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Q. #10. I own a large contracting company which involves the use of several company vehicles. What can I do to limit my liability exposure?
A. First we must determine whether the business is established as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company. If the business is operated through a legal entity (e.g., LLC, corporation or partnership), we must then determine who is the owner of the vehicles. Once this is determined we can then evaluate what will best work under your current circumstances. If you operate as a sole proprietor, then we might recommend that the business be restructured and operated through a legal entity. If the business involves substantial assets, then we might recommend that these assets be transferred to a legal entity which would lease them back to the primary operating company. We would then tentatively recommend that the vehicles be transferred to a third legal entity and then leased at a fair value rent to the operating company. The objective would be to design a structure that would provide substantially increased asset protection given your particular set of circumstances.
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