Business and Corporate

Grand Rapids Business Attorneys

Sophisticated Business and Corporate Legal Guidance in Kalamazoo and Ottawa Counties

A well-run business can produce many successes for entrepreneurs, business owners and executives. Many businesses, however, will face challenges and even turbulent, uncertain times. At McShane & Bowie, we can help you to achieve your business objectives, close transactions, and navigate difficult waters if they come. No matter how complex your business or corporate matter may be, our Kent County business lawyers have a singular focus – understanding your goals and leveraging our extensive expertise to guide you through to the best solution. 

You can rely on our dynamic team to work to limit potential liabilities and further your successes throughout your business’s lifecycle, from entity selection and formation to operations and growth (whether organic or through mergers and acquisitions), to succession planning and exit strategies. We have many decades of combined experience and aim to be your proven advisors, negotiators, and legal partners.

Get the capable legal advocate your business deserves. Contact us online or call (616) 747-7922 to discuss your needs with us.

Start-Ups and New Entity Formations

Every successful business needs a strong foundation, which begins with optimal entity selection and the construction of effective, forward-thinking formation documents. After carefully reviewing your venture’s short- and long-term objectives, we can recommend the appropriate business entity and provide devoted support throughout the formation process.

Our team can assist you with:

  • Formation of partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and tax-exempt organizations
  • Drafting, reviewing, and registering partnership agreements
  • Drafting, reviewing, and registering operating agreements or Articles of Organization
  • Drafting, reviewing, and registering corporate bylaws and shareholder agreements
  • Drafting, reviewing, and finalizing voting agreements
  • Drafting, reviewing, and finalizing joint venture agreements

How To Start A Business in Grand Rapids, MI

Starting a business in Michigan calls for meticulous planning and expert guidance. At McShane & Bowie, we offer over two decades of experience and practical solutions to help you navigate legalities, licenses, and financial considerations, turning your entrepreneurial vision into reality. Let a Grand Rapids corporate attorney from our firm  trusted partner on this transformative journey.

  1. Choose Your Business Idea: Thoroughly research and evaluate business ideas that are aligned with your skills, resources, and market demands. Crafting a business plan aids in assessing costs, competition, and revenue strategies, vital for seeking funding or investors.
  2. Decide On A Legal Structure: Opting for the right business entity impacts liability, taxation, and flexibility. A seasoned corporate lawyer in Grand Rapids at McShane & Bowie can assist in selecting a structure that suits your goals and financial preferences.
  3. Choose a Name: Ensure name distinctiveness for LLCs and corporations by navigating checks and filings. File an assumed name certificate if your business name differs from your surname.
  4. Create Your Business Entity: From filing articles of organization for LLCs to setting up corporations, our guidance ensures compliant and efficient business formation.
  5. Obtain Licenses and Permits: A corporate law attorney can simplify the maze of tax registrations, including sales tax licenses and EINs, as well as professional and regulatory licenses.
  6. Select a Business Location and Check Zoning: Assess costs and verify zoning regulations before finalizing a location that aligns with your business plan.
  7. File Taxes: Our expertise covers tax compliance processes, including state taxes, annual report filings, and employer taxes when applicable.
  8. Obtain Insurance: Explore insurance options like general liability insurance to protect against potential claims.
  9. Open a Business Bank Account: Separate finances by establishing a dedicated business bank account, vital for certain entities to maintain liability protection.

At McShane & Bowie, a Grand Rapids corporate lawyer at our firm can help streamline the process of establishing your business, offering practical and cost-effective solutions. By working with our Michigan firm, your business journey will be guided by experienced professionals, offering tailored support. Contact us to benefit from our comprehensive assistance.

Corporate Transactions and Governance

Healthy corporate governance balances transparency, accountability, responsibility, and risk management with the company’s objectives. We are prepared to advise boards of directives on effective corporate governance strategies. Corporations are also beholden to strictly enforced reporting requirements, and we can help ensure these obligations are met.

Our Grand Rapids business attorneys are prepared to assist with a wide variety of corporate transactions, including those involving:

  • Purchases and sales of assets
  • Commercial loans
  • Commercial real estate transactions
  • Corporate taxes
  • Dissolution and liquidation

Our services include comprehensive support when negotiating, drafting, and reviewing transactional contracts, such as:

  • Buy and sell agreements
  • Master service agreements
  • Supplier and vendor contracts
  • Employment agreements
  • Software and other intellectual property licensing agreements

Mergers and Acquisitions

There may come a time when it becomes advantageous to acquire another business, merge with another company, or allow your venture to be acquired as part of an exit strategy. Our legal professionals are well-versed in these inherently complex transactions and will serve as your resourceful and knowledgeable guide from start to finish. In addition to conducting thorough due diligence, we will take steps to verify the prospective transaction will produce the desired outcomes and withstand regulatory scrutiny.

Our firm can assist with:

  • Purchases and sales of business organizations
  • Recapitalizations and reorganizations
  • Statutory mergers and combinations
  • Tax-free reorganizations
  • Joint ventures

Labor and Employment Matters

Acquiring and managing a dependable workforce is essential to running and growing a strong business. Your company must make every effort to protect its interests and limit the possibility of litigious conflict when engaging with employees at all levels. This can frequently be accomplished through the implementation of robust contracts and other best practices. 

McShane & Bowie can help your business develop and implement:

  • Employment agreements
  • Employee handbooks
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Severance agreements
  • Executive and deferred compensation agreements
  • Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Deferred compensation planning and agreements
  • Incentive compensation planning and agreements 

Business Succession Planning

Every business needs an enforceable, agreed-upon plan for what will happen when its founder or any other high-level executive departs the company for any reason, including retirement or death. Companies without a clear succession plan tend to lose focus and fall into disarray as top leaders fight to fill the power vacuum. 

Our Grand Rapids business lawyers can help you:

  • Select potential successors
  • Determine the value of your business
  • Implement mechanisms that ensure your surviving loved ones will continue to be provided for after you pass away or retire
  • Implement transfer vehicles, such as life insurance policies, cross-purchase agreements, and entity-purchase agreements
  • Explore how to efficiently remove a problematic executive

Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations

Our firm’s services are not limited to for-profit enterprises. We are also prepared to advise nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations in many types of endeavors, including those involving governance, incorporation, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and federal and state compliance.

We represent many types of nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations, including:

  • Public charities
  • Private foundations
  • Professional and trade associations
  • Schools and educational institutions
  • Churches and religious organizations
  • Social service organizations
  • Community development and relief organizations

Property Tax Services and Appeals

The rate at which commercial property is taxed in Michigan is tied to property value, not purchase price. This dynamic makes securing an optimal yet fair valuation extremely important. We have an extensive understanding of commercial real estate law and can provide resourceful, solutions-oriented guidance in this area.

Our legal professionals can assist you with:

  • Valuation and appraisal counseling
  • Real estate assessment and taxable value appeals
  • Property tax uncapping
  • Property tax exemption claims
  • Board of review representation
  • State Tax Commission representation
  • Michigan Tax Tribunal representation

Michigan and Federal Business Tax Services

Our firm assists with business tax planning at all phases of a venture’s lifecycle. We can coordinate these planning efforts with your estate plan and personal income tax planning. Our team can also help you prepare corporate or other business-related tax returns.

We are prepared to help you resolve all tax-related complications or problems that could emerge, including

  • Nexus issues
  • Voluntary disclosures and tax amnesty
  • Tax audits and controversies
  • U.S. Tax Court litigation
  • U.S. District Court tax litigation
  • Criminal tax representation

Regardless of your business’s industry or size, we are confident we have the skills and experience needed to protect and advance your interests. Call (616) 747-7922 or contact us online to learn more. 

Client Testimonials

  • "I've been with McShane & Bowie for almost 20 years, and wouldn't consider going elsewhere. The team has taken excellent care of me."
    Karen S.
  • "McShane & Bowie is patient, compassionate, super-smart, and well-prepared and chooses cases carefully to make sure they are able to give each client their full attention. Details do not slip past ..."
    Avvo User
  • "I highly recommend McShane & Bowie, very impressive knowledge and work ethic."
    Blake H.
  • Experienced

    We have the skill & experience needed to protect your rights & vital interests & get the results you need to succeed.

  • Trusted

    Founded in 1952, we have a longstanding and excellent reputation in the community.

  • Devoted

    Your lead attorney is with you, every step of the way, working to achieve your desired results while minimizing unnecessary delays and costs.

  • Resourceful

    Each legal challenge is met head-on with specialized knowledge, a tailored plan, and innovative thinking.

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