Selecting the proper legal form for your venture (e.g., corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company, etc.) is an important decision that can affect multiple aspects of your business. The type of entity you use has potential consequences impacting personal liability, tax treatment, corporate governance and family planning and succession issues. We can help you select the right legal form for your business to ensure that you are shielded from personal liability and you receive the most appropriate tax treatment.
Negotiating a long-term, tenant-friendly lease is one of the most crucial aspects of running a successful bar or restaurant. When negotiating leases, bars and restaurants require unique provisions. In addition to the key business terms typically negotiated in commercial leases (e.g., rent, term, renewal/extension options, personal guaranty), there are often finer points specifically affecting bars and restaurants that entrepreneurs and general practitioners may overlook. We can help negotiate terms to help ensure that you will stay in your space for the entire term of your lease while minimizing potential liabilities.
Often the people with the vision and skill required to run a successful bar or restaurant in New York do not have the capital required to finance the project. We can help you negotiate agreements with your investors and choose the appropriate structure to reflect the arrangement while protecting your interests to the greatest extent possible.
Navigating the community board process can be one of the most difficult and confusing aspects of obtaining a Liquor License in New York City. While the NYS Liquor Authority is not statutorily required to do so, it has increasingly given greater weight to the approvals and stipulations granted by local community boards. There are no universal criteria that community boards look for. Each one is unique and many focus on specific, idiosyncratic issues. We will work closely with you on your community board presentation and materials so that you present your business plan in the most favorable light and develop a positive relationship with the relevant community board.
Cabaret licenses are administered and governed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (the “DCA”). According to the DCA, “any room, place, or space in New York City in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public requires a Cabaret license.” In addition to DCA review, cabaret licenses require review by the community board and approval by the fire department. We can help you navigate the process and get the licenses you business requires.
In addition to NYS Liquor Authority disciplinary actions, bars and restaurants may also receive criminal summonses issued by the police or fire department. These summonses may be issued to the corporation, principals of the corporation or employees. These summonses should be taken seriously as they can result fines and, if not addressed properly, jail time and a criminal record. We can provide you with the proper legal representation to ensure you are not personally exposed to any criminal penalties.