Business Formation

Based on his own first-hand experience founding and operating a successful real estate and investment business for nearly twenty years and founding his own legal practice, Jeff understands what it takes to operate a successful business. He can assist you in determining which business structure makes sense for your business goals and provide ongoing assistance as your business develops and grows. He has grown a successful business and strives to help others succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Structuring Your Business Entity - Various business structures offer different protections, liabilities, corporate governance considerations and tax consequences. Options for structuring your business entity include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • General Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Corporations

Creating a business structure typically involves filing paperwork and documentation with the Secretary of State. However, in creating a long-term business plan, Jeff wants his clients to know and understand each of their options to help them decide which of those options best serve their current and future business goals while protecting their personal assets as fully as possible. The business structure that one selects will have a significant impact on the income tax liability, business successors, types and number of investors allowed and the legal liability that you and your business may face. Consulting an experienced Ventura County business attorney will help you make a well-informed decision about your business structure.

California Business Entities

A Sole Proprietorship is one option for an individual to own and operate his or her own business. The sole proprietor maintains total control of the business and will receive all profits. The sole proprietor will also be responsible for all taxes and liabilities that the business creates. Unless the business uses the owner's personal name to operate the business, the sole proprietor must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement (also known as a "dba").

A General Partnership is an entity formed when two or more people are engaged in a for-profit business. All of the partners are jointly liable for the obligations of the partnership unless the parties agree otherwise.  Each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business as well as sharing in the tax liabilities of the business.

A Limited Partnership may be a good option when there is at least one controlling general partner and one limited partner. The limited partner’s liability is limited to the amount of money the partner has invested in the business. The general partners will be subject to unlimited personal liability for the partnership’s debts and obligations.

A Limited Liability Partnership in California refers to a partnership engaged in professional services. Accountants, lawyers, architects and engineers often form LLPs.

A Corporation is a legal entity that is owned by stockholders. It exists separately from its organizers. Corporations may be designated as an S-Corporation or a C-Corporation. These designations differ in their tax liabilities and each offers its own advantages and disadvantages. A business designated as a C-Corporation refers to a standard corporation. Small businesses may elect to file as an S-Corporation to gain a special tax status with the IRS.  The Conejo Valley Law Group can handle all of these filings on your behalf. 

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) offers liability protection that is similar to that provided by a corporation but allows for more flexibility.  Like a corporation, an LLC is a legal entity that exists separately from its owners.  The majority of new businesses in California are set up as LLCs because they provide the same legal protection as a corporation while providing far greater flexibility in corporate governance, financial management and several other areas.

Contact Ventura County Attorney Jeffrey Moscot

The process of forming a new business can be daunting for new entrepreneurs who want to focus on their new business instead of all of the legal issues surrounding its formation. Jeff is an experienced small business lawyer who can explain both the benefits and the drawbacks of each type of business structure. He will discuss your business goals and help you identify the business entity that will best fit the short and long-term needs of your business. He can also draft and file all of the necessary paperwork so that you can focus on running your business.