Business & Commercial Law

Business & Commercial Law

Helping Strengthen Businesses in Iowa and Nebraska for over 100 years

Smith Peterson Law Firm, LLP , was established in 1908, and has been a vibrant member of the Southwest Iowa legal community ever since. We have a long and distinguished history handling a wealth of legal matters for our business law clients.

We are proficient in this area of law and have been a large part of its evolution in this area of the country. What may be a large problem for our client is likely something we have handled before. Contact us today to discuss the legal needs of your business.

Our attorneys assist small and large business clients throughout every phase of their business law needs, including:

  • Business formation
  • Lease agreements
  • Financing
  • Contracts
  • Taxation
  • Business Sales
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Buy-outs
  • Buy-outs
  • Breach of Contract
  • Ongoing Employment Issues

Our firm will conduct a thorough assessment of your case and communicate the results of the evaluation with you. If it is in your best interest, we will exhaust all options available to ensure the proper and just compensation for the injury and losses sustained.

Because of our strong history on both sides of litigation, we understand the procedures and processes that the defense is going to use. We are also very experienced and competent in the appeal process.

We offer free initial consultations in personal injury cases, and attorneys fees are collected only if you win compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in a car accident, premises liability or medical malpractice incident, or is filing a workers' comp claim, contact Smith Peterson right away. You need confident, skilled advocacy from an experienced personal injury lawyer. We can help.

Business Formations

Smith Peterson Business Lawyers Can Help

New business owners face many important decisions and one of the first is selecting the type of entity for their business. Our expert business lawyers are here to help with your business formation.

Common Business Entities
Business owners should become familiar with the different types of entities, and then coordinate with a business incorporation lawyer and tax professional to complete the business formation process. The most common business structures in Iowa and Nebraska are as follows (click on the link below for more details):

  • Iowa LLC
  • Nebraska LLC
  • Nebraska Corp
  • Iowa Corp
  • Limited Partnership
  • General Partnership (formal formation not required)
  • Sole Proprietorship (formal formation not required)


The LLC has become a popular and wise choice of entity in Nebraska and Iowa for all sizes of businesses. (Need a link describing LLC in Neb and Iowa)

Limited Partnership

Partnerships can be used for simple small business as well as large enterprises. The limited partnership requires two types of partners (general & limited). If the partnership is set-up and managed properly, the limited partners will have liability protection from the debts and obligations of the partnership.

General Partnership

A general partnership is created when two or more persons associate to carry on a business for profit. A general partnership operates in accordance with a partnership agreement, but there is no requirement that the agreement be in writing and there is no state filing requirement. Like a sole proprietorship, a general partnership does not require any formal action and will automatically exist if certain criteria are met. Each individual partner, and the partnership as a separate and distinct entity, is jointly and severally liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership.

Sole Proprietorship

The simplest form of business structure is the sole proprietorship. In a sole proprietorship, a single individual engages in a business activity without formal organization. The sole proprietor has all the control of and responsibility for the business operation and business decisions. The sole proprietor owns all the business property as an individual but also assumes unlimited personal liability for all debts and other claims against the business. If the business is conducted under an assumed name (a name other than the surname of the individual), then an assumed name certificate (commonly referred to as a DBA) should be filed with the office of the county clerk in the county where a business premise is maintained.

Smith Peterson Business Litigation Lawyers

Commercial Litigation

If you need legal representation in a business or commercial litigation matter, you can count on the Smith Peterson Law Firm to provide the personal attention needed to win your case. Our commercial litigator takes winning personally and pursues commercial claims with a passion.

Cost Effective Commercial Litigation

We understand that commercial litigation can be disruptive to your business and/or personal life. As such, we strive to minimize disruptions and limit litigation expenses by devoting resources efficiently and economically. If finding a cost-effective and timely resolution of your legal issues is important to you, contact Smith Peterson today to set up a time to meet one of our Commercial Litigation specialist attorneys.

Types of Commercial Litigation

Our firm handles the following commercial cases:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty;
  • Contract disputes;
  • Breach of contract;
  • Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) violations;
  • Business fraud;
  • Partnership disputes;
  • Shareholder disputes;
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes;
  • Debt Collection;

If you need experienced and passionate representation, contact Smith Peterson Law Firm to receive a consult today.

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Lease Review

Let us review and negotiate your commercial lease

Our commercial lease review lawyer represents franchisees and other commercial tenants about the negotiation of their commercial leases. Before you negotiate a commercial lease for your business, you need to understand the various terms and clauses used in the lease agreement. Commercial leases are highly negotiable, from the business terms to the legal nuances. You should not sign a commercial lease without having a commercial leasing attorney review it first.

If the commercial lease provided by the landlord seems one-sided or is difficult to understand, call or email our commercial lease attorney to set up a lease review. One of our main goals is to level the playing field and create a win-win situation where you obtain favorable lease terms and the landlord increases occupancy rates.

Commercial Law

The Smith Peterson Law Firm LLP commercial law attorneys are experienced in understanding business issues, determining resolution requirements, and successfully litigating business and commercial disputes. The firm represents clients in all aspects of business issues, including breach of contract, business regulations and contract disputes, insurance disputes, commercial leasing, employment law, and non-compete and confidentiality clause issues. Our attorneys also have extensive experience in representing small and large businesses, lenders and individuals as creditors, in commercial collection matters and in navigating the bankruptcy process. We have represented numerous creditors in Chapter 7, 11 and 13 proceedings.
"I enjoy the challenge of assessing and resolving the most complicated of legal issues to reach the successful negotiation and resolution of business arrangements. Understanding the objectives of our clients is an important part of representing commercial clients. My goal is to deliver practical solutions to the legal challenges businesses face."

Creditor's Rights
Our Creditors' Rights attorneys represent banks in collecting or adjusting troubled credits, as well as structuring and documenting commercial loans. We also regularly counsel large and small businesses facing collection difficulties because of financial issues facing their customers and suppliers. Our practice areas include:

  • Representing creditors in bankruptcy and reorganization matters;
  • Real estate foreclosures;
  • Representing secured creditors in exercising their remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code;
  • Commercial lending documentation;
  • Collection of accounts and other unsecured debt;

"Clients appreciate our ability to take on complicated financial situations, to quickly determine the applicable law and the relevant facts, and to lay out a clear path toward resolving the issues presented"