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Phoenix, Arizona, Business Law Blog

Protect your company and your personal assets

Choosing a business structure is one of the most important decisions you have to make because it can affect your company and your personal life. One thing that people don't realize is that if you start a company as a sole proprietorship, disgruntled people can come after your personal assets. For this reason, many people opt to use a limited liability company (LLC) as their business structure.

When you register a company as an LLC, you are separating your personal assets from the business. This means that if someone sues the company for breach of contract or something similar, they can't touch your personal property. You must ensure that you keep everything for the business away from your personal assets, which means you need a bank account for each. You can't use personal funds to pay business expenses or vice versa.

Decide on a direction for your business after you pass away

Around 30% of business owners haven't taken the time to create an estate plan. These individuals might not realize that they are putting the company, their employees and their family members at risk by overlooking an estate plan. The reasons for not creating a plan vary greatly. They may feel they have plenty of time, or they might think that nothing will happen to them. Some think that it will take too long to get the plan established. None of these are good reasons. The bottom line is that every business owner should have an estate plan in place.

One thing that you have to think about if you have a business is what is going to happen to it when you are gone. This is especially important if you have a family business that your loved ones are counting on for support. If you are in this position, you need to start thinking about a succession plan now. You must decide who is going to take over your company. If they are ready, you can start training them on what they need to do. The more they know, the better they are likely going to fare when they have to take your position over.

Mediation as an option for resolving business disputes

Owning and operating an Arizona business means having to be ready to handle conflict. Though you may enjoy your job the majority of the time and have found ways to handle more common issues that arise, you may still end up in difficult predicaments in which resolutions are not so easily found.

Before it seems like a lawsuit is right around the corner and that courtroom litigation will result in your company's affairs becoming public knowledge, you may want to consider mediation. This alternative dispute resolution method could allow you and the other party involved in the business dispute to come to agreeable outcomes without litigation.

Arizona is a friendly state for business formation

Starting a business in Arizona isn't too difficult. In fact, this state was ranked number 9 on a list of best states in which to start a business. The ranking by WalletHub comes on the heels of a grade "A-" for the state on a survey by Thumbtack.com. One of the points that stood out is that Arizona got good marks for the ease of hiring individuals.

When you are ready to start your business, one of the first decisions you will make is what name you are going to use for it. You can check the Arizona Corporation Commission website for a checker that enables you to see if another company has that same name. You can reserve your chosen name for 120 days if you don't want anyone else to take it, but you have to get the paperwork in before that time expires or the name becomes available again.

Broken commercial leases have significant impacts

Commercial real estate transactions are often complex, so anyone who is entering into one should have an idea of what terms they must meet and what will happen if those are broken. For many business owners, the desire to own a property is present, but some might need to lease a space when the business is starting out. This is taking a gamble of sorts because you might be on the hook for a lot of money if the business fails, and you can't cover the lease payments.

When you sign a commercial lease, you are signing a contract. This means that you are bound by the terms of the document. You must read it thoroughly before you sign it so that you know exactly what you need to do and how to handle any issues that might come up.

Construction projects can directly impact your business

Having a construction project on your business is a big undertaking. You have to think about the money you will spend to get it all done. You also need to consider the amount of time it will take. All of this can add up, especially if the project is one that your company needs to properly maintain operations. The last thing that you need is to find out that your project isn't going to be ready on time or that the work on your project is somehow subpar.

Thinking about all the things that you have to deal with in this situation might be difficult. Not only do you need to find out what is going on and when you will have use of the structure again, but you also have to consider some logistical and marketing issues. You may have to reschedule a grand opening or another event that is dependent upon you being able to use the building. Expenses can quickly escalate due to a construction issue that affects your ability to operate.

Special considerations for a small business owner's estate plan

Your estate plan has to be based on the circumstances of your life. This means that you might end up having to change the plan as time marches on and your situation changes. One thing that can add complexity to the situation is when you have a business that is depending on you. Thinking about the business and your family becomes the priority. While you are doing this, think about your family situation.

If you have a young child, you need to plan for that child. This means naming a guardian and coming up with a plan to provide for the financial needs of your children. You might need to think about setting up trusts. Ensure that you are setting up provisions in the estate plan that can help your children enjoy support from the business.

Would an injunction help in your business dispute?

When a dispute arises between you and another party, your first inclination may be to try to work it out amicably without involving anyone else. Sometimes this works, but when it doesn't, you may need to look at other ways to resolve the issue. Perhaps you attempt to engage the other party in mediation or arbitration, if it's not required by a contract, but the other party declines.

At this point, you may decide that initiating litigation is your best option. However, you may need more than just the pursuit of monetary relief in order to rectify the problem. You may need a non-monetary form of relief such as an injunction.

Construction delays and other issues can lead to financial damage

People who hire general contractors have firm ideas of what work they want done. This work is usually outlined in a contract that must be followed by both parties. When either party doesn't do what they are supposed to, the contract terms can be challenged if necessary. You should review the contract to learn its stipulations and restrictions.

While reputable contractors will correct issues without any trouble, others with less stellar reputations will try to make things as difficult on you as possible. We know that you might not want to go through this, so we are here to help you learn what options you have and work with you to try to get the issues resolved.

Make sure your nondisclosure agreements protect your company

A confidentiality agreement between an employee and an employer must be followed exactly as it is written. These documents usually have very strict terms about what each party is allowed to share, so all parties must be careful about what they say regarding the business. These contracts also have stipulations about what will happen if the agreement is broken.

While companies might want to protect their business as much as possible, not all situations will require a nondisclosure agreement. One example of this is when you are trying to raise funds for your business through the use of a venture capitalist. Most of these individuals won't be willing to sign this agreement in connection with their investment.

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