Corporate Law Services
As companies grow, their needs and requirements change. The one thing remains consistent is the need for reliable and practical legal advice. Whether you are looking to restructure your business, whether you are buying or selling an existing business or whether you are appointing a new director to your board, taking legal advice before making a major decision can save you significant time and money. The experienced corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns will help you navigate every aspect of corporate law, making sure that your business is organised to best suit your purposes.
Corporate law deals with matters relating to corporations and the financing and running of them. Legal areas that are covered by corporate law can include partnership and shareholders agreements, buying, selling and merging companies and matters relating to the board of directors. As a corporation is considered to be a single entity in the eyes of the law, it will be treated as separate to its owners, directors and shareholders and much of corporate law deals with a company as if it were an artificial person.
If you are looking for legal advice on contracts and agreements between businesses or between businesses and customers, please see our commercial law services page.
Our commercial team are also rated as a ‘Leading Firm’ in the 2020 Legal 500 for our corporate and commercial work.
Partnership and Shareholders Agreements
A sole trader is a self-employed person who operates and runs a business. A sole trader and their business are not legally distinct entities, which can potentially be problematic for the owner. If the business runs into trouble, the business owner could find themselves financially liable for any debts the business has accrued. Many business owners prefer to organise their business into a partnership, limited company or limited liability partnership for the protection that these business structures offer.
A partnership can be an effective way of running a small to medium sized business. A business partnership without a formal partnership agreement is governed by the Partnership Act 1890 which, due to its age, does not always cater well for modern business practices. A partnership agreement allows the partners more control over ownership, liability and finances.
While everything is going well, you may not feel that a formal agreement is important, but when problems arise, it can potentially be problematic and costly. Having a formalised partnership agreement can protect the partners against litigation, bankruptcy and disagreements.
Contact the Corporate Law team at Fraser Dawbarns for help with creating a partnership agreement that will best serve the interests of the partners and the business.
When their business reaches a certain size, many owners decide that it is worthwhile to form a limited company. There are many good reasons to do this, including limiting personal liability and gaining access to a wider range of funding options. Shareholders Agreements can cover any matter you would like them to, but the primary purpose is to regulate the rights and duties of the shareholders and to govern the way the company is run.
As with a partnership agreement, shareholders agreements are extremely helpful when things go wrong, and help to protect the shareholders from costly legal battles and can provide protections for minority shareholders.
The Corporate Law team at Fraser Dawbarns have experience helping numerous company owners with their shareholders agreements and can provide advice and support to your business.
Limited Liability Partnership Agreements
A limited liability partnership (LLP), despite its name, has a lot in common with a limited company in that it has a legal existence that is separate from its members who are not financially liable for more than they have invested in the company. LLPs have a tax and ownership structure that is more like a partnership. The LLP model is well suited to professional businesses such as solicitors and accountants.
As with partnerships and limited companies, having a limited liability partnership agreement can help to outline how the LLP will work on a day-to-day basis, covering how profits will be shared, how the partnership will be managed and how members can be added and removed as well as many other aspects of running the business. An agreement will also help to prevent conflict if any problems arise.
Contact the Corporate Law team at Fraser Dawbarns who can advise you on all aspects of creating a limited liability partnership agreement that will best serve the interests of the partners and the business.
Buying or selling a business can be a complicated and expensive process. Taking advice from a solicitor who is well-versed in corporate law will help you to make sure that the transaction will not leave you exposed to risk and ensure that your interests are protected. The corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns is highly experienced in advising businesses, both local and national, large and small, with a wide range of issues relating to the acquisition and disposal of businesses.
Buying a Business
A growing business will sometimes choose to acquire one of their competitors so that they can expand their service to a wider customer base. Alternatively, some business owners are looking to diversify their holdings and expand into new business areas.
Given the importance of such a decision, it is important to seek high quality legal advice early in the transaction to give us the opportunity to make the necessary enquiries and advise you on the purchase, including contracts, indemnities, covenants and existing employees.
Fraser Dawbarns can provide you with a full range of legal services relating to business acquisitions. Contact our corporate law team today for more information.
Selling a Business
If you are looking to sell your business, there are some important steps to take to maximise the value and help you to get the best possible price, this includes doing due diligence in finances and business strategy as well as IT infrastructure and business assets. You will also need to think about the level of involvement that you want to have in the business after the sale.
Business owners put so much of themselves into the business that the decision to sell is not always an easy one. Whatever your reasons for wanting to sell, the corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns can help you perform the necessary steps to ensure your sale goes as smoothly as possible and advise you on steps to take to maximise the value of your business.
If you are considering selling your business, contact Fraser Dawbarns today for a discussion on how we can help you find the best way to proceed.
Sometimes two or more businesses take the decision to merge, creating a new organisation with a new ownership structure and management. While not as common as an acquisition, there are still many forms that a merger can take. Before taking the decision to merge with another business, it is always prudent to discuss your goals for the merger with the corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns to ensure that we can best protect the interests of your business.
Restructuring is often associated with insolvency, but there are many reasons for restructuring a business. These can include creating a more tax-efficient structure, selling off part of a business or ring-fencing key assets. Whatever your reasons for considering business restructuring, the corporate law team can provide you with bespoke advice that ensures you get the best result from your business.
There may be times when the strategic goals of your business are best served in a collaborative venture with one or more other businesses. There are several different ways that joint ventures can be structured, and our corporate law solicitors will be able to discuss this with you to see which best suits your business goals.
It is important to make sure that all of the details are worked out before committing to the venture. It is important to consider who will manage and fund the joint venture as well as how equity will be held and how profits will be shared. Likewise if there will be any intellectual property created, it is important to decide on who will own this before entering into any joint venture.
By discussing your plans and any expectations you have with the corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns before committing your business to the joint venture, we can help you to get the most out of any collaboration with other businesses.
Working for an established family business or going into business with a family member can be very rewarding experience and it is common when working with family to go above and beyond to make sure that the business succeeds. However, because in a family business, the personal and the professional is closely connected, it is very important to make sure that there is a legal structure in place that clearly identifies who owns the business, the areas of responsibility of each family member and how they will financially benefit.
Family businesses can face a unique set of challenges, including the pressure to hire unqualified family members or disciplining family members who are not performing at an expected level. Succession can also present problems within the family. The fact that ownership is likely to pass between members of the family and not to other employees can also cause resentment amongst staff or cause recruiting problems.
Fraser Dawbarns understands family businesses well, having worked with family businesses of all sizes and structures. Working with the corporate law team at Fraser Dawbarns can pay dividends into the future for your family business as we help you lay out a structure and systems that can see your business through the generations.
Other Services for Businesses
The Commercial and Corporate team at Fraser Dawbarns offer a full range of services to business owners and corporate clients.
If you are looking for legal advice on contracts and agreements between two or more companies or between companies and customers, please see our commercial law services page.
If you are after information or advice relating to buying or selling commercial property, commercial leases, property development, investment and secured lending or environmental regulations and planning law, please see our commercial property services.
I cannot thank Samantha enough for helping me through what is a very stressful time having lost my dear husband in hospital and all the paperwork that is involved. I am grateful for her understanding.Client - Downham Market Office
Why Choose Fraser Dawbarns for your Business?
Direct Access to your Solicitor
Our commercial and corporate solicitors develop a good understanding of our client’s businesses and form close working relationships with our business clients. Clients who wish to arrange an appointment with our corporate law solicitors can do so easily, visiting us at any of our offices across East Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk. We can also visit you at your business if you prefer.
At Fraser Dawbarns we recognise that there is no ‘one size fits all’. With our flexible pricing options, we give our clients the choice of different pricing options. You can choose whether you would like us to undertake your work on a fixed fee basis or at an hourly rate, selecting the pricing option that best suits your needs.
No Hidden Charges
Clients opting for our fixed fee service, will know how much they will pay for the matter before we start work. Clients who prefer to be billed at an hourly rate will also be given a realistic range of costs before we begin. Transparency and trustworthiness are important to us and we will never surprise you with hidden charges that were not explained to you at the outset.
Contact Us Today
Our team will help you from the beginning of your case to the end, giving you total peace of mind. If you would like friendly, client focused advice on a wide range of legal issues, get in touch and see how we can help you.
Call or email us today and find out how we can make your life easier.