The term business law covers a wide range of practices and overlaps to some extent with commercial law. Business law applies to entities such as partnerships, corporations, LLCs and even sole proprietors who have business relationships between them and other entities. It covers the formation, the preparation of all documents relating thereto as well as dissolution.

A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of a business entity. It can be operated under and individuals name our through a fictitious name if registered with the State of Florida. The same applies to general partnerships. Neither have the protection from liability or creditors that is available with the other forms of business entities. There is also a limited liability partnership which protects the investors but not the general partner.

Corporations are one of the earliest forms of organizing one or more individuals as shareholders with protection from liability and creditors for the individuals. Shareholders elect directors to manage the business and there is usually a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. The president or vice president handle the day to day affairs of the corporation. A corporation is governed through its by laws and the articles of incorporation. Most small corporations are filed as subchapter S corporations where income is only taxed once and passes through to its individual shareholder.

LLCs are a more modern invention and although its members are protected from liability and creditors it is operated more like a partnership with members and managing members. It is guided through its operating agreement and run by its managing members. An LLC is created by its articles of organization. Like the sub S corporation the income is passed through to its members.

Many aspects of business law are governed by statutes and the Uniform Commercial Code. We can form and handle all business related matters.

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There are many matters that get litigated, mostly between business entities or business entities and individuals, but sometimes between the partners, shareholders or members. The majority of business litigation is over breaches of contracts, where one party alleges that the other has not performed according the agreement between them. As with all litigation it begins with a complaint and an answer. A party can also raise affirmative defenses whereby it is claimed that the action should not have been brought for a variety of reasons. Discovery then usually follows in the forms o interrogatories (questions to the other side) and requests to produce certain documents and things. Once discovery is complete the case is set for trial if a settlement doesn’t occur at mediation which is now mandatory.

It is important to choose your lawyer wisely based upon his or her reputation and experience. And just as importantly the sense of confidence and comfort you feel about the lawyer you hire. Whether a lawyer is board certified is a good indicator that they are experienced. I have been board certified in civil trial law since 1995.