352.372.1011Gainesville, FL

Gainesville Business Planning Attorneys

new business in Gainesville, Florida

From launching a new business enterprise, to gaining access to the marketplace, to ensuring seamless transitions, business owners must handle an array of challenges. Without effective long-term planning and a succession roadmap in place, a closely held business faces an uncertain future, especially if there is a sudden and unexpected change in leadership. With so much at stake, it is crucial to have proper legal representation.

Located in Gainesville, White & Crouch, P.A. routinely provides advice and guidance to business clients throughout North Central Florida. From forming new business entities to business planning, we leverage our knowledge and experience to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected. In addition, we design business succession plans as part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy. When you work with our legal team, you can be confident your business legacy will be preserved for future generations.  

Business Formation

Our legal team provides advice and guidance on business formation strategies and works closely with each client to select the appropriate structure, such as: 

  • Subchapter C-corporation
  • Subchapter S-corporation
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Partnership (including LLP)
  • Joint Ventures

In addition, we also assist with preparing foundational documents (e.g. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws), submitting required filings with the state, obtaining business licenses and tax identification numbers. Our attorneys also negotiate and prepare underlying agreements, such as operating agreements, partnership agreements and shareholder agreements. Above all, we work to position our clients for growth and help them achieve their long-term goals.

Business Succession Planning

A small business cannot survive into the next generation without an effective leader at the helm. In the event of the incapacity or sudden death of an owner or partner, disputes can arise among surviving family members and remaining business partners. Moreover, business assets are a key component of an estate, which may raise concerns about tax liabilities and inheritance rights. This is why it is crucial to draw up a succession road map

At White & Crouch, we guide clients through all aspects of business succession planning, from selecting and clarifying the role of the successor, to establishing guidelines for operating the business and resolving disputes. Our attorneys also collaborate with a respected network of financial professionals and accountants to arrive at proper business valuations. 

Generally, there are three methods for determining the value of a business -- the asset approach, the income approach, and the market approach.

  • Asset Approach -- This business valuation method is a basic analysis of a company’s balance sheet that evaluates the stated assets and subtracts the liabilities but does not consider factors such as market conditions or goodwill.
  • Income Approach -- This approach is both an analysis of past earnings and a projection of future earnings, based on future cash flow and capitalization, that provides an evaluation of the business’ present and future value.
  • Market approach -- This method is an analysis of the recent sale of other companies in the same industry, based on the size, duration and market risk of the business. 

In the event that selling the business becomes necessary, we also negotiate and prepare the necessary buy/sell agreements, including cross-purchase agreements and entity purchase agreements.

A cross-purchase agreement is designed for a business with a limited number of owners, such as a partnership. In this arrangement, each partner buys and owns an insurance policy on the other owners. If one partner dies, the cash value of the policy is paid to the surviving owners as beneficiaries and the proceeds are used to purchase the deceased partner’s share. 

In an entity purchase agreement, the business purchases a single policy on each partner and is also named as the beneficiary. If a partner dies, the business redeems the deceased owner’s share, which has the effect of raising the value of remaining shares. In any event, the time to create a business succession is in the beginning -- during the formation phase -- to mitigate potential conflicts among family members, partners and minority investors.

Gainesville Business Planning Law Firm

At White & Crouch, P.A we provide a powerful combination of sophisticated legal advice and cost-effective service. Our business planning attorneys are well-versed in the applicable tax laws and have a proven track record of helping our clients protect their business assets. Knowing that the sudden death of an owner or partner can derail a closely held business, we work with each client individually and explore all options. 

Depending on the nature and structure of the business, there are also a number of trust arrangements and other estate planning tools available to ensure the ongoing viability of a small business. If you are starting a new business or need assistance designing a business succession plan, we can help. Please contact our office today to set up a consultation.

From our office in Gainesville, the estate planning firm of White & Crouch, P.A. advises and represents clients in communities throughout Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Putnam County, Clay County, Bradford County, Union County and Gilchrist County in North Central Florida. Call us at 352-372-1011 or contact the firm by email to arrange an initial consultation with us today.

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| Phone: 352-372-1011

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