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Why Do I Need a Lawyer To Start a Business – I Have The Internet?

September 13, 2017

Starting a business can be an exciting and overwhelming endeavor and Google seems reasonably equipped to answer all your questions – right? Maybe, but as you embark on your new venture, Google may not adequately solve your concerns in a way that protects you. Consider the following reasons to work with a knowledgeable business lawyer, rather than your favorite search engine:

  • First things first – the right structure is key. One of the most basic tasks in forming a new business is to choose an entity structure. This decision is critical as different entities expose you to much different levels of liability. Choosing the wrong entity could leave your business (and you individually) exposed to intolerable levels of liability against lawsuits. Conversely you may inadvertently overly complicate your structure when you are in an industry with very little need to worry about liability.
  • Business attorneys should work hand in hand with your accountant. Structure and other set up decisions are best made both between your attorney and your accountant. Do not be surprised with an improper structure for both you or your industry once tax season arrives. Set it up correctly from the start.
  • Protect your ideas and property. Protect your product ideas, production secrets, customer information, potential competition from your employees and anything else unique to your business. Doing so allows you to maintain a competitive advantage and shield yourself from others both externally and internally who could use your unique information for their own profit.
  • Employment lawsuits can stop a business in its tracks. Starting a business means you must comply with all federal and state employment laws, including legal procedures regarding employee pay, hours, overtime, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Failing to consult with a business attorney exposes your business to a variety of employment lawsuits and even one lawsuit can be the death of a small business. Do not take simple tasks like drafting job descriptions or interviewing procedures for granted. Consult with a business attorney and do it right.
  • Running a Business Can be a full-time job. Creating a new business involves a lot of paperwork and legal formalities confusing to even the savviest entrepreneurs. Drafting bylaws or operating agreements, complying with tax requirements and licensing concerns are most effectively handled with the assistance of a business lawyer.

Handing off the set up and operational structure issues to the right business lawyer allows you to get back into the business of running your business.  Bergmann Law can walk you through the process of starting a business and set you on a path ensuring smooth operations and dispute avoidance.  With years of dedicated legal experience, your business will be in excellent hands. Call our office and schedule an initial consultation.

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Welcome to Bergmann Law LLC

Bergmann Law, formerly Bergmann Good, announced today that Renee Bergmann is taking the helm and resuming the Business & Real Estate Practice in the Firm’s Westmont, New Jersey office.  Bergmann takes control of the firm following 17 years of practice at various firms ranging from small, 14 lawyer firms, to an International firm of more than 800 lawyers and resident in offices from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to New York, New York as well as right here in Camden County, New Jersey.

“It feels like I’ve come full circle and will begin practicing law while maintaining control of all cases as well as management of the Firm.  As technology continues to change at a lightening pace, it changes the way businesses operate and Bergmann Law will not only counsel clients on the protection of their – information – it will have the most up-to-date case management and back office systems that lead to both efficient and high quality work product. The Firm will help clients meet the rapidly changing business environment by leading the way with cutting edge technology of its own.”

Bergmann Law also offers a robust and expansive real estate practice. Working collaboratively with both you and your Realtor through the residential or commercial sale process leads to smoother transactions with better results.  The Firm also regularly works with real estate investors regarding all aspects of the business.  Renee Bergmann stands uniquely qualified to represent you in your real estate transaction, as both a licensed New Jersey Realtor, active real estate instructor and investor, she understands both the legal and practical aspects of negotiating and closing a deal.

Bergmann Law will continue to serve its business clients as “inside counsel from the outside,” offering advice and support to small and mid-size companies – companies without the budget for in-house counsel, but sophisticated enough to know good advice and support are necessary for business stability and growth.

The Firm culture is one of technology integration with efficient and high quality results.  Danielle Bergmann, a graduate of St Andrews University in Scotland acts as both legal support and office management.  Her research background and experience on the tech side lends just the right balance to the Firm.

Renee Bergmann has previously served in leadership roles in both the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Philadelphia Bar Association.  She was an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia University, has spoken at Rutgers-Camden School of Law, the American Bar Association and most recently continuing education classes at the Real Estate School.  Ms. Bergmann has extensive Real Estate and Business experience from transactional to high stakes litigation.  She earned a J.D. from Rutgers-Camden School of Law, and her B.S.H.S. from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, where, at the time of commencement, she had earned her degree faster than any graduate in the university’s history.

Bergmann Law strives to take complicated issues and offer simplified results.  Call us and see what we can do for you.

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If Your House is Worth Less Than You Owe, Let’s Talk About a Short sale

The process of selling your house is stressful enough in a normal situation, but in the event of a short sale the process may seem completely overwhelming. First, what is a short sale you ask? Simple, if you owe more on your house that it is worth, you should consider a selling it for less than is owed.  Or, perhaps you have lost your job and foreclosure is inevitable.  Both of these life stressors can be alleviated by selling your house and moving on.  Of course, in order to do this successfully, you need the cooperation of your lender.

Next question – why bother? Easy, a short sale has a much less negative impact on your credit than either deeding it back to the bank, or losing it in foreclosure.  In other words, it is in your best interest to be proactive when you are faced with negative equity or a job loss.

First, talk about the options with us.  Circumstances will vary depending on the value of your home, your lender, and any other liens on your property.  In other words, do a complete evaluation of your particular hardship circumstances.  Do not make the critical mistake of waiting and hoping for better days.  Eventually the foreclosure notice will come in the mail.

  1. Understand the Process

Although there is a sharp divide in both practice and opinion, we believe being represented by an attorney is beneficial in any real estate deal, but in the case of a short sale, a lawyer experienced with short sales is critical. Once a lawyer establishes you are qualified, you will complete your lenders forms and your lawyer will communicate with the bank as well as oversee the listing and sale process.

Notice that with a short sale it’s very important to talk about a short sale BEFORE you list the property.  Other options exist, and they should all be explored with counsel before you list your home for amount of the mortgage balance and hope for the best.  A thoughtful strategy is the most successful way to short sell your home and move on.

  1. Make sure your real estate team knows what they are doing

In the event that you need to short sell your house, engaging a lawyer in advance of listing your home allows you to build the team to work together toward a common goal. Real estate agents with short sale experience are what you need.  Not an agent acting as a quasi-lawyer.  That scenario can get everyone in trouble. Short sales require a cooperative bank, a patient buyer, and a bit of luck. Experienced real estate agents will be better equipped to deal with problems as they arise and will likely be able to warn you at the beginning of the process about the most difficult parts of the process. Having a great real estate agent can also ensure you are selling your house quickly, because in a short sale price does not matter to you, only your lender.

  1. Be Patient!

Short sales require lender approval, which often is slow to come. In the event you do have an interested buyer you will need your agent working hard on the deal, but you also need to be aware the deal may fall through if your buyer finds another property.

  1. Understand what comes next

You attorney can not only help you through closing, they can also help you understand the aftermath of the sale. In the event a bank is willing to negotiate a release, you may be able to get out of any money you owe beyond the sale price of your property.  This is essential and usually the primary reason to fully participate in the sale process.  Working with an accountant or financial adviser is also something to consider to help you deal with and understand any remaining debt and/or tax consequences you may face after the short sale is complete.

If you are facing difficulties and fear foreclosure is in your future take control of the situation before it is out of control.  Evaluate your options early and often.  Surround yourself with qualified professionals.  Give us a call at Bergmann & Good if this sounds like something you need to discuss.