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

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Broward County business law attorney collaboration

As a business owner, you are undoubtedly protective of the company that you have built and maintain a certain level of privacy when it comes to your business. Every business is bound to have secrets that only the owner, management, and your business lawyer are privy to. While the inner workings of your company should remain confidential to a certain extent, it is important to avoid being completely insular. Building your network and collaborating with other business owners is a simple way to grow your business and make it more successful. In fact, there are a number of benefits that business collaboration has to offer.

New Inspiration

The best way to discover new ideas is by seeing how other successful businesses are doing things. Ideas can quickly come to a standstill in a workplace that never looks outside of its current way of doing business. While maintaining a routine is important in any workplace, never straying from this routine can make you miss out on new opportunities, techniques, or tools that can help you be more efficient both in time and money. Seeing how other businesses use certain techniques can also act as a “test drive” before you take on this new strategy.

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Sunrise business law attorney

Years ago when you and your partner started your business, you were likely both on the same page. Perhaps you are family, best friends, or simply co-workers who came up with a brilliant business idea together. Whatever your outside relationship may be, when it comes to running a business, you must maintain a sense of professionalism, especially when arguments arise. Rarely do business partners agree on every decision being made, but some disagreements can become more contentious than others. There are four ways in which you and your business partner can settle a dispute, some of which can be done on your own while others require outside help.

1. Referring to Your Management Agreement

Those going into business together should always plan for future disagreements that are inevitable when it comes to business partnerships. It is impossible for you and your partner to completely agree on every detail of your work, which is why business partners are advised to create a management agreement before going into business together. If you have both been in business together for years, you likely created a management agreement and may not remember the exact details. Before taking steps forward, refer to your management agreement to see how you and your partner should be handling things. Perhaps you included a clause that required you to go to mediation or maybe one partner has veto power over the other. If you have a management agreement, this should be your first place to turn. If you do not have one, you can choose any of the following options.

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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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Broward County business law attorney

Depending on when you started your business and how you record your finances, your fiscal year may not be the same as others around you. With the end of the calendar year landing on December 31 and tax day occurring in mid-April, most businesses do their final yearly to-dos within this four-month time span. The month of December is undoubtedly one of the busiest of the year, and many businesses will opt to complete their year-end tasks before the start of the new calendar year. Whether you decide to finish up these business chores before the holidays begin or a bit later in the year, it is important to complete the following before the end of your business’ fiscal year.

1. Financial Bookkeeping

Every business owner is different and so are their tactics for recording their finances. Some may have every i dotted and t crossed, while others may have a giant box filled with receipts. It is critical that you get your financial information properly recorded before tax season begins; otherwise, you may be spending days locating and entering this information into a proper log. It may be a good idea to get your books in order before the start of the holiday season, that way you can start 2021 more organized and have your records together before filing your taxes a few months down the road.

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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 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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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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