Acting as counsel to founders, buyers, and sellers, we have significant experience representing businesses from formation to sale, and have dedicated resources to make sure that you understand every aspect of the transaction. Our attorneys represent every type of business entity available in Arkansas, including S corporations, C corporations, limited liability companies, general partnerships, limited partnerships, sole proprietorships and nonprofit corporations. From choosing an entity type, reserving and filing a corporate name, filing articles of incorporation or organization, filing foreign corporations, and reserving trademarks and service marks, our attorneys are here to walk you through every step of the process.
The terms "corporation" and "corporate" are used in a general sense and encompass all business organizations regulated by the State of Arkansas. Persons desiring to organize a corporation in Arkansas must apply to the Arkansas Secretary of State for authority to conduct business or other activities as a corporation. Through the Business and Commercial Services Division, the Arkansas Secretary of State approves various kinds of corporate transactions and issues certificates giving effect to these transactions. The Business and Commercial Services Division is also the holder of the records of almost 140,000 active corporations organized in or authorized to conduct business in Arkansas and these files are public and may be inspected or copied upon request for a fee.
When starting a business, you may choose from several business forms or organizations. A variety of organizational structures are available for transacting business in Arkansas. In deciding which form of business is appropriate for your venture, a lawyer, CPA, tax advisor or financial advisor can provide critical information. Choosing the proper business entity for your business is vital to the success of your project. One of the primary considerations in selecting a business organization is protection of the owners of the business from liability. Other considerations include tax treatment by the federal and state governments, management structure, future ownership, and capitalization. Arkansas laws determine how particular entities should be set up and conduct their business. These laws are very specific and set out the legal responsibility of each business form. Taxing authorities and regulatory agencies also have laws that pertain to business. There is much written about choosing and how to set up the proper form of business for your needs. Information can be found at libraries, small business development centers and on the Internet. Ultimately, however, legal counsel or a certified public accountant may be needed to help you make the decision.
Choosing the right business entity to maximize profits and minimize taxes is the foundation of business tax planning, and our attorneys are second to none among Arkansas law firms in their ability to advise your company. We help our clients evaluate which entity is best to meet growth and financing needs while taking full advantage of available tax advantages and limiting liability.
With respect to intellectual property, individuals and entities, both foreign and domestic, may choose to register their trademarks or service marks with the State of Arkansas and or the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). A trademark is recognized as a symbol of the business and its product, and is denoted by "TM" as a superscript or subscript beside the mark. Only a trademark registered with the USPTO may use the ® mark. A service mark, denoted by "SM," symbolizes the services an entity offers. The attorneys at Westark Law have handled every aspect of the trademark process. From filing an application, to prosecution and appeal, our attorneys can ensure that your trademark is registered and protected. If you are buying or selling a business (often referred to as a merger or acquisition or "M&A") our attorneys will help you with the structuring, negotiation, documentation and closing of the deal, using our firm's full resources for everything from due diligence and tax-efficient deal structures, to financing and antitrust approval, to due diligence of employee benefits and non-compete agreements in the acquired entity. From sole proprietorships to C corporations, we have handled transactions for companies in a variety of business sectors, including retail, manufacturing, construction, technology and health care.
The attorneys at Westark Law assist clients in a range of transactions, such as asset purchase agreements, stock purchase agreements and joint ventures. Acting as counsel to both buyers and sellers, we have significant experience representing clients in many different industry segments and have dedicated resources to make sure that we understand every aspect of each client's business.
Our team works with clients dealing with corporate, transactional and M&A matters who expect their lawyers to provide strategic counsel and practical solutions delivered on time and on demand. Often, however, transactions require a multidisciplinary but unified approach drawing industry knowledge across several sectors. Our experience includes representing clients from a wide spectrum of industries, and we regularly are called to draw on our knowledge of tax, ERISA, securities, labor and employment, environmental, immigration and intellectual property law.
The key to a successful engagement lies in the client-favored outcome of each transaction. Through a combination of industry experience, transactional knowledge and ongoing communication, Westark Law has repeatedly achieved positive results and exceeded client expectations.