Business Law Tips

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I want to start a small business; what is contained in “business law?

I want to start a small business; what is contained in “business law?

There are several ways a business can be organized, including:

  • sole proprietorship

  • a general partnership

  • a corporation

  • or a limited liability company.

There are variances within these four different ways to organize a business but most businesses fall under one of these categories.

In order to figure out which type of business you wish to organize, consultation with a reputable business litigation attorney who is familiar with the laws governing this area may be helpful.

All of these classifications can affect your tax liability as well as future liability for legal judgments against your business. Some small businesses can easily begin with major exposure to personal liability because there are no employees and a low debt ratio as well as a limited expectation for the risk of lawsuit. In that case, a sole proprietorship or general partnership may be the best way to organize your small business.

Corporation status and limited liability company status may benefit a business that intends to employee help from the beginning and also has to make use of start up capital. Limited liability status may limit the personal liability should a legal proceeding be taken out against the company as well, such that the business owner's personal assets will not become jeopardized should this occur.

Because of the complexities of business law, it is always advisable that you consult a business litigation attorney to incorporate their expertise in your professional and business plan.

It seems that everyone is opting to work from home. Can I operate a small business from home?

It seems that everyone is opting to work from home. Can I operate a small business from home?

Because of various zoning laws across the country, it is highly advisable for you to do your “homework” and investigate all aspects of running a small business from your home.

The nature of your small business may dictate whether or not it is feasible to operate a small business from home. Also, whether or not you have employees and business visitors will need to be factored into this decision due to zoning restrictions.

It is always better to investigate thoroughly before deciding operate a small business from home. Obviously some zoning ordinances will prohibit running a small business such as a law office or beauty salon or dentistry office from home because of the parking issues and hours of operation.

However, things such as a soft-ware development company or non-inventory sales type of business may be considered within the realm of permissible in your neighborhood.

Some communities will allow home-based small businesses but will require you to:

* specify the type of business that you will be operating
* limit the amount of space that you can use for your small business * restrict the parking on your street
* restrict the hours of operation
* prohibit or limit the number of employees that you may hire
* ban any advertising outside your home
* require a separate entrance into the business from your actual residence

Because of the complexities of operating a small business, especially one that is home-based, it is always advisable to consult with a business attorney that can point you in the right direction and get your new small business started off on the right foot with not only your local government, but your neighbors as well.

Does business law provide for any licensure or permits that I will need?

Does business law provide for any licensure or permits that I will need?

The type of business that you are starting will dictate whether or not you will need a license or permit of some kind to do business in your area. There are always federal, state, county, city and local rules that should be explored thoroughly before officially opening your doors for business. This research will ensure that no complications arise that would compromise your new business.

Some professions require licensure, such as beauticians, doctors, lawyers, daycare providers, etc. There may also be fees or taxes that are charged by local governments to do business within that particular area.

Issues such as these might be one reason that consultation with an attorney specializing in business law might be in order, whether you're starting a new business or changing the status of your business.

Your local bar association will be able to provide names of attorneys in your area. Legal websites often can assist with the matching of professional expertise to your needs as well. These services are often free, fast and confidential and may save headache and heartache down the road when it comes to operating your business.

Will hiring a business litigation attorney guarantee that my business is set up properly?

Will hiring a business litigation attorney guarantee that my business is set up properly?

While employing the best of professionals cannot guarantee that your business will never run into any legal issues, hiring a business litigation attorney will establish a good foundation to build your business upon.

Obviously, litigation can impose a serious risk and financial drain on a business of any size. Oftentimes, consultation with an attorney that specializes in business law can minimize that risk and also reduce dispute resolution costs as well as conserve valuable time and the precious resources of your business.

A reputable business litigation attorney will be able to handle things such as:

* fraud
* misrepresentation
* breach of contract
* unfair and deceptive trade practices
* antitrust violations
* claims against intellectual property.

Such attorneys will also be able to assist with securities law, governmental regulations and other investigations, should you find your business needing those types of services.

What is breach of contract and how do I know if this has occurred?

What is breach of contract and how do I know if this has occurred?

First of all, it must be established that there is a legally binding contract between two or more parties. Once it is established that a contract binding contract exists, a breach is simply when one side or the other fails to perform what they promised under that contract.

This can include when one party to the contract makes it impossible for the other party to perform or if one side does something against the spirit of the contract; or one party refuses to perform under the contract.

Just because a breach of contract has occurred does not necessarily mean that the whole deal is off and a lawsuit must be filed. Many times it depends upon whether the breach or failure to perform is material or immaterial to the spirit or intent of the contract.

If you feel that a breach has occurred in a contract entered into by another party and yourself, you have several options to pursue.

1. You might ignore the breach and act as if nothing has happened
2. You can point out to the offending party that you feel a violation or breach has occurred and give the offender the opportunity to remedy the problem
3. You can refuse to pay under the contract until the problem is resolved
4. You can correct the work yourself and then subtract from whatever total was agreed to under the contract.

All of these options can be taken into consideration and should be done so with the advice of a business litigation attorney. There may be ramifications associated with any one of these options. In order to protect your rights and your property, a reputable business litigation attorney will be able to assist in making any determination as to how to handle the alleged breach.

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Sherril Steele-Carlin