Planning to Live and Succeed in Business, by Sacramento Area Attorney Terry L. Gilbeau

The Law offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, decease including creditors’ rights, medications debt collection, adiposity products liability and international transaction issues.

Straight Answers Plain English

At the Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau, our approach is rather simple-straightforward solutions no matter how complex the problem. Clear, concise, common-sense answers, minus the legal speak. It’s our no-nonsense way of doing business that puts our clients first.

Before entering the practice of law, Mr. Gilbeau built a number of successful businesses “from the ground up”, including a widely known financial research firm that specialized in forensic financial examinations and the identification and tracing of assets for judgment and debt collection matters.

Armed with this experience, Mr. Gilbeau brings a businessman’s background and perspective to the practice which enables him to anticipate the needs and priorities of his business clients, while being sensitive to the economic realities the client faces.

In an increasingly complex world, the Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau distinguishes itself by combining creative problem-solving with a common-sense approach. Our constant focus is to provide clients with sound advice and practical solutions in a cost-effective manner, while maintaining exceptional representation and unparalleled client service.

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The Law offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues.

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Rocklin AttorneyPersonal Assets at Risk: The Dangers of Doing Business as a Sole Proprietor or Partnership

For millions of people, ailment
running a successful business is the ultimate dream. Unfortunately, many do not realize that their dreams can become personal legal nightmares if they are sued by a customer, contractor, employee, or even another business. Imagine losing homes, vehicles, and even personal savings because of business dealings. This is the reality sole proprietorships and partnerships face each day because they fail to legally protect their personal assets. There will come a time when every business – whether it is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation – has a legal dispute. When the inevitable occurs, the hard-earned personal assets of individuals running some of those businesses are at risk.

Under a sole proprietorship, an individual can register to do business under a certain name. In a partnership, two or more individuals join to run a business. Under these types of business entitles, individuals are personally liable for any issues that may arise through operating those businesses. There are several ways for sole proprietorships and partnerships to protect personal assets. Individuals and partners can form a limited liability company, also called a LLC, or they can form a C or S corporation.

When individuals or a group form an LLC or a corporation, they are creating separate legal entities. Members of an LLC can include individuals and partnerships. Each member has full limited liability from actions of the LLC, meaning they are not legally responsible. Corporations are legal entities owned by shareholders. Just like members of a LLC, shareholders are not personally liable for the corporation’s actions, except in certain unique circumstances that are beyond the scope of this blog. A person or partners can place assets under the LLC or corporation, or they can select certain assets – such as real property – to hold under the LLC and elect to maintain certain personal property. LLCs and corporations can execute contracts, borrow money, and buy, hold, or sell real property and personal property.

Placing assets under an LLC or corporation provides a layer of security against those that may seek legal action against individual members or stockholders. Conversely, the assets of an LLC or corporation are protected against personal lawsuits brought against members or shareholders. Since laws governing LLCs and corporations vary from state to state, it is important to consult with a lawyer specializing in business and commercial law help sole proprietors and partnerships form LLCs and corporations. We can advise you on the best structure for your business and the steps needed to operate the LLC or corporation properly to avoid personal liability.

The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at tgilbeau@gilbeaulaw.com. Click here for the firm website http://www.gilbeaulaw.com/
rocklin business lawyer roseville There’s little doubt that we’re facing tough economic times. America’s economy is still struggling to recover from the financial crisis of 2008. Although much media attention focuses on the plight of individuals, prescription businesses are not immune to the ebbs and flows of the uncertain economic tide. Many businesses suffer in silence; they maintain the outward appearance of success while avoiding financial realities. New and emerging businesses are not immune; startup costs end of the dreams of many would be owners before they open their doors.  Despite news reports of a credit crunch, there are still opportunities to obtain loans for new and established businesses. Here are some options that you may not have considered:

SBA Loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a long history of providing financial assistance to businesses. The government agency does not provide direct loans; however it does offer guarantees. Business owners can apply for SBA-backed loans. The SBA offers several loan programs, including the 7(a) Loan program for businesses with special requirements, a microloan program for “small, short-term loans,” and the 504 Loan program, whereby loans are distributed through nonprofit corporations called Certified Development Companies. According to the SBA’s website, the 504 Loan program has guaranteed $50 billion in loans, which has resulted in the creation of 2 million jobs. There is more information about SBA loan programs at www.sba.gov.

Direct Bank and Credit Union Loans: Financial institutions continue to provide business loans, but their requirements are much more stringent. Businesses seeking financial loans should prepare detailed financial reports; banks and credit unions will want to review profit and loss statements, forecasts, and accounts receivables. Good to excellent credit is necessary. Banks are reluctant to loan money to businesses with average to low credit scores. Since many financial institutions now require personal guarantees, business owners must also have high credit scores. In the past, credit unions have been more lenient in their loan practices, but they still want to ensure businesses will be able to repay their loans.

Leasing: If businesses are unable to obtain loans to purchase equipment, or if they cannot afford to own equipment, leasing is an alternative option. There may even be a benefit to leasing an asset instead of owning it outright (net advantage to leasing).  Choosing to lease equipment can lower the costs associated with running a business. Although lessors are more apt to use a business’s credit history for leasing decisions, they will most likely rely on the personal credit of startup owners.

Loans from Other Parties: Seeking out loans from friends, mentors and family members may be an attractive choice for some business owners, particularly those with little to no credit history. The upside to “friend and family loans” is that they are less likely to require detailed business plans and stellar credit. The downside is the possibility of damaging relationships if any economic troubles arise. One way to alleviate potential problems is by soliciting a business lawyer to draft a loan document. Make the loan process as professional as possible.

Bringing in Investors: If owners are willing to sell a portion of their businesses, bringing in investors, or equity investing, could be a solution to financial issues. Equity investors and venture capitalists seek out opportunities for profit-making enterprises. In return for their investment, they take equity, or ownership in a portion of the business. The ownership stake can take several forms, from stock to managerial control. Since these types of investors are knowledgeable and deal with businesses on a consistent basis, they will want to review solid business plans in their decision-making processes.

Whatever method businesses choose, there are ways to obtain financing to start a new venture or maintain operations. Ultimately, good research and extensive planning will yield satisfactory results, allowing businesses to move forward on a track to success and profitability. Click here to read my blog post on business planning.

The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at tgilbeau@gilbeaulaw.com. Click here for the firm website http://www.gilbeaulaw.com/
Throughout the Rocklin and Sacramento area there are many people who work from home. It’s a trend that has been growing in recent years. In fact, medical
according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, order 24 percent of employees do at least part of their work from home. But for those who are self employed, around 64 percent of them work from home offices. While it may make growing your home based business a little more tricky, you can still do it, and do it right!

Many of those who are self employed will wish to grow their home based business at some point. Yet doing so can put a squeeze on funds and may make keeping up with things a bit more challenging. Here are 5 tips for growing your home based business:

  1. Hire help. Your business may be home based, but you can still hire help. Look for freelancers, or those who are willing to work from you from their own home. You can hold a weekly Starbucks meeting if you need to in order to discuss projects face-to-face. This will save you money, and get you the help you need to grow your business.
  2. Consider appearances. Even if you are unable to get a larger office at this point, you can have the appearance of having one. Rent a virtual office each month. For a small fee you can use the address of a large office building, making your business look larger. Some virtual office landlords even throw in mail, reception, and meeting room options.
  3. Share an office. If you do want to move into an office out of the home, but want to keep overhead lower, consider sharing an office space. There just may be another home based business owner looking to expand their wings.
  4. Take on a partner. By partnering with another person, or merging with another business, you may be able to grow your business. Remember that this is an option that you will need to work with a Rocklin or Sacramento attorney on in order to get all the legal help you need to get off to a good start.
  5. Rent storage. If you are a home based business that maintains an inventory and you are running out of room, consider renting a storage facility. They are much more economical than renting an entire office or building. Just be sure that you have your inventory insured, in case something happens to the goods as they are stored away.

Growing your home based business is not as complicated as it may seem. There are ways and opportunities to help make it a smooth transition. For some aspects you may need to work with a Sacramento lawyer in order to protect yourself, and your investment, but business growth is within reach!

 

The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at tgilbeau@gilbeaulaw.com. Click here for the firm website http://www.gilbeaulaw.com/

Pressure Getting to You?

In a retelling of classic Greek mythology, ed Atlas is forced by Zeus – the king of the gods – to hold the world on his shoulders. In recent times, Atlas’s punishment is now synonymous with being responsible for numerous tasks in our lives. It is not surprising that many business owners take on Atlas’s role as they attempt to balance the responsibilities of operating the business with obligations outside of the office. When running a business, long hours can replace family dinners, and vacations can become distant memories. The burden becomes heavier when the livelihoods of others depend on a business’s continued success. When carrying the weight of business and personal lives, it is easy to become fatigued. Business “burn out” can affect operations in the same way as a lack of sales or a decrease in productivity. While circumstances might prevent you from removing the “weight,” there are at least two ways you can ease the burden and still build and maintain a successful business.

Make Family (and Other Relationships) a Priority with Scheduling 

At first glance, the idea seems somewhat preposterous. People schedule meetings with clients or visits to the dentist – not family time. Upon further reflection, scheduling time just for family or even for self may help alleviate anxiety from trying to achieve the work/life balance. Incorporating a “personal schedule” into a business schedule is not difficult, as long as there is a commitment to follow through. Set aside a certain time each day or each week devoted to family or to personal activities. Give those times the same importance as business dealings. Family dinner on Wednesday evenings has the same priority as lunch with business partners. Eighteen rounds of golf with a tee time each Saturday morning can share calendar space with the weekly team meeting to discuss business operations. The key to successful scheduling is to choose times wisely and stick to the plan.

Be Willing to Delegate Some Responsibilities 

Many people start businesses to “be their own bosses.” It is difficult for new and established business owners to delegate what they consider as essential tasks. Instead, they choose to handle those tasks on their own, unwilling to assign others to complete them, even if they are qualified. This can affect employee morale and reduce the time owners have to build their businesses or maintain their personal lives. To address the issue, start by making a list of the tasks you complete on a daily or weekly basis. Select tasks you can entrust to others. If you do not have employees, there may be certain responsibilities best suited for persons outside of the office. For example, a business attorney can assist you with contracts and planning. Once you commit to delegating responsibilities to others, you will gain more time to spend with your family and to pursue other interests.

Let’s face it – it is challenging to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Now is the time to work on your inner Atlas. You owe it to yourself and your family to find balance in your business and personal life. 

The Law Offices of Terry L. Gilbeau provides personalized counsel to clients in a variety of business and personal matters, including creditors’ rights, debt collection, products liability and international transaction issues. His office is located in Rocklin, CA, just outside of Sacramento, CA, near Roseville, Lincoln, Auburn, in Placer County and can be reached at (916-626-5539) or email Terry at tgilbeau@gilbeaulaw.com. Click here for the firm website http://www.gilbeaulaw.com/

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