Contracts

Social Media Legal Issues: (Post Number 7): Protect Your Business from Rogue Social Media Contracts

Business owners and their employees often deal with contractual relationships in the course of running almost every type of business.

Though lawyers almost always advise against it, business people often form unwritten “handshake” deals with partners, suppliers, competitors, and customers. Many an unscrupulous business person has been “saved” by the fact that the deal to which he agreed was not in writing. Similarly, many managers have been “saved” by the fact that the oral promises their employees made were not easily enforceable.

The age of social media, for better or for worse, will make it more difficult for business owners who do not properly educate themselves and their employees regarding “contracts” to evade the consequences of thoughtless agreements. And thoughtless agreements will...

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Business Startup

The Benefits of a Buy Sell Agreement

A Buy Sell Agreement is a legal contract between the owner(s) of a business and the entity, to purchase and sell interests in the business at a pre-determined price if certain future events occur (e.g. death, disability, outside party purchase offer, or termination of employment). The Buy Sell Agreement can help ensure a smooth transition for the entity, remaining owners, and departing owners of a business.

Benefiting the Entity There are a number of reasons why you may want to have a Buy Sell Agreement drafted for your business. The business may want to prevent unwanted or adverse third parties from acquiring an ownership interest in the entity. You can structure the Buy Sell Agreement in a way that triggers an buy-out...

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Business Startup

Seattle Basketball Back in the News— Seattle Business Owners to Benefit?

2008 was a tough year for Seattle. In addition to the financial crisis, Seattle area sports fans and Seattle business owners had the added indignity of losing the Seattle SuperSonics.  However, Seattle basketball is back in the news and this could mean more business for Seattle construction companies and a boost in profits for Seattle business owners. As avid sports fans, we were pleased to hear the proposal for the new arena. We are also excited about the potential benefits to local business owners and the Seattle economy as a whole.

The Proposal Seattle-born Chris Hansen proposed a $500 million plan to bring Seattle an NBA basketball team and an NHL hockey team. The plan includes the construction of a multi-purpose arena...

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Business Startup

Three Startup Costs Business Owners Often Overlook

Today’s guest blog is written by Danielle Rodabaugh, the chief editor of SuretyBonds.com, an online surety bond company. As a part of the company’s educational outreach program, Danielle writes articles that outline the legal implications surety bonds could have on business owners and their lawyers. In today’s article she discusses costs associated with licensing and registering businesses, surety bonds, and background checks.

When preparing to start a new enterprise, business owners have a myriad of legal concerns that compete for their constant attention. At times they might struggle to keep track of every single business law and regulation that could affect their new start-up. As such, business owners often forget to budget for some crucial legal costs. To help alleviate the financial...

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Business Startup

Rework: A Book for the Modern Business Person

Today I thought I’d take a break from blogging about strictly legal topics and instead write a post about my favorite business book: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37 Signals. The beauty of Rework is that it’s full of practical advice that often gets overlooked. Yet the book isn’t full of cliches, it isn’t littered with stale ideas, and it doesn’t pander to its audience.

Here are just a few of my  favorite bits of advice offered by Fried and Heinemeier Hansson in Rework:

Make a dent in the universe: you do better work when you feel like it makes a difference. You don’t need to invent the fountain of youth or be the next Steve Jobs, but...

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Business Startup

It’s Time to Grow Your Business: A Discussion on Franchising and Other Business Expansion Options

Is 2012 the year you’re going to expand your business? If so, have you considering franchising your business? Franchising your business is, arguably, the most successful way to increase your distribution channels. Most business owners understand the idea behind franchising, but many of those business owners aren’t aware of the extensive federal regulations pertaining to franchising a business.  Today’s post discusses some of the legal requirements you should be aware of when deciding whether or not to franchise your business, initial steps you can take to simplify the franchising process, and some other alternatives for growing your business.

What’s a Franchise? It’s important to understand what exactly a “franchise” is. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a franchise is any continuing...

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Business Startup

Bank of America’s Latest Controversial Move: Cutting Back Small Business Lending

The largest bank in Washington state, Bank of America, has made yet another move that is likely to keep customers running away from the banking giant. Bank of America is reportedly cutting its small business lending. The Los Angeles Times reported that Bank of America is severing a number of small business credit lines and is requiring the borrowers to pay off the loans in full. The Times article details a California businessman who received a demand letter from the bank requiring him to pay off his entire loan balance ($96,000) by January 25 or be subject to a 12% interest increase on his payment plan.

Bank of America claims that the current reduction in small business lending is part of the bank’s...

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Business Startup

No Professional Degree Required: Two Important Steps You Can Take To Develop Your Business Plan

As the new year fast approaches, it’s an excellent time to take some time to reflect on your ideas and start to write a business plan for launching your start-up. Here’s the best part, you can write your business plan for free. You won’t have to invest anything, other than a little time, to develop a bullet-proof business strategy to grow your business. Today’s article will focus on the initial steps of writing a business plan, and provide some tips on how to find easy-to-use online resources to guide you through the process or building a successful business plan.

Determine Who You Are The first step is to take some time to think about exactly what your business is? What services do...

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Business Startup

Independent Contractor vs. Employee: a guide to properly defining your staff’s employment status

Do I hire an independent contractor or employee? Do I need an independent contractor agreement? What’s a 1099 form and who needs to fill it out? These common questions have frustrated countless business owners over the years. It’s the holiday season, an incredibly busy season for some businesses, and an incredibly slow season for others. Many businesses hire seasonal help during this time. Today we hope to shed some light on the less-than-crystal-clear independent contractor versus employee dilemma. Whether you’re hiring additional help for the holidays or looking to implement new hiring practices and policies for the new year, this article may be valuable.

Understanding the Consequences First, it is difficult to understand why this is a dilemma at all without understanding...

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Business Startup

Considering Your Exit Strategy- It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning Your Business Exit Strategy

When starting a business and creating a business development strategy, many entrepreneurs and business owners forget one of the most important considerations: the exit strategy. Especially at the beginning, it’s not easy to think about how your business will end. However, when your business is just starting out, it is often the best (and least complicated) time to discuss an exit strategy. At this point, your business is small (in number of employees and cash), there aren’t significant liabilities, and the business has only a few contracts with individuals outside the company. It will become increasingly difficult to discuss exit strategies as your company grows in size financially and in the number of employees, investors, and shareholders. Today we’ll lay...

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