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Fairfield County business law attorney commercial financing

Whether you are launching a new business or you are interested in expanding your current business, financing your business goals is probably one of your top concerns. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have several different options when it comes to securing funding for a new business venture. Some of these individuals use their own savings, borrow from their home’s equity, withdraw retirement funds, or even use a credit card to finance the business. However, many people find these options to be too risky and instead choose to take out a loan. Conventional bank loans and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are two popular options to consider when financing your small business.

Conventional Bank Loans

Conventional loans are the most popular type of lending for small businesses. When a borrower obtains a conventional loan, the bank lends him or her a set amount of money at a fixed or floating interest rate. Payment schedules are negotiable and may involve monthly payments, quarterly payments, or annual payments. The parameters of the loan are based on the bank’s particular policies and the business’s overall credit risk. Typically, the higher a business’s perceived risk, the higher the interest rate. Conventional loans are highly dependent on personal and business credit scores. Young business owners with less credit history may not qualify for a traditional loan.

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Darien commercial and business law attorney

Business ownership comes with many privileges. As a business owner, you become your “own boss” and get to decide how your business is run. Deciding to buy a business, however, is not a decision to take lightly. New business owners who are unprepared or who do not have dependable legal guidance can fall into major financial and legal pitfalls. If you are considering purchasing a company, you may be wondering whether you should buy a franchise location of an existing business or a standalone business. The answer to this complicated question will depend upon several factors. That is why it is crucial to hire a knowledgeable business attorney to guide you through this important endeavor.

Consider the Differences Between Standalone Businesses and Franchises

The biggest difference between a franchise and independent business is the amount of control and authority the owner has over his or her business. If you buy a franchise, you will likely have a great deal of control over day-to-day aspects of your business, but you may have little input on “big picture” concerns. The franchisor will likely decide the types of products and services the business offers, the business hours of operation, pricing, marketing strategies, and more.

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Stamford, CT commercial and business law attorney

Deciding to sell your business is not an easy decision to make, since it has likely been integral to your livelihood. You have probably put a tremendous amount of your own money, time, and energy into growing your business, and parting with it may be challenging. When selling a business, whether big or small, it is essential that you avoid mistakes that can reduce the profit you obtain from the sale and cause major financial and legal headaches. Rushing a sale or selling without fully investigating your options may cause you to miss out on better opportunities. However, waiting too long to sell can also spell disaster. Whatever your reasons for selling, it is important to discuss your plans with an experienced business law attorney so that you can receive accurate legal guidance personalized to your unique needs.

Start Preparing Sooner Rather Than Later

Experts suggest that business owners should start preparing for a business sale at least several years before planning to close the deal. This gives you time to ensure that selling is truly what you want and avoid the dreaded feeling of “seller’s remorse.” Preparing well in advance also allows you to gather the financial data a conscientious buyer will want to evaluate. Typically, buyers want to look at up to five years’ worth of tax returns, profit and loss statements, bank statements, supplier and vendor contracts, and other relevant documentation.

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Darien business succession attorney

Business succession planning is a crucial step for any business owner. You have probably put an enormous amount of time and effort into your company, and you want the business to continue to succeed after your retirement or death. A carefully designed succession plan gives you the best chances possible of avoiding problems during an ownership transfer. One of the most important considerations when building a comprehensive business succession plan is who you should choose as the new owner.

Selling Your Business to a Co-Owner or Employee

If you share your business with one or more partners, a natural successor may be one of your co-owners. Some partnerships choose to draft an agreement that permits the remaining owner to purchase a disabled or deceased owner’s business interests from his or her next of kin. This option can be especially advantageous if an owner unexpected passes away or becomes incapacitated through a major accident or illness. However, this option also requires co-owners to be prepared to buy out a partner's shares at a moment’s notice.

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Long Island Sound commercial and business law attorney

If you are considering purchasing a small business, you may understandably be experiencing a mix of excitement and apprehension. Being a small business owner can have tremendous personal and financial rewards, but the decision to purchase a business is not one to take lightly. It is very important to take your time and not rush this major endeavor. Thoroughly research your options and speak with a qualified business law attorney to ensure that your purchase goes as smoothly as possible. As you start the business purchase process, make sure to avoid the following common mistakes.

Not Asking Why the Business Is for Sale

The prospect of being a business owner, especially a first-time business owner, is an exhilarating idea for most entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm can sometimes cause potential business owners to make hasty mistakes. One of the most common errors people make with regard to business purchases is not understanding why the business is for sale in the first place. Make sure you have a detailed conversation with the business owner about his or her incentives for selling the business. Business owners may not always be 100 percent honest about their reasons for putting the business up for sale, so you may also need to look for subtle clues that reveal the real motivation for the sale.  

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Stamford, CT business attorney noncompete agreement

A noncompete agreement is a type of contract that prohibits an employee from entering into competition against his or her employer. Workers often have access to sensitive information about clients, customers, business operations, practices, strategies, and marketing plans, all of which can be used against an employer. If you are a business owner, you may wish to use a noncompete agreement, also called a noncompete covenant or covenant not to compete, to prevent your employees from using skills and information gained during employment to compete with you in any way. It is important for business owners to obtain legal counsel regarding noncompete agreements, as these documents must meet certain criteria in order for them to be enforceable.

Noncompete Agreements in Connecticut

A Connecticut noncompete agreement is a legal contract that prevents an employee from entering into direct competition with an employer during his or her employment or after his or her employment ends. A noncompete agreement can also prohibit an employee from disclosing business secrets and proprietary information to other parties during and after his or her employment. Noncompete agreements must be limited in their scope and duration in order to be enforceable by the court. Many noncompete agreements include a one- or two-year restriction period, but the amount of time the employee is prohibited from entering into competition can vary based on a range of factors. To be legally binding, a noncompete agreement can only prevent an employee from working in certain geographic areas. Blanket noncompete agreements that do not specify a reasonable time period and location stipulations will typically not be upheld by the court.

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