Sparks Law Business Assessment

One of the major benefits of turning your company into a Corporation or LLC is the limited liability protections that these entities provide to business owners. This means that business owners or investors are not personally liable for the businesses debts. In contrast, Sole Proprietors and General Partners can be found personally liable for such debts.

What kind of business is your company?


Are you registered and up to date with your State’s Secretary of State Office?

Limited liability companies in Georgia are only properly formed by filing an Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office. Failure to file timely registrations may result in late fines or administrative dissolution. Sparks Law offers assistance with the preparation and filing of Articles of Organization, as well as timely annual filings. Please contact our office for more information.


Do you have an attorney listed as your Registered Agent?

It is recommended that you have an Attorney designated as your Registered Agent. Otherwise there is a risk of having a summons served without your knowledge or a critical deadline may pass before you are aware of the summons. Sparks Law offers Registered Agent Services. Please contact our office for more information.


Do you have a business license?

The city or county where your business has its home office may require a business license. It is advisable to contact those offices or consult with an attorney, to ensure that you are compliant with any applicable regulations.


Are you the Sole Owner of the Company?

Do you have an Operating Agreement in place?

An operating agreement is an agreement among the owners of LLCs and governs the business processes, and members' financial and managerial rights and duties. Many states in the United States require an LLC to have an operating agreement, however, Georgia does not have this requirement. Nonetheless, have a well-drafted Operating Agreement is advisable in setting owner expectations and preventing possible disputes in the future. If you have any questions about your Operating Agreement, or would like for Sparks Law to draft one for you, please let us know!

Have you and your partners written a buy/sell agreement in case an owner dies or needs to exit the company?

Buy-Sell Agreements are important in setting forth the requirements and procedures for specific instances that would trigger a buy-out of a stakeholders ownership interest, such as death, disability, retirement, or an owner voluntarily (or involuntarily) leaving the company. These agreements also address who may buy the departing co-owners interest in the business, as well as the specific price to be paid for the co-owner’s interest, if the parties choose to include it. If you would like for Sparks Law to assist you with a buy-sell agreement, please contact us!


Are you registered and up to date with your State’s Secretary of State Office?

Corporations in Georgia are only properly formed by filing an Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division. Failure to file timely registrations may result in late fines or administrative dissolution. Sparks Law offers assistance with the preparation and filing of Articles of Incorporation, as well as timely annual filings. Please contact our office for more information.


Do you have an attorney listed as your Registered Agent?

It is recommended that you have an Attorney designated as your Registered Agent. Otherwise there is a risk of having a summons served without your knowledge or a critical deadline may pass before you are aware of the summons. Sparks Law offers Registered Agent Services. Please contact our office for more information.



Do you have Bylaws in place?

Bylaws are not required to be filed with the Secretary of State, in Georgia. However, after the Articles of Incorporation are filed, the directors or incorporators must meet and adopt bylaws. If you have any questions regarding bylaws or would like for Sparks Law to assist in drafting your company’s bylaws, we would glad to help!


Do you have a business license?

The city or county where your business has its home office may require a business license. It is advisable to contact those offices or consult with an attorney, to ensure that you are compliant with any applicable regulations.


Are you the Sole Owner of the Company?

Do you have an Operating Agreement in place?

An operating agreement is an agreement among the owners of LLCs and governs the business processes, and members' financial and managerial rights and duties. Many states in the United States require an LLC to have an operating agreement, however, Georgia does not have this requirement. Nonetheless, have a well-drafted Operating Agreement is advisable in setting owner expectations and preventing possible disputes in the future. If you have any questions about your Operating Agreement, or would like for Sparks Law to draft one for you, please let us know!

Have you and your partners written a buy/sell agreement in case an owner dies or needs to exit the company?

Buy-Sell Agreements are important in setting forth the requirements and procedures for specific instances that would trigger a buy-out of a stakeholders ownership interest, such as death, disability, retirement, or an owner voluntarily (or involuntarily) leaving the company. These agreements also address who may buy the departing co-owners interest in the business, as well as the specific price to be paid for the co-owner’s interest, if the parties choose to include it. If you would like for Sparks Law to assist you with a buy-sell agreement, please contact us!


Does your Company provide?

Do you have a waiver form in place for your product(s)?

Having a strong product liability waiver form provides additional protection from lawsuits, due to injury related to use of the product. If you do not have a waiver, or would like for Sparks Law to review your current waiver, please contact us!

Do you have a Master Services Agreement in place?

A well-drafted Master Services Agreement set out rights and responsibilities of the parties and can help prevent legal headaches down the line. Sparks Law would be happy to review your current agreement or draft a brand new agreement, to ensure that your company is not exposed to legal vulnerabilities.


Other than yourself, do you have any employees that are on a W2?

Do your employees have employment contracts with you that protect your trade secrets, intellectual property, and customer lists?

Confidentiality or Non-disclosure agreements are a key part of a business’s legal arsenal. Such agreements prevent disclosure of invaluable trade secrets and intellectual property, by a current or former employee. If you have any questions about Confidentiality or Non-disclosure agreements, please do not hesitate to contact Sparks Law.

Do you have 50 employees or more?

Are you compliant with the Affordable Care Act requirements?

Violations of the Affordable Care Act can result in harsh consequences for a business, such as financial penalties and additional taxes. Sparks Law would be happy to advise you on this regulation and help you to determine whether you are compliant or at risk for penalties for non-compliance.


Do you have any Employees or Contractors that are paid on a 1099 basis?

Have you had their employment reviewed by an attorney, i.e., are you confident that your business would survive a Department of Labor (DOL) or IRS audit for employee misclassification?

Correctly classifying an individual as an employee or independent contractor will ensure that your company is abiding by various statutory requirements and prevent costly legal consequences, with the DOL or IRS. Sparks Law would be happy to assist you with reviewing your current contractor relationships to advise on whether such relationships fall under these additional regulations.

Do you have an independent contractors agreement in place for these workers that protects your trade secrets, intellectualproperty, and customer lists?

Confidentiality or Non-disclosure agreements are a key part of a business’s legal arsenal. Such agreements prevent disclosure of invaluable trade secrets and intellectual property, by a current or former independent contractor. If you have any questions about Confidentiality or Non-disclosure agreements, please do not hesitate to contact Sparks Law.


Have you applied for a Trademark for your Company Brand Name, Logo, and/or Tag Line?

Trademarks serve to distinguish a product or services within a certain market. Filing for a State or Federal Trademark is a valuable way to protect your brand and protect client relationships. If someone tries to sell a product or service that is confusingly similar to yours, if you have a trademark, you may take legal action to stop them. Sparks Law offers Trademark services to our clients. If you would like for us to assist you with protecting your brand, let us know! We would happy to assist you.


A Trade Name, commonly referred to as a Fictitious Name or DBA (short for “Doing Business As”) are used when an entity chooses to conduct its business under a different name than the name used upon formation, are required to be registered with the Secretary of State and sometimes at the county level. If you are interested in conducting business under a different name, or would like more information concerning Trade Names, contact Sparks Law today!

Do you have a Trade Name that you use that is at all different from your business’s official name?

Have you filed a Trade Name Registration or DBA yet?


Do you have your Wills and other Trusts & Estates Documents in place?

Well established estate planning is valuable in protecting your financial and business arrangements and setting the procedure for transferring your business interest, in the event of your death. Sparks Law has knowledgeable attorney’s with strong experience in advising on estate planning. Please contact Sparks Law if you would like for us to assist you in creating a thorough business succession plan.

Are they written so as to work alongside your company’s organizational documents?