Business Law

We like to help new businesses set up their initial structure, and we also enjoy guiding existing businesses through the various stages of growth and succession they may experience. A pro tip: When you set up a new business, you first need to figure out which entity is right for you. Much of your choice depends on your objectives, how large you want to grow, tax structure, regulatory compliance and liability protection. There are various business entities to consider, including:

  • Limited Liability Company – Single Member.
  • Limited Liability Company – Multi-Member.
  • Corporation (S and C).
  • Professional Corporations and Professional Limited Liability Companies.
  • Partnerships, including Registered Limited Liability Partnerships.

You also need to consider where you want to incorporate or file your initial formation documents. Folks often ask me if Virginia is a pro-business state. My answer will depend on where the founders live as well as the product or service. In general, I often will dissuade folks from making a knee-jerk run to Delaware. Virginia’s taxes rank 26th overall on Tax Foundation, with our rather high sales tax driving us down the rankings scale. That said, I still recommend incorporating or organizing where the founders live and work.

Business Formations

Compliance and Regulatory Work

Buy/Sell Agreements

Contract drafting

B2B leases and agreements

Employment disputes

Plaintiff and Defense representation in civil litigation matters

Real estate 

Business succession; and when all goes wrong:

Restructuring, workouts and debtor/creditor disputes

Reach Out to Jarvis Law Today

Our Expertise in Business Law

The best business advisers are the people who have real life experience running the ship. It also helps to have knowledge based on geography. Elaine Jarvis has lived in Virginia since 1994. She knows her way around Manassas and the rest of Fairfax County. She lives in Front Royal, runs a satellite office in Winchester, and she has either hiked or flown over the hills and foothills and mountain ranges that cut the Commonwealth into different parts.

We don’t just know the geography of our land. We know the geography of a business and the thought processes of entrepreneurs. We have run our own business ventures, made mistakes, learned from them, and figured out what it takes to succeed. We honor and support the dreamers, the creators, and the high achievers. We follow a philosophy that emphasizes the positivity of dream building. Part of following dreams, in business, art, or life itself is not being afraid to fail. We dreamers sometimes stumble—so we have a good idea about what pitfalls to avoid that cut into your bottom line or lead into a sticky situation. We respect the magic that goes into founding a business. We understand the grit it takes to make an LLC, corporation or partnership successful. And we will listen to what your needs are and try to anticipate problems and issues that you may not have thought of—and find a fix that suits you.

You Deserve The Best

over 30 years of law experience

Business Law in Front Royal, Virginia

Once we help you develop a successful business, we can help businesses owners in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland deal with succession planning, litigation, compliance and growth.

A major issue businesses need lawyers to help with is Succession Planning. We offer creative legal solutions to small and medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs from Manassas to the east, straight down 66 West to our business location on 128 N Royal Avenue in Front Royal, and up and down 81 from Winchester to points south. We offer services in the
following areas:

  • Business Formation;
  • Compliance and Regulatory Work;
  • Buy/Sell Agreements;
  • Mergers;
  • Contract Drafting;
  • B2B Leases and Agreements;
  • Employment Disputes;
  • Plaintiff and Defendant representation in civil litigation matters; 
  • Real estate; and Restructuring, Workouts, and Debtor/Creditor Disputes.

Businesses face a number of challenges, particularly small, closely held businesses. For example, succession planning presents a unique challenge to more than seventy-five percent of business owners. This is the number of businesses that have no succession plan at all.

Amanda Chaillan

Senior Adviser, Business

Amanda Chaillan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in English from Chapman University in 2008. Her collegiate study focused on intercultural and global relations, including a research semester at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and a semester of study at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She also completed an Executive Certificate in Strategic Management from the Harvard Extension School in 2017.

Amanda’s career has always been at the intersection of nonprofits, business and government. Focused on delivering positive impact, she has helped build organizations, develop business strategies and craft messaging that advances the work of visionaries and leaders that are shaping the world. She played a critical role in marketing and practice integration for the energy sector group of a global law firm, led engagement with legal counsel and the Board of Directors to establish and facilitate strategic planning for the launch of a water-focused nonprofit, and has led program teams addressing a range of corporate social responsibilities (CSR) issues.  

Amanda brings her business acumen and operational expertise to every engagement, drawing on her particular strengths in stakeholder engagement, program development and storytelling. She is committed to continuing to build a career of service and working to make a positive impact on the world.

Tarra Smeltzer

Office Manager

Tarra Smeltzer has constructed a career that builds on her passion for personal wellness and strong business ethics. She brings a big heart and incredible attention to detail to every role she takes on. Whether it’s supporting customers or working with colleagues, she is a doer and fixer, helping manage cases, fostering a collaborative culture and trouble-shooting operational and legal issues.

With more than 30 years of customer service experience, Tarra manages the trial and team schedules and coordinates office operations to deliver the best outcomes for Jarvis clients. She also brings research skills and issue experience in the areas of real estate, consumer and family law.

Tarra is a vital member of the Jarvis team, and a caring champion of clients. In her free time she enjoys hiking in the Shenandoah Valley, reading and spending time with her loving family.

Madeline Farris


A student at the College of William & Mary, Madeline Farris is a Classics Major who plans to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Jarvis as a lawyer and an author. Ever since the age of 12, Madeline has been writing: with six complete novels, Madeline is determined to publish her work, but she loves her work at Jarvis Law, where she is able to crack fascinating cases and help good people. Madeline figures in a leadership position in her campus’s Unitarian Universalist ministry, and also works at the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalist Church as the Childcare Coordinator.

Madeline has experience in the nonprofit and legal aid sectors: she worked with Mrs. Jarvis as Mrs. Jarvis’s intern while Mrs. Jarvis was still a staff attorney at Blue Ridge Legal Services, and also worked with Valley Assistance Network from 2019-2020 as an intern, where she was able to help connect struggling people with necessary resources.

Madeline is also the stepdaughter of a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), so she is studying to obtain her light sport pilots license, for as Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Madeline’s favorite areas of law are family, consumer protection, and business law. She enjoys finding odd solutions to difficult problems, and assisting wonderful souls in a world that is sometimes unforgiving and cruel. Madeline’s hobbies include playing the clarinet, taking long walks in nature, and talking to her vivacious pet goldfish, Bertie.

Joshua Smeltzer


Joshua Smeltzer obtained a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy from James Madison University in 2022, following his service with the U.S. Army. He is a compassionate and committed public servant building a career that draws on his strong communication, research and management skills.

Josh seeks out opportunities that require critical thinking and creative solutions to address the complex challenges faced by clients. As a lead researcher, he dives deep into an issue to inform the legal strategy of the Jarvis team. He has led research on legal issues including consumer law, real estate, family law and estate planning.

Josh is a dedicated family man and proud member of the Shenandoah Valley community. In his free time, Josh enjoys physical activities and indulging in a new book.

Elaine Jarvis

Elaine Jarvis obtained her law degree from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in 1997. She practiced law in D.C. and Northern Virginia for several years, obtaining experience in litigation, antitrust, mergers & acquisitions, bankruptcy and contract law. She put the practice of law on hold for a bit to raise three children and run multiple businesses, with a focus on publishing and helping non-profits. Over the course of a decade, Elaine wrote ten novels and built a social media following of more than 50,000 people with her page and blog, Running from Hell with El. Her first two novels, Ripple: a Tale of Hope and Redemption and I Run: a Novel won awards and hit Amazon bestseller’s list at #1 and #2.

In 2015, Elaine moved from Fairfax County to the mountains of Front Royal and found her love for the practice of law rekindled. She joined Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc. (BRLS) in Winchester, where she helped low-income clients in Frederick County, Clarke County, Front Royal, Shenandoah and Page County–and all parts in between. These clients faced legal issues in consumer law, bankruptcy, landlord/tenant, and estate planning. At BRLS, Elaine counted success as roofs kept over heads and clients saved from overwhelming threats to their survival. Leaving BRLS and her office mates was hard, but being able to help folks in Northern Virginia, Manassas, Winchester, the Valley and of course Front Royal while also focusing on complex fact patterns, small businesses, and aggrieved consumers makes for a journey into an exciting future. Elaine’s outside interests include writing, flying airplanes, hiking, adventuring, gardening and piloting things that go fast and land gently. She enjoys running and traveling from mountain to ocean and just about anywhere in between—as long as she can escape the city. She welcomes people from all faith traditions, ethnic backgrounds, genders, and personal belief systems to her practice.