Business Law

Virginia Business Law Attorneys

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and larger corporations alike work with attorneys to handle litigation and ensure compliance with local rules and regulations. From how you structure and manage your company to how efficiently you resolve intellectual property issues, everything contributes to your long-term success. 

With so many statutes and codes to keep up with, it can be difficult to run a business — that’s where the business attorneys at J.S. Burton come in. Whether you need assistance with starting your business, understanding tax laws, handling succession, or litigating a dispute, we can help you. We opened our doors in 2005 and have been serving business owners and entrepreneurs ever since. 

To schedule a consultation with our Virginia business lawyers, call us at (888) 885-9001 or send us your availability via our contact form.

Business Law Representation

It’s getting more expensive to run a business. Costs and taxes are going up, wages are increasing, and claims are rising. Working with an attorney can pave the way for the future of your business and help protect your assets and financial security. For example, they can help you restructure, or transfer stocks to new shareholders. 

Business lawyers can also advise you on the federal and state laws that regulate corporate transactions and govern the workplace. They can help you maintain compliance with local labor laws. In a state like Virginia, these statutes change from year to year, so it’s important to have a strong relationship with an attorney who can bring you up to speed on the latest updates. 

Common business law services include: 

  • Creating business and corporate entities 
  • Developing tax strategies
  • Drafting contracts and business agreements
  • Drafting business trusts and buy-sell agreements
  • Handling corporate property and shareholder transactions
  • Litigating and resolving disputes
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • Succession planning

What Are The Basic Types of Business Structures?

When starting a business in Virginia, it's crucial to understand the various types of business structures available.

Here are the basic types of business structures you can consider:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: a simple and very common form of business structure. It involves an individual operating a business without creating a separate legal entity. As a sole proprietor, you have complete control and responsibility for your business.
  2. Partnership: when two or more individuals or entities come together to carry out a business venture. There are two primary types of partnerships: general partnership and limited partnership. In a general partnership, all partners have equal responsibility for the business's management and liabilities. In a limited partnership, there are general partners who control the business and limited partners who then have limited liability.
  3. Limited Liability Company (LLC): combines the limited liability protection of a corporation with the flexibility and simplicity of a partnership. It offers personal asset protection for its owners (known as members) while allowing for pass-through taxation.
  4. Corporation: legal entity distinct from its owners (known as shareholders). It offers its stockholders limited liability protection, and its ownership is represented by stock shares. In Virginia, corporations can be either C corporations or S corporations, each with its own tax implications and requirements.

When considering the appropriate business structure for your venture in Virginia, it's recommended to consult with a knowledgeable Virginia business lawyer for personalized advice and guidance. At J. S. Burton, P.L.C., we offer free consultations and have years of experience in providing comprehensive legal services to businesses in Virginia.

Our experienced business law attorneys in Virginia can assist you with:

  • Evaluating the pros and cons of different business structures based on your specific needs and goals.
  • Assisting with the formation and registration of your chosen business structure, ensuring compliance with Virginia laws and regulations.
  • Providing guidance on contracts, agreements, and other legal matters that may arise during your business operations.
  • Offering personalized service and attention to address your unique business requirements.

With our firm's years of experience and dedication to client success, we strive to deliver exceptional legal services tailored to your business needs. 

Contact us by calling (888) 885-9001 today for a free consultation with our skilled business law attorneys in Virginia.

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    • What is the difference between a joint venture and a partnership?

      Joint ventures and partnerships share certain characteristics. A joint venture is a sort of partnership where two or more entities join together for a particular "short term" purpose. In both partnerships and joint ventures, each partner has equal ability to legally bind the entire entity. A partner can represent the entire organization in the normal course of business and his or her legal actions on behalf of the joint venture or partnership create legal obligations.

      Though the powers of individual partners in a partnership or joint venture can be limited by agreement, such agreements do not bind third parties. Because business contacts outside of the partnership may have no knowledge of the limitations, they may be entitled to rely on the apparent authority of an individual partner as determined by the usual course of dealing or customs in the trade.

    • What does it mean to “pierce the corporate veil?”

      Sometimes, courts will allow plaintiffs and creditors to receive compensation from corporate officers, directors, or shareholders for damages rather than limiting recovery to corporate assets. This procedure bypasses the usual corporate immunity for organizational wrongdoing, and may be imposed in a variety of situations. The specific criteria for piercing the corporate veil vary somewhat from state to state and may include the following:

      • Courts may not allow owners to benefit from a corporation’s limited liability if the underlying business is indistinguishable from its owners.
      • If a corporation is formed for fraudulent purposes.
      • Courts may impose liability on the individuals controlling the business if a business fails to follow certain corporate formalities in areas such as record-keeping.
    • What is the difference between a subchapter C and S corporation?

      The Internal Revenue Code allows for two different levels of corporate tax treatment. Subchapters C and S of the Code define the rules for applying corporate taxes.

      Subchapter C corporations include most large, publicly-held businesses. These corporations face double taxation on their profits if they pay dividends: C corporations file their own tax returns and pay taxes on profits before paying dividends to shareholders, which are subsequently taxed on the shareholders' individual returns.

      Subchapter S corporations meet certain requirements that allow the business to insulate shareholders from corporate debts but avoid the double taxation imposed by subchapter C. In order to qualify for subchapter S treatment, corporations must meet the following criteria:

      • Must be domestic
      • Must not be affiliated with a larger corporate group
      • Must have no more than one hundred shareholders
      • Must have only one class of stock
      • Must not have any corporate or partnership shareholders
      • Must not have any nonresident alien shareholders.

      Additionally, after a business is incorporated, all shareholders must agree to subchapter S treatment prior to electing that option with the Internal Revenue Service.

    • What factors should be considered in choosing the type of business form for my business?
      Although there are many important things to think about when choosing a business form, some of the main considerations include your preference of tax treatment, how you intend to capitalize the business, whether you plan to issue stock and trade it publicly, how you intend to structure the management of your business, and issues surrounding the liability of the business owners, among other things. It is very important to plan your business and to work closely with someone who can help you choose the business form that will meet your needs.