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COVID-19 Compliance for Restaurants in Houston

COVID-19 Compliance for Restaurants in Houston

Business Law
Many restaurants around the Houston area have temporarily closed for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of June 29, restaurants are permitted to operate at 50 percent capacity for dine-in eating, as well as offer takeout and delivery services, so long as they adhere to strict guidelines. The following are some guidelines that all restaurant owners must follow. To discuss any specific legal concerns about your restaurant, contact a business lawyer in Houston right away.   All employees must wear masks when six feet of social distancing is not possible Customer groups must be distanced by six feet both while eating and while waiting Hand sanitizer is provided upon entering the establishment Use single servings of condiments, disposable or online menus, and do not leave silverware on unoccupied…
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Do Your Company Owners have a Buy-Sell Agreement?

Do Your Company Owners have a Buy-Sell Agreement?

Business Law
While some contracts and paperwork might not be required by law for business owners, there are some agreements that are wise to have in place. One example is a buy-sell agreement. Contrary to how the name of this contract sounds, it is not an agreement for the sale or purchase of a business. Instead, it allows owners to protect their business interests and set out what happens if one owner’s interests are compromised for some reason. Situations Addressed by Buy-Sell Agreements When a company has more than one owner, life events in one owner’s life can impact the other owners. Some life events might result in the transfer of an owner’s interests, which can potentially put control in the wrong hands. Some such events might include: Death, which might pass…
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Complications of Businesses Reopening in Houston

Complications of Businesses Reopening in Houston

Business Law
The State of Texas relaxed its public health and safety orders regarding business closures in recent weeks, and more and more Houston businesses are being allowed to reopen. However, they are not permitted to open without adhering to several restrictions intended to keep both employees and customers safe from exposure to the coronavirus. These restrictions might result in complications for businesses, though noncompliance might result in penalties and other consequences for owners. Many restrictions revolve around social distancing measures, which might limit the number of employees you can have working at one time. This might require you to scale back operations, especially with new tasks for employees involving regular disinfecting of the premises. However, social distancing also means fewer customers can enter at once, and many people in Houston said…
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Current Issues Faced by Small Business Owners

Current Issues Faced by Small Business Owners

Business Law
The Novel Coronavirus that has affected thousands of Americans has upended daily life throughout the United States. It has been especially hard on small businesses, many of which have been forced to close their doors and do not have the operating capital to weather several months of no income. In fact, according to data published by Harvard Business School, the median US small business had enough cash reserves to cover just 27 days in 2016, Here are some of the legal issues that small businesses are facing as a result of the current health crisis: Contract Disputes Certain parties may be unable or unwilling to perform their contractual obligations as a result of COVID-19. For example, if you own a venue used for events like weddings or conferences, your clientele…
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Common Contracts Used by Restaurants

Common Contracts Used by Restaurants

Business Law
Every business uses a wide variety of contracts. However, restaurants are a specialized type of business and, therefore, they use specific contracts tailored to this kind of enterprise. While each restaurant is different, the following are some examples of contracts that are commonly used by companies in the food, beverage, and hospitality business. Equipment Leases Most restaurants require major pieces of costly equipment, including state-of-the-art commercial freezers and refrigerators, convection ovens, industrial dishwashers, and more. Often, owners might not have the liquid capital to purchase this equipment outright, so they might enter into lease agreements for different pieces of equipment. Food and Supplies Vendors A restaurant cannot serve patrons without having plenty of food and beverages on a daily basis, and they want the food to be fresh. Food brokers…
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The Basics of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The Basics of Non-Disclosure Agreements

Employment Law
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) can be important for many business owners to protect proprietary information. While the terms can - and should - vary from contract to contract, NDAs can be essential for companies that must share information as part of their operations. Common Elements of NDAs NDAs are confidentiality agreements, and you want to ensure your contract covers the necessary bases and is valid and enforceable. The following are some common terms of this type of agreement: Identifying the parties bound by the agreement who will receive the information Defining what is considered to be confidential information for a specific project The scope of the confidentiality, which generally includes keeping it secret and not using the information for their own benefit. Any exceptions from confidentiality requirements How long the information…
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Common Issues in Business Litigation

Common Issues in Business Litigation

Business Law
In many situations, a legal dispute involving a business cannot be resolved through private negotiation or mediation. In these cases, the matter might need to be escalated to litigation. One party might decide to pursue a lawsuit in civil court, seeking compensation or other legal relief for their losses. No matter what the underlying issue might be, business litigation is always complicated, and you want to have a business litigation lawyer from Houston handling your case. The following are some common issues that can lead to business litigation. Breach of contract - Businesses enter into numerous contracts on a regular basis, and each contract has its own terms, parties, and remedies for disputes. When one party to a contract accuses another party of breaching one or more provisions of the…
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Do You Have an Idea for a New Business in 2020?

Do You Have an Idea for a New Business in 2020?

Business Law
More and more people are leaving traditional corporate paths to start their own enterprises. Not only does starting your own business allow you more freedom and flexibility in many situations, but it can also be highly rewarding - both mentally and financially. Whether you want to open a food truck, conduct lead generation from your home, get into the solar power market, or launch a new product, it is important to start your company the right way in 2020 to maximize your chances of success.  Having an experienced startup lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Choose the right name - Selecting a business name is much more than choosing a word or words that you like. First, you want to make sure no one else has the…
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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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