Business Transaction Attorney in San Diego, CA
Many business owners are surprised at the amount of legal paperwork required to run their businesses. This can be made even more complicated when considering events like mergers, bankruptcy, or real estate sales. If you are in the middle of a difficult business transaction, consider working with a San Diego business transaction lawyer to help you through this process.
Gustavo E. Bravo, founder of Bravo Law, APC, has over 17 years of experience in the field of business law. He has helped represent both small and large businesses as well as both creditors and debtors. His successful results for clients include contract disputes, bankruptcy cases, fraud, and trademark infringement.
He has personally litigated over 150 cases and negotiated over 75 settlements for his clients in the past three years alone. Let his proven track record help you in your business transaction case. Schedule a consultation to learn how Bravo Law, APC, can help you navigate the complicated world of business law.
What Is Business Transaction Law?
There are several different types of business transactions in San Diego, CA that can benefit from legal counsel, including:
- Mergers and Acquisitions: The combination of two separate businesses into one is considered a merger. If one business decides to buy another one, this is called an acquisition. If this is a big enough transaction, the SEC and/or the FTC might need to review the action to determine if it complies with California law.
- Creating a Business: Proper care and attention at the start of a business can prevent problems in the future. It can be helpful to work with a transactional attorney to determine how profits are split, personal liability, and taxes. It can also be helpful to define rules for corporate governance early to prevent any future legal issues.
- Buy-Sell Agreements: These agreements outline the terms between a company’s owners and their shareholders. It normally defines things like how the business is operated, the responsibilities of the owners and shareholders, and how disputes are addressed and resolved. Establishing these terms before the relationship begins can encourage a positive outcome.
- Real Estate: Purchases and sales of real estate often deal with different laws and regulations than regular businesses follow. This area of business law applies to commercial and residential areas as well as hotels, rented facilities, and more.
- Employee Contracts: If you plan on hiring employees for your business, there are certain expectations necessary for both you and the future workers. It is important to define things like salary and benefits, bonuses, stock options, and non-compete agreements in an employee contract to inform both parties of their rights and responsibilities during the employment relationship.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
While it is not legally necessary to work with a business law attorney, it can help save time, trouble, and money in the long run. If a contract or sale document is made incorrectly or without enough detail, it leaves more room for interpretation and potential conflict between the parties involved. An attorney can eliminate room for error and ensure that the transaction goes smoothly.
What To Expect During Litigation
While not every business dispute ends up going to trial, the possibility is always there. Drafting effective and clear contracts can prevent this from happening, but it is good to be prepared and understand the basics of a business law trial. Every case is different, but here is a rough outline of a business transaction case timeline:
- An unhappy party, or plaintiff, files a complaint with their local court. This complaint establishes the issue that the defendant caused and how it negatively affected them. It also asks for the court to penalize the defendant for causing this issue in the first place. This can come in the form of a fine or an injunction, which is a request for the court to require the defendant to stop an illegal action.
- After the initial complaint is filed, there is a discovery process in which both legal parties find as much evidence as they can to support their arguments.
- Once the discovery phase is underway, there are often several negotiations between both parties and their legal teams. Many times, these parties attempt to negotiate a settlement to avoid the excess time and money it takes to go to trial.
- If the negotiation does not go as planned, the parties could ask for a third-party mediator to assist. They could also submit motions for summary judgment for the court to decide the issue once and for all.
- If these steps do not work, then the case usually goes to trial. Many times, however, an agreement can be reached before the trial stage. If your case does reach this point, it is important to work with a reputable attorney who can effectively defend and support you in court.
Guidelines for an Effective Contract
Contracts are one of the most important parts of a business. They highlight things like expectations and consequences if things go wrong. Here are some important things to keep in mind while developing a contract to create an effective document:
- Understand Your Goals: Each business partner might have different ideas on their desired leadership style, work environment, business strategy, and how to grow. It’s important to make sure these ideas are at least somewhat similar or that a compromise can be drawn before signing a contract. These beliefs should also be reviewed from time to time to ensure that all the partners are in alignment.
- Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst: Businesses can be finicky. While it can be tempting only to detail information about what happens if a business succeeds, all parties involved need to seriously discuss what happens if a partner does not hold up their end of the bargain. Think of all the things that could prevent an effective working relationship and develop a contingency plan for what to do if that situation arises.
- Effectively Communicate: It might seem silly to document how communication should be managed explicitly, but this is one of the most critical parts of how a business operates. Defining how partners should communicate with each other can help everyone stay informed about issues that arise to prevent future problems.
- Create a Decision-Making Process: It can be easier to make difficult decisions in a fair manner if there is a written process to reference. Documenting a decision flow chart or matrix could prevent certain partners or shareholders from feeling like decisions were made without thorough consideration.
- Create Guidelines for Partner Disputes: Issues and arguments among partners should be expected throughout the lifetime of a business. You should develop a streamlined process for partners to feel like their voices are heard in a conflict. It can also be helpful to decide in advance what to do if a partner decides to leave or it is decided that a partner needs to be removed from the business.
It goes without saying that any decision made during this process should be recorded in writing, even if it was initially established verbally or merely implied. A business transaction law firm can help you create a contract that might help when times get tough.
FAQs About San Diego, CA Business Transaction Laws
How Much Does a Business Lawyer Cost in California?
A San Diego business lawyer costs around $150-$557 per hour. The specific rate of any given attorney depends on their level of experience and how long your case might take. There might be an additional retainer fee on top of the hourly rate. It is important to review the fee structure with your attorney to make sure you understand the costs associated with your case.
What Law Covers Business Transactions?
Most states, including California, abide by a Uniform Commercial Code that outlines certain guidelines for businesses that practice in the state. The code does not apply to real estate sales. This code includes information on things like sales, bank deposits, letters of credit, liquifying assets, securities, and secured transactions. This law also does not apply to service contracts like home repairs or other services.
What Is Rule 11 in California?
Rule 11 was developed to prevent attorneys from filing cases that are frivolous in nature. For every pleading they file, an attorney must sign certifying that their documents are being used for a good purpose and are factually correct. If this rule is found to be broken by a court, they might receive sanctions for their filings.
What Is the California Business Code?
The California Business and Professions Code (BPC) governs how certain professionals conduct their work and how licenses are given out. They also use this code to regulate the sale of substances like tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. Violations of this code can bring aggressive penalties to businesses and business owners. An attorney can help protect a business from the repercussions of these harsh charges.
Let Us Guide Your Case
Business transactions are often complicated processes that require a lot of time and paperwork. To ease the transaction process, schedule a consultation with Bravo Law, APC. Let our experienced legal team help you make effective decisions for your business, especially regarding a decision so important as a business transaction.