Practice Areas : Small Business Development/Representation

Small Businesses employ more people in the U.S. and Ohio than large corporations. Starbucks started as a boutique coffee shop and has grown to become a dominant and international player in the retail coffee business. In order to grow and prosper, small businesses need a solid foundation that starts with sound financial, legal and market advice. Van Dress Law Offices offers a myriad of solutions and advice to help your small business grow and prosper.

  1. Should I Incorporate:
    A small business is considered any company with gross revenue under $25 million dollars. Any entrepreneur will tell you that there is risk to starting your own small business. Many entrepreneurs are concerned about personal liability. Ohio law protects personal assets, such as your house, bank accounts and vehicles if you operate your business under the corporate form. The most recent development in Ohio is the Limited Liability Company; however, there still exists traditional corporations, partnerships and associations. Van Dress Law Office can help you decide what corporate form you need and can easily and affordably create your corporation for you.
  2. What is a Business Plan?:
    A business plan is a formal set of guidelines that will help you streamline your business and will help you avoid costly mistakes and headaches in the future. A business plan is a personalized strategy that takes into consideration your specific circumstances and will enable you to focus on what you do best instead of wasting precious time and money on red tape and common pitfalls. Having a business plan will enable you to know ahead of time the lessons learned from other failed entrepreneurs before you.
  3. My Partner And I Aren’t Getting Along, I Wish We Had An Operating Agreement:
    One of the most common mistakes new small business owners make is to create a business with an equal partner. 50/50 sounds great when you are talking about creating the business, but when things go bad, the business can collapse because each partner has an equal say in the operations of the business. In addition to incorporating, Van Dress Law Offices recommends that every business that has more than one owner needs an Operating Agreement. The Operating Agreement sets forth duties, powers, and responsibilities of all the partners and what happens if things go bad. The goal of the Operating Agreement is to set forth a procedure ahead of time (before tempers fly) to ensure the business runs smoothly in times of stress.
  4. My Employee Sued Me:
    Lawsuits are a reality in life, and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is the busiest court in all of Ohio, handling 55,000 cases per year with only 28 elected judges. Consequently, the Courts encourage alternative dispute resolution, commonly called Arbitration or Mediation. Additionally, the United States Supreme Court has made recent rulings in relation to the proper handling of alleged sex discrimination cases that directly affect the courts. The good news to businesses is that alternate dispute resolution is less costly and takes less time to resolve. In order to take advantage of alternative dispute resolution, however, you need to set up the procedures ahead of time. Van Dress Law Offices can help you accomplish this task.

    Some cases, such as Unemployment Benefits and Workers Compensation cases go through the administrative branches of their respective agencies, not the courts, unless your are appealing the agencies’ determination of liability. Van Dress Law Offices offers advice on proper procedure to document employment, workers compensation, and injury claims and has extensive experience litigating all claims.
  5. Other Considerations:
    Money is always a key consideration to any business, small or large. Van Dress Law Offices knows this and strives to work with small businesses in this respect. Payment plans, credit cards, and the option of a flat fee, contingent fee or the traditional hourly fee are available. Please call with any questions.