The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. Offices | Fort Lauderdale and Miami

3101 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 609,
Oakland Park, Florida 33306

*Licensed in England and Wales, Florida and Washington D.C.

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754-332-2101

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305-399-3832

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Surfside business law attorney alternative dispute resolution

As a business owner, you have likely experienced your fair share of conflict in the workplace. Whether it is an undependable employee or frequent arguments between two employees or a business partner, running a successful business is a difficult task that requires patience, understanding, and a strong hand when necessary. Rising disputes in the workplace can lead to a toxic work environment for everyone, even those who are not involved in the conflict. While going to court to end the dispute is an option, you should consider the two following alternatives before spending the time and money in litigation.

Mediation

Mediation is typically the starting point for business owners who are noticing a dispute emerging. This form of alternative dispute resolution resolves misunderstandings with a neutral party present to manage the process. Mediation is not as structured as litigation and can allow the two disputing parties to discuss their grievances in a private, relaxed setting before getting a judge involved. The mediator is hired to manage the discussion, speaking privately with each party, or bringing the two parties together for further discussion. The mediator’s job is to help the two parties come to a voluntary agreement, not to take on an authoritative role and choose for them. 

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Sunrise business law attorney non-compete agreement

Whether you are a newly hired employee or you intend on going into business with someone else, you will likely be required to sign a contract before you can begin work. Many people will sign these employment or business contracts without giving them a second glance. You may be thinking that the contract is not relevant to you as an employee, but more directed toward management positions. No matter what your incoming role in the company may be, it is important to look into the details of any contract with a legal professional before signing. Non-compete agreements are commonly overlooked in Florida business contracts.

What Is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a term within a contract that prohibits the signer from working for another company or starting his or her own business for a certain period of time. The purpose of these agreements is to reduce the chances of an integral employee leaving the company and becoming a competitor. This can involve going to your current employer’s biggest competitor and bringing your experience and previous employer’s business secrets to their competition. Alternatively, you may use the knowledge and connections that you have learned from your current employer and build your own business to compete with them. While it is impossible to restrict these opportunities forever, a non-compete agreement can typically place these legal constraints for six months to two years, and many include a geographic range in which the agreement spans. In other words, you cannot start a competing business down the street, but you can work in another county.

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Surfside business law attorney

Whether you are starting your first business, revamping your current business, or purchasing someone else’s, selecting the proper business structure that aligns with your mission is an important step. The type of business structure, or business entity, that you decide upon can impact your day-to-day dealings, taxes, your personal asset involvement, and more. It is important to understand the implications of each different business entity before settling upon one that you think fits best. It is always advisable to work with a reputable business lawyer throughout your company’s lifespan, but it is also a good idea to have your own personal understanding of the matter.

Sole Proprietorship

Are you planning on being the sole owner of your business? For those who wish to have complete control over their business, a sole proprietorship is their best and simplest option. In fact, if you do not register your business as any other type of entity, it is automatically considered a sole proprietorship. The risk that sole proprietors take is mixing their business and personal assets and liabilities. If your business accumulates significant debts, you can be held personally liable. Sole proprietorships are a good option for low-risk businesses and owners who wish to test out their business idea prior to establishing a more official business entity.

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Surfside real estate attorney

COVID-19 has been labeled “unprecedented,” “a global pandemic,” and other phrases that designate the impact this contagious virus has had on our nation. With stay-at-home orders being created and extended, restaurants and bars being restricted, and many people losing their jobs as companies cut costs, it can seem impossible to follow through with some of your contractual obligations. Real estate is one of the areas taking the hardest hit—renters are struggling to pay their monthly fees and homeowners are having difficulties with their mortgage dues. Although moratoriums have been put in place, allowing some leeway with payment due dates, they will soon be coming to an end, leaving thousands of Floridians unsure of what to do next.

What Is “Force Majeure”?

The term “force majeure” refers to a clause present in many contracts giving signees a loophole for following the terms of that contract. In general, force majeure clauses require the petitioning party to present a specific and compelling reason why he or she cannot perform the terms of the contract. However, simply saying times are hard is not enough evidence to escape the contract’s terms. In Florida’s legislation, force majeure includes hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fire, extreme weather conditions, or other acts of God, wars, insurrections, acts of terrorism, or unusual transportation delays of which the non-performing party is unable to overcome. As you can see, the global pandemic is not included in this description, yet one might consider these unusual and unforeseen circumstances “other acts of God.” 

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Sunrise business contracts attorney

It is not uncommon for family, friends, or business partners to come to an agreement over dinner, shake on it, and assume that everything will be taken care of. Since you have an amicable or trusting relationship with the person, you may not feel as if signing a legal contract is necessary for the work to get done. While this handshake may act as a substitute for signing on the dotted line, you may be unable to enforce this agreement if things begin to go south. For those who fall victim to such business relations, Florida legislation has addressed which oral contracts stand in court and which verbal agreements fall short in the eyes of a judge.

What Is the Statute of Frauds?

Since oral business agreements are fairly common, legislation has been put in place to note which agreements are considered invalid in a court of law. It is important to note these descriptions in the instance that you are considering going into business with a friend solely based on trust. The statute of frauds lists the following types of contracts invalid and unenforceable without the details outlined in writing and signatures from both parties:

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