlike C corporations, S corporations are required to only pay income taxes once. With these facts you may be wondering why anyone would ever choose to set up a C corporation over an S corporation, and choose to be taxed twice! The answer is because the number of shareholders an S corporation can have is legally limited. Plus, C corporations have many more tax benefits than S corporations. In general, larger corporations tend to be C corporations, and smaller corporations tend to be S corporations.
Florida corporate lawyers are well aware of the differences between the two types of corporations and the laws that pertain to each of them. They are well equipped to help their clients decided which type of corporation is best for the company they want to set up, and they will be there to help as the business grows. Corporations are subject to many regulations at the state and federal level; Florida corporate lawyers are there to help navigate through these regulations.
Company lawyers help their clients navigate through all of the regulations that corporations have to be aware of. These regulations vary from state to state. In the state of Florida, chapter 607 of the Florida Statutes explains all the laws that pertain to corporations that do business in Florida. This chapter is referred to as the Florida Business Corporation Act, and it regulates that corporations must have annual meetings with their shareholders, along with many other regulations. During these meetings, and many other meetings, corporations like to have a company lawyer present to make sure everything is being done correctly in terms of the law and the company’s bylaws.
Apart from the laws that are specific to corporations, there are laws and legal issues that all businesses face. Attorneys make sure that corporations are following these laws, and are there to advise if any issues arise. With any business, there is the possibility that other issues will come up when dealing with areas such as employment law, contract disputes, product liability, intellectual property, and environmental law. Having a corporate attorney around makes a world of difference in these situations.
If I Want to do Business in Florida, Do I Need to Incorporate in Florida?
Legally speaking, a corporation may incorporate, or go through the necessary steps to become a corporation, in any state. The state in which the corporation conducts business does not matter. In fact, many companies decide to incorporate in the State of Delaware of all states. This is a popular trend because in Delaware, incorporation costs are low and there are many tax benefits. If a corporation does decide to incorporate in Delaware, or any other state, but they want to do business in Florida they still need to register their corporation with the state of Florida.
Incorporating outside of the business’ home state has many pros, but with pros come cons. Speaking with a business lawyer about these pros and cons will be a corporation’s best bet. Incorporating outside of the business’ home state to save some money may seem like a good idea to some, but for others they find it easier to incorporate in the same state in which the business is housed. A corporation can be incorporated in any state, but each state does it a little differently. Despite how easy some websites make it seem, corporations usually find business lawyers in the state they plan to do business in, and in the state where they plan to incorporate. Doing so ensures the laws of both states are being adhered to, and the incorporation process is smooth from start to finish. If a Florida business decides to incorporate in Florida they are in luck because they will only need to hire a Florida corporate lawyer, and will not have to find a lawyer to help with incorporating in another state.
What Happens If My Corporation Makes a Mistake and Breaks the Law?
Accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents involve breaking the law unknowingly. For corporations, there are many laws to follow. There are federal laws set by Congress, and there are state laws that every corporation should be aware of and should follow. Because there are so many laws to know, it can be intimidating for a corporation. There are laws that pertain to board meetings, issuing stock, appointing officers, firing officers, and the list goes on. In order to refrain from breaking any of the many laws that corporations are subject to, many corporations opt to hire an attorney or a team of attorneys.
With a team of lawyers, a company has much better odds at anticipating and properly planning for legal issues. If an accident does happen, the lawyers will be there to resolve the issue with as little turmoil as possible. When a law is broken, a fine may occur or a legal proceeding and reputation degradation can occur. An experienced Florida corporate lawyer can help minimize these fines, legal proceedings, and negative publicity.
Do All Corporations Need an Entire “Team” of Lawyers?
The number of attorneys a corporation hires is related directly to the size of the corporation. A small corporation may only have one or two lawyers whom the corporation has worked with since the beginning. It is likely that these few lawyers helped the corporation incorporate and have stayed up to date with the company’s business. Sometimes businesses might switch attorneys because they feel their current attorney is not working out as 5they have hoped, but it is usually in the corporations best bet to stick with the same lawyers, or law firm (often times the lawyers that work for small corporations work at a law firm and have other clients).
When a law firm helps a small corporation incorporate, they have all the corporation’s legal paperwork on file and are familiar with the company. If a corporation goes to a different attorney, or a different law firm with each matter, their legal services will not be as integrated as possible. If the corporation were to go back to the same law firm for every matter, that law firm can pull the file they have on the corporation and see what has happened in the corporation’s legal past.
On the other hand, large corporations tend to have large teams of lawyers with a vast range of specialties. These specialties may waver from corporation to corporation, but most companies have attorneys that specialize in tax law, real estate law, and banking law. Large corporations also have lawyers that have specialties that pertain to the business the corporation does specifically, such as merchandise law or environmental law. Lawyers that work for large corporations are considered “in-house” counsel. This means that they are an employee of the large corporation, and the lawyer will not work out of a separate law firm, but rather they work right out of the large corporation’s offices.
How Can I find a Florida Corporate Lawyer?
Florida is now the third largest state in the nation in terms of population, which means it is a great state for corporations. This is no secret as new corporations are created and existing businesses are moving in daily. This is true in the central Florida area specifically with so many industries, including the tourism industry. Due to this success there are many lawyers and law firms that practice corporate law. Central Florida is a great place to be if a corporation needs a lawyer for a company. One of these law firms is Bret Jones P.A. located in Orlando, Winter Park and Clermont. Bret and his team of attorneys, paralegals, and staff have proven themselves as premier Florida Corporate lawyers.
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