Legal Representation in

Bellingham, Whatcom County, & Washington


We provide legal counsel in a broad range of areas, including entity formation, business and financial contracts, business/partnership dissolutions, personnel policies, employment contracts, cooperatives, and worker-owned cooperative conversions.


We provide careful up front planning to accomplish our clients' goals, and avoid unnecessary costly legal fees in the future.  With years of experience holding people accountable in court, we know well how to help your business avoid exposure and liability.


Get help today.  Contact us.


More Testimonials...

Business Formation


Prior to starting a business, an entrepreneur can reduce risks and increase the chance of success with good planning, preparation, and legal advice.  The form of your business will impact your tax status, the number of tax returns to file, owners' liability protection, the owners' relationships with each other, and earnings distributions.  Special financing options may be available for worker owned cooperatives promoting solidarity economies.  Obtaining written partnership agreements in the beginning can avoid costly legal disputes in the event that one partner latter decides to call it quits, or sees partnership obligations differently.


In Washington, business owners have several business entity options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, including:


 • Sole Proprietorship

 • Partnership (General or Limited) - RCW Title 25.

 • Corporations (Type S, or Type C) - RCW Titles 23 and 23b.

 • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) - RCW Title 25.

 • Social Purpose Corporations (B Corps) -  RCW Title 23, Chapter 25.

 • Worker Owned Cooperatives (Employee Cooperative Corporations) -RCW Title 23, Chapter 78.

 • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) - RCW Title 25, Chapter 10.


Get the legal aspects out of the way early in the process of starting your business.  Give us a call.



Business and Financial Contracts


Entrepreneurs sometimes opt to negotiate deals without the help of a lawyer.  Some transactions, though, put a lot on the line.  Before negotiating or finalizing a deal, you should ask yourself, how much am I putting on the line with this agreement?  Do I even understand this agreement well enough to know how much I am putting on the line?  If they don't pay, how much am I out?  Do I have adequate security?  Do I need a personal guaranty?  Or on the other hand, If I miss a payment, and they foreclose on this collateral, will that put me out of business?  Sometimes, lenders ask for more collateral than they need.  And loan documents may leave out essential provisions that protect borrowers, such as notice and opportunity to cure.


While some things you can do on your own, for others its best to consult a lawyer.  We are happy to help.



Personnel Policies and Employment Contracts


Washington is an at-will state.  That means an employee maybe fired for any non-prohibited reason (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc.).  Sometimes, though, employees giving up other valuable opportunities, and may ask for a  an employment contract, protecting them from termination during the term of employment.


Some businesses entrust their employees with valuable information, such as customer lists and trade secrets.  It may be appropriate for an employee to sign a non-compete, or confidentiality agreement.  If the agreements fail to comply with Washington law, though, they can be unenforceable, or only partly enforceable.  Also, they may contain provisions that are overly onerous for the employee.


Employers who fail to take discrimination, harassment, and complaints seriously can face substantial liability.  Employers should have a complaint process that works for their business and employees.  One size does not fit all.  Sometimes it is worse to have a process that is not followed than it is to have no process at all.


We represent both employers and employees.  If you have questions, give us a call.


Business/Partnership Dissolutions


Sometimes a partners decide to part ways.  A good agreement up front can avoid legal fees in the end.  But even the best agreements are subject to fraud, abuse, and disagreement over the meaning of terms.  Often there is a lot on the line and you need an attorney to protect your rights.  You will likely need an attorney in the negotiations, and at closing.  We know that when a business is failing, debts need to be paid, and tensions are high.  We help people find their way out of difficult situations without litigation.  If litigation is required, we are zealous advocates with experience getting cases resolved at mediation, arbitration, trial, and on appeal.


Call us to protect your rights.



Worker Owned Cooperatives


We support worker owned cooperatives, and the solidarity economy.  Traditional corporate models have failed us in many ways.  The corporation was created and designed to maximize profits for shareholders while protecting them from liability.


Worker owned cooperatives are not a new idea, but we are seeing a resurgence in their popularity.  People have worked together cooperatively for hundreds of thousands of years.  Corporations are relatively modern experiment.  People are now choosing cooperative model because they want to see a more cooperative world, where profit for shareholders is not the only motive.  A world full of communities based on trust and accountability.  A world where people take personal responsibility for their actions and are able to hold those we do business with accountable for theirs.  This is the solidarity economy.


Business owners are finding that a converting to a worker owned cooperative conversion may be a better option selling the business to a stranger.  The people with the most intimate knowledge of the business (the employees) will be the new owners.  We have work with lenders who are recognizing the value the collective wisdom of the employees and are happy to fund this so-called "non-traditional" form of business.


Real Estate


Are you about to rent out a home?  Or are you ready to lease space for your business?  Real estate laws are sometimes arcane, and sometimes complex. Contact us to see if we can help you navigate the legal issues you are facing and get you started off on the right foot.


Client Testimonials...

 The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander, P.S. | 2319 Elm St. Bellingham, WA 98225  | (360) 392-2872  |  Contact Us


This website is for informational purposes only.  The information you will find here is intended to introduce you to us and our services.  It contains no official legal opinions.  We invite you to contact our office to set up a conference with a lawyer.  For your own protection, we strongly suggest that you do not transmit confidential documents to us or anyone else via unsecured email.  Please note that we do not accept solicitation for representations in any other format than a formally arranged consultation.  Unsolicited communications sent by mail, email, or other method not authorized by the attorney do not establish an attorney and client relationship.

© 2019 The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander, P.S. All Rights Reserved.

Call Us Today


2319 Elm St. Bellingham, WA 98225

| (360) 392-2872 | Contact Us

The Law Office of Edward S. Alexander

2319 Elm St.

Bellingham, WA 98225

(360) 392-2872      Contact Us