Cochran Law Group supports business owners in all aspects of their operations. We represent a range of private mid-size companies and small closely-held firms, focusing on crafting innovative solutions that produce successful results for our clients. Our business practice complements our wealth and estate planning at all levels, with the goal of providing our clients with the comprehensive, timely and efficient advice they need to operate their businesses successfully.
We have substantial experience in all aspects of business formation, management and planning. We assist our clients in the formation of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and joint ventures. Our attorneys are highly skilled in dealing with commercial transactions, drafting and negotiating all kinds of commercial contracts and service agreements. We advise management teams and prepare documents necessary to bring in new investors, reward key employees, complete sales or purchases of stock or assets, merge or domesticate entities and liquidate businesses.
Every step of the way, we take the time to obtain a complete understanding of our client’s business structures and operations so that we never lose sight of his or her individual goals and expectations.
Formation and Compliance
Selecting the entity best aligned with the owner’s business plan and personal objectives, or taking the existing operations to the next level, is a pivotal step in setting the business enterprise up for success. Our attorneys provide strategic legal advice on entity selection, business operations, financing, tax planning and limiting liability exposure.
Our early involvement in the formation of a business and preparation and negotiation of contracts gives the venture an opportunity to avoid unnecessary disruptions and minimize future problems and expenses. We coordinate all initial filings required to form a business entity and prepare fundamental governance and operating documents. Upon completion of the formation process, we address ongoing business, employment, contract, and financing issues and assist with drafting, review and negotiation of all business-critical documents. As the business moves forward, we provide knowledgeable counsel and ongoing record keeping and reporting. A majority of the entities we create engage in business and real estate operations, but we also set up entities for holding and investment purposes.
Transactional and Operational Representation
Contracts are a vital aspect of any business, regardless of size, adding predictability, profitability and protection. We look after our client’s interests when negotiating, drafting and managing contracts with customers, suppliers and service providers and work in close collaboration with the clients to gain a deep understanding of their business operations, objectives and risks.
We are adept at spotting potential problems with legal contracts and taking advantage of opportunities. Our experience and skills cover contract types such as management and operating agreements for various business entities, purchase and sale agreements for real estate, equipment and other vital business assets or stock, nondisclosure and non-compete agreements, employment contracts and severance agreements, vendor, distribution and service contracts, licensing arrangements, joint ventures and other types of strategic alliances.
One other type of our contract work is commercial leases, where we typically focus on the representation and protection of commercial tenants. We can efficiently assess these often complex documents to ensure the terms are as favorable as possible to the client and protect his or her business and financial interests.
Our firm guides clients who are buying or selling a business in the multi-stage process, helping them to identify potential challenges early and put safeguards in place. We assist with determining the best structure for the transaction, due diligence review and/or disclosures, drafting and negotiating memoranda of understanding, letters of intent, asset and stock purchase agreements, financing documents and security agreements and the closing of the transaction.
No company can survive without an able owner or manager at the helm. In the event of a key person’s sudden death, illness or retirement, businesses find it very challenging to cope with the changes that follow. All businesses should avoid tumultuous transitions by establishing succession plans. For a family business, exiting, selling or transitioning to the next generation is a once-in-a-lifetime decision. We help our clients negotiate succession plans with co-owners, key employees and family members. We prepare documents that protect all interested parties and accomplish many goals like:
- Granting co-owners or vital employees equity interests through stock grants, stock options, rights of first refusal, shareholder agreements, purchase agreements and incentive compensation
- Preserving “institutional memory” from current key persons
- Retaining family ownership of a business
- Ensuring sufficient liquidity and cash flow so a business does not need to be sold to pay taxes upon the death of a key person
- Facilitating the transition of management upon the death of a key person
- Implementing family employment plans with policies and procedures for when and how family members will be hired, who will supervise them, and how they will be compensated
We work with our clients one-on-one to ensure that our advice reflects their personal history with the company, unique family circumstances, financial goals and long-term plans.