Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Is A Business Operating Agreement?

As the owner of a brand new business, you have a lot of decisions to make. First and foremost, you'll have to determine what type of business entity you would like to use. Depending on your chosen structure (an LLC, for example), you may want to establish a business operating agreement. Even though you are not legally required to have an operating agreement, taking the time to set one up may prove incredibly valuable in the long run. O'Donnell Law Center is here to help!


Business Operating Agreements

As its name suggests, a business operating agreement is a simple but comprehensive document that outlines how a new business will handle certain situations. Sometimes known as LLC Agreements or Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements, these documents outline some of the procedures for your company, especially if things don't go as planned.

Recommended Components Of An Operating Agreement

As with most standard business documents, almost all successful operating agreements contain several key components. Here are a few examples of elements we recommend including:

The Purpose The Business
Now is your opportunity to state, in a clear and concise manner, exactly what type of business you are starting and what its purpose is. You can be very generic, or as specific as you would like to be.

Members Of The LLC
Members of an LLC are different than the people the company employs, as they often have some amount of financial stake in the company. This section of your agreement should list who the members are, and how much they each invest in the company to help get it off the ground. You will also need to identify how each member will be compensated (see the next section).

Profits, Losses, And Distributions
What do you want to do with company profits from the first few years? Some business owners choose to reinvest them, and then give members an opportunity to reclaim their initial investments in the following years. It should come as no surprise that financial disagreements are often some of the most debilitating ones co-managers face, so having an agreement in place ahead of time about sharing and/or re-investing profits can help prevent difficult issues down the road.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help You With Your Operating Agreement

Setting up an operating agreement requires putting in a little extra time in the beginning, but it will be a valuable investment in your company. By devising strategies ahead of time, you will have a guiding document you can refer to when issues arise. Your Lake of the Ozarks business attorney will be able to help you draft this document, ensuring that you include all of the necessary components. If you have questions about the process, don't hesitate to contact O'Donnell Law Center!


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, May 20, 2016

3 Components of a Successful Divorce

By nature, divorce tends to be messy, stressful, and overwhelming. Even if you and your spouse are in equal agreement that divorce is the right decision, you will still have to separate two lives that were inextricably combined for the past months or years. There is rarely an easy path (although some paths are certainly more challenging than others).


The team at O'Donnell Law Center has a great deal of experience helping couples successfully navigate high-asset divorces at the Lake of the Ozarks - but this concept can be confusing to some. What exactly counts as a "successful" divorce?

What Count As A Successful Divorce?

Before we can discuss what the characteristics of a successful divorce are, we must address what a successful divorce is not. A successful divorce does not mean getting everything that you want. It is extremely rare that divorcing individuals walk away from the situation feeling like everything panned out exactly as they were hoping it would. As living, breathing, dynamic individuals, each party within the divorce has separate goals and desires. Since they have chosen to get a divorce, it is generally safe to assume that their desires conflict with the goals and desires of the other party. Fortunately, the individual parties do not have to get everything they were hoping for in order for the divorce to still be considered successful.

3 Components Of A Successful Divorce:

1. All Assets And Responsibilities Have Been Divided Equitably
During your marriage, you probably accumulated several assets (a house, cars, a business, retirement accounts, etc) and acquired several responsibilities (children, pets, bills, etc). In order for a divorce to be successful, these assets and responsibilities must be divided in a fair manner. Keep in mind that "fair" does not necessarily mean "50/50." One spouse, for example, may be required to pay maintenance or give a larger percentage of the assets to the other spouse.

2. Each Individual Walks Away With The Resources They Need To Live Independent, Self-Sufficient Lives
Whether or not you will remain in contact with your former spouse after the divorce is finalized depends on your unique situation and the different factors surrounding your marriage, such as whether or not you had children together. Regardless of whether or not you stay in contact with your ex, however, the goal of a successful divorce is to equip each individual with the resources needed for them to support themselves and independently move on to the next chapter of their lives.

3. Strategies Have Been Devised To Address Future Issues As They May Arise
No matter how thoroughly issues have been addressed as the divorce is being finalized, it is impossible to predict the future. Changes in health, income, and children's needs can require that certain rulings from the divorce be readdressed to accommodate current needs. While no one can know exactly what circumstances may change, a successful divorce will have established strategies and ground rules for addressing these issues as they arise.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center To Help You Navigate Your Divorce Successfully

If you are facing a divorce, you already have a lot on your plate. Our goal is to simplify the process for you as much as possible by taking the burden off of your shoulders. Our family attorney in Camden County MO can help you navigate the waters so that you may reach a solution that is equitable and fair. For more information about our family law services at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit our website at www.ODonnellLawCenter.com.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Thursday, May 12, 2016

5 Example Contracts Your Business May Need

No matter what industry you're in, your company may encounter a variety of different hazards during its daily operations that can threaten the integrity of the business. As a business owner, solid legal contracts are your first line of defense against the inevitable hidden hazards that may arise during your company's lifespan.

At O'Donnell Law Center, we are frequently asked to review or prepare business contracts for various companies. This week, we thought we'd share a few examples of some of the different types of contracts a new company may need.


1. Employment Contract
When you hire a new employee, you may want to ask them to sign a contract of employment. This contract outlines their responsibilities, your expectations, how certain disciplinary measures may be carried out, and anything else that may influence their performance while at your company. Having a thorough employment contract will give you the authority you need to enforce certain performance standards.

2. Confidentiality Agreement
Contrary to popular belief, financial and legal institutions are not the only types of businesses that can benefit from a confidentiality agreement with their employees/vendors. Restaurants need confidentiality agreements to ensure that their employees do not reveal the ingredients in their private recipes, for example, and marketing companies need confidentiality agreements to ensure their employees do not reveal their client companies. No matter what your industry is, it may be worth considering a confidentiality agreement.

3. Non-Compete Agreement
As an employer, you probably invest a great deal of time into ensuring that you hire the best employees for your team. Non-compete agreements can help protect your investment by preventing your employees from leaving your company to work for one of your competitors or starting their own competing business. In a perfect world you will never have to deal with these types of issues, but a non-compete agreement will serve as valuable protection should one of these situations arise.


4. Services Contract
Any time you sell services to a new client, it is important to get a signed copy of your services agreement back before you begin working with them. This services agreement will outline several different things, such as what your client's responsibilities are, how and when payment is required, and what forms of recourse may be taken if the client fails to pay for services rendered. If your client relationship should break down for any reason, this contract will serve as valuable protection.

5. Lease Agreement
If you are renting your business space, you probably signed a lease agreement before you were allowed to use or occupy the space. If you own your commercial property and want to earn additional income by renting portions of the space to other businesses or vendors, you will want them to sign a similar lease agreement. This will outline how they are allowed to use the space, who pays for utilities/upgrades/repairs, how and when rent payments are required, etc.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help Construct Or Review Your Business Contracts
While the above agreements serve as excellent examples of the types of contracts your company may need, they barely scratch the surface of the many types of contracts businesses use every day. If you would like help constructing your company's contracts or would like someone to review them to ensure their solidity, contact our business attorney in Osage Beach MO. We will be happy to assist in any way we can.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, May 6, 2016

Your Three Options For Estate Planning

Estate planning remains one of the busiest practice areas at our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks. End of life is never an easy topic, but dedicating some time and attention to your end of life directives is essential in order to ensure that your assets and belongings pass to your heirs smoothly. Our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO and her legal staff are here to assist you in building a proper estate plan that will effectively meet your needs.


Your Estate Plan - 3 Choices

When it comes to setting up your estate plan, you have three primary options to choose from. You may do nothing, put together a will coupled with non-probate transfers, or establish a trust.

1. Doing Nothing
If you pass away without any sort of an estate plan in place, the State will determine what happens to your assets and who will receive what. This is called "dying intestate," and it can be very involved and time-consuming. Who receives your assets will depend on your surviving family. If you are single without any children, for example, your surviving parents will probably inherit your estate. If they are no longer living, it will be passed to your siblings. If you are married without children, your spouse will likely inherit your assets.

2. Designing A Will
Wills are basic estate planning documents that can be used to dictate what you want to happen to your property and assets after you pass away. Because they are unique among estate planning documents by allowing you to designate a legal guardian for your minor children, most estate planning experts strongly encourage parents of young or teenage children to establish a will. However, having a will does not prevent your estate from having to pass through probate upon your passing. However, an experienced estate planning lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks may be able to help you establish a will with a non-probate transfer. 

3. Establishing A Trust
Trusts offer several unique advantages for planning your estate. They allow you to protect your assets and keep your affairs private (even after your passing). A properly established trust also prevents your assets from having to pass through probate before they can be distributed to your heirs, which will significantly streamline the process. Trusts also allow you to dictate exactly when and what assets will be distributed to whom. For example, you may specify that the full value of your financial assets not be passed to your children until they reach a certain age. In some circumstances, trusts also help minimize taxes that arise after death.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Build Your Estate Plan

The extent of your estate planning is entirely up to you, but we strongly recommend that at least some form of action be taken. O'Donnell Law Center can help facilitate your end of life discussions. To learn more about how we can help you with your estate planning needs, visit our website or call us directly at 573-552-0317. We look forward to serving you.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065