By MJ Plaster
You might call Frank Alvarado a Chapter 11 attorney, but he describes himself as a corporate and commercial law and business litigation attorney. That’s because he works to keep his clients on firm financial footing. He takes pride in navigating tenuous businesses around bankruptcy rather than through its storm whenever possible.
Alvarado draws on his entrepreneurial streak in his practice. His independence led him to open his own practice in business law and to dedicate his life to helping people get their companies off the ground. “I like to help people become financially independent and help them get started from a solid baseline,” he says.
Alvarado, the Fixer
Some people have an innate ability to find and fix problems, and Alvarado is one of them. He thrives on challenges, especially breaking down difficult problems into manageable components.
“Early on, I discovered that I really loved problem-solving, and with effort, I’m pretty good at it,” he says. “I love a good argument, and being a lawyer was one of the few options available that would allow me to debate issues on a daily basis.”
An Ounce of Prevention…
Corporations can take the form of LLCs, S-corporations and C-corporations, and the distinctions can prove confusing. Each has it pros and cons, and Alvarado helps clients to determine the best form for their new businesses.
In addition to working with startups, Alvarado helps protect business owners and/or their shareholders protect themselves from personal liability by working with business owners to create the proper structure for future growth. He works to safeguard their companies’ goodwill value, brand, etc., including, trademark and copyright protection.
Alvarado brings a full array of legal and business management skills to the table. His practice helps clients establish proper management practices, helps parties buy businesses and/or sell their interest in a business by drawing up buy/sell agreements that protect them.
Most business owners don’t want to be forced to work with individuals they had no intention of working with when they started the business. Alvarez can work with business owners to limit who can purchase and sell ownership stakes in the company.
When necessary, he works to bring in qualified professionals, including, H-1, L-1 and O visas for business professionals.
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans go awry. When a business is having extreme financial difficulties, all is not usually lost. Alvarado says, “I can help companies reorganize their debt, including secured and unsecured debt through Chapter 11. Lastly, my litigation practice deals primarily with breach of contract cases.”
Keys to Success
“I attribute my startup and continued success to my family and friends. Family was there at the beginning when success was not guaranteed. Initially, most of my clients came from friends and family,” recalls Alvarado.
My proudest moments have been winning trials for clients and watching their faces as the long years of stress immediately dissipates,” says Alvarado. “Additionally, I have kept a lot of families in their family home after foreclosure proceedings. People are very emotionally invested in owning a home and having a safe place for their children to grow, and I do my best to help them achieve that end,” he adds.
Every business has its ups and downs, particularly when it’s in the start-up phase. Alvarado came from a law-firm environment, which provided a steady stream of income, health insurance and security. During the first six months of owning his own firm, he was depleting his savings much faster than anticipated and his reliance on credit cards was increasing.
“I was able to survive and prosper because I made sure that I provided great service and met clients’ expectations. As soon as the first few cases were completed, my success increased as I had clients who were willing to recommend my firm to their friends and family,” says Alvarado.
Recommendations to Millennials
Alvarado concludes by offering five points of advice to Millennials:
- Procrastination is your enemy! Break the habit while you’re young and replace it with a better habit: If it can be done with minimal effort, do it now. Don’t put it off until later.
- Surround yourself with positive people. This may seem insignificant, but your friends are who you will become.
- Failure and hardship are not negatives. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
- Learn as much as you can and never stop learning.
- Attend seminars and presentations. Make a point to talk with the speakers. Don’t view this as “networking.” Simply talk to them.