Practice Areas

At The Law Office of Erik Frias, we provide a comprehensive suite of services to business clients, including providing advice on the choice of entity through which to operate, structuring ownership and capitalization, negotiating and preparing business agreements, assisting in the sale and purchase of a business, assisting in business succession or dissolution, and navigating the difficult waters of business litigation.

We also advise individuals and families throughout Virginia and the District of Columbia on their personal and estate planning needs. We take the time to explore all of the options and alternatives to create comprehensive plans, including wills, trusts, and healthcare directives and coordinate efforts with trustees, beneficiaries, and executors to make sure end-of-life wishes are honored.

Small Business Law

If you are just getting started and have not yet formed your business, or are simply considering the idea of becoming a business owner, it is worth a quick discussion about how to structure and capitalize the business. We should discuss choice of entity (corporation, LLC, etc.), equity and capitalization, licensure, basic trademark principles and employment issues, among other things, depending on the nature of the business.

Contracts are the lifeblood of any business, so it is crucial to make sure that your fundamental contracts (employment contracts, customer contracts, vendor contracts, etc.) accomplish your goals. You can count on us to deliver the results, give the advice, and provide the support you need to create a contract or to negotiate and craft a contract or to represent you when a contract is in dispute.

Mergers, acquisitions, business expansions, spin-offs, stock purchases, asset purchases, buy-outs, etc. There are a number of different ways to enter or exit a business or to build upon an existing business, and making sure that all of the details are covered can be the difference between a successful transaction and a disaster, and one size does not fit all. Let’s discuss what you hope to accomplish with your transaction and how we might get you there.

Are you thinking about purchasing a franchise? Is your existing franchised business up for renewal? Whether you need a full review of a potential franchise contract, or just a discussion of the legalities of owning a franchise business, we can assist you. If you have already begun the process, we can take a look at your agreement and help you with suggested changes to the agreement as written and can help you negotiate these changes with your franchisor. By allowing us to assist you before making the long-term commitment of becoming a franchisee or renewing your existing franchise agreement, we can attempt to help you save time and money by avoiding common issues found in franchise agreements before they become problems.

Looking to register a trademark? There is a wealth of services that make it easy and inexpensive to register a mark, but what they don’t tell you is that registration is the easy part, and registration, by itself, may offer very little protection against someone with a superior claim to your mark and offers no comfort that your mark does not infringe on someone else’s trademark rights, even when no mark has been registered. We can perform the research necessary to discover competing marks and analyze the strength of your proposed mark before we register it. We also assist our clients in defending or asserting their rights under federal or state trademark law.

Succession Planning is basically estate planning for the business that has more than one owner. Succession planning principles can be incorporated into an operating agreement for an LLC or a shareholders’ agreement for a corporation and should be prepared to address any situation that affects the operation or ownership of the business, including death, disability, divorce, bankruptcy, sale, termination and withdrawl.

Estates & Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential for every person, whether you are a retiree or young parent. No matter how much property you own and regardless of the size of your estate, estate planning empowers you to ensure that your wishes are carried out. It also removes the burden of tough decisions from your family in a time of grieving. Taking the time to create a comprehensive estate plan can ensure that your intentions are legally sound and secure, can avoid or reduce tax liabilities, can prevent future disputes, and can protect your assets and investments. Because no two people or families are the same, our approach to estate planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. With the understanding you would want and the knowledge you would expect, we combine the best real-world experience with a confident ability to give you the peace of mind you want when planning for the future.

Whether you are going to be away from home or business and can’t act on your own behalf, or you want to give the ability to act on your behalf to someone else in case you become incapacitated, a power of attorney document is an important tool. From proxy voting to granting the power to make financial decisions or recommend a guardian, a durable power of attorney can be a critical tool in your life. Granted to a person called an “attorney-in-fact” by a “principal,” the power of attorney can be granted to a spouse, relative, child, or friend, as long as they are an adult and acting in good faith on the principal’s behalf. There are several types of power of attorney assignments, we can help you make sure you have the correct documentation for your specific case.

An advanced healthcare directive is created to outline the actions that are to be taken in the event of the incapacitation or death when the party in question is unable to speak for themselves. This directive is most commonly in the form of a living will but can include a power of attorney. The advance of medicine has allowed us to prolong life, creating an expensive, emotionally trying experience for loved ones and a potentially painful experience for the incapacitated. However, without the permission from the incapacitated (permission that would be impossible to receive) to stop life support, these situations would happen repeatedly, unnaturally extending life. With the development of advanced healthcare directives you are able to dictate your wishes when you are physically incapable of doing so. This is a difficult subject for many, and it should not be handled alone. We can discuss with you how to can entrust the decision to a loved one and learn more about detailing your wishes.

Probate and estate administration are the legal processes to marshal the assets, pay the debts, comply with tax laws, distribute the assets (including the possible establishment of one or more trusts), and generally manage the affairs of an estate after death. Probate is the court process that addresses the probate of wills, the distribution of an estate and any disputes that may arise. We are experienced in representing clients in the probate process and will effectively assert your rights and protect your financial interests as well as those of the estate.