Welcome to the Fishers, Indiana business law office of Smith Rayl Law Office, LLC, where we provide personal service and practical advice to our clients not only in Indianapolis, Fishers, and the surrounding counties, but anywhere in Indiana.

Personal Service. Our business attorneys and nonprofit attorneys will get to know you and your business or organization. All three of our attorneys have experience outside the law helps them understand your concerns and needs. Before he became a lawyer, Michael Smith, who opened the Fishers office in 2008, worked as a chemical engineer in manufacturing and research and development and led a department of as many as 20 other engineers and biochemical engineers. Rose Shingledecker, who first worked with us when she was in law school and joined our firm in 2016, worked in nonprofit organizations for several years before starting her legal career. Susan Rayl was the first supervisor of the radiation therapy department of a large Indiana hospital.

Practical Advice. Most legal problems have many different solutions that are all technically correct. We work to find a solution to your problem that is not only correct but also practical. Our clients include not only small businesses and their owners but also tax exempt or nonprofit organizations. For many of them, cost is a consideration, and we recognize that a cost-effective solution to a legal matter is better than one that is not. We have been successful at keeping our rates affordable by keeping using technology to reduce our own costs and by keeping our own overhead low. In addition, we recognize that you have concerns and priorities that go beyond a strictly legal analysis. For example, while you want a contact with your customer that protects your interests, you do not want a contract that is so one-sided that your customer decides to go elsewhere.


Corporate and LLC Law. Many of our clients are startup businesses, and we are very familiar with the satisfaction that comes from being your own boss as well as the issues that confront small business owners. We help our clients decide whether a limited liability company, a corporation, or some other form of business is the optimum choice for them, and we help them decide whether it is best for them to be taxed as a C-corporation, S-corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. In most cases, we find that Indiana is the best place for our clients to organize their businesses, but we sometimes recommend that a client organize a new business under the statutes of another state, whether it’s under Delaware’s corporate law, Nevada’s limited liability company statute, or the relevant statute of another jurisdiction.

A big part of our corporate law practice deals with limited liability companies. Although the first LLC statutes in the United States date back to the late 1970’s their use was almost nonexistent before 1988 when the IRS decided that Wyoming LLCs could be taxed as partnerships. Their use really took off with the 1997 “check the box” regulation that allows owners of LLCs to simple choose how the LLC will be taxed. While most LLCs are formed for business purposes, they are also useful for estate planning and other personal purposes. In some limited circumstances, they can also be used as tax exempt organizations.

We also help our clients and others keep up with the developments in the law of corporations and LLCs, such as the recent Indiana statutes dealing with series LLCs and benefit corporations.

Business law and commercial transactions. Indiana business lawyer Michael Smith advises and represents clients in business transactions including buying or selling a business, buying a franchise, leasing a single office or an entire office building, borrowing money, or leasing equipment. We have experience in drafting contracts for a myriad of purposes, including construction contracts, employment contracts, confidentiality agreements, publishing contracts, software licenses, and outsourcing arrangements. We help our clients protect their interest through the use of security agreements and personal guaranties. And we represent clients resolve disputes, whether it is through informal settlement negotiations mediation, arbitration, or litigation.

Business Succession and Estate Planning. Our estate planning attorneys advise and assist our clients with arrangements to provide for the transfer of their businesses and other assets, and to help take care of their families, after they die. Sometimes a simple will is appropriate, but more and more frequently we find that a living trust is a better way to reduce the burdens on our clients’ survivors. Smith Rayl's estate planning lawyers also help our clients prepare for the possibility that, at some point in their lives, they may not be able to make decisions for themselves by providing general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and appointments of health care representatives, and living wills or life-prolonging procedures declarations.

Tax exempt organizations. We advise and represent tax exempt, nonprofit organizations at any stage of their development. We help new organizations incorporate and qualify for tax exempt status, including the preparation and filing of Form 1023 for charitable organizations that qualify for exemption under Section 501(c)(3). We also help nonprofit organizations protect their tax exempt status by remaining in compliance with complicated IRS regulations. In addition to public charities and private foundations, we can also help business leagues, civic leagues, social welfare organizations, social clubs, and other types of tax exempt organizations.

If you want like to speak with someone about corporate or business law, business succession and estate planning, or nonprofit organization, please feel free to contact us using the form on this page to schedule an initial consultation. If you would like to speak with a criminal defense attorney in our Indianapolis office, please visit