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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Get legal help for your construction defect claim?

Homeowners in Texas have seen their share of construction defects. While everyone wants to trust builders, the simple truth is that mistakes are made, bad materials are used or a number of other issues may arise that can cause problems with the integrity of one's home. Those who are dealing with a construction defect claim can seek legal assistance to help them achieve acceptable resolutions to this type of situation.

Construction defect claims involving residential property need to be handled in a very specific manner. Such claims are actually subject to something called the Texas Residential Construction Liability Act, which serves as an outline for how such claims are to be navigated. For example, before legal actions can be taken, a homeowner is required to submit a written notice to the party deemed responsible for the defect. Whether a case actually goes to court tends to depend on the builder's reaction to the claim. Builders are given the ability to resolve the issues before litigation becomes necessary.

Texas business litigation: Partnerships and dealing with disputes

For those residing in Texas or elsewhere, going into business with someone else can have both advantages and disadvantages. Partnerships can help ease the burden a single business owner may feel trying to do it all on his or her own. At the same time, partners do not always agree, leading to business litigation issues.

A partnership can be defined in one of three ways -- general, joint and limited. Those who sign on for general partnerships or joint ventures are essentially agreeing to evenly split responsibilities, profits and losses. The exact duties that will fall on the shoulders of each partner would likely be spelled out in a legal contract; joint ventures, though, only last a specific period of time. A limited partnership agreement involves at least one person taking an active role in the company, while the another person or persons is primarily an investor.

Sometimes businesses need to sell property to get ahead

While there are certainly benefits to owning commercial property in Texas, there may come a time that owning one's own business property may actually put a burden on the company. In order for some businesses to get ahead, selling property and leasing space may be the better route in the long-run. This is something Darden, a nationally recognized restaurant company, has opted to try.

Darden Restaurants, which is based in Florida, recently sold its headquarters in a $133 million deal. The building reportedly sits on 9.5 acres of land and is 1.5 million square feet. What is unique about this transaction is the fact that Darden will actually remain on the property. The company has signed a 20 year lease with the new property owners. What possible benefit could come from making this move?

Texas commercial real estate and low oil prices

Is commercial real estate hurting because of a drop in oil prices? Current data would suggest that is the case. The truth is that commercial real estate in Texas can be affected by a number of things. Oil prices is just one of many, unfortunately.

But how are low oil prices affecting commercial real estate at this point? According to numbers for Houston's third-quarter this year, things are looking okay overall. Vacancy rates are low and rental rates seem to be up from last year's numbers. So where is the problem?

Valuating closely held businesses for sale or gift purposes

Closely held corporations can be big, with national and even global presences. They can also be quite small, with only local footprints. Regardless of their size, closely held businesses tend to face certain issues that other corporations may not, simply due to their limited number of shareholders. For instance, the owners of closely held businesses in Texas or elsewhere may struggle to secure accurate valuations of their companies for sale or gift purposes.

Valuating a company should actually be fairly easy, as it is often done by looking at a business's market shares. With a closely help business, however, these market shares really are not established. This is when the IRS will depend on appraisers and the court system in order to determine the value of this type of company.

Should I pursue legal action for breach of contract issues?

There are a number of issues that may present themselves during the course of owning and operating businesses. Texas business owners will have to make a lot of difficult decisions regarding the best actions to pursue when any complications arise. One type of dilemma many may face, unfortunately, is breach of contract issues which can occur with employees, suppliers or even customers. Are legal actions always appropriate when dealing with this type of problem?

There are a various reasons as to why one may fail to live up to his or her end of a business contract. While some may believe it may be appropriate to back out of a contract, doing so can really hurt the other party substantially. Business owners who find themselves dealing with those who fail to meet their ends of contract terms have every right to consider all of their options in seeking compensation for any resulting damages.

Online businesses are seeing massive growth

While there are a lot of benefits to having a standard brick-and-mortar store, online businesses are growing rapidly and come with various benefits of their own. There will always be customers who actually like going into establishments in order to make their purchases, but there is a growing demand for the ability to buy items and services over the web. Those in Texas who are considering starting fully online businesses can do so and be wildly successful. Part of that success will come by ensuring all aspects of the company are legally protected.

According to a recent report, ecommerce on a worldwide scale is expected to grow anywhere from 13 to 25 percent in the next couple of years. In the United States those numbers will be slightly lower at 12 to 17 percent. Simply put, consumers want online services, which is obvious by the amount they are spending on Internet purchases.

Texas business litigation: Age discrimination lawsuits

Business owners in Texas and elsewhere face a number of issues throughout the course of owning and operating their companies, many of which may result in unhappy consumers, employees or potential employees taking legal actions. When it comes to employee issues, discrimination claims are fairly common. Fortunately, by taking appropriate steps to stop or, better yet, prevent discriminatory actions from occurring in one's company, business litigation claims can be avoided or, at least, swiftly resolved.

Recently, legal claims were filed against the popular restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse. According to a recent report, over 50 men and women are claiming that they are the victims of age discrimination due to the companies hiring practices. One woman in particular came forward to share her story.

Texas businesses: Buying a franchise

When ready to open a business, there are a variety of things that will need to be considered. One such thing may be deciding whether one should go into business alone or buy into a franchise. Franchising businesses in Texas or elsewhere, while to some may seem easier than going it alone, are not free of issues. However, assistance is available to help a franchise owner start off on a good note by creating a business plan, setting goals and securing all necessary legal protections.

Why might one consider buying a franchise? There is a sense of security when buying into a reputable and successful company. While it still takes a lot of work to get one's personal location off the ground, having the association with an already well-known company may assist in that location's success.

Texas business litigation: Suing for nonpayment

Texas business owners who are in the market of selling supplies to other companies may feel they often get the short end of the stick. It is not uncommon for buyers to withhold payments for one reason or another, and while suppliers are lenient to an extent, there comes a time when enough is enough. This type of situation is one in which business litigation actions may be necessary.

The issue between American Apparel and one of its suppliers is an example of this problem. American Apparel has -- for reasons unknown -- allegedly failed to make payments to one of its suppliers. Some believe market volatility is partially to blame for businesses choosing to hoard cash rather than make agreed upon payments.