Contract and penThis is the next post in my series on the creation and maintenance of corporate bylaws and agreements for companies in Olympia, Tacoma, and elsewhere in Washington. My last article discussed issues to be considered when drafting an initial set of corporate bylaws. It is important that a company’s founding members consider issues such as how new investors may join the organization, how liabilities are to be handled, and how the company can be dissolved or partitioned. Failing to address these matters can greatly increase the cost of disputes and the chances of litigation between the owners. Retaining an attorney can help you to ensure that your corporate bylaws include provisions which can prevent such problems. In this article I will address another important topic — the need to keep your company’s bylaws up to date. If you require assistance the contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

While it is important that your company bylaws and charters be well-drafted from the outset, it is equally important that these documents be updated as your business continues to grow and evolve. Just as no plan of battle survives first contact with the enemy, no set of bylaws can anticipate all the risks and opportunities that will arise in the course of your business.  You may be able to take up new opportunities, enter into new areas of business, or expand in other ways which you had not previously considered. Owners may join or leave the organization, sometimes bringing or taking lines of business with them. It is vital that your documents accurately and nimbly adjust to all these changes. Failing to keep your bylaws updated and current  can increase the risk and cost of running your business and can even lead to litigation.

For example, imagine that you own a company that creates software for third-parties. Now suppose that, as a speculative venture, you develop your own application, which you will manage and sell directly to customers. Managing your own product is very different from building software for others. The company’s new direction may require additional managers, team members, and infrastructure. If your bylaws are not flexible enough to reflect this new line of business, then you will not have mechanisms in place to deal with disputes or disagreements relating to it. The lack of an internal dispute resolution process can create havoc for a company. This can all be avoided by updating your corporate documents as your circumstances change.

If you require assistance with the updating of your corporate bylaws and agreements, contact my office today to speak with an Olympia business law lawyer. My office prides itself on providing a high level of service and we are ready to assist you. Our firm also serves the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.