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Phoenix, Arizona, Business Law Blog

Business owners need to dig deeper into a succession plan

When company owners think about a succession plan for the business, they often focus on who is going to take their place when they die. This is certainly important because the business can't run without someone in charge. It is imperative that they have someone trained to do their duties so that the people who count on the company can continue to operate.

Many business owners stop the succession plan there. They ensure that the person who is taking over for them knows how to run the business, but they forget that this is going to leave another position open. In order to set a successful succession plan, there must be a plan made for every position that is going to be open as people move up to fill positions after you're gone.

Soil quality is important for new constructions

Many people don't realize that the condition of the soil can have a big impact on the suitability of the location they are planning to build a home. When a home is built on an unsuitable foundation, stability issues that compromise the home can occur. There are several things that can compromise the quality of the soil, so it might be best to contact a soil engineer to determine if anything needs to be done prior to the start of building.

The two main factors that must be considered are substance and the type of soil. The substance has to do with what the soil is comprised of. Typically, soils that have expansive clay or peat are the worse to build on. These must be addressed so that the shifting of the soil doesn't impact the home in a negative manner.

Make sure a real estate purchase is best for your company

Buying commercial real property is a big investment for your business. Before you initiate a transaction, you need to make sure that you are doing what is best for your company. If you don't ensure that everything meets your needs, you will eventually regret your decision. There are several factors that you need to consider when you are trying to decide whether a property is suitable or not.

One of the primary concerns is the location of the property. You must ensure that your clients are going to have easy access to your business. For example, you might make some money if you open a custom embroidery business on the outskirts of town, but you might do better if you find a building in the middle of the business district since those companies might turn to you for customization of items if they see your company on a regular basis. You can also use networking, in this case, to drive more business to your company than what might be possible if you are away from the action.

Protect your business with an employee handbook

Your employees need to know what you expect of them. Moreover, they need to know what you expect them not to do. You need policies and procedures in place to handle a variety of issues, some of them legally required. Your employees also need a clear indication of what they can expect in terms of compensation, which can encompass more than just payroll. 

The more comprehensive your employee handbook is, the better you can protect your business in the event something goes wrong. For instance, if you receive harassment claims or need to terminate an employee.

Business owners need a valid will under state law

This blog has covered the need for business owners to have an estate plan in place. Many people might not realize that the will has to meet specific requirements if it is going to be considered valid under Arizona law. There are many factors that business owners need to think about since the will can impact the company and their family members.

One thing that you can't do is provide will instructions orally. There are no provisions in state law that enable the courts to recognize a spoken will. If you provide any instructions or information to the people will be taking over your company when you pass away, make a note to update your will with those.

Addressing discrimination at your company

Discrimination is one action that can quickly ruin a business. When you are the one who is in charge, you need to ensure that none of your employees are having to deal with this type of behavior. There are several forms of discrimination that can occur in the workplace, so knowing a bit about this atrocious behavior might benefit you.

Anyone who comes into contact with workers, even virtually, can discriminate. This includes customers, vendors, co-workers and supervisors. As the employer, it is your duty to ensure that none of these individuals are allowed to treat workers differently due to any protected status.

Make your business partnership decision carefully

When a business opportunity presents itself, you don't want to pass it up, even if it is a venture you know you cannot handle on your own. Searching for the perfect partner to invest in commercial real estate, sell your product or offer your service is not as easy as scrolling down your social media friends list. You must reach your choice through careful consideration, long conversations and diligent investigation.

Even if your partner is someone you have known since childhood, it cannot hurt to do some checking into his or her background and to invite your potential partner to do the same to you. This way, you will both have a clearer idea of each other's experiences and how those experiences will affect your working relationship.

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.

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