Business Law

Business Law & Contracts

Our business law attorneys are both litigators and transactional lawyers. Because we frequently litigate disputes caused by poorly drafted contracts or letters of agreement, we know how to create legal documents that prevent litigation whenever possible.

We Treat Clients’ Businesses Like Our Own

At our Shoreline, Washington, law firm, our business lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable about all aspects of business law and contracts. We avoid litigation whenever possible by anticipating and correcting for future disputes. However, when problems cannot be anticipated or prevented, our attorneys are aggressive litigators who seek to resolve business disputes as quickly and effectively as possible. Our goal, whether we are litigating, drafting or reviewing an employment contract, is to protect our client’s business from needless expenses and distracting legal problems.

Helping With all Business Matters

At the Hawkes Law Firm, we assist small and medium-sized business clients with matters such as:

  • Business formation and start-up
  • Business litigation
  • Employment law
  • Real estate transactions
  • Boundary disputes and tree cutting disputes

These areas of business law may overlap with other practice areas. For example, real estate transactions may affect divorce settlements. Dissolving a business after a partner’s death may require probate litigation. Because of the scope of our legal practice, our attorneys are able to handle complex cases that involve more than one area of the law.

We Know Business Law From First-Hand Experience

Our lawyers are particularly effective because we understand the challenges of running a small business. We operate several other businesses ourselves and know first-hand how employment matters, lawsuits and payment disputes can distract from operating a business. To manage costs and move matters forward quickly, we encourage clients to use mediation or arbitration to find cost effective solutions to business problems. Although we often are compelled to litigate and are very competent litigators, we also know that litigation can divert a businessperson from his or her main objective, effectively managing a business. We try to find reasonable solutions quickly to help our business clients return to doing what they do best.

Business Formation

Starting a small business, changing the type of business organization or dissolving a partnership requires skilled and careful legal advice. At our Shoreline, Washington, law firm, the Hawkes Law Firm, our lawyers understand the concerns of business owners because we have been helping hundreds of small business owners for several decades. We have the legal knowledge and practical experience to help with all aspects of business formation and dissolution.

Business Formation Matters

Our attorneys assist clients with business formation matters from initial start-ups to dissolution of established business organizations. We help clients with matters such as:

  • Using our real estate experience to find and purchase the right property for the business
  • Purchasing or selling a business
  • Selecting and creating the right business entity, from S corp and C corp to LLC
  • Conducting corporate name searches to help establish a unique name for your business
  • Establishing and dissolving partnerships, including limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships
  • Drafting articles of incorporation
  • Filing articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State
  • Creating bylaws
  • Choosing and appointing directors
  • Obtaining needed operating licenses and permits
  • Drafting employment agreements
  • Issuing stock according to state and federal regulations

Our goals are the goals of our business clients. We seek to protect their businesses by shielding them from liability and avoiding future business litigation. We also handle the steps required to wind up a business.

Educating Our Clients About Business Formation

We make sure that a client understands the advantages and disadvantages of the options available during the start-up of a new business. We take the time to learn about our clients’ situations in detail. Each business organization is unique; our lawyers seek to match our clients with the business entities that will best meet their goals. This allows us to help them effectively and avoid distracting and expensive litigation as the business matures.

Business Litigation

Business litigation can be costly and time-consuming. It can distract a business owner from actually running the business and can cut into profits significantly. That is why the attorneys at the Hawkes Law Firm seek to avoid litigation whenever possible by drafting effective contracts and other documents that discourage litigation. However, when business disputes are unavoidable, we are strong advocates for our clients.

Attorneys Dedicated to Controlling Litigation Costs

Because our attorneys also handle a wide range of transactional and business start-up matters, we often know where to look to identify sources of problems. This allows us to propose solutions that may avoid lengthy and costly disputes. Our goal is to minimize litigation expenses and help our clients return to running their companies.

Examples of Business Litigation

Our business litigation attorneys are adept at resolving:

  • Boundary and other real estate disputes
  • Employment disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Business dissolution matters
  • Breach of contract claims
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Commercial leasing disputes
  • Debt collection matters
  • Claims of fraud and misrepresentation

Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Less Expensive Approach

We also are strong proponents of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques such as mediation and arbitration. Our lawyers believe that these approaches to resolving problems are usually less costly, quicker and less disruptive.

Educating Clients About Preventing Business Disputes

In addition to resolving disputes such as these, our lawyers educate business clients about ways to prevent future litigation. We spend the time needed to learn about business owners’ goals and the way their companies operate. This allows us to provide targeted advice that fits their situations rather than providing generic and abstract counsel.