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Do You Need a Business Succession Plan?

Do You Need a Business Succession Plan?

Business Law
Many people own family businesses. While you might have an idea of what you want to happen to the business after you retire, do you have a succession plan in place? Many business owners do not consider the importance of estate planning when it comes to their company, and it can cause complications, disputes, or disruptions of operations and loss of profits. It is important to discuss a succession plan with an experienced business lawyer in Houston as soon as possible. The Benefits of a Succession Plan A business succession plan establishes an orderly transfer of ownership and/or management of the company should something happen to you as the owner. If you retire, you have the chance to organize this transfer ahead of time. However, what happens if you suddenly…
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Know the Labor Rules for Restaurants

Know the Labor Rules for Restaurants

Business Law
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Texas labor laws both set standards for how employers compensate and treat employees. Companies must pay non-exempt employees a minimum hourly wage, overtime rates, and more. However, if you own a restaurant or a hospitality establishment that employs tipped workers, the rules can be a bit different. It is important to understand these laws to prevent employee complaints, liability, and civil penalties. Compensating Tipped Employees Many types of employees earn tips, which are voluntary payments customers make in addition to their bill. Mandatory service charges by a company are not considered to be tips. The following are some tip basics for Texas employers: Tips belong to the employee, not the employer Tips can count as a credit toward minimum wage Tip pooling is…
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Is it Time to Sell Your Business?

Is it Time to Sell Your Business?

Business Law
The decision about whether or not you should sell your business can be an extremely difficult one. After all, by that point, you have likely invested a considerable amount of money and hired staff to keep your business up and running. Moreover, the process of selling a business can be an extremely difficult task. If you are contemplating whether to sell your business, call Houston business attorney Tim Sutherland today. The right attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons of selling your business, and if you decide to sell, can assist you throughout the process. Factors to Consider If you are thinking about selling your business, there are several factors that you should consider. Those factors include the following: Whether you currently have a viable business model in…
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Naming Your Company: Tips for Entrepreneurs

Naming Your Company: Tips for Entrepreneurs

Business Law
While it is important to choose the right business entity for your startup and ensure you are in compliance with all relevant laws, it is also just as important to select the right name for your enterprise. The wrong name may not get noticed or, worse, may even unintentionally offend people. You also want to avoid any intellectual property issues with existing companies. The following are only a few tips for naming your new company: Conduct searches for the same name with your state’s Secretary of State, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the internet Avoid names that are difficult to pronounce or spell Do not choose a name that limits your company to only one product or service, as you might want to expand your offerings when…
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Using Arbitration to Resolve Business Disputes

Using Arbitration to Resolve Business Disputes

Partnership Dispute
Sometimes, a legal conflict arises regarding your business that you cannot resolve by simply talking to the other party. Whether the dispute involves a breach of contract, a shareholder or partner disagreement, or an employment complaint, it may need to be escalated and one party may need to take legal action to resolve the matter. The litigation process can be complicated and costly for all parties involved but, fortunately, not all disputes have to go to court. To discuss how you can resolve your business-related conflict, contact a business lawyer in Houston as soon as possible. There are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods that help parties avoid litigation, and these include mediation and arbitration. Arbitration is common among businesses, and it requires each party to present its arguments to an…
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Business Law FAQ

Business Law FAQ

Business Law
While every company will face legal issues at some point, it can be difficult to know when to call a business attorney. The following are some of the more common questions company owners ask, but to discuss your particular questions and concerns, you should never hesitate to directly contact a business lawyer in Houston. What types of companies do you assist? While every law firm is different, attorney Tim Sutherland helps companies of all types and sizes. Whether you are a brand new startup or an established business in your market, you can always benefit from trusted legal assistance. Sutherland also helps businesses facing particularly complex compliance issues, including the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industries. What legal issues does a business lawyer handle? The right business attorney should be able…
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Handling Disputes Between Business Partners

Handling Disputes Between Business Partners

Partnership Dispute
Starting a company with one or more partners can be valuable, as partners can each use their strengths to help balance out each other’s weaknesses when it comes to business. However, there will always come a time when a partnership dispute arises on an issue related to the operations, finances, or leadership of the company. When a partnership dispute is not properly addressed, it can have a detrimental effect on the entire business. It is important to handle these disputes in the most effective way possible with as little effect on or interruption to your business. Look at your partnership agreement - Every partnership should have a carefully drafted partnership agreement, which advises how conflicts should be resolved, among many other things. Often, this agreement will provide enough guidance for…
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Legal Issues for Restaurant Operators

Legal Issues for Restaurant Operators

Business Law
Houston has a great food and entertainment scene, with new restaurants, bars, and cafes opening on a regular basis. The hospitality business can be lucrative, and you may have long dreamed of opening your own place. There are many legal considerations for prospective or new restaurant owners, so you should consult with a knowledgeable Houston business lawyer  for help ensuring a successful opening. Health and Safety Healthy and safety standards are imperative when it comes to any establishment serving food and beverages. You must comply with all regulations and pass health inspections to begin operations. Licenses and Permits Many local and state laws require a variety of licenses and permits, which may include a general business license, an alcohol beverage license, a food service establishment permit, a food safety permit,…
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Resolving Contract Disputes

Resolving Contract Disputes

Employment Law
Companies regularly enter into many types of contracts with different parties, including clients, vendors, and many other individuals and businesses. In many cases, two parties will agree to the terms of the contract and will fulfill their responsibilities under the agreement. However, almost every business owner has run into a contract dispute. Contract disputes can arise when another party is not living up to their end of the bargain, or when another party accuses your company of breaching a contract. No matter what side of a contract dispute you might be on, it is important to discuss the matter with a skilled business attorney right away. The right lawyer can help to resolve the contract dispute as efficiently and favorably as possible. Often, a demand letter from an attorney may…
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Common Compliance Concerns for Business Owners

Common Compliance Concerns for Business Owners

Employment Law
Business owners might think they only need to call an attorney when a legal dispute arises. However, there are many, many laws and regulations with which company owners must comply to prevent civil liability or even having their business shut down. The following are some common compliance concerns with which our business law firm can help. Employment laws - If you have even one employee, it is necessary to comply with all relevant employment laws. These laws address minimum wage, overtime, breaks and meal times, anti-discrimination and harassment, workers’ compensation insurance, and more. As your business grows, you may have to consider family and medical leave and additional laws. Permits - If you are a new company, did you obtain all the necessary permits to lawfully operate your business, and…
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