Panama City Tax Law Attorney
Tax Lawyer Serving Clients in Panama City, Florida
Nearly every significant business decision has tax consequences. As a Panama City tax attorney, I advise clients on matters such as: the purchase or sale of a business; the admission and/or departure of business principals; preparation of corporate minutes; the drafting, reviewing, and negotiation of contracts; as well as many of the critical business agreements such as buy/sell agreements, partnership agreements, and shareholder/operating agreements
When a client knows who they want to ultimately control their business, I can help with the development of a business succession plan. I also advise my clients on selecting the appropriate business entity, as well as dissolution and restructuring of existing entities. It is important to note that the most tax efficient way to structure a business transaction may not be what is best for the business and the principals as a whole. Ultimately, I expect my clients make the difficult decisions. My goal is simply to help them understand the relevant consequences.
As a Panama City tax lawyer, I also represent businesses and individuals after a determination has been made that taxes and/or penalties are owed. These initial decisions are not necessarily determinative. In many cases, both legal and mathematical errors can be found. When properly identified, these errors should be easy to resolve; and the savings can be significant.
Generally speaking, if the facts are in the taxpayer's favor and the law is clear, the authorities are happy to resolve the issue and to close the file. That said, when the legal issues are less clear, they may have to be resolved though the appeals process, or possibly in court.
If you are a business owner or an individual involved in a tax controversy or need help structuring your business to minimize tax liabilities, I can provide the counsel you may need. I offer legal assistance to individuals, businesses, and corporations on all tax matters.
Do you need legal assistance with a tax issue? Contact Panama City tax attorney Max W. McCord III to discuss your situation.
What are some of the benefits of conducting business through a legal entity?
One of the most important benefits is the protection of your personal assets against the claims of creditors. Generally speaking, directors, officers, managers, members, and stockholders (the interested parties) are not held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business entity. The interested parties should be limited in their personal liability to the amount invested in the company. Another legal benefit is the transferability of ownership, which can be done either in whole or in part. Also, some estate tax planning options are only available to business entities. Retirement funds, such as 401ks may be established more easily. Also, a business entity can acquire and establish its own credit rating.
What are some of the mistakes people make when going into business?There are always risks involved in going into business. As most people know, a majority of small businesses do not succeed in the long run. Mistakes of new business owners may include the lack of a realistic business plan, underestimating costs and tax liabilities, and unfavorable business contracts/agreements. Even more problematic is a failure to understand the business or the marketplace, underestimating the competition, and/or not being effective at managing a business. Responsibility for these latter areas ultimately falls to the owners, but sound legal advice can substantially improve the chances of success.
How can I be protected from liability claims that arise from my business?
Generally speaking, business owners doing business as limited liability companies, corporations, or limited partnerships do not have personal liability for the obligations or debts of the business. This assumes that no personal guarantees have been executed. If the business has been properly created, it is a separate legal entity. The details of formation are important, and the filing fees must be paid. If properly created and maintained, the assets owned by the business should be the only ones that are subject to debt or other liability considerations.