Small businesses like yours often have numerous questions about corporate records, record-keeping requirements, state laws, and practical applications.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get. Please call our office if you have additional questions at +1 (714) 634-1414.

1. I am just a small business. Corporate lawyers are for the big guys. How does my business fit in with your client base?

If you’re a small to medium-sized business, you’re probably a candidate for our services. The base demographic of our clients are:

  • 1-3 owners
  • from 0 to 10 employees
  • earning between $50,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 per year.

Many of our clients have grown their businesses beyond that average, while some choose to remain at a size manageable for the family.

2. My wife and I are the only shareholders. Do we really have to prepare minutes annually?

Yes. There are no exceptions in the law for small, family-owned businesses. If you want the benefits a corporation offers, you have to meet the same requirements as every other corporation including the big guys. No “small business” exceptions for the little guy.

3. I have not done our records for a few years. Can we catch them up now?

Yes, the sooner, the better. Preparing the corporate records is like buying insurance. If the insurance is put into place before the problems occur, you have coverage. If you wait until your corporation is under siege, you could be in big trouble.

4. Don’t you all use a “boilerplate form,” so can’t I just get one from the Internet?

You have to ask yourself some revealing questions and answer them truthfully: Who prepared the forms? How recently were they updated? Are you using the correct forms? So you have a complete set? When you run into problems, are you satisfied with technical support from India?

Attorneys whose practices specialize in counseling corporations can charge upwards of $450 per hour to advise clients and prepare corporate documents for their business affairs. Why would any business even consider such a thing when a form can be bought from an online legal stationery store?

Need a hint? Here is the warning that appears with the standard Internet order:

The forms are Bylaws, Minutes, Shareholders Agreement(s), Operating Agreements, Certificates, and other forms and documents enclosed with this order are offered as a sample, only, of standard provisions contained in such forms, documents, and certificates. They do not purport to address the specific requirements of individual transactions or situations. Persons outside the legal profession who intend to utilize any such forms, documents, and certificates must seek competent legal counsel prior to their use or adaptation thereof for his or their particular requirements.

Here is another way to look at it. A corporate tax return is two pages plus attachments. The IRS posts the forms for free in .PDF format. They are formatted so you just fill in the boxes with your numbers. They even give you detailed instructions with time estimates. Simple and inexpensive. Do you do fill in the forms or do you pay a professional to do it for you?

5. Money is not the issue, I am just too busy to leave the office to take care of this. Do you have a solution?

The key to the process is for us to audit the original documents. We always recommend a personal conference. However, due to distance or time constraints, many clients accept our offer to send a UPS driver to pick up the records. You pack up the records; UPS picks them up and delivers them to us. The records are tracked every step of the way to us. Once we have audited the records, we have a teleconference with you to discuss the results and the next steps.

6. Once we start the program, what do I have to do to stay on top of it next year?

We initiate contact with you every year. We send you reminders. We send you a questionnaire to organize the process. Based upon the information you provide to us, we provide completed documents tailored to your company with stickers indicating where you need to sign.

7. Is the preparation of corporate minutes all you guys do?

Although we prepare lots of minutes annually, we actually do much more. We help entrepreneurs from start to finish with their formative, legal maintenance, and transactional needs. We:

  • form business entities–corporations and LLCs–in California and other states
  • run the annual Corporate Record Maintenance program
  • draft and review agreements
  • help our clients buy and sell businesses, and
  • dissolve corporations as necessary.

Need more answers? Call us at +1 (714) 634-1414. We’re here to help.