The experienced business lawyers at Harshman Ponist stand ready to support your business or nonprofit organization through bold advocacy and personal service. We invest the time needed to understand not just the unique needs of your operation, but also you. At Hand Poinst, we understand both the challenges and rewards of running a business or nonprofit organization.
Our business attorneys have years of experience advising, representing, and counseling businesses and their owners, as well as nonprofit organizations. Most legal problems do not have a single right answer, but rather many possible solutions that are all technically correct. By getting to know the specifics of your business, our attorneys provide solutions that are not only legally sound, but also practical and cost-effective. Additionally, we understand your concerns and priorities are not strictly confined to legal analysis. For example, while you want a contract with customers that protects your interests, we know contracts that appear to be one-sided can drive those customers away – straight to a competitor! Finally, we understand that thoughtful analysis and wise decisions made when a business is formed, when a contract is negotiated, and when the purchase and sale of a business is consummated can help prevent additional expenses and disruptions down the line.
Choosing the right structure for your business can have a big impact on taxes and liability, as well as its future success. Most businesses are organized as corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs). While both options safeguard company owners by restricting their liability, neither provide total protection. Certain formalities and management practices must be followed not only during the establishment process, but also in day-to-day operations. Otherwise, the owners run the risk of a court “piercing the corporate veil” and holding the shareholders of a corporation or members of an LLC personally liable for business obligations. We provide expert guidance to ensure you avoid the pitfalls that lead to these results. There is a special satisfaction that comes with being your own boss, but we are keenly aware of the issues that accompany owning a small business.Business and Commercial Transactions
Our firm advises and represents clients in a wide variety of business and commercial transactions including mergers, acquisitions, business sales, franchise purchases, equipment leases, and office leases. Often these transactions are formalized through written contracts which must meet certain requirements to be enforceable in Indiana. Noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, intellectual property licenses, and indemnification agreements require particular care to ensure they work as intended. We have experience drafting a wide range of contracts including employment contracts, construction contracts, confidentiality agreements, software contracts, publishing contracts, outsourcing agreements, security agreements, and personal guarantees.Business Disputes and Litigation
Nobody starts a business relationship with the expectation that it will wind up in litigation. Unfortunately, disputes can arise even with documents drafted by skilled business lawyers. We resolve disputes for our clients through informal settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and when necessary, litigation. Breach of contract is a common dispute that can give rise to litigation, occurring when one party fails to live up to its contractual responsibilities without a legally valid excuse. Disputes among owners of a closely held corporation or LLC is another source of litigation that comes with high stakes for all involved. If you are sued or threatened with a lawsuit, or believe legal action is necessary to enforce your rights, our Indiana business attorneys can help.Nonprofit Organizations
Our firm advises and represents nonprofit organizations at all stages of development. We assist new organizations in incorporating as well as preparing Form 1023 to qualify for tax-exempt status. Most nonprofits are 501(c)(3) organizations formed for charitable, religious, educational, or scientific purposes, and are eligible for state and federal tax exemptions. To create a 501(c)(3) you must first form an Indiana nonprofit corporation and then apply for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Our Indiana business lawyers also assist other types of tax-exempt organizations including civic leagues, social welfare organizations, and social or recreational clubs.Business Succession Planning
The business attorneys at our Indiana firm advise clients on arrangements to transfer their business and assets after they die. In some cases, it’s possible to transfer property through a simple will along with a form of ownership that automatically transfers on death. However, this is not the best solution for everyone or every type of business. Owners of family businesses often wish to ensure their business stays intact and within the family for generations to come. We can organize your business in such a way that ownership will be shared among the members of future generations without the division of assets. It may be appropriate to establish a trust as part of the business succession planning process. Some business owners use a living trust (also called a grantor trust) that allows them to place assets such as their business in trust during their lifetime. After their death, the trustee distributes their assets to the designated beneficiaries. Another useful business succession planning technique is to designate a beneficiary of stock in a corporation or interest in an LLC. Our experienced lawyers will help create a succession plan that ensures your wishes are honored.Consult a Knowledgeable Business Lawyer in Indiana
We provide a broad range of legal services required by businesses and nonprofit organizations. For thoughtful guidance in growing and protecting your entity, or for fierce advocacy in a dispute, consult the attorneys at Harshman Ponist Smith & Rayl, LLC. We represent clients statewide. Call us at (317) 964-6000 or contact us via our online form.