General Business Formation
Because of his extensive business experience, Jim Sweeney is an excellent choice to represent start-ups, small business and mid-size public companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, technology, entertainment and professional services. Business clients are served primarily by a lawyer who has substantial, hands-on experience in the management of start-up, private and public corporations. Thus, clients are in the hands of a former senior executive who understands business problems as well as being competent to advise on client legal issues.
This dual capability - two for the price of one - is unique to Jim Sweeney. Few attorneys have business management experience; fewer still are experienced in managing smaller firms and virtually none has created a technology company, gone through the several private venture-financing stages and then through its initial public offering.
Clients are advised as to the most appropriate business form whether it be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a "C" Corporation, a partnership or an "S" Corporation. Formation is not limited to mere establishment of a legal entity. It includes advice concerning compensation plans, insider buy-sell agreements, assistance in the preparation of the client's business plan, protection of proprietary rights and property, licensing and the establishing of operations in other states or countries*.
Following formation, the client now needs to run its business and, in so doing, avoid the many traps into which the unwary or ill-advised may step. Some of these early-on issues involve mundane seeming questions such as payroll tax payments, employee versus independent contractor status, non-compete clauses in employee contracts, prevailing party clauses in vendor contracts, compliance issues with federal and state laws and regulations and on and on in a never-ending stream which widens as a company grows and which requires regular, knowledgeable attention, preferably prior to a problem arising. We believe the best way to manage those and a related matter is for client and counsel to work closely and regularly together. The development of that type relationship is the key element in the Firm's client relationships.
PLANNING & GROWTH
It has been remarked that growth is the most difficult management problem. The history of defunct companies is replete with businesses that over-extended or were `ahead of their time'. Balancing expansion opportunities and managing actual expansion are truly different and require rare blends of skills rarely found within smaller company management alone. The use of board members, outside counsel and consultants is often vital to the planning and managing a company’s growth. We believe that our blend of experience, prudence and knowledge is well-suited for clients experiencing the happy condition of rapid growth.
* Ask for a copy of Jim Sweeney's Harvard Business Review article on how a small company enters international markets.