Owning, operating, buying, and selling aircraft are highly regulated activities. The biggest risk for most people attempting aviation-related transactions is that they don’t know what they don’t know. In other words, unless you frequently deal with aviation matters, you are going to miss something. Such oversights and missteps can be very costly. Yet costly blunders can be avoided when you consult the right attorneys who specialize in aviation transactions.
Your General Counsel is not an Aviation Specialist
Many clients have come to us after having their corporate attorneys handle their aviation transactions. Most thought they would save time and money by handing the job over to someone they already trust. However, here are some of the problems we’ve seen these non-specialists cause for a few of our clients:
- Client planned to accept delivery of an aircraft in an unfriendly tax jurisdiction which would have resulted in $75,000 in unnecessary sales taxes.
- Aircraft had an invalid FAA aircraft registration because the owning entity, although formed in the U.S., was majority owned and controlled by Canadian citizens.
- Client was operating their aircraft illegally because the true owner, wishing to remain anonymous, put the aircraft ownership in the name of the pilot instead of his own.
- Client was an illegal Part 91 operation because their aircraft was owned by a “flight department company”.
The attorneys involved in creating the above situations didn’t know they had done anything wrong. They just didn’t know the FAA regulations or aviation-related tax laws well enough to truly help their clients. As a result, all these clients hired Carriere, Little & Leach to re-do much of the work they had already paid their general business attorneys to do.
Protect Yourself – Hire an Aviation Specialist
There are so many upsides to aircraft ownership and operation. Work with an aviation specialist who can help you plan and execute a strategy tailored to meet your aviation and business objectives. This will ensure that you have a legal operation in which your liabilities are satisfactorily allocated and your tax obligations are minimized.
For more information on the special considerations related to buying and using a private airplane, please contact Carriere, Little & Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720.979.0922.
Carriere, Little & Leach LLP is an aviation business law firm. We specialize in meeting the business and legal needs of those who own, operate, manage, buy, and sell aircraft. Our services include eliminating or reducing sales tax at time of purchase, reducing risk and complexity by creating ownership and operating business structures, and adding value by providing thoughtful expert advice. Whether you leverage aviation in your business or aviation is your business, we are here to serve you.
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