Hindsight is generally 20/20. But how do you know if a deal is good or bad before you sign it?

Gary Smith helps business owners and management teams answer that question as they start, buy, and sell businesses, create joint ventures, and raise additional capital.

“I believe people make better decisions when they have a complete and practical understanding of the economic and legal issues surrounding their business operations and growth strategies. My past experiences and understanding of today’s business climate help me provide real-time practical solutions so clients can seize opportunities while controlling their investment of time and money.”

Mergers and Acquisitions
The objectives of a buyer and seller are radically different in most business sales. In many transactions, the buyer and seller rarely recognize how different their objectives and considerations are until the first dispute after closing. Gary provides his clients with the knowledge of what to expect during and after a sale, eliminating any surprises after the close of the transaction.

Succession and Exit Planning
Can you retire when you’re the boss? You can, but it’s not easy or simple if you hope to keep the business in the family or transfer it to key employees while getting the cash to fund your retirement. It is easy, however, to start the process multiple times without ever finishing it. Gary guides owners and companies through the transitions of financial ownership, management, and control of the business. He helps them determine if an internal transfer to employees or family is better than a sale to a third party. He also manages the process, so it’s not overwhelming and, this time, you finish it.

Securities and Capital Structures
When you are seeking outside investment, equity, or debt, it’s easy to miss the state and federal laws which limit and direct your actions. Gary helps guide businesses through the capital raising process so that they can offer the right investment structures the right way to investors including self-directed IRA’s and 401(k)’s.

From professional services and IT infrastructure and development to manufacturing and real estate ventures, Gary has in-depth knowledge and experience in helping businesses navigate the complexities of today’s legal environment. He uses that knowledge to offer innovative solutions that address the needs of today’s business owner.


  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Juris Doctor with Honors (1998)
  • University of Mississippi Bachelor of Arts, Summa Cum Laude (1995)
  • Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs (1994)

Representative Experience

  • Purchase of data security and infrastructure business by prior ownership group
  • Sale of U.K. based retail business to U.S. based private equity group
  • Purchase of distribution company by employee group
  • Sale of third-party administrator to private equity group
  • Sale of utility/data subcontractor to management and private equity group
  • Purchase of distressed manufacturing operations in North and South Carolina
  • Purchase of U.S. subsidiary of German company engaged in manufacturing
  • Organization and restructure of U.S. and Canadian operations of U.S. based manufacturing and distribution company
  • Strategic buy-side merger representation of professional services company, insurance agency, restoration company, brokerage company, vending company, franchise business, and printing and media company
  • Sell-side merger representation of business services company, professional services company, manufacturing company, packaging company, insurance agency, alloy manufacturer, construction company, event planning and consulting company, and distribution company.
  • Sale of franchise restaurant locations in North Carolina and South Carolina
  • Initial and second-round financing for service and consumer-facing companies
  • Initial “seed round” financing for technology company
  • Limited Securities Offerings for IRA and 401(k) investors
  • Limited Securities Offering for purchase of multi-family real estate development
  • Transition of ownership and control of professional services firm from second to third generation of employee ownership
  • Transition of ownership of retail business products company from founders to key employees and structure of ultimate exit of founders from business
  • Transition of $100 million revenue manufacturing and distribution business from second to third generation of owners and first generation of professional management
  • Organization and tax structuring of real estate investments, developments, and acquisitions
  • Limited Securities Offerings for bond trading broker-dealers
  • Restructure and transition of fourth-generation $150 million+ revenue family business with multiple business subsidiaries to second generation of outside management and fifth generation of family owners
  • Corporate restructuring and tax planning for $600 million revenue company in the Southeastern United States.
  • Strategic and tactical planning for organic and strategic growth of technology company


Bar Admissions

North Carolina
South Carolina
U. S. District Court – Western District of North Carolina
U. S. Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals
U. S. Supreme Court

Professional & Community Organizations

  • Pro-Bono Assistance to Non-Profit Organizations
    • Assist to Organize and Gain Tax-Exempt Status (2000 to current)
    • Examples:
      • Brenda H. Tapia Family Foundation (2020)
      • Equitable Communities CLT (2019)
      • CEEC Foundation (2016)
  • Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council
    • Board of Directors (2010-15)
  • Scouts BSA
    • Den Leader and Assistant Scoutmaster (2008-2013)
  • Trail Life – Troop NC0413
    • Trail Guide – Navigators and Adventurers (2014 – 2018)
  • Charlotte Engineering Early College Business Advisory Council (2014-2018)
  • Town of Matthews Board of Adjustment (2017 to current)


Bar Admissions

North Carolina
South Carolina
U. S. District Court – Western District of North Carolina
U. S. Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals
U. S. Supreme Court