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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Setting up sole proprietorship businesses in Texas

When thinking about starting a business, one must decide what type of entity works best for one's goals. Sole proprietorships are for those who wish to go it alone and are willing to accept that any issues with their companies could impact their personal lives. Setting up businesses of this type in Texas or elsewhere is considered to be pretty simple.

A sole proprietorship is, by definition, a one-person business. Depending on where one lives, it may not have to be registered with the state, unlike a corporation or a limited liability company. It is also considered to be the simplest business structure to create and maintain.

Expanding businesses takes work and planning

Getting a business off the ground takes work. Success does not magically happen. Once things get rolling, though, and expansion is on one's mind, serious planning may need to take place. Expanding businesses in Texas and elsewhere can be difficult, there is a lot involved; however, with legal assistance company owners can proceed feeling confident that they have sought all necessary legal protections required to move forward.

A lot can be learned by watching other successful business owners grow and expand their brands. One individual who is known as an expert in her field, Tracy Anderson, has done quite a bit to grow her fitness brand and take a big slice of the health and fitness market, which is said to be a $75 billion-a-year industry. Not only does she sell workout DVDs, but she owns numerous workout studios and is even looking at selling replacement meal products in stores across the country.

Planning is key for new businesses in Texas

New businesses come and go all of the time, some faster than others. The success of one's company is predicated on a number of conditions. Here are a few things the owners of new businesses and potential business owners in Texas and elsewhere should know about getting their companies up and running.

Starting a new company is never as easy as it initially sounds. Anyone can have a great idea, but bringing it to life and making it a success is a whole other story. Those who typically see success spend time planning. After all, as it has been said, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Insurance can help when dealing with business litigation

A big part of business planning is preparing for potential litigation. Company owners in Texas and elsewhere can help themselves by having the proper insurances in place, which can help them handle business litigation situations that could significantly hurt their bottom lines. At the end of the day, no one knows if or when lawsuits will be brought against them. It is best to prepare for every possible scenario.

According to a recent report, there are at least six big insurance risks that business owners face, a few of which this column will address. The first is data breaches. This is an issue that is often reported in the news, and companies have paid out millions in settlements to those customers who have been affected. For smaller business owners, this is a cost that could result in companies shutting down. Cyberinsurance can be used in the event company or customer data is compromised, resulting in the business taking less of a financial hit.

Partnership agreements good for co-owners of small businesses

Many small business owners in Texas and elsewhere go into business by themselves or they take on friends or family members as partners. With already established relationships, it is normal to believe that any issues that arise with the company can be talked through and figured out without the need for legal action. Unfortunately, no one knows what the future holds, so co-owners of small businesses may want to consider protecting themselves by creating partnership agreements.

A partnership agreement simply gives clear ground rules for what is expected of each company owner. These documents can be pretty extensive. A lot of problems can come up during the life of a business, so it is a good idea to make sure that all of one's bases are covered. How detailed one would like the agreement to be really is a personal decision, though.

For-profit businesses on the rise in Texas

Texas has seen a significant increase in business formations over the last few months. According to reports, in March alone, the number of for-profit businesses filing for operating certificates is up 9.9 percent compared to this same time last year. This certainly is great news for the state.

According to Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, over 16,000 certificates for business formation were filed in March 2016. This brings the total number of certificates filed for the first quarter of the year up to 46,117. It has been reported that these were for a number of business types, including for-profit corporations, professional associations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies

Construction disputes lead to company bankruptcy

A home building company in another state has been forced to file bankruptcy after having to deal with a number of construction defect claims. The construction disputes involve issues with approximately 900 homes. When a situation like this happens, whether in Texas or elsewhere, what can property owners do to get the issues fixed or a seek compensation for any resulting losses?

Generation Homes filed for bankruptcy in March, claiming liabilities at $50,000 to $100,000 and assets of only $50,000. A total of 513 creditors are listed on the bankruptcy documents, as the owner of the company was able to address some of the homeowner issues. Unfortunately, the company has not built or sold a house since 2008.

Texas business formation: Creating an LLC

Deciding what type of entity one's business should be can be rather intimidating. Determining the best choice for one's particular circumstances is not always simple. When it comes to business formation in Texas and any other state, there are a lot of questions that need answering before any major decisions can be made. In this week's post, the article will focus particularly on what is required to set up an LLC (limited liability company.)

Forming an LLC can actually be rather easy to do compared to other business setups. To form an LLC, one will have to complete at least five basic steps:

  • Choose a name for one's business
  • File appropriate paperwork and pay filing fee
  • Create an operating agreement
  • Publish notice of intent for form and LLC -- if necessary
  • Obtain all appropriate licenses and permits

Business litigation: Honest Company facing lawsuit

The Honest Company, founded by celebrity Jessica Alba, has come under fire for allegedly misleading consumers. The company which prides itself on providing safe, environmentally friendly products, is accused of using ingredients that it says it would never use. Business litigation cases such as this are fairly common, and company owners in Texas who are accused misleading consumers may find themselves in court as well.

The case against Honest was filed in another state on March 17, by a woman who alleges that the company is not being truthful with its customers. Honest is accused of using sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in its laundry detergent. This is supposedly a harsh chemical that can cause adverse reactions to some individuals who are exposed to it.

Strong market for commercial real estate in Austin

As far as commercial real estate goes, things are looking good for the Austin area. Currently, investors are highly interested in available properties, and numerous transactions have recently taken place or are in the works. While the real estate market certainly goes through its highs and lows, right now seems to be a good time for this part of Texas.

One of the biggest real estate transactions to recently take place was the sale of the University Park complex. This property has quite a history, including foreclosure and losing tenants; however, things had turned around, and at the time of this sale, the building was 94 percent leased. The exact details of this sale have not been disclosed. It was reportedly purchased as a joint venture. The sale price is unknown, but the latest valuation of the property came in at nearly $41 million.