All posts by Torrence Howell

What Do I Need to Know if I’m Selling My Business?

As the owner of your own business, you’re probably accustomed to handling everything yourself, especially if you’ve built the business from the ground up. However, when it comes to selling your business, you will definitely want to make sure you hire experienced professionals to assist you with every aspect of the process, from valuation to tax concerns to the actual transfer of ownership. Here is an overview of a few of the most important things to know about selling your business.

Selling Options

There may be many reasons to sell your business, from a need to liquidate assets to a simple desire to get out of the business and start something new. However, don’t just assume selling out completely is your only option!
It is quite common for sellers to transfer ownership of their business without actually leaving the business. Many buyers like former owners to stay on with the company as managers. If you are interested in this option, be sure that everyone’s responsibilities get outlined in writing before the sale is finalized.

Another option you may have is a partial sale. This might be useful if your business has two or more distinct units, one of which is struggling. Selling the struggling unit can relieve you of a burden and give you cash to invest in your remaining business.


One of the most important aspects of selling your business is finding a fantastic broker. The broker will be responsible for advertising the sale, meeting with prospective buyers, negotiating on offers, and handling the closing and escrow procedures. A well-connected and well-respected broker will be able to leverage their network of contacts to help you find better, more qualified buyers and probably also get you a better price. The only down side is that the broker will take about 10 percent of your sale price as their fee.


In order to set a price on your business, you need to obtain an accurate valuation. This valuation will be based on factors like your market position, earnings, and assets. In order to get an accurate picture of your earnings, most potential buyers will want to see financial statements prepared or at least reviewed by an outside accounting firm. Typically profit and loss statements and balance sheets from the past five years will be required. Your accountant can prepare this paperwork and also help you sort through the numerous tax issues related to selling your business.


In order to ensure that your interests are protected and that you get the best price for your business, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney. Before selling your business, you will need to create a prospectus that describes your business. In order to ensure that your prospectus does not include statements that could expose you to litigation (like promises regarding future earnings), you should have an attorney review it. You should also have an attorney go over the sales agreement with you, to make sure that you fully understand and agree with all the terms.

With the help of a great team of brokers, accountants, and attorneys, you’re sure to get all the information you need about selling your business at top dollar and under the most favorable conditions possible.

3 Ways a Divorce Lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga Can End a Marriage or Domestic Partnership

In the state of California, divorce lawyers can help couples end their marriages or domestic partnerships using the three following legal procedures:


Divorce is the most common way of ending a marriage or domestic partnership. Unlike in other states, in order to get a divorce in California, there is no need to prove any wrongdoing on the part of either spouse. “Irreconcilable differences” can simply be cited as the reason for divorce. Your divorce lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga cannot file your divorce paperwork unless you have resided in California for the past six months and in San Bernardino County for the past three months. However, exceptions will be made for domestic partners who were married in California but currently reside in a state which will not recognize or terminate their domestic partnership agreement. Even if you file your papers immediately, the divorce will not be legal until the state-mandated six-month waiting period has passed.

Because California is a community property state, legal assistance is often needed to divide marital assets at the time of divorce. A divorce lawyer can make sure you get your fair share of the marital assets, whether they consist of cash, property, investments, or business holdings. Plus, a lawyer can also assist you with alimony, child support, custody, and visitation agreements

Summary Dissolution

A summary dissolution is essentially a quicker, simpler divorce process for couples who have been together for less than five years. Ask your divorce lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga for details.


Annulments are used to end marriages or domestic partnerships that were never truly legally valid in the first place. These cases are rare, but they do still occur from time to time. In order to get an annulment, one of the following must be proven to the satisfaction of a judge:

  • The parties are related by blood
  • The marriage or partnership is bigamous
  • One of the parties entered the marriage while physically or mentally incapacitated
  • At the time of the marriage, one of the parties was under 18
  • One of the parties was compelled to enter the marriage by force or fraud
  • One of the parties was married to or in a domestic partnership with someone else prior to the marriage, and that prior relationship was never legally terminated but instead only assumed to be terminated due to the an absence of at least 5 years.

No waiting period applies to annulments, beyond the wait for a court date.

Terminating a marriage or domestic partnership by any one of these three methods is a complicated legal process. Hiring a divorce lawyer in Rancho Cucamonga will be crucial to your success, so make sure you choose your counsel wisely.

Your Divorce Lawyer in Upland Can Help With Modifications

Just because your divorce has been finalized doesn’t mean that your divorce lawyer’s job is over. Even after all the agreements have been signed, they are hardly set in stone. Life changes may occur for you or your ex-spouse, which will require modifications to be made to your alimony, child support, and/or custody agreements. Working with the same divorce lawyer in Upland who drafted the original agreements is often the best way to make modifications quickly, efficiently, and to your benefit. After all, your divorce lawyer in Upland is already intimately familiar with the details of the case as well as with the attitude and tactics of your ex-spouse’s lawyer. They can help you get the modifications you need in the following areas:


Your alimony requirements were set at the time of your divorce, based on your income and needs as well as those of your ex-spouse. When either person’s income changes significantly, the alimony agreement should be reviewed. One spouse may no longer require high alimony, or the other may no longer be able to pay it. Either way, the agreement must be modified for the sake of both parties.

Child Support

Child support agreements also often require modification. As the child grows, he or she may require additional support for things like school or medical treatment. These costs should be shared by both parents, and the child support agreement would need to be updated to reflect that. Dramatic income changes can also lead to child support modifications. For example, the spouse paying child support might get laid off or fired, making it impossible for them to continue with the past level of child support. Or, they may receive a substantial bonus or raise, in which case the spouse caring for the child is entitled to ask for an increase in support payments.

Child Custody

The primary goal of child custody arrangements is always to do what is in the best interests of the child, for their physical and emotional well-being. Occasionally circumstances change so much that the current custody arrangement becomes untenable. The child may need to be removed from a dangerous or unfit home, or, in happier circumstances, a parent who was previously deemed unfit for custody may have reformed themselves to such an extent as to now merit some type of shared custody. Either way, your divorce lawyer in Upland can help you make the necessary modifications for the good of your child or children.

Why You Might Need A Family Law Attorney

The current divorce rate in the United States is hovering right around 50%. Sometimes, even if you are all in, your spouse one day decides that he or she simply does not want to be married anymore. Whether or not you are being forced into a divorce, or you want the divorce yourself, it can be a hard and challenging life obstacle.  If you ever experience the unfortunate circumstance of getting divorced, there are many things that have to be decided upon. This is where a family law attorney in Upland, CA, can be highly beneficial to you. They can be very helpful in cases such as alimony, child custody, child support, and property division.

Sometimes, if you have been married for fifteen years or more, you can request alimony. Alimony is a payment made from either the husband or wife to their ex spouse in order to help them maintain the quality of life they had during the marriage. There are a lot of factors that play into this, and this is something your family law attorney in Upland, CA will have to discuss with you. There are different types of alimony, sometimes it is only temporary until you can get back on your feet, and sometimes it is permanent. If you think you may qualify, then it is a good idea to speak with your attorney.

If there are children involved in a divorce, then things can get a bit messy. It can be difficult to discuss and decide who should have custody and when. In many cases, your family law attorney in Upland, CA will attempt to settle things outside of court, which is beneficial for every party. Not only does this save precious time and money, it can help both of the parents have more of a say in what they want and what they think is best for their child. It helps when the decision is within the parents’ terms, because then things can hopefully be more civil between them.

Sometimes, child support is an issue that comes up in cases of divorce. While this is uncommon in cases of equal custody, if it has been determined that one parent is more suitable than another, or that a parent does not want to care for the child half of the time, then it is often ordered that they pay child support. Your family law attorney in Upland, CA, can help you determine whether or not your situation is one in which child custody may be an issue, and if so, what you need to do in order to make sure it is of highest benefit to the child. As you can see, a family attorney can be very helpful when deciding what legal actions are needed for your individual case.

Finding The Family Law Attorney That Is Right For You

If you find yourself looking for a family law attorney Claremont CA professional, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the entire thing. There are a lot of reasons to get a family law attorney, and not all of them are for the happiest things. The obvious ones that come to mind are things like divorce, spouse abuse, alimony, and so on. However, there are plenty of other reasons to hire an attorney that is familiar with family law, for instance in cases of adoption. The joy that comes to parents who are unable to have children and therefore opt to go adopt a child is remarkable. This joining of families can be an incredible blessing that goes both ways. The child gets a family to love and take care of him or her, and the parents are able to feel fulfilled through raising a child in the best way that they know how.

No matter the reason you’re seeing a family law attorney Claremont CA professional though, it doesn’t need to seem overwhelming. There are a few basic steps that you can take in order to ensure that you are going to be represented in the best possible light, so that an accurate representation of you is given to whoever is inquiring. By hiring a great family law attorney Claremont CA agent you are ensuring that, whatever the reason, your chances of succeeding are as high as they can be. Often times it may feel like the odds are stacked against you, and for this reason hiring the best professional for the job is definitely in your best interest.

But how do you find the best representation? A great place to start is to ask people who have had similar issues and needed similar representation in the past. If the reason you are hiring a family law attorney is for a divorce, then get with someone who has already gone through the entire process and get some feedback from them regarding who they used. If it is for an adoption, the same rules apply. Ask them how they went about it, what if anything could have gone better, and so on. Doing this is a great way to find family law attorney Claremont CA agents that have done a good job for people you know, and can ease the stress of finding someone. Another way to find someone is to do a few searches online. If you can find a law firm that specializes in family law and has some reviews online, you can get a good idea of what doing business with them is like. By doing so you know what to expect right off the bat, and can go into whatever legal proceedings you have ahead of you with confidence.

How Your Attorney Can Help You With Community Property Issues

The divorce process can be a long and painful one. The stress of dividing family property between two spouses is an additional burden that can make the process even more complicated. Many couples divorcing may assume they can weather these difficulties on their own, especially if the split is an amicable one. However, it can be difficult to determine how to fairly divide marital assets. Hiring an attorney to help you weather the divorce process and to ensure your joint property is fairly distributed is a vital step toward resuming your life as quickly and easily as possible after the split.

If my divorce is in California, how does that affect me?

California is one of the nine states in the US that are classified as Community Property states. This means that the property and assets acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses. The family home, any other jointly owned property, cars, and businesses all fall under the category of community assets. Also included are the income earned during the marriage, as well as retirement savings, pension plans, and other employee benefits. During a divorce in a community property state, the value of the property will be divided equally among both spouses.

Anything that was the property of either spouse before the marriage occurred remains the sole property of that spouse – such as a business that the wife had started before marrying, or a vacation home the husband had previously purchased. Also, inheritance or gifts given to one spouse do not qualify as community property. In some cases, an agreement signed before the marriage can make a difference as to which properties either spouse is entitled to.

Does this present any difficulties?

It can be difficult to determine the value to be divided if the property owned by one spouse before the marriage generates income or assets that were shared during the marriage. For example, the wife’s business was partially managed by her husband and the income generated went into furnishing and maintaining their home. Or an inheritance received by the husband was used to pay down their joint mortgage. This is a tricky legal process that will require an attorney to untangle, in order to fairly benefit both parties involved and to ensure that the sole owner of the property does not end up losing his or her assets.

How can I ensure my interests are protected?

Divorce is emotionally devastating enough without the added worry of trying to figure out what you’re entitled to receiving. If there are minor children from the marriage, it’s even more important that the process goes as smoothly as possible without the added bitterness that can stem from a property battle. If you’re concerned about community property laws, get in touch with the Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell.

What else are you worried about when it comes to community property laws?

Getting A Divorce

Ending a marriage is never an easy thing. Once you have made the decision, and feel this is the best course for your future, you may feel completely at a loss for what to do next. While involved in the emotional trauma of ending your marriage and starting your life fresh, you could feel overwhelmed with the simple tasks of hiring an attorney and filing for divorce. Follow the steps listed below in order to lessen anxiety and stress and feel positively about the direction you are headed.

Step One: Hire An Attorney

It is important in this situation that your needs and desires are well represented. If this is your first experience with divorce, hiring a lawyer can ensure that your needs are well represented and fought for. Ideally, both parties would be respectful and interested in courteous divorce proceedings; unfortunately this is not always the case. Not only will an attorney protect your rights and needs, but they will also offer you the experience and knowledge necessary to know how to proceed with your divorce.

Step Two: File A Petition In Court

One or both spouses will need to file a petition in a court of law to end the marriage. If you have hired an attorney, they will handle the process for you. In this petition, several things will be listed, such as:

  • Assets owned by the family
  • Children’s names and ages
  • Each spouse’s yearly salary
  • Temporary custody request

Other issues that must be urgently decided may also be included in the petition that is filed with the court.

Step Three: Discovery

During the discovery process, each side will ask the other for specific information about the value of certain assets. Some examples are retirement funds or the value of a business owned. This is done to ensure that all assets are represented fairly and can be divided accurately by the court. An attorney can also handle the discovery process if you choose to hire one.

Step Four: The Decision

Divorces in which both parties are agreeable and have set clear terms are often settled quickly by a judge. Once each party has completed the process of discovery, each side will then make a motion asking for certain assets to be granted to them, such as custody or visitation rights of children. Once both parties have agreed on the terms, the judge can then grant the divorce and divide the assets evenly.

Protecting Yourself

While all of these steps may be performed without an attorney, you can guarantee that there is always someone on your side when you hire one. A good lawyer will make sure you are not taken advantage of and that you get what you need from your divorce.

What steps will you take in order to protect yourself during a divorce?

Should I Hire An Attorney If I’m Getting A Divorce?

Whether you’re considering a divorce or you have already started the process, one of the most common questions is whether or not you should hire an attorney. Money may be tight right now—figuring out how you will be able to make rent or mortgage payments without a spouse’s salary, supporting your children, and more—and an attorney can seem like a big expense that you can manage without. However, before you decide to do it on your own instead of hiring an attorney, it’s a good idea to consider the potential implications and costs of not hiring one.

Specialized Legal Knowledge

If you’ve never been a family law attorney, or you’ve never been divorced, chances are you are not an expert on the laws surrounding the process. In this case, what you do not know can definitely hurt you, especially if your soon-to-be-former spouse has the benefit of an attorney. An attorney’s specialized knowledge of legal procedures and your rights can help you get a fair divorce. In addition, the laws are constantly changing, so if your divorce spans a significant timeframe, laws may even change in the midst of the proceedings. Having an attorney who knows and keeps up on these things can be tremendously beneficial.

Filing and Petitioning

Every legal process is filled with specific deadlines and filing requirements, and divorce is no exception. If you fail to turn in the right paperwork, filled out correctly, and by a very precise deadline, you may lose your entire case on a simple technicality. When you hire a divorce attorney, that person knows what paperwork must be filed, what petitions must be completed, how to fill it out, and all the deadlines. It is his or her business to remember so you can focus on getting your life together in the wake of such a monumental change.

A Negotiator on Your Side

Divorce is a give and take process, but without experience in negotiating for things like property division, spousal support, and child custody, you could find yourself getting the worst end of the deal in some or all of these areas. It’s best if you have someone on your side who has negotiated these deals before and understands what a fair deal looks like.

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful time in your life, so it’s best if you have someone who can guide you through the process—filing the right paperwork, negotiating fair terms for the final settlement, and keeping you apprised of changes and intricacies in the law that can benefit your case. When you need an attorney on your side for a divorce case, contact the Law Offices of Torrence L Howell.

How do you think a family law attorney could most benefit you during your divorce?

Reasons To Incorporate Your Business

Why Should You Incorporate Your Business

When you begin a business, there are so many things that you need to consider. The first and most critical aspect is what your business is going to be. You will need an idea and a name. After that, the rest is all details. You should find a location, decorate your store or office, hire some employees, and figure out who will mange each aspect of the business. One part of business that you may not think about right off is what type of business structure you will have. While there are many options to choose from, the following will discuss some important reasons to get incorporated.

Protection Of Your Assets

While you are probably like most other business owners and plan to thrive, you should protect yourself against going out of business or being sued. Unfortunately in today’s economy those are real possibilities that many businesses have to face. When you get incorporated, your assets will typically be protected in such a situation. Rather than all of your personal assets being up for grabs in a lawsuit, only your investment in the company will be available for the taking. This is not always guaranteed, but is generally the case.


Are you starting up a business, but you want to remain anonymous? There are probably a few reasons why you might not want the general public to know all of your business affairs. An incorporated business is a great way to achieve this privacy.

Tax Advantages

With another business entity, you cannot achieve the same level of tax advantages as you can when you become incorporated. Incorporating your business provides you a separate, distinct legal entity. Structuring different transactions between you and your company can save you money when it comes to taxes. If you are a part of a business entity, such as sole proprietor or another entity besides incorporated, you cannot participate in some of the same tax benefits.

Raising Capital

Raising money through investments is a lot easier for a corporation than another business entity. Finding money from banks or other lenders is simpler when you are a corporation. Selling shares of stock is an effortless way to take on investors for a corporation.


While it might be all in the eye of the beholder, many companies have more authority simply because they have INC. or CORP. at the end of their company name. People feel more secure when they are dealing with a corporation. They feel like the business is more credible and that they can trust the business dealings that they have with a corporation.

As you look over your big list of items to get done before you can open up shop, don’t forget to become incorporated. With so many benefits ranging from protection of assets to tax advantages to simple credibility, it is no wonder why scores of businesses have already become incorporated.

If you have questions about the reasons you should become incorporated, there are places to turn. Visit to discuss some of those benefits and to really understand the legal benefits that come with being a corporation.

What business are you getting incorporated?

How to Calculate Business Valuation

Different Methods for Calculating Business Valuation

When you own a business in Upland, CA, there may come a time when you need to determine the value of that business.  For instance, if you have decided to sell your business, you must know its value, or if you are going through divorce litigation, the value of your business must be disclosed.  There are many other reasons that you need to know the value of your business, so here are some different approaches you may take in evaluating your business.

Some Things To Be Taken Into Account

  • The value standard or conditions under which it will be valued must be determined
  • The premise of value, such as assuming that the business will remain a going concern
  • Economic conditions must be considered, particularly regarding the specific industry of the business
  • Financial statements must be normalized

Income Valuation Method

The income method of valuating businesses in Upland, CA, is designed to come up with a fair market value.  The professional determining the value may include cash flows, capitalization of earnings or the excess earnings method.  The process includes using a discount rate or a capitalization rate so that the present value of the business can be determined.

Asset-based Valuation Method

This method is sometimes seen as a more objective method than the Income valuation method.  The basic idea is that the asset values are adjusted to current or fair values based on the current market, and adjusted for liabilities, which gives you the book value.  The liquidation value is often used when the business is not expected to remain a going concern.

Market Valuation Method

The market valuation method of calculating the value of a business in Upland, CA, is based on the principle of supply and demand.  Basically, the sellers will not accept less than a certain value and the buyers will not pay more than they would pay for a comparable enterprise, so that equilibrium has been reached.  The challenges with market valuations come because it can be difficult to find public companies that are comparable to the actual business being valued.  There must be something to compare to that is sufficiently equal to make an accurate comparison.

Option Pricing Valuation Method

Because equity can be looked at as an option or a call option on the firm, option pricing can be a method used to determine value.  Even if the debt of a business is high, equity can remain valuable.  Basically, investors could exercise their options to either repay business debt or to liquidate the business.  This type of valuation is used for firms that are struggling and that would be difficult to value using other valuation methods

Seeking Help for Business Evaluation

Determining the value of your business in Upland, CA, is usually a difficult and complex job.  If you don’t use the best valuation methods, you may not end up with an appropriate value and may even cause critical problems.  Working with a professional who has the experience necessary to select appropriate valuation methods can be very beneficial.  In addition, they can offer an objective view and give the investors or buyers greater confidence in an independent review.

Do you know the value of your business?