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Joshua Watkins

Joshua Watkins

Mr. Watkins is the Managing Member at Watkins Law Firm, LLC.  His legal practice has primarily focused on working with private companies as general counsel. As general counsel his duties typically include an array of tasks such as: in-house day-to-day activities, advising the company’s board of directors on their oversight responsibilities, planning and preparing complex corporate transactions, commercial litigation, tax planning, oversight of the corporation’s compliance with federal and state regulations, legal budget management, and specialized outsourcing of legal matters to other counsel when appropriate.

When counsel to emerging start-up companies, Josh often brings critical expertise in the many types of capital formation activities, including entity and structure choices, fundraising processes, and securities compliance.

So, you’ve worked hard to build your business, protected your personal assets within the corporate veil of an Alabama LLC, and executed the “big three” estate planning documents (Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Advanced Healthcare Directive) to plan for your death.  That’s great, those are some really good steps toward securing your legacy.

But what happens to that LLC when you die? A 2014 case involving an Alabama LLC, the case of L.B. Whitfield, III Family LLC v. Virginia Ann Whitfield, et al., is instructive, but may provide some unsettling news.

If you’re considering buying your own franchise, you probably have tons of questions running around in your mind; questions that can make the difference in success, or failure, of reaching your business goals.

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 05:54

ESOPs...is it time to look?

Our main clients are closely held businesses (and their owners), so business and individual planning are often tied at the hip in our office.  Often that means a business sale isn't the ideal exit or retirement solution for our clients, so we look hard for tax advantaged strategies that (at a minimum) won't hurt the underlying business operations and ESOPs have been a regular part of that analysis.
Thursday, 05 January 2017 05:49

2017 ESOP and Pension Plan Limits

As we head into 2017, just a reminder of the IRS limits announced for ESOPs and pension plans this year.  

This is an extension of my post last week...

Many investors, eager to get started and get their company moving, will agree to terms that are not good business in the long run. It is understandable, and I have a client and friend that is fond of saying "we hope that is a problem" because if it is then the deal has probably been successful. Unfortunately, because of the inequity some deals will get sideways almost immediately and never reach their potential (or even launch).
There is a ton of information available on the internet about how to value a business enterprise (including some on this blog). There is even a lot of information regarding the valuation of a pre-revenue startup during rounds of funding. Unfortunately, most of that information is not particularly helpful for startups unless they are in a major center of startup finance (i.e. Silicon Valley, Boston or NY), have a good track record, and plan to be working with the established players.
Anyone starting a business with someone else will eventually have to tackle relative ownership and compensation questions.

For some founders the answers are simple, but for most it is a sticky issue that creates a lot of stress and runs the risk of ruining both friendships and the business.
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 05:16

Moonlighting (and IP transfer provisions)

Today I wanted to revisit a topic I've discussed in the past..."Moonlighting."  Moonlighting being when a party has a second job, or side project, in addition to their regular employment.
Monday, 27 February 2017 05:02

Branding...DNA of the business

I had a long conversation with one of our firm clients one day about branding.  The company was launching a new product and we were discussing their branding strategy.
Several year ago, following a discussion with a local investment banker about the DCF valuation of a client where the topic of appropriate discount rate was a hot issue, I wondered what others were using and if there was a "right" rate.
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