A concise but comprehensive overview of legal strategies to manage a business and protect one’s assets.
There are several legal entities that one may use to conduct a business, including corporations, general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies. Attorney Sutton (Loopholes of Real Estate, 2013, etc.) takes each legal structure in turn and explains its essential advantages and disadvantages. Each is designed in different ways to control the management of one’s business, shield oneself from legal and financial liability, and capitalize on opportunities to lower one’s tax burden. This introductory volume is notably thorough, including a separate chapter on intellectual property—essential for “any halfway sophisticated purchaser of a business”—and extended discussions of bankruptcy, estate planning, and divorce. Sutton also provides a lengthy treatment of fundraising and the pertinent laws that govern securities. During a discussion of due diligence, the author even furnishes a template for keeping the minutes of a meeting. A spirit of relentless preparation in a dangerous, unpredictable world infuses the entire book: “As every reader knows, there are predators in our society poised to attack for the slightest real or imagined infraction,” Sutton notes. The subject matter is often vertiginously complex and full of hypertechnical legalese, but the author lucidly explains it all. He approaches the material like a teacher, using simple hypothetical scenarios to illustrate nuanced points; he also includes lists of frequently asked questions and their answers. No amateur could possibly master all the relevant details here, so the book is best understood as a primer that will allow readers to competently hire a legal expert. This isn’t breezy reading, and its comprehension demands focused study. However, it’s hard to imagine a more rational exposition, and it should prove useful to those who need to understand the difference between sound and unsound guidance.
A painstakingly meticulous introduction to a labyrinthine sector of business law.