Steven H. Atherton – Business Lawyer

Decades of personal experience owning, managing, and advising business owners.

General Counsel to Small Business Owners

Experience + Depth of Understanding = Wise Counsel

Prudent Investment in Legal Services Increases Your ROI

Welcome to Atherton Law

In my experience, most small business owners consider an attorney a necessary evil.  Such a view is short-sighted and costs you money.  As a small business owner myself, with more than twenty five years experience running and advising small businesses, I know that prudent investments in legal services can and should bring you a substantial return on your investment.  That is what I would like to do for you.

I can help you:

  • Organize your Business
  • Avoid Law Suits
  • Resolve Disputes
  • Navigate the Permit Process
  • Negotiate
  • Purchase, sell or lease real or virtual property

  • Protect your Intellectual Property
  • Buy or Sell a Business
  • Obtain Financing
  • Plan for Retirement
  • Develop an Estate Plan
  • Weather a divorce

With more than thirty years of experience in business, government and the law, I am uniquely positioned to help small businesses navigate the complex legal environment that constantly threatens their existence.”

Atherton Law – Business Services

Choosing the right entity , owners and management structure are key to the success or failure of most new businesses.  Unfortunately, many business owners get

In my experience, a good offense is the best defense against costly disputes.  That requires business owners to be proactive, addressing issues up front to

Disputes are inevitable.  How best to resolve them, however, given the nature of your business and its goals can vary dramatically. Sometimes the high cost

Most any business operation these days requires some kind of federal, state or local permit.  Frankly, such “red tape” is infuriatingly costly and inconvenient to

Negotiation is an art, more akin to poker than the dollars and cents that tend to be a business owner’s stock and trade.  Unfortunately, many

The old adage for business success was “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.”  In our virtual world that has expanded to include the Internet, media and other forums

You have worked hard to develop your Intellectual Property.  Protecting that asset is often paramount to your success.  How best to do that without breaking

Whether you are in the market to buy or sell a business, each transaction is unique.  Such transactions are often laden with complex legal issues,

Most businesses need some kind of financing to conduct their operations.  Unfortunately, few small business owners have a good understanding of their options and therefore

Most small business owners are so busy running their business that they never address the questions that nags at them in the back of their

As with most things, the best way to avoid catastrophic damage to your business through a divorce is by proper advanced planning.  Amongst other things,

Client Testimonials

As a small business owner, I’ve learned that one of our greatest strengths is our ability to be very nimble.  Markets change, technology changes, and opportunities come up very quickly.  Being able to quickly pivot our business is critical.  Steve has been instrumental in helping us both seize the opportunities, and avoid the pitfalls.  He has two critical characteristics that are invaluable to any small business owner.  First, Steve is always looking out for our best interest and profitability, not his own.  Secondly, is his accessibility.  Business does not operate in a narrow “9 to 5” window.  It is happening all the time.  Steve has been there for us when we’ve needed him the most, helping us address opportunities and concerns that impact our business.  He’s been a tremendous contributor to our success. ~ R.E. Lake Havasu, AZ


I hired Steve in the midst of a dispute with a former business partner. At my insistence, he filed suit on my behalf. In the midst of a mediation that seemed destined to fail, Steve intervened in a unique way that gave me a new perspective. We put forth a new offer and within a short time, the dispute was resolved, saving me lots of money and making me whole. Ever since I have used him for all my legal needs. M.K., Northfield, VT.


Some years ago I was dabbling in what was next in my life. During that time, I decided to buy a small business that I worked for periodically. Steve prepared all the paperwork. Shortly thereafter, an abrupt change in my life meant I had to sell the business before I had even really started. Nothing had happened and I was ready to give up, even though my predecessor was threatening to sue me. Steve intervened, suggested an alternative path and within thirty days I had closed on the sale of the business in a manner that satisfied my predecessor and set the new purchaser up to succeed. S.B., Topsham, VT.


Many years ago our business was stalled. Steve stepped in and organized a small business loan at the local bank. With those funds, we created a show room to highlight our goods and services. That gave us the traction we needed in the marketplace. Twenty years later, we are still enjoying the fruits of his work and he continues to be there for us to this day. C.H., Springfield, VT.


After 25 years, we changed the nature of our operations. Immediately the IRS audited us and denied every expense we claimed. We were horrified. We called Steve. He appealed our case to the U.S. Tax Court. Ultimately, the government backed down and accepted every one of our deductions in full! Thank you Steve. A.E., Fort Hancock, TX.