Forrest Firm attorneys have extensive experience working with both high-growth startups and new lifestyle businesses. Entrepreneurs on these separate paths need counsel that understand the differences between these types of new ventures and the distinct needs of the entrepreneurs in each category. At Forrest Firm, we regularly advise founders of both types of companies, and we know from experience that the beginning of a venture is one of the points of the business life cycle at which entrepreneurs need a lot of help. We also understand that a new venture’s budget for legal services is thin. We have addressed these issues (high need and low budget) by developing separate startup packages for high growth and lifestyle businesses to get you started on the right path from the outset, regardless of your business plan. We work with entrepreneurs every day – and we are entrepreneurs ourselves – so we understand the need for efficiency in terms of cash and time.
Securities and Private Investments
If you are an entrepreneur, chances are you have questions about funding your new venture. The lawyers at the Forrest Firm can help. We regularly represent companies in angel and venture financing rounds, and have excellent experience with convertible note, preferred stock and other types of offerings, like KISS financings and convertible securities.
We also have deep experience representing investors in angel and venture financing transactions, and regularly negotiate and draft the agreements required to appropriately document the deal. Our experience on both sides of these transactions allows us to guide our company and investor clients through the process with the confidence you want your lawyer to possess.
Small Business Financing
If you are an entrepreneur with aspirations of owning your own lifestyle business, you need lawyers with experience in both forming new entities and purchasing existing businesses. Look no further, as the Forrest Firm regularly advises clients in both scenarios. Whether you need help negotiating a commercial lease or advice on a small business loan, we love working with small business owners and encourage you to allow us to help you reach your goals.
All businesses are born from an idea or concept for a product or service, whether that product or service is unique or not. On the other hand, many businesses are born and built from the ground up on a foundation of very unique ideas for products and services. The success of these businesses can hinge completely on the effectiveness of legal counsel in protecting corporate intellectual property. Companies must protect intellectual property from a variety of angles, including their dealings with employees, vendors, and partners. In protecting the intellectual property of our clients, The Forrest Firm has built considerable experience in the drafting, review and negotiation of various intellectual property-focused licensing and acquisition agreements. The firm also maintains relationships with other professionals that assist our clients with respect to trademark and copyright matters. People often think of the potential return on investment with big ideas. As a business law firm, we know that the bigger the idea, the greater the risk management threat to the company’s intellectual property on a number of fronts, along with all of the proper government and tax filings applicable to your business, such as EIN applications and S-e.
Contract Negotiation, Drafting and Review
After forming your company, you will likely be entering into contracts and associated agreements with customers, vendors, contractors, and other parties. The Forrest Firm has extensive experience in developing form contracts for you to implement on an ongoing basis—contracts that will put your company in an optimal legal position as you interact with various parties in the marketplace. The Forrest Firm can also assist with any specific contract drafting/negotiation project you may encounter. We have experience with almost any form of contract-relationship (i.e., customer contracts, procurement/vendor agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, loan agreements, confidentiality agreements, distribution agreements, joint venture arrangements, etc.). Ad-hoc contracting requires flexibility and responsiveness from your business lawyer, and we pride ourselves on our high level of availability for our clients, as well as quick turnarounds to meet emerging client needs. We further recommend periodic contract reviews, where we advise our clients on updating certain documents or sections of their contract/template portfolios to ensure their framework is providing optimal risk-management on the legal front.
Mergers and Acquisitions
If your company has reached a mature stage in its life cycle, the Forrest Firm can advise you with all of the legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including strategic acquisitions of key competitors and complementary companies in your industry, as well as the sale of the assets or equity of your business. We can assist your company with transactional due diligence and the drafting, review, and negotiation of key transaction documents in nearly any context. In addition to our legal experience in the M&A arena, we have worked with many top-tier M&A advisors, ensuring that our clients have the right team of partners advising them through these critical situations. Reaching maturity in your business should be a time of reward, whether it’s through selling your business and moving on to new ventures or retirement, or in making your company stronger and more competitive in the marketplace by acquisition. The Forrest Firm serves as a key-adviser to our clients in these sophisticated transactions.
The Forrest Firm has assisted many clients as they advance from startup stage to maturity and profitability. Our practice in the area of franchise law relates to the particular business model of franchising, where the original company (franchisor) licenses its business model, intellectual properties (such as logos, trademarks, and patents), and corporate goodwill to another company or individual (franchisee) in an effort to expand quickly, usually for a portion of the franchisee’s revenue. Thus, franchise law is the intersection of many other traditional business law practice areas, including formation, contracts, and intellectual property. Just as the Forrest Firm applies these practice areas to traditional, non-franchised businesses, we also provide advice and counsel to franchisors and franchisees.
Fractional In-House Counsel
At the Forrest Firm, we are continually trying to chip away at tensions and problems that naturally exist in the typical attorney-client relationship. To address issues such as contract negotiation and review, employment issues, intellectual property, commercial real estate, litigation, and more, our firm created a “fractional in-house counsel” program that many of our clients now enjoy – where for a set monthly fee per month we handle a certain scope of services for the client. For more information about this option, please read our post explaining this service complete with client testimonials.
Contract Dispute and Resolution
A fact of life in business, from its inception to our modern times, is that disputes will arise during the course of normal, day-to-day operations. These conflicts can interrupt otherwise fruitful relationships between businesses and their customers, vendors, contractors, and employees. Without sound counsel advising on the best potential decisions to mitigate these disputes, they have the ability to consume a business and its owners, both in time and money spent to resolve them. The Forrest Firm has assisted many clients with contract disputes, including the drafting of demand or response letters, and negotiating settlement arrangements with third parties. Whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant, the Forrest Firm can assist you in evaluating claims and making a business-oriented decision about potential risks and rewards associated with litigation. As with any contractual exercise, it is our goal that Forrest Firm clients move forward in their businesses, with the peace of mind that comes from making educated decisions in difficult situations.
As a business law firm, one of the Forrest Firm’s core areas of competency is employment law. We offer a set of proactive solutions for our clients related to the best strategies for employment law matters, no matter where the clients are in the life cycle of their respective businesses. The Forrest Firm can assist your company with basic employment law matters such as employment agreements, employee handbooks, confidentiality agreements, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, and risk-management strategies. Our firm advises business owners and executives on employment strategies that will drive their businesses while properly mitigating risk. We often are involved in setting company employment policies, and we can also advise along the way to resolve disputes as they occur. We also serve as administrative and litigation counsel when charges, audits, and litigation occur.
Our client business owners and executives often have complex succession issues that affect their legal, insurance, and financial frameworks. Like anyone else, business owners and executives must also plan for their inevitable estate needs. If you are seeking answers to your estate planning questions, The Forrest Firm can assist you. We work with our clients to offer advice related to essential estate planning documents, including wills, living wills, trusts, health care powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, and HIPAA authorizations. While many of our services focus on providing risk management solutions and peace of mind for immediate needs, our estate planning efforts seek to meet the long-term needs of our clients as well.
The Forrest Firm provides advice and counsel to multiple clients in the area of entertainment law. This practice area includes contract negotiation, establishing complex corporate structures, employment issues, and how intellectual property rights are allocated among parties in the entertainment industry. Forrest Firm attorneys can protect your interest in structuring advantageous contracts, licenses, and distribution deals, as well as the outright purchase or sale of intellectual property.
As with other more specialized areas of the law, such as franchise and entertainment law, our technology law practice is the application of multiple traditional areas of business law—formation, contracts, and intellectual property—in the service of technology companies and companies engaged in the exchange of technology. The attorneys of the Forrest Firm are experienced in counseling companies related to the technical, financial, and business challenges they face in the marketplace. We work with startups, growth stage companies, and mature organizations to license software and applications, as well as protect their intellectual property rights.
Commercial Real Estate
Whether you are a real estate developer, investor, or financial institution, the Forrest Firm can assist with all legal aspects of your real property transactions. The Forrest Firm routinely advises clients with respect to purchase and sale agreements (representing both sellers and buyers), title issues, commercial leasing (representing both landlords and tenants), and financing notes and supporting documents (representing both lenders and borrowers). The Forrest Firm can navigate you through the unique nuances that present themselves in each commercial real estate transaction. During each client engagement related to commercial real estate, we will vet and explore various options for liability protection, as well as properly negotiate representations and contingencies to manage risk. Our goal is for each client to reach closing with peace of mind, knowing that we have partnered to create a business opportunity from each commercial real estate challenge.
Businesses in North Carolina must pay taxes to multiple jurisdictions, including municipal, state, and federal agencies. Through our tax law practice, the attorneys of the Forrest Firm offer advice and counsel to clients with regard to the rules, policies and laws related to taxes. For our clients engaged in international trade and commerce, taxation may also include duties on imports from foreign countries and all compulsory levies imposed by the government upon individuals for benefit of the state.