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Phoenix, Arizona, Business Law Blog

Handle business matters carefully to protect your business

Business matters are often difficult to handle. There are many different things that can happen that will require legal action to be taken. This can prove to be challenging when you are trying to balance being professional with the need to get things handled as quickly as possible. We understand that you have worked too hard to build up your business to allow something to strip it from you now. We are here to help you protect your company.

As a business owner, one of the most heartbreaking things you might have to deal with is learning that someone has filed a legal claim against you. When this happens, you need to find out right away what options you have. There are some instances in which you might be able to rectify the situation before things get too far gone. You might be tempted to just ignore the lawsuit in the hope that it will go away. This likely won't happen so it is best to address the issue head-on.

Deceptive trade practice claims must be defended vigorously

The marketing claims that you make when you are trying to sell goods and services are important. They must be factual or you run the risk of being accused of using deceptive marketing practices. These claims can actually be very serious. Your business should be ready to defend against these issues because they can destroy your reputation and cost you money.

There are many different claims that might fall under the deceptive trade practices umbrella. The key to these is they try to defraud the customers because you aren't being honest about what is being sold. In some cases, these practices can actually be safety hazards.

A good contract could save you time and money later

Like most Arizona businesses, yours will more than likely need to enter into contracts with vendors, other businesses or even your customers. Of course, you want to make sure that any contract you sign protects your rights and puts you in a good position should anything go wrong.

However, you may be hesitant to bring in an attorney to help you with the negotiation and drafting processes due to the cost. This could cause you to end up spending more money in the future should you find yourself either defending or initiating a lawsuit based on that contract.

Protect your family, business and employees with an estate plan

Confronting the end of your life isn't easy. Most people don't like to think about that, but if you are willing to do this now and get your estate plan together, you can help your family members to work through your death without the undue stress that comes with dying intestate. Remembering this might be the fuel that you need to keep moving forward despite the difficulty of thinking about these matters.

If you are a business owner, you also need to think about the health of your business and the livelihood of your employees. You didn't build your business up with your sweat and tears so that it could just dissolve when you aren't at the helm any longer. You also don't want your employee to be without the income they count on just because you passed away.

Plan for your medical care if you become incapacitated

Thinking about becoming incapacitated is a difficult thing to do. When you are creating an estate plan, this is one of the decisions that you will have to make. Including a living will in your estate plan is usually a good idea, but it does require that you think about the unthinkable.

Your living will is a document that outlines what type of life- prolonging measures you want to have and those that you aren't willing to use. Because many people feel very strongly about these, it is imperative that you spell it all out so that everyone who is around you in those days knows your position.

Buying a business requires extensive consideration

The process of buying or selling a business is one that is complex. You have to make sure that you are taking the right points into account. You can't try to rush or you might miss something critical. We know that you are trying to do what is best for your investment. We are here to help you out, no matter which side of the transaction you are on.

If you are purchasing a business, you need to look into the suitability of keeping the business open. Why is the current owner selling the business? Has it been turning a profit? Are there ways that you can change the current way of doing things that will improve the business? Why do you want to buy the business? Can the community support the business? What competition does the business have?

Reasons people buy existing companies

You have always wanted to be a business owner, but you always assumed that meant you had to start your own company from scratch. While that's certainly one option, keep in mind that you can also acquire an existing company.

Naturally, you may need more capital up front to go this route. You have to buy the established business at its current value, rather than starting small and building up over time. However, there are some significant reasons why people choose this path.

Breaking your commercial lease without breaking the bank

When you signed the lease for your commercial property, you may have experienced some trepidation. What if your business didn't do well in that location? What if you needed to expand before your lease expired? Were you really ready to sign a long-term commitment? Now that you find you will not be able to honor your lease, you certainly have concerns about the legal ramifications of breaking it.

If you are moving out because your business is doing well, you probably don't want to pay rent on two locations until your lease runs out. If you are moving because your business is closing, continuing to pay the lease or the penalties for breaking it may be more than you can handle at the time. However, there may be options available that will minimize the financial burden of a commercial lease you no longer need.

Know the points you need to cover in a will

Your will is an important document that your loved ones will check when you pass away. It outlines the fate of specific assets so that everyone knows your wishes. Wills are often used in conjunction with other estate planning documents, such as trusts, that make it easier to ensure that your wishes are followed.

We know that thinking about all of this isn't something that is pleasant, since you are addressing your own death. Still, you might find that once you have this all set up, you have a peace of mind that makes it easier for you to enjoy your life.

Succession planning mistakes people make all too often

For business owners, estate planning often means succession planning. Passing a company on to the next generation is an hugely important step in securing the family's wealth, perhaps for generations to come.

Unfortunately, people often make a lot of mistakes during this process. Below are a few examples so that you can know what to avoid.

  • Never making enough time to do it. This isn't something you want to put off. You may hope to run the company for another decade, but you're better off to have a plan in place early in case a disease or an accident makes that impossible.
  • Being afraid to move on. A lot of people make excuses -- not having enough time being one of them -- because they just don't like this step in their professional lives. They don't want to move on and away from the company they built. It's inevitable, though, so fear shouldn't hold you back.
  • Not understanding the legacy they're creating. Picking the right person to take over really defines the company's future. That's the legacy that is being left behind. This process is worth plenty of time and attention for those who want to leave something impressive in their wake.
  • Letting competition get out of hand. With multiple people -- sometimes siblings -- competing for that leadership position, relationships can grow strained. When someone finally gets picked, the rift this competition created may never heal.
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