Below are my upcoming presentations. 


Wednesday, October 24th / 1:45am-1:00pm / Workuity (Camelback) / FREE  [Register]

Does your business have more than one owner? If so, then a comprehensive shareholders’ agreement (or operating agreement for LLCs) is essential.

For companies of all sizes, it is one of the most important, yet most overlooked agreements. At minimum, a properly drafted shareholders’ agreement will ensure that the owners’ vision, goals and expectations are understood and aligned. And in the event of a shareholder dispute, it may literally save the life of your company (as shareholder disputes are one of the leading causes of litigation).

Topics for this complimentary seminar include:

  • Why every company with more than one owner needs a shareholders/operating agreement
  • Management issues
    • Understanding the decisions every company will face
    • Structuring the management hierarchy
    • Selecting (and replacing) decision makers at each level
    • Ensuring continuity of management
  • Economic issues
    • Deciding how and when the profits get distributed
    • Capital calls
    • Issuing, transferring and redeeming shares/units
    • Planning for an eventual liquidity event
  • Tax considerations
    • Avoiding phantom income in S corporations and LLCs
    • Preserving (and revoking) S corporation status
  • Information and audit rights
  • Dispute resolution 
    • Why litigation or arbitration may not work
    • Buy/sell provisions
    • The best (and easiest) way to resolve disputes



Tuesday, October 30th  / 8:30-10am / Aweec (Downtown Phoenix) / FREE  [Register]

Fast Company has ranked Arizona #1 in the nation for entrepreneurial activity; our state leads the country in projected job growth according to Forbes; and Chief Executive recently included Arizona on its Top 10 States for Business list.

Brian J. Burt will discuss issues related to starting a new business and share lessons learned personally and from clients’ entrepreneurial experiences.

Topics for this workshop will include:

  • Creating a business plan (i.e., how do you make money?)
  • Protecting your personal assets by forming a company
  • Selecting the right form of entity and creating a company
  • Start-up funding
  • What it means to have partners and how to bring them in
  • Basic agreements every new business should have
  • Developing and protecting your brand
  • Building your advisory team


EMERGING BUSINESS SEMINAR – How To Negotiate Contracts

Wednesday, November 7th  / 7:30-9:30am / SkySong (Scottsdale & McDowell) / FREE  [Register]

Contracts are a daily part of every business owner’s life.  When economic times are good, many owners ignore contractual formalities and some even abandon written agreements altogether.  During the days of abundant (and seemingly unending) profits, “handshake deals” often become the norm.

When things go sideways, however, proliferating disputes and costly litigation have lay bare the perils of doing business without a well-drafted contract. So, how can companies best protect their interests through the contract negotiation and preparation process?

Snell & Wilmer invites you to the next program in the Emerging Business Seminar Series, where partner Brian Burt will discuss contract negotiation and preparation.

Topics for this complimentary seminar will include:

  • Challenges of doing business in today’s market
  • Best practices in contract negotiation
  • Capturing agreed upon business terms in the contract
  • Ensuring today’s deal remains tomorrow’s deal
  • Key areas of exposure and ways to limit liability
  • Ways to resolve disputes and help avoid them
  • Why “miscellaneous” provisions matter



Thursday, November 8th  / 6-7:30pm / Mesa Launch Point / FREE  [Register]

When business owners are attempting to grow their companies, legal issues are often put on the back burner. The natural focus is on hiring talented employees, securing customers and generating revenue.

Unfortunately, failing to do some basic legal planning can result in costly mistakes, impaired growth and even the untimely collapse of the company.

Topics for this complimentary seminar will include (among others):

  • Protecting your corporate shield and your personal assets
  • Why you must have a shareholders or “buy/sell” agreement
  • How to raise capital…legally
  • Protecting your valuable intellectual property
  • Managing key employee issues
  • Reducing the risk of litigation



November 13th / 8:00-9:30am / Vantage (Desert Ridge) / FREE   [Register]

During the early stages of a private company’s lifecycle, the necessary capital comes from “angel investors” who are willing to bear high risk for potentially high rewards. During the Great Recession, many potential angels sat on the sidelines. With the U.S. economy coming back to life, however, those angels are looking to re-engage. This class presents topics including: risks and rewards of private company investments; locating investment opportunities; analyzing prospective deals; negotiating favorable investment terms; protecting your investment; and the investor’s role post-closing.



Tuesday, December 11th / 8:00-9:30am / Vantage (Desert Ridge) / FREE  [Register]

To start or expand a business, you need capital.  Raising capital, however, is one of the most difficult challenges that a company can undertake.  In the current economy, investors at all levels have become increasingly risk adverse, resulting in even greater competition for their limited investment dollars.  And heightened regulatory scrutiny by the SEC means that compliance with securities laws has never been more important.   Learn what an entrepreneur or business owner must do to successfully navigate the process.

Topics for this seminar will include:

  • Determining a company’s capital requirements
  • Identifying those who can satisfy those requirements
  • Defining the terms of the equity offering
  • Understanding what it means to have investors
  • Complying with federal and state securities laws
  • How the JOBS Act will change the rules of the game with crowdfunding
  • Strategies for increasing a company’s chance of success