Ask Me Your Business Law Questions

Portland Seattle Business Litigation Attorney Eric Helmy

I understand that you can’t always make it into our Seattle law firm for a consultation, but I still want to be able to help you. Please feel free to ask me a business law question using the form on this page. If you have a general question, I can give you some general information based on my experience and knowledge, which may help you decide your next steps.

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* Please Note: Because every situation is unique and often requires research and detailed discussion to decide the best course of action, the answers on this page are to serve as only general information, not official legal advice. If you need official legal advice, please call or email for a free consultation.

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Seattle Business Lawyer Q&A

Ask a Seattle Business Lawyer
Take a look at the questions below to see if your situation has already been addressed. Categories will be added as additional questions are answered.

Non-Competition Agreements

Q:

If an employee signs a 24-month non-compete agreeing not to serve any of your clients and your business goes out of business 12 months after the agreement was signed by that employee, is the non-compete still in affect?

A:

The answer depends upon whom the parties to the contract were and whether the business entity is still in existence. Assuming the contract was between the former employee and the business entity only, and the business entity no longer exists, then the answer is that at present, the agreement would not be enforceable. However, business entities can be renewed administratively with the secretary of state, and if this is done, the business entity should have standing to enforce the contract. The plaintiff (business entity) may face a defense of waiver on the basis that the business had been permitted to cease existing, though waiver defenses are frequently overcome.

Business Set-Ups

Q:

We have three small businesses-MLM’s and would like to choose a name for branding them as one for tax and marketing purposes. Do we need to register this name on the WA State Registry for Business Names? Should we do an LLC?

A:

We recommend that you register a business entity under which to market your products, as this is normally helpful for purposes of limited liability and solicitation of investment, and may afford certain tax advantages. Several are available to choose from, including S-Corps, LLCs, and C-Corps. Please consult a CPA regarding potential tax implications to help inform your choice of entity. Your entity will need to be registered with the State of Washington. It is best to have bylaws (for corporations) or an operating agreement (for your LLC), and a sound business plan – backed by solid market research is often helpful as well.