Hello, and welcome to the brand-new blog for The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates, P.A. We’re excited about this new platform to engage with you and to provide you with helpful information about our wide array of practice areas. We’d like to get started with our first blog post by introducing our business, real estate and finance law firm, and providing some groundwork about our primary focus — establishing and growing your business.
Before we jump into this first post, we want to remind you to check back into our blog every week. We’ll be posting here weekly to help inform you about each of our practice areas, provide thoughts on best practices, and help business owners find answers to legal questions and concerns they may have. With that being said, let us introduce ourselves.
Kirk Halpin founded this firm in 2004 with his sights set on helping start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses. Over the past twelve years, he and his team of attorneys have developed creative solutions and pragmatic advice to help businesses and individuals reach their goals. From a business’ infancy as a start-up all the way through leasing space, obtaining financing, hiring staff, bringing investors in to continue growing, purchasing property, buying a competing business to continue to grow or selling a business, you have found your source for legal counsel and assistance right here with us. If you would like to learn a little bit more about our business, real estate and finance law firm, you can click the following links to read more about our firm and our attorneys and staff.
We are excited to get started in outlining exactly how our practice can help your business at any stage of its life. If you scroll through our “Practice Areas” drop-down menu at the top of this page, you will find a list of many specific business, real estate and finance matters in which we can help. To get this blog going, though, we wanted to lay out the ways in which some of those fall into the life span of a business, and provide a little more insight into the steps along the way.
From a Start-Up’s First Steps
Business and Corporate Law
Perhaps the most daunting task in forming a business is to, well, actually form the business. This is where our Business and Corporate Law comes into play. If you have your start-up ready to go, no matter the size or shape, we are able to assist you in getting it up and running as a legally established business entity. We advise individuals on the formation of many different business entities, from limited liability companies (LLCs) to partnerships or corporations. When leaping into the wide world of business ownership, it is dangerous to go at it alone. Seek counsel with us to ensure that everything goes smoothly in establishing a legitimate and legal business. Our clients span nearly every segment of industry, including real estate, hospitality, medical and professional services, automotive, construction, and technology.
We recently had a client that started his business on his own and mistakenly formed a non-stock corporation not realizing that a non-stock corporation is a non-profit and he wasn’t able to bring investors into his company without converting the entity into a stock corporation. The amount of effort and money that was spent to correct his mistake was significantly more than it would have cost him to do things right initially.
Moving forward from the launch point, new businesses also need to establish all proper licenses, registrations, and permits to operate legally within local, state, and federal regulations. Rather than relying on an Internet forum and an educated guess, choose The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates’ law firm to help your business get everything it needs to be successful in the long term.
We recently had a client form their company on their own and didn’t think that they needed to not only register the business, but also obtain a license. The State found out that they were operating without a license and we had to quickly assist them in submitting all of the necessary paperwork to quickly receive the license.
Our business and corporate law services include but are not limited to:
- Business Entity Formation
- Preparation of Bylaws and Operating Agreements
- Stock Purchase Agreements
- Compliance Advice
- Marketing and Advertising Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
Through Its Growth Spurts
Maintaining the “first steps” metaphor, and speaking of success in the long term, our firm is also set to help maintain your business through every stage of growth. Growing pains are no concern of yours when you choose The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates.
Real Estate Law
The first thing a growing business needs is a space. There comes a time when a bake shop outgrows a home kitchen, or a manufacturing plant outgrows a garage. Rather than trying to wrangle yourself an office space on your own, let us help you with our Real Estate Law services.
The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates, P.A. devotes a significant portion of its practices to real estate matters, and part of that means helping your business find a space to grow. It all starts with finding a space that’s right for you, your business, and your needs, and luckily we have our very own licensed commercial real estate agents on our team to assist with these types of inquiries. We also have real estate attorneys on staff who have represented thousands of clients in Howard County and throughout the rest of the State of Maryland. They know the ins and outs of real estate law and complex real estate transactions, and can help you acquire a space in which your business can thrive. From purchase and sale agreements, to lease drafting, and even to financing, our attorneys are here with your best interests in mind.
Not only can we help with lease drafting, but we also assist with negotiating deal terms in the letter of intent with a landlord that can save clients significant funds. A recent client’s expansion from Suite A to Suites B & C was contingent upon them receiving a government contract which they had already been awarded, but we suggested including a fail-safe option that if the contract was not funded or cancelled thru no fault of the client, then they could just remain in Suite A with no further obligation for Suites B & C.
Our real estate law services include but are not limited to:
- Acquisition and Sale
- Real Estate Transactions and Closings
- Real Estate Financing and Secured Lending
Growing your business is more than just finding a space in which to grow. You also need people to populate that space, and you need the appropriate documentation, protections, and advice to employ your new workers safely and legally for all those involved. Here is where we bring in our practice in Employer-Employee Law.
There are extensive employment laws and regulations surrounding relationships between employees and employers. Laws and regulations that can be messy, confusing, and carry hefty penalties if not properly heeded. The last thing you want is for business operations to be running along smoothly (or so you think) and have the Department of Labor come knocking at the door of that new office space you just leased. For your own sake, as well as that of your new employees, we are more than happy to offer our help with every step of onboarding new members of your growing business. We have heard plenty of cautionary tales about new business owners searching the web for employee contracts, only to find out the hard way that their contract does not apply to their industry, the size of their company, or even their state. We cannot stress enough how much simpler it is to bring on our team of experienced professionals to do things right the first time, then to give it your own shot in the dark.
One new client came to us after their sales manager left the company to start his own company just before the company was supposed to be awarded a large contract. Unfortunately, the large contract was awarded to the sales manager’s new company instead of our client. Our client did not have any non-compete or restrictive covenants with any of its employees. We were able to work with the remaining employees to put something in place that worked for all and protected the business.
Our employment law services include but are not limited to:
- Employment Agreements
- Employment and Restrictive Covenant Agreements
- Employment Manuals, Forms, and Policies
- Transaction Support
- Preparing Restrictive Covenants and Non-Compete Agreements
Establishing Thriving Partnerships
Once you have a few new people on board, you may need to start finding some partners outside of your company’s walls. Our Commercial Transactions and Contract Law experience can help here. Our team of contract attorneys will prove to be an invaluable asset in making partnerships that will help your business grow stronger as it grows bigger. We regularly represent clients in corporate, partnership, and other business relationship matters, including creating standard customer agreements and contracts for business, and negotiating relationships with lenders, investors, or existing partners to build long-term financial stability.
Our commercial transactions and contract law services include but are not limited to:
- Business Investments & Opportunities
- Confidentiality & Non-Compete Contracts
- Licensing & Licensing Agreements
- Sale & Purchase of Goods & Services
- Service & Service Supply Agreements
We have a client in the automotive service business that had found an auto repair contract online and was using this with his customers, however it was one that had not been updated in many years and no longer complied with the changes in the law and didn’t adequately protect the client from non-payment by its customers. We were able to provide him with a revised version of the auto repair contract that not only complied with all of the legal requirements, but also provided him with better recourse as to non-payment by its customers and clearly set forth the process to enable the client to sell the vehicle in exchange for non-payment.
We also have significant experience with Mergers and Acquisitions Services, so if you are really off the ground and running, ready to grow into something big, we still have your back. Our comprehensive legal services can assist in many varieties and all phases of mergers and acquisitions.
Our mergers and acquisitions services include but are not limited to:
- Asset Purchases Agreements
- Buy-Sell Agreements
- Due Diligence and Asset Review
- Closing Transaction, Post-Closing Filing, and Dispute Resolution
Don’t Forget to Call Home
Once we have helped your business grow from start-up to a superb success, remember that you always have us to fall back on if you need any more help with business law negotiations. We love to see our clients grow up into big, independent companies — just remember that we’ll always be here when you need our support.
Contact The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates, P.A. Today
Practicing together in Howard County – first in Columbia and now in Clarksville since 2004, The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates, is here to help with a variety of business, real estate and finance law issues. We have a long list of practice areas, a long list of industries served, and a long list of success stories and recommendations in helping businesses, no matter the size, grow, reach their goals, and surpass them. If you’re seeking counsel on a business, real estate or finance law issue, always feel free to contact us via our contact page or call us at (410) 531-1700. While you are here, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our blog and the latest happenings at our firm.