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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Funding businesses takes planning

A large part of having a successful business is taking the time to plan. Business planning can cover a lot of ground. One particular area that should not be overlooked is how Texas company owners are going to fund their businesses.

Starting or expanding companies takes a lot of money. How owners will obtain that money is uncertain at times. There are two basic ways to fund a business: debt and equity. Company owners will simply have to decide which way best suits their needs.

Things to know about real estate contract negotiation

When selling or buying property in Texas or elsewhere, a lot of negotiation is usually involved. This is understandable, as both sides of the deal simply want to make sure their best interests are being considered. What goes into a real estate contract negotiation, and how can an attorney help complete this process?

Negotiating a contract takes good communication skills. It is important to be able to clearly identify what one wants included or excluded from a contract. If a poor agreement is reached, this will only hurt one or both parties in the end.

Insuring one's business and dealing with insurance disputes

While there are some people that like to chance that certain things will not happen to them, others like to plan for the "what-ifs" in life. Business owners in Texas and elsewhere will only help themselves, and prevent a lot of headache and heartache, by making sure that they obtain the insurances necessary to protect themselves, their employees and their companies. What kind of business insurances are available, and what can one do when insurance disputes arise?

There are actually quite a few different kinds of business insurances. These include general liability, product liability, professional liability, home-based business and commercial property insurances -- among a variety of others. Obviously, every business has different needs, so not all of these and the many other insurance types will be required by every company owner.

What should I know about filing a construction defect claim?

For various reasons, Texas home and business owners may find the need to file legal claims against construction companies for property defects. A construction defect claim is not always the easiest thing to get prove, but there are certainly valid reasons for pursuing this type of action in or out of court. So, what goes into filing a construction defect claim?

A construction defect can be any problem that reduces the value of one's property. These problems must arise from things such as poor workmanship, the use of defective materials, negligent construction, or planning or engineering issues -- among others. Commonly seen defects include:

  • Mold
  • Electrical problems
  • Dry rot
  • Drainage issues
  • Cracks in the foundation or other parts of the building

Starting online businesses requires hard work and dedication

New online businesses start nearly every day. More people are opting to purchase goods online rather than visiting standard brick-and-mortar stores, so the urge to own an online business is understandable. However, it is important to understand that there is a lot that goes into starting online businesses. One thing that owners of such companies, in Texas and elsewhere, cannot overlook in the hustle and bustle of getting their businesses off the ground is making sure that they have solid business plans and all the necessary legal protections in place.

Just like any business, there are good points and bad points to owning a strictly online company. It can take a lot of money, time and effort to make this type of business successful. Marketing is key to getting an online company off to a good start. In recent years, social media has really helped get company information out there for the public to see.

Business partnership disputes: Big money behind THF Realty case

The two men who founded and built THF Realty, which is based in another state, are headed to court again over money. Partnership disputes may occur for a variety of reasons, but money is behind many of these cases. This story is one that may seem familiar to some Texas business owners who have found themselves in similar disputes with their partners.

According to a recent report, a former owner of THF Realty has filed a legal claim against his ex-business partner due to money lost in a commercial real estate venture. The plaintiff alleges that his partner failed to obtain a loan that was needed to pay off yet another bank note, but would have also added money to the company's secured loan pool. Had that the loan been attained, the plaintiff would have been able to collect nearly $4 million.

Texas business formation: How can an attorney help me?

When starting a business, whether here in Texas or elsewhere, there are a lot of things that owners have to sort out. This is not always an easy process, and mistakes may be made along the way. To help make the business formation process go as smoothly as possible, utilizing legal counsel may be wise.

Figuring out how to structure one's business can be difficult. Structure is important, though, as certain protections are offered under Texas laws based on how the company is recognized by the state. There are five different entity types that one can choose from when forming a company -- sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, limited liability company and limited partnership. Each has advantages and disadvantages. An experienced business attorney can explain the differences and help you decide which is best for your company.

Texas business litigation: Contracts and how to enforce them

As pretty much all company owners in Texas know, contracts are a big part of running their businesses. These binding agreements, which should state clear expectations for what is expected of all parties involved, generally come in written form -- though verbal agreements are sometimes made as well. Unfortunately, things happen on occasion, and enforcing contracts through legal means may become necessary. A business litigation attorney would be able to assist in such situations.

By definition, a contract is an agreement made between two or more parties that is legally enforceable. Examples of business contracts include bills of sale, purchase orders, various business transactions and employment agreements -- among numerous others. In order to ensure contracts are enforceable it is best to get them in writing. This can help prevent a client, vendor, partner, employee, buyer or other business contact from failing to meet his or her obligations.

Filing a nonpayment claim may be the only way to get paid

When a construction company is hired to do a job -- or any business for that matter -- payment for services is expected. Unfortunately, there are numerous businesses that, for one reason or another, have to fight to get paid. A Texas business owner in this situation may seek payment by filing a nonpayment claim in civil court.

It was recently reported that several construction companies in another state had to take legal actions after they were not paid for work done on a major factory project. A total of five construction companies claimed that there were owed over $2 million for work done on the factory. The project ultimately failed, and the property was abandoned.

Texas closely held businesses: Compensation and tax issues

Those who hold stakes in closely held businesses in Texas or elsewhere may find a number of issues that need to be addressed so as to prevent problems down the line. For instance, these businesses often deal with compensation and tax issues. If not handled appropriately, company owners/employees could end up dealing with questions from the IRS.

In many cases, the owners of closely held businesses are also employees. Determining how much one should be compensated for services can be difficult. This is especially true when certain forms of payment are tax-deductible and others are not -- such as dividend payments paid to stockholders.