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Phoenix, Arizona, Business Law Blog

Common issue to watch for during construction

Construction projects often go as predicted, and you end up with a nice structure at the end. When this doesn't happen, you have to figure out why and what the plan is to get things back on track. This isn't always easy, but hopefully, you have a contractor who will work with you on these matters.

There are some common issues that you might come across when you are having a home or any other building built. Here are some you should know about if you are hiring a contractor:

  • Old blueprints are being used by subcontractors: Dating the plans and putting the blueprint date on all construction agreements can curb this issue.
  • Incorrect custom orders: Mistakes happen, but you should receive what you pay for. If there is an issue with a custom order, you might reap benefits if you accept the incorrect item, such as a discount or another gratis item.
  • Delays: Any issue with the project can lead to delays. These should be limited only to things that aren't controllable. Reputable contractors will include some padding in the schedule to address possible delays.
  • Builder mistakes: These can cause significant delays and may change the scope of the project. Sometimes, alterations in the plans are made thinking you will appreciate them, but you don't have to accept these at face value. Always question deviations.

Thinking about buying a convenience store?

Vehicles need fuel. People do, too. This is what makes the convenience store/gas station combination a viable business. Perhaps the relative assurance of customers makes it an attractive prospect for you.

Before entering into this particular business venture, you would benefit from gaining an understanding of what you could get yourself into. No business is foolproof, but in most cases, success is better measured by how much time and effort you put into it right from the start.

Plan business litigation matters carefully

Learning that your company is facing legal action is difficult. The entire ordeal might overtake your life to the point that you are missing out on some of the most basic things that most people enjoy. We can help you find the defense options that you have if the legal action was brought against your company.

There are some business litigation situations in which the business is the one that files the lawsuit. In these cases, we can work with you to determine the basis of the legal action so that you move forward with trying to do what is best for your business.

Do you know if a lien exists against your company?

Running a business undoubtedly ties up a great deal of your time. You have to make sure your company operates smoothly and that your employees carry out their duties. You must also make sure that your company does not suddenly face any serious financial issues.

Like most Arizona small business owners, you likely took out a small business loan when you first started your company. While this step is common and useful, you may need to make sure that everything relating to that loan has remained on the up-and-up. You may think that you paid your loan in full only to dig deeper and find that a lien has been levied against your company or a business asset.

Protect loved ones from business liabilities if you pass away

Many businesses are dependent upon the owner to be there for daily operations. This includes medical practices owned by the primary doctor, law firms owned by one of the attorneys and some small service-based businesses. If your company falls under this umbrella, your estate plan will play a critical role in how things are handled when you pass away.

One aspect of estate planning that you have to think about now is what will happen if something goes amiss and your company is sued. For many owner-dependent companies, having liability insurance is the answer. If the business is terminated, continuing the coverage for a while might be beneficial. If you pass away, your loved ones should have a good idea of where the business stands from a protection standpoint. The formation of a limited liability company can help in this area.

Beware of substandard materials in paving jobs

When you hire out a company to build a structure or improve one, you expect that they are going to do a good job. Part of this means that they are using quality materials. One thing that matters for many projects is the type of paving that is done in conjunction with the building project.

A contractor who uses substandard materials for a paving job can lead to the job failing prematurely. This can mean that you have to deal with buckling or potholes in the pavement. Both of these will likely require you to have the job redone.

Consider your goals when you create your estate plan

As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. It is easy to become so focused on your company that you forget to plan for your family members. When you take the time to think about what they might go through when you pass away, you can see why you need to do something now to help them then.

Your family can turn to your estate plan when you die. This blueprint lays out who will get what and how your estate will be divided. You can use a trust for similar purposes, or you can list assets and heirs in a will. It is imperative that you think carefully about which assets will use which method. You can't include one asset in both.

Set appropriate terms in a partnership agreement

Some business disputes happen when partners don't comply with the terms of their partnership. This is a difficult position to be in because it can directly impact the company. It is a reason why anyone who is considering going into business with another person should have a clear partnership agreement in place.

A partnership agreement outlines how the business relationship will work. It should cover everything from who makes which decisions, how profits are split, what rights each person has and what each person is responsible for. It should also include information about how one party can leave the business if they desire.

4 important points to know before starting a business

The process of starting a business is more than just thinking of a cool idea and opening up shop. There are many things that you need to do before you help your first customer. You probably know the basic information like making sure you have the appropriate licensing, if applicable, and making sure that your business plan is in place, but there is more to it than this.

If you are trying to decide whether starting a business is the right thing for you to do, think about these points:

  • Your product or service must serve a need in your community. This ensures you will have a customer base that can support your business.
  • Be prepared to train employees. Even if you are a single person show right now, you will eventually have to hire people if the business grows. Prepare for training these individuals by coming up with a list of ideals and other information about your business. These employees will be the first line of contact with your customers, so they should accurately represent your company.
  • Distance yourself from the company. It is easy to become enthralled in the daily operations and then forget that you need a life outside of the business. This is especially important if you have a family at home that wants to spend time with you.
  • Money is important, but be careful where it comes from. The goal of a business is to have a positive cash flow. While this might not happen in the early months of the company, the goal is for it to support itself and you.

Thriving in commercial real estate in the digital age

Whether you are a resident of Arizona looking to purchase commercial real estate or a Canadian investor seeking properties in the U.S., you may have many questions about how to begin the process of investing to maximize your potential for success. This is an especially challenging prospect because of the impact technology is having on brick-and-mortar business entities.

More retail stores are responding to the online shopping trend by closing their buildings and expanding their online presence. In fact, during the holiday season you may be part of the 96 percent of consumers who admit to shopping on websites instead of going out to malls and shopping centers. Additionally, many businesses take advantage of technology by allowing their employees to work remotely from home. With these factors, you may have to think creatively to keep your commercial properties viable.

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