Business Development

Entity Formation

A fundamental way that SMS assists with business development is in advising its clients on the right type of entity to form, then implementing that formation.  The firm regularly advises individuals, partnerships, companies and corporations in a wide variety of industries and a broad range of business transactions. SMS represents entrepreneurs and established companies alike, whether they are developers and home builders, government contractors, or main street retail.

Not surprisingly, for a more traditional, local business, advice on choice of entity also requires an ability to advise on estate planning, succession management and wealth preservation.  Similarly, for SMS technology clients, advice on choice of entity requires an ability to advise on intellectual property and technology transfer.

Of course, most businesses eventually have more than one owner.  In those circumstances, sophisticated yet practical business advice can guide the process. SMS can help the client structure the relationships between owners through:

  • Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements;
  • Cross Purchase Agreements;
  • Employment Agreements;
  • Stock Incentive or Option Agreements; and
  • Shareholders Agreements.

Even after the idea for the business entity is set in motion and corporate governance is settled, SMS maintains its relationship as a trusted advisor for the business, encouraging its marketing, capitalization and integration in the larger business community.   

At SMS, we also remain dedicated to supporting those civic and charitable organizations that support our larger community.  To that end, we regularly provide advice and assistance on the establishment and maintenance of non-profit and charitable business entities. As with our traditional business clients, we then dedicate ourselves to helping those entities thrive.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The attorneys at SMS are highly skilled advisors on all of the transactional needs of a successful and growing business.  Our lawyers help structure a variety of business arrangements to allow companies to come together, including:

  • Joint Ventures;
  • Licensing;
  • Distribution Agreements;
  • Asset Purchase Agreements;
  • Stock Purchase Agreements;
  • Franchise Agreements; and
  • Other Strategically Collaborative Arrangements.    

SMS recognizes that strategic arrangements – whether they are traditional “mergers and acquisitions” or otherwise, are part of corporate strategy, company finance, and even management.  They can help a company add new assets and talent, grow a new sector, or even add a new location or enter a new region.

SMS strives to be general counsel for its business clients, offering a full range of legal support and business counseling.  We help make your choice on your next business step easier because we remain along side as a trusted advisor. Planning in your business should be no less important than planning in your personal life, and the quality of the advice you receive should be no less exceptional.

Government And Agency Relationships

Our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience in helping to develop and define laws shaping the local economy.  We serve clients at all levels of state, county and municipal government and even federal agencies.  For our clients, the ability to influence a result at those levels is the intersection of law, business and government. 

An effective government affairs practice requires not only strategic planning skills, but also tactical implementation skills.  SMS assists its clients and the organizations that it supports to determine what outcomes would best serve their interests.  Our attorneys then build and implement a plan to achieve those outcomes. 

As leaders of public policy advocacy, SMS attorneys apply an in-depth knowledge of the mechanics of government and its interplay with modern business.  We strive to facilitate our clients’ interests and to expedite any regulatory or creative solutions relating to those interests.  We strive to keep our clients strategically ahead of critical events and issues.

Sometimes, government and agency representation requires that our attorneys formally serve as lobbyists.  In those circumstances, we not only practice law, but help draft it.  In this capacity, our clients benefit from the firm’s knowledge of the nuances of legislative and administrative politics and procedures. 

However, maintaining an ongoing compliance relationship with a regulatory agency is often just as important as obtaining an initial approval.  For example, SMS lawyers have advised and assisted local business owners and restaurants on matters related to the issuance and maintenance of liquor licenses.  SMS can assist your business to obtain a license, transfer a license when a business is being purchased or sold, or even convert a license from one class to another.  However, SMS can also educate and advise such clients on sustaining a rapport with the licensing agency and, thereby, the community.  The same holds true of our land use and development clients.  Maintaining an ongoing rapport with the governments and agencies in charge of approving and permitting a project is crucial to the success of that project.