3030 Bridgeway, Suite 435, Sausalito, CA 94965
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Experienced Attorneys Offer Seasoned Advice to Small Businesses in the Bay Area

Trusted guidance for business models, contracts, and formations in California

Few endeavors are as exhilarating as starting your own business. But without competent legal help at the outset, everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve may not even get off the ground. At the Ballard Law Office, we have more than 35 years of experience advising small businesses on formations, contracts, transactions, and other legal issues. We can quickly assess your situation and business needs and provide you with reliable advice on how best to move forward. Whether you’re starting a partnership, drafting a buy-sell agreement, or forming your own LLC, we’re ready to provide you with competent legal support.

Knowledgeable attorney helps you choose the right model for your small business

If you’re looking to start your own company, you’ll need to determine what type of formation best suits your business goals. Our firm can guide you in choosing the right entity among these:

  • Sole proprietorship — Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships. This business formation allows a single individual to own or operate a business. While sole proprietors exert total control and receive all the business’s profits, they are also solely responsible for expenditures, including taxes, and liable for all losses.
  • General partnership — When two or more individuals wish to engage in business for profit together, they may file for a general partnership.
  • Limited partnership — Under a limited partnership, some or all of the partners may have limited liability.
  • Limited liability partnership — An LLP is a partnership that usually comprises licensed professionals such as CPAs, lawyers, engineers, surveyors, and others.
  • Limited liability company — In California, limited liability companies are taxed differently from corporations but still have similar liability protections.
  • Corporation — A corporation is a business entity separate from its owners that limits owners’ personal liability.
  • S corporation — These can be ordinary corporations, LLCs, or partnerships that choose to pass income, losses, deductions and credit to shareholders for federal tax purposes.

The first step toward running a successful business is hiring an experienced business attorney you can trust. The second step is choosing the right business formation. We can carefully review your industry and objectives and determine the formation most suited for your unique needs.

Skilled attorneys draft sound contracts for small-business owners

Sound and unambiguous contracts are the cornerstone of all successful businesses. They help you to avoid disputes and offer a clear way of handling them should they occur. At our firm, we meticulously draft and review contracts for your company to ensure the obligations of all signing parties are clearly explained. Whether you need help drafting a partnership agreement, commercial contract, or buy-sell agreement, you can count on our attorneys to look out for your best interests.

Setting up an LLC in California

A limited liability company (LLC) is a favored model of many small business owners in California because it offers limited personal liability exposure while retaining important tax benefits of the sole proprietorship. If you would like to set up your own LLC, you must first choose a name. We can help you choose a name that meets the state’s guidelines. Next, you must register with the California Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms and paying the necessary fees. We can guide you through each step in the process of starting an LLC in California and ensure you comply with all tax and regulatory requirements.

Contact our established business law attorneys in Marin County

The Ballard Law Office provides comprehensive business law advice to small-business owners in San Francisco and throughout Marin and Alameda counties. Please call 415-781-3500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney at our Larkspur office.


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