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Hollywood business law attorney

Most business owners may hold off on hiring a business attorney until they have a legal problem arise. This is especially true for small business owners. When starting your business, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the decisions that need to be made. As your business grows, the busyness of your daily workday can keep you from taking the time to find an attorney, and before you know it, you have a legal problem arise with no one at your disposal to help you navigate the legal process. Whether you are in the early stages of starting a business or have yet to hire general counsel, there is no time like the present to get your business on solid footing by finding the right attorney for you.

1. Understand Why You Need an Attorney

Understanding why you need a business attorney, either now or in the future, is an important first step in selecting the right lawyer. Startups and small businesses may need a business attorney for a number of reasons including choosing a business entity, raising money through venture capital and selling equity to investors, drafting founder agreements, reviewing contracts, and handling employment issues. These issues can pop up at any time so it is important to have an attorney on hand before the problems arise.

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Sunrise business law attorney contract review

Running a small business and running a large business are two separate beasts. Some may think that managing a small company is a much easier endeavor, and in some ways it is, but it is important that your business upholds a certain standard of professionalism regardless of its size. Small business owners often have a more personal relationship with their employees since they work in closer proximity to all of their hired employees. While this can create a more comfortable, personalized work environment, it can also blur the lines between professional relationships and friendships. In order to avoid this gray area, you should consider creating employment contracts to ensure that both you and your employees are maintaining your duties within your position.

What Should Employment Contracts Include?

If you are considering creating an employment contract, it is a good idea to work with a business lawyer who can help you outline the details and contingencies. Employment contracts are unique to your business circumstances, though they typically include the following information:

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Plantation business law attorney

Owning a business is no easy undertaking. Regardless of the size of your company, work tasks can seem overwhelming. In addition to your average workday, you are likely considering new ideas and areas of improvement during your off time, especially as the new year rings in. This past year may have been exceedingly difficult on your business as was the case with many small businesses across the country. With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to Americans, the economy and society are finally making their way back to normal. You should consider the following New Year’s resolutions to get your Florida business back on track and start 2021 with your best foot forward.

Do a Deep Clean

Throughout the year, paperwork can quickly pile up and you may feel as though you are stuck in the weeds. You should take time at the beginning of each year to refresh your databases and filing system. This will keep things organized, make important documents easier to find, and improve your business’ efficiency.

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Surfside business law attorney

If you are an entrepreneur who is just getting started building your business, or even if you have been a business owner for decades, it is important to be cognizant of business contract essentials to avoid running into difficulties down the road. Those who fail to adhere to the following six requirements could end up with an unenforceable agreement with a business partner, vendors, employees, and anyone else with whom you draft and sign a contract

Official Agreements

Business law can be complicated, especially for first-time business owners. While it is never advisable to rely solely on your limited legal knowledge during business negotiations, it is always a good idea to have a general understanding of these requirements:

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Surfside business law attorney

If you are a business owner, you likely try to avoid getting involved in legal proceedings at all costs. Not only do legal battles take up a lot of your time and money, but it can also be difficult to find an attorney who understands your company and can easily defend you in court. If you are a growing company, you may run into your fair share of legal conflict, and it is best to be prepared for when the time comes. Some companies will go so far as hiring in-house counsel to have by their side at all times, while others may opt for outsourced general counsel for the times when they need it most.

What Is Outsourced General Counsel?

Before you feel the need to have full-time, in-house counsel, it may be best to work with a particular attorney whenever a legal conflict arises. Outsourced general counsel involves working with an external attorney who can handle and manage the routine legal needs of your business on a part-time basis. This can include a number of responsibilities, such as contract drafting and negotiations, human resource issues and documentation, customer agreements, Board of Directors matters, and corporate governance. Depending on the size of your company, you may need help in some or all of these areas.

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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 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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Sunrise business law attorney third-party-beneficiary

Everyone has experienced a time when a lunch date with a friend has evolved into a group event after bumping into someone while out to eat. This “third wheel” can hang around much longer than expected and change your plans drastically. While this is a boiled-down analogy, third-party beneficiaries within business contracts can be a similar experience. Companies signing contracts may not realize the straggling, unintended parties that may appear later down the road. Whether you are a small start-up or a well-established company seeking new business ventures, it is critical to be detail-oriented when drafting a new contract or considering signing one. The legal jargon used in these contracts as well as the high volume of content can cause some businessmen and businesswomen to sign a contract without recognizing the third parties it may bring along with it.

What Is a Third-Party Beneficiary?

Similar to the analogy used above, a third-party beneficiary is a company or business that benefits from the terms of a contract made between two other parties. These potential beneficiaries are sometimes unforeseen by the signees before putting their pen to paper. Depending on the circumstances, these third-party beneficiaries may have certain rights within the contract if the terms are not fulfilled by both signing parties.

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