Tag: Business litigation

business partner contracts

New Business Partner? Contracts May Need to Be Updated for Everyone

If you are the owner or a partner in a business, you may find yourself immersed in daily details. While your true job is to make sure that the clients keep coming in by the droves, you may often feel like you are able to do everything but that. Your team needs you, and you must not only be a great role model to them, but also pay them, offer enticing benefits, make sure everyone is being treated properly, and continue finding good hires as necessary. You must work with vendors—and these could be extremely long-term relationships, so they should stay as positive as possible, always. There may be landlords, real estate to deal with, and so much more.

Aside from having enough capital to maintain your business, the other most important facet to keeping your company successful is how you run it. For many owners, this means bringing in new partners. Perhaps you are bringing in one new partner of your choosing, and someone you know you will get along with – or perhaps there is a new partner joining a group of you. Regardless, business partnership contracts are in order. And while many other aspects of your business may be critical, without a sound contract locked down from the beginning, a legal issue with a partner could be extremely costly to your business.

Upon bringing in a new partner, consider everything anew—and especially if you are restructuring. What will their duties be, along with everyone else’s now? Will there be new titles? What about pay structure and profit disbursements? There should also be clauses regarding any exit strategies, dissolution plans, and more, to include a conflict resolution clause to be put into effect if there is a legal dispute; in fact, this clause can be so detailed that you will know ahead of time whether litigation would be chosen as the mode for resolution, or perhaps mediation or arbitration. Writing new contracts may also be a good time to update other partner’s job descriptions as well as negotiating some financial terms.

Do you need legal assistance with 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!

Are Differing Management Styles Wrecking Your Business Partnership?

A business partnership may be one of the most important relationships you have in life, and it helps if your management styles are in sync. From the beginning, one or more other individuals may be part of that spark, that inspiration, and the business model that leads to founding a new company, along with changing your life forever. And while much of your enthusiasm and continued involvement in a business will be based on success as the years go on, it is vital to put just as strong a foundation under your partnerships as you do your company overall.

Your personality will have a lot of bearing on your style at work, whether you are operating as the CEO, upper or middle management, or working in a creative or technical capacity. You may have a tendency to be a more autocratic leader, while one of more of your partners prefer to consult with employees routinely about matters, offering a more democratic atmosphere at work, as well as mentoring those you work with, coaching them along in their career and taking joy in watching them grow as individuals—benefiting your company in turn as they are a happy and valuable part of your team.

Conflicting management skills can be the precursor to dissolution of or the diminishing of a partnership, much like that of a typical family dynamic. Along with that, managing of finances in the business, clients, marketing strategies, and so much more requires fluid teamwork and partnership. Without positive support from your main people, your business may flounder—and fast. All these issues can begin eroding your work life and continue to cause negative repercussions, which is why it is critical to head off such problems initially with the business partnership. By outlining your specific titles and roles, you know what is expected of you within the company, as well as what you will be paid, when and how profits are distributed, and what happens in the case of a dissolution; more importantly, there should be a dispute resolution clause written into your contract, detailing how any legal disputes would be handled, where, and who would pay for attorney’s fees.

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!

business partnerships

Business Partnerships: Five Reasons to Avoid Them

Making a go of it with a new business can be one of the most satisfying ventures one will ever experience in life—and in some cases, it may be one of the most terrifying too. Including a partner means you have someone to carry the burden with overall, as well as helping to supply much-needed capital—not only for start-up but in the critical months and first few years that follow also. There may be initial peace in knowing you have another shoulder to lean on, but as is so often the case, one or more partnerships could end up being perceived as a liability in the future.

Although you could become involved in one or more partnerships that are extremely valuable and long-lasting, consider these reasons to avoid taking on one or more partners:

  1. Two (or three) can be a crowd – this can especially become an issue if you began a business partnership with someone you have known for a long time, but the friendship becomes strained, for whatever reason. Working in a partnership may be difficult too when it comes to decision-making. You may find that you don’t really want to have to ask someone else’s opinion or gain their permission to implement something new in the company, hire or fire someone, or buy or sell inventory, real estate, or other items.
  2. Finances – as with a marriage, disputes over money can be one of the most common issues, as well as the reason for dissolution of a partnership – and something that carries on past the separation point and into the courtroom, with the possibility of litigation.
  3. Disputes regarding shares – while this could be an immediate threat, there is also the possibility for conflict or vulnerability later if your partner wants to sell their shares to an outside party or dies and leaves them to a spouse who you could then feasibly suddenly find yourself working with every day.
  4. Resentments over work duties – although this should be outlined clearly when the company is formed, resentments can build later if your partner feels like they are being asked to do too much, or like full-time employees sometimes feel – as if they are being compensated too little in return. This can become challenging in difficult times when everyone may be forced to take on extra duties and put in more hours for the good of the company.
  5. Differing visions regarding the future of the company – this may have been what brought you together with a partner, along with creating a specific, unique innovation to offer to the public. Visions and strategies can change as time goes on, however, and a serious divergence in planning for later can cause conflict you may not want to deal with.

Do you need legal assistance with 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!

partnership contracts

Partnership Contracts in Business—How to Avoid Disputes Later

Every business is different, but one central theme prevails in all: you cannot do it alone. And while many business owners may be able to create and start up a business by themselves, there is usually a strong team put quickly into place, responsible for a variety of different tasks—from customer service to accounting to human resources. For one reason or another though, you may be founding a new company with one or more partners on board. Many entrepreneurs find this a healthy way to enter the business world, brainstorming and innovating with other like-minded individuals, as well as being able to share responsibilities for startup capital, the workload, and even some of the stress and anxiety involved.

You May Spend A Lot of Time with Your Business Partner

In a partnership, you have one or more business peers to lean on, whether that is financial or not. The relationship can be like a marriage in many cases—and sometimes it may seem like work obligations force you to spend more time with your business partner than you do your spouse. With nearly 30 million small businesses registered in the US today, that makes for a lot of partners—and unfortunately, disputes too. No one likes to see a long-term relationship with someone they have worked with go downhill though, and especially not one that escalates into a nasty court battle.

A Thorough Partnership Contract Could Save You Later

Just as with so many trusting couples who dismiss the idea of prenuptial agreement, partners in the initial glow of the business startup may neglect to create the proper partnership contracts. Getting started on this paperwork while the going is still good is key however. While it may seem awkward at first, setting up all the rules of the partnership at the beginning means you can formulate a plan not only for how you will proceed at the start—but also the end.

The basics should be covered as to which titles each partner will hold, decision-making power, job duties, and how profits will be disbursed. Just as important though are exit strategies discussing what will happen should one or more partners decide to leave—or what will happen to their shares if they die. A dispute resolution clause may prove indispensable later too, giving you the flexibility ahead of time to choose whether any legal issues would be settled through classic litigation processes or alternative dispute resolution instead, such as arbitration or mediation.

Contact Us for Help

Do you need legal assistance with 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!

business owners

Business Owners: Are You Covered for Workplace Injuries?

No matter what type of business you own, there is always the possibility of an injury in the workplace. While some sites are more prone to one or more of your team having an accident over the years while they work for you—whether you oversee a large construction crew, operate a restaurant, or any other type of company—it is critical that you have sufficient worker’s compensation insurance; and in fact, it is the law in California according to California Labor Code Section 3700.

Many different types of accidents can occur, and employees may be out of work for a range of different time periods—receiving either temporary or even permanent disability. The most common injuries that result in payments from workers’ compensation tend to be strains; for example, employees may pick up boxes or other materials at work that are too heavy and then sprain their backs or other areas such as the arms or wrists. Unfortunately, many of these injuries occur even after so many businesses have instituted their own injury and illness prevention programs as recommended by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Offering the proper education, information, and training to your employees regarding how to avoid injuries on the job can be critical to cutting down on incidents, and also helps promote a stable and safe atmosphere:

“Injury and illness prevention programs are not new, nor are they untested. Most large companies whose safety and health achievements have been recognized through government or industry awards cite their use of injury and illness prevention programs as their key to success,” states the OSHA website. “Convinced of the value, effectiveness, and feasibility of these programs, many countries around the world now require employers to implement and maintain them. These countries include Canada, Australia, all 27 European Union member states, Norway, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. This initiative also follows the lead of 15 U.S. states that have already implemented regulations requiring such programs.”

The OSHA website also points out that “California began to require an injury and illness prevention program in 1991. Five years after this requirement began, California had a net decrease in injuries and illnesses of 19 percent.”

Even with programs available and heightened awareness though, accidents sometimes cannot be avoided—and that is where insurance comes into play (in so many other areas of coverage too for individuals and businesses in the US). Not only does workers’ compensation protect your employees by providing them with medical coverage as well as compensating them for wages, but as they accept it they also give up the right to sue you regarding the injury, making it indispensable coverage all around.

Your insurance agent will be able to inform you of California’s laws and requirements regarding worker’s compensation and you should be able to purchase your coverage through them. It is also available through the State Fund.

If you are having difficulty with workers’ compensation, 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!

 

business owners

Business Owners: Have You Updated Your Insurance Policies Lately?

Owning a business is full of rewards and challenges—all of which you may experience daily. While in the conceptual stages, thoughts of running your own business may have entailed a much different type of luxurious, fantasy scenario, once you get down to the brass tacks of owning a company, it is easy to become mired in a long list of constant tasks, from employee scheduling to inventory and ordering, dealing with vendors, other businesses—and of course, the ever-necessary customers. Along with all of that comes a huge emphasis on managing finances and taking care of issues like insurance.

For the average small business there can be a variety of different policies required, and it is critical to be sufficiently covered—as well as to understand what types of coverages you have so there isn’t a misunderstanding later or a denial that could have been prevented; however, if you think the insurance company is denying you in bad faith, consult with an experienced insurance law firm like the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible.

In the meantime, all insurance policies should be reviewed and updated if necessary at least once a year. Here are some typical policies a small business may need to consider:

  • General liability – this type of business insurance is critical in protecting you, as well as your employees—providing bodily injury and property damage coverage in the case of any claims that may arise. This type of insurance should cover expenses incurred due to such a claim, from any required investigations on the part of the insurance company to medical expenses, legal fees or settlements, and more.
  • Professional liability – meant to protect you and your business in the case of a claim brought against you when a client alleges there was negligence, this insurance could be critical to saving your company should an issue arise in the future. Professional liability policies can vary greatly too, so make sure to review and update yours yearly to make sure you have the proper coverage.
  • Workers compensation – as a business owner, this is one type of insurance you will probably always have to deal with as it protects your employees if they are injured on the job, insuring them for medical payments and lost income when they cannot work—either temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of the case. Understand your policy, and work with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered according to the state law.
  • Property insurance – even if you don’t own the building where your business is located, you may have plenty of contents that need insuring. Stay up to date on your policy every year by reviewing what you may have added (or gotten ridden of) at your office that needs to be insured.

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!