Month: June 2019

Potential Business Partners: What Do They Offer to the Company That You Cannot?

While millions of small businesses thrive in the US today, they exist in a vast array of different dynamics and types, from corporations to sole proprietorships, to partnerships, and more. If you have just founded a new company, you may be working with one or more individuals who you have known for quite some time; in fact, it is not unheard of for business partners to have known each other since they were kids, and the business may be a product of a dream that you even brainstormed about as kids. Finally opening a business probably seemed like a dream come true, and you still may be pinching yourself to see if it is really happening—and especially if the cash flow is positive.

There are many different trains of though and opinions on having business partners and business partnership contracts. Business partners can offer many different benefits to you and your company. If you created your business model and business product or services together, then your partnership model is probably very strong. If you are just opening your business later in life or bringing on a new partner after the business has been opened, it could be because you need more capital, and this partner will also function as an investor.

You may be bringing someone on because of their specific skills, and this could be invaluable to the success of your business later. Someone new coming into the company should complement your skills, rather than just matching them. No matter who you bring into your business is crucial to have the proper partnership contract drawn up so there are not questions later. The great thing about a business partnership contract is that you can even include a clause regarding dispute resolution. Trust us, it’s much better to do that while you are getting along, then later when there is already a legal dispute in progress.

Do you have questions about a business issue, or do you need legal assistance regarding a business dispute? If so, contact the Bolender Law Firm.  Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

insurance companies

Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith Could Face Major Fines

It seems like insurance should be a simple business, right? The basic process is as follows: you hire an insurance agent to help you find the types of coverage you need, you buy a policy, you pay your premiums, and you go about your business with the policy hiding in a drawer or file cabinet somewhere (and if you are lucky, you will never have to look at it again). Meanwhile, the insurance company is collecting billions of dollars each year from policyholders, and you may never have filed a claim once in decades; however, if you have, you may shocked, and even panicking to discover that the insurer does not seem to be responding correctly.

As soon as you see red flags flying, warning you of bad faith practices, contact an insurance lawyer from a skilled firm like the Bolender Law Firm. Signs of bad faith may include a lack of investigation at all, or they may have called and spoken with you once, heard some of the facts surrounding the case, and just never called back. If you have filed an insurance claim and you have not been hearing anything back from an insurance adjuster, it is time to get worried and start making calls regarding the problem. If you’ve been denied with no good reason, you may have a case, and if the insurer has been trying to intimidate you or witnesses, that is another red flag.

The list of bad faith practice symptoms is quite long, but if your instincts are telling you there is a problem, you may very well be correct—and especially if communications from the insurer are few and far between.

With help of a skilled bad faith insurance attorney, you may need to take your case to court. This is a much more common occurrence than you think, and insurance companies can get in big trouble with the courts for bad faith; in fact, they could have to pay out many thousands of dollars in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. You are owed such compensation if you were forced to go through the stress of waiting on a claim that was clearly not handled properly.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

insurance policy

Always Have a Copy of Your Original Insurance Policy

Most of us have one or more insurance policies tucked away somewhere, whether for our car(s), home, business or more. While this is one of the most important contracts you will ever sign, and an extremely important document, as a rule, insurance policies are something we rarely look at again—until there is an unfortunate event that causes us to file a claim. At that point, you may be scrambling to figure out which drawer or file cabinet you stashed the policy in years ago.

The hope is if you have a car accident and experience property damage and/or physical injuries, that the negligent party’s insurer would be contacting you as quickly as possible to make sure you were compensated. Sadly, this is often not the case if you have a substantial case that may require a lot of time and effort and enormous payout. If you’ve had a homeowner’s claim, you may be living in a very uncomfortable situation after a fire or a flood, with many of your belongings demolished. Your world may be turned upside down, and you will be on the hunt for that insurance policy without a doubt!

This is precisely why you should always have a copy of your insurance policy on hand. Although these days, it may be resting in your email, but remember that it is always best to have a copy printed out. You must be able to remind yourself of what is covered, as well as understanding what the insurer is going to expect you after you file a claim. If your home has been vandalized, most likely you are responsible for covering it up and attempting to prevent any further damage to the home, with the same happening after a flood or some other event that has left the home still standing, even if just partially.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

trademark

What Does a Trademark Actually Protect?

As a business owner, you will usually have an exhausting list of tasks on your plate, whether counted daily, monthly, or annually. You may even have many customers or clients who visit your business frequently and mention how wonderful it seems to own your own business. Often you may agree with them—and even encourage them to open their own businesses; however, many others of us find ourselves chasing that American Dream diligently, until we discover that it is extremely challenging to stay on top in the marketplace.

Most business owners are busy keeping up with the constant challenge of having enough capital, keeping the growing list of bills paid, and trying to keep everyone happy, managing employees, managing inventory, keeping the peace with partnerships, and the list goes on.

One area of protection and one major task that can be easily overlooked when your business is new, especially, and you are worrying about many other important things, is the trademark. The trademark is essentially, your brand. This may designate your products, with a logo or a symbol or even a mark on stationary. Trademarks may also be given for services, as service marks are a subset of the trademark category.

With registration of a trademark you have numerous legal benefits to include the right to use that trademark and its corresponding symbol, along with the right to sue someone for infringement if they try to steal your intellectual property. With the help of an experienced intellectual property or trademark attorney, you will need to apply through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Before registering for a copyright or trademark, or any other intellectual property, it is also a good idea to make sure no one else has registered anything similar. Keep in mind too that intellectual property is yours, owned by you, as soon as it comes to being—whether in your home or company. Registering it just gives you greater leverage if someone were to steal your intellectual property.

The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

intellectual property attorney

Filing a Patent: Why You Should Work with an Intellectual Property Attorney

If your business has reached the point where you are ready to file a patent, it is critical for protection of your assets that you consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney. This is even more true when filing for patents, as they can be much more intricate than filing for a copyright or trademark—but you may have those already or need to apply for them as well. This is not something that should be overlooked, even if it does not seem so important right now—any intellectually property you create in the beginning, or at any point for your company, could become extremely valuable to you one day and the last thing you want is someone stealing it!

Running a business is a multifaceted endeavor, to say the least. Most of your days are probably extremely busy with the daily activities of keeping the clients coming in, working with your team and making sure they have an organized workload, proper scheduling, and all that is associated with human resources. Most business owners and their managers are also responsible for many long days and weekends too, working with their teams while also paying the bills, ordering and keeping inventory straight, and working with business partners who may take on work in varying degrees.

You may also have independent contractors who are responsible for creating innovations behind a patent that your company may be registering. If this is the case, make sure that you have the correct contracts (confidentiality, non-disclosure, and more) in place so they are not disgruntled later and so you do not lose intellectual property that you paid for, or paid for to be developed.

Filing a patent may be somewhat different than you expect, and the process may be much slower than you expect, taking 21 months on average. Writing a patent is a challenging task, and much specific information must be given regarding your invention. There are several different types of patent you can apply for through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The categories are separated into utility patent, provisional patent, or a design patent. The application progress process can be complex, and because this is certain such an important process, is generally not suggested that you go it alone.

The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!