Business Law & Contract Litigation Attorneys


Gainesville, FL, Lawyers: Experienced Litigators

On an annual basis, we successfully try, litigate, and settle numerous contract disputes at the domestic and international level for a variety of fields such as construction and real estate, consulting, entertainment, finance, manufacturing, media and entertainment, technology, and medical. Our team of business law attorneys in Gainesville, FL, regularly take on important legal disputes involving contracts of great significance to our large number of business clients. However, we are usually able to resolve the dispute outside of the trial setting with a motion or settle on desirable terms for our client.


Business Disputes

Can a business sue another business? Of course. Business-to-business disputes make up a large portion of civil lawsuits. Most often, breach of contract, open account, or account stated are the causes of action. Open account and account stated claims apply to situations where businesses have an ongoing relationship of transactions and an unpaid balance exists. In other words, there may not necessarily be one contract, but more of a series of contracts or purchase orders for which payment is past due. Other disputes can include unfair competition, interference with a contract, interference with a business relationship, professional negligence or professional malpractice. As a whole, these types of law fall into a category known as business litigation or commercial litigation. The contract litigation attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts have extensive experience handling business disputes and commercial litigation cases. To discuss your situation, schedule a consultation to determine what type of legal action, if any, may assist your business in resolving an issue that is damaging your bottom line.


Contract Disputes

Breach of contract actions are among the most common types of civil disputes. They can occur between individuals, businesses, or between a business and an individual. Sometimes, contracts between two parties have an intended third-party beneficiary that may have rights if one party breaches the contract. The attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts have experience dealing with many types of contract disputes. The most common mistake clients make is waiting too long to consult a business law attorney. Sometimes, serious disputes and litigation can be avoided if a party seeks legal advice at the first sign of trouble. Contracts can be modified, terminated, or otherwise renegotiated to protect legal interests before it’s too late. The attorneys at Warner Sechrest & Butts are able to draft contracts, review contracts, revise contracts, and litigate contract disputes.


Our Approach

Our strategic approach generally starts with a case assessment which is comprised of fact gathering, preliminary legal research, and an in-depth analysis of the contract. This often requires an interview of the business administrators responsible for the negotiation and administration of the contract, as well as working with the client to obtain relevant documents and information. We also scan the “back end” of the contract for provisions which may influence the legal process. This may include whether a dispute will go to mediation, arbitration or court, which party is responsible or entitled to court fees, and if any alternative solutions are available in the agreement. Our Gainesville law firm is highly qualified at obtaining the important information required to resolve a case while avoiding setbacks to our clients’ businesses. Sometimes we may only need to negotiate settlements and advise our clients, but we are fully capable of successfully litigating issues in a trial setting.


Pre-Litigation and Risk Management

As a result of our comprehensive experience with contract litigation, we are often asked to review drafts of contracts for our clients as a litigation assessment or risk management tool. This allows our clients to improve their contractual standing prior to the negotiation of the final contract. In the modern day, contract disputes can influence the long-term survival of a company so it is essential that any potential complications are addressed prior to the final negotiation and signing.

Business law is a large field that deals with federal and state laws and regulations that govern the operation of businesses. Everything from the form and maintenance of a business, mergers, acquisitions, contracts, and negotiations are encompassed under business law.

When selecting a business form for your business, you will need to consider several factors. We recommend that you carefully reflect on the specific goals that you may have for your business. This way, the business form that you choose will likely support your immediate and long-term goals for your business. Consider the following:

  • How much taxes are you willing to pay?
  • How do you wish to structure your company?
  • What role does management play in your company?
  • How do you plan to maximize profit?
  • Do you intend to expand your company?
  • Do you desire to enter into a partnership?
  • Will you trade your business publicly?
  • How much responsibility (and liability) do you desire as a property owner?

These factors are necessary when faced with business form options. Once you have answered all of these questions, you should gain additional insight and advice from a business lawyer in Gainesville, FL.

There are two ways that laws may address the treatment of corporations when it comes to federal and state taxation. Corporations are classified into several categories, including subchapter C and S corporations.

C corporations are usually larger than S corporations. C corporation shareholders possess a significant stake in the business. As such, shareholders have different types of requirements and different levels of flexibility. C corporations receive double taxation. This means that not only is the corporation’s net income taxed, but shareholders are also taxed directly.

On the other hand, S corporations are usually smaller in size. These type of businesses are only taxed once. Shareholders in S corporations do not hold the same type of power and flexibility as what is experienced by shareholders in C corporations. Instead, shareholders in S corporations may have distinct limitations.

If you are unsure if your company is an S or C corporations, be sure to visit our business law firm in Gainesville, FL for assistance.

When shareholders and other members of a business have limited liability, they can trust that they will not be personally responsible for a corporation’s debt. But, depending on the nature of the internal regulations of a company, a court may decide to lift this “veil” or protection when a creditor sues a company. Piercing the corporate veil simply means that a court of law is willing to hold the shareholders and other members of the company personally responsible for the debt of the business. As a result, creditors are able to collect their money through the shareholder’s personal property and assets.

A partnership is a legal agreement that allows two or more individuals to enter into a business together. All of the parties involved are considered owners of the business. As such, they dedicate time, money and other resources into the business to ensure its success. The business lasts as long as the partnership lasts.

Meanwhile, a joint venture refers to the coming together of individuals for the purposes of a specific project. The profits for this specific project is shared among the individuals who enter into the joint venture. It is important to note that unlike a partnership, joint ventures do not require shared ownership of an overall business. Furthermore, most joint ventures conclude once the project is completed.

A non-profit corporation has the power to collect profit, but generating revenue should never be the sole concern of a non-profit corporation. Instead, non-profit corporations are businesses that work for the betterment of society. Their goods and services typically benefit the general public or a specified group of people. Due to the nature of non-profit corporations, the proceeds made are usually not able to be taxed by state or federal governments.

Every business is structured differently, but as a general principle/formality, corporations should have consistent meetings. During every meeting, the details, updates, and issues addressed during the meeting should be recorded and documented. Not only does regular meetings help to ensure that a corporation is functioning according to federal and state bylaws, but it is helpful because it demonstrates that the shareholders and members involved in a company are making efforts to be on one accord.

Yes. A Buy-Sell agreement is synonymous to an insurance policy or a prenuptial plan for marriages — that is, it helps to protect the interests and assets of other owners/shareholders of the company when an individual opts to buy out of the business. When co-owners attempt to buy out of a business for personal or professional reasons, it can have serious implications on a business. The owner may attempt to sale his share or take certain resources gained from the business with him/her. A Buy-Sell agreement sets the terms and conditions of a buyout to prevent devastating effects on a company when an owner decides to leave. It is a wise way for protecting the business and investments into the business by multiple members.

During a merger, two companies will combine their businesses into a new establishment in order to increase revenue, secure a greater clientele, and gain other benefits.

Yes. If you desire to start a business, a Gainesville business attorney is helpful to ensure its longevity and success. There are numerous state and federal laws, plus administrative regulations, that govern how a business is formed, structured and organized. There are fees and taxes that you owe and basic standards of professionalism and ethics that you should adhere to. A lawyer can ensure that your business is up to date with these guidelines, as well as provide general advisement and counsel in the event that your business is sued, or if competition demands significant changes in the company.

Yes. Proper planning is key to the success of any business.

Funding a business is probably the most important factor to consider when starting an organization. While many people fund their businesses through their personal savings and/or the generous donations of loved ones, there are other methods for locating money for your business. A common strategy is to seek loans or investments from banks, credit unions, angel investors and capital firms. However, you should be aware that if a corporation is willing to provide large resources for the startup of your business, they may require something in return.

The type of permits, licenses, and registrations that you need will depend on your industry. Some universal permits/licenses/registrations may revolve around safety and health protocols, employee identification numbers, and buying/selling permits.

Always. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need general liability coverage, employee/workers’ compensation coverage, product liability coverage, and professional liability coverage.

You should keep records of meetings and your company’s bylaws. You should also keep books of financial activity that demonstrates profit, gross income, expenditures, purchases, receipts, and travels.

We recommend that you invest in an industry that you are passionate about. The type of form for your business will depend on your short-term and long-term goals for the company’s structure and liability.

Bring a solid business plan to our law firm in Gainesville, FL. Be prepared to provide additional materials to support financial records.

If you are being sued, your assets may be at stake. You should contact a business defense lawyer immediately to discuss ways to handle the suit. Report the incident with your company’s insurer as well. Upon receiving guidance and advice from your lawyer, you will need to respond to the plaintiff.

Title insurance protects property owners and lenders when property is lost or damaged due to liens or other activity.

You will need to find alternative ways to fund your expenses.

Visit our law firm in Gainesville, FL for a thorough review of your business and insurance plan.

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