If you own a farm or ranch, you know you have to run it like a business in order to maintain a successful enterprise. Like any business owner, farmers and ranchers can benefit from the counsel of an experienced business lawyer, especially one who is well-versed in agricultural law. An agribusiness attorney in Wichita will serve your interests by offering legal advice on government programs and regulations, property matters, and agribusiness planning.
While there are government programs available to financially assist farmers and ranchers, there are also environmental, labor, and regulatory policies that can restrict day-to-day operations and ultimately affect the bottom line. An agricultural lawyer will ensure that you remain in compliance with the law and will pursue any government benefits that may be available to you. Farmers must also protect their real property, as the land is their livelihood. You can rely on an agribusiness attorney to handle such property issues as farm and mineral leases, collateralization, liens, water rights, property taxes, and more. A lawyer with experience in both agriculture and business can also assist with financial planning, succession planning, and tax filing to preserve the ongoing health of your agricultural enterprise.
Mergers and acquisitions are often considered synonymous, but these methods of joining companies do differ and can mean different things for your business. An acquisition occurs when one company takes over another; once purchased, the target company essentially ceases to exist. During a merger, two equally sized businesses decide to form a single new company together. For an ideal merger or acquisition, the joined company should have greater value, efficiency, and market share than the sum of the two businesses separately. A knowledgeable business lawyer in Wichita can work closely with you throughout the mergers and acquisitions process.
Assess Your Finances
A business attorney will advise you to rigorously evaluate your company’s financial health, including debt, capital funding, and liquid assets. Especially if you are purchasing another company, you will need enough liquidity to make the acquisition successful. Valuation of both businesses is also essential in order to accurately determine the worth of each and to ensure a fair transaction.
Define Your Goals
What do you hope to gain through a merger or acquisition ? Do you want to outmatch a competitor? Is your aim to acquire new intellectual capital? Do you hope to increase market share? Your business lawyer can help you answer these and other questions about how the transaction may lead to meeting your objectives.
Research M&A Candidates
Most business law experts will tell you that it’s important to establish your goals for a merger or acquisition before focusing on particular companies to pursue. If you become fixated on a business first, you may fail to recognize its true value or overlook other viable candidates. The companies you consider should also be able to integrate with your operational and organizational structure. Once you’ve done your due diligence on the candidates’ finances, staff, technology, and operations, you can determine which is the best strategic fit.
Keep Employees Informed
It’s best to be transparent and communicative with staff on both sides. Mergers and acquisitions typically do require a reduction in workforce in order to eliminate redundancies, so be upfront in order to quell rumors and uncertainty. A business attorney can help you navigate these sensitive employer-employee relations. You will also want to establish a transition team that includes leaders from both sides so that you can anticipate challenges and ensure a smooth integration.
What Are the Benefits of Forming a Sole Proprietorship?
A sole proprietorship is an attractive business model for many people because of its simple structure. With a sole proprietorship, there is no distinction between the unincorporated business itself and its sole owner, who is directly responsible for and entitled to all losses, debts, gains, profits, and liabilities. Consult a business lawyer in Wichita to determine what’s right for your business, and watch this video for a quick introduction to sole proprietorships.
One advantage of a sole proprietorship is that, because losses and gains flow to you automatically, you may net more income using your personal tax rate than a corporate tax rate. Another benefit is the ability to be your own boss, and you are not restricted in the number of employees you can hire to help run your business. If you are embarking on your first business endeavor, a sole proprietorship may be the best option, but it’s important to explore all avenues and to evaluate the future trajectory of your company with the assistance of a knowledgeable business attorney.
Many family business owners spend all their energies focusing on future growth and survival of their business, failing to consider an exit strategy. Whether you hope to sell your business, transfer ownership to a family member, or dissolve the company entirely, it’s vital to plan your exit strategy in advance with the help of an experienced business lawyer in Wichita . A robust exit strategy is particularly important for protecting your business’s legacy against the unexpected.
The guidance of a business attorney is invaluable when handling the complex family dynamics that surround selection of a successor. Choosing a successor doesn’t happen overnight, and some business law experts even recommend that you begin succession planning 15 years before your retirement. You must objectively consider who is the most qualified and who has the ability and willingness to lead the company. Once you select new leadership, you need to develop a formal training plan that allows your successor to hone his or her skills before you exit. Establishing a firm timetable for when your successor will assume certain roles and responsibilities will help everyone in the business know what to expect and when. With the advice of a business lawyer, you should also decide whether you wish to retain some control or continue to work part-time while your successor is being installed.
By preparing an exit strategy in advance, you can have time to implement changes that raise your business’s worth and lay the groundwork for selling on your own terms . Some family business owners choose to sell to employees or business partners. These buyers are often more motivated to see the business prosper and thrive than third-party buyers, so you may feel more confident in your business’s legacy. An employee or partner will also have inside knowledge that could be beneficial when transitioning leadership. However, third parties tend to have the financial resources for bigger and more immediate buyouts. Financial buyers seek a high return on investment and will be interested in your business’s assets and finances. A strategic buyer may be a competitor or related business that is looking to expand and diversify. Your business lawyer can help you and a buyer agree on terms, organize your financial statements, and protect your proprietary information.