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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Any benefits for businesses that hire independent contractors?

While a lot can be said for employee loyalty, there are some business owners in Texas and elsewhere who may feel that there are more benefits to hiring independent contractors. This decision should not be made cavalierly or without considering company plans and goals. So, what -- if any -- benefits can hiring staff at this status provide for businesses?

Financially speaking, there are quite a few benefits for employers who hire independent contractors. For one, company owners will not be responsible for withholding any taxes; they simply cut checks for services rendered. Secondly, independent contractors are typically not granted any company benefits. Those hired as traditional employees may be given health and retirement benefits and are often entitled to workers' compensation coverage, but the same cannot be said for independent contractors. This can save employers a great deal of money in the long run.

Businesses must adapt to compete: Spotify versus Apple

The business world can be difficult to navigate. It is hard enough to get businesses off the ground, let alone keep up with competitors. However, companies, whether in Texas or elsewhere, will have to adapt in order to compete -- which is not necessarily easy.

One great example of a smaller company adapting in order to compete with a larger firm is Spotify versus Apple. Apple, of course, is a massive corporation with a well-known worldwide presence. This company offers a variety of devices and services. Spotify, a music streaming company, has grown significantly and offers a service that is used by customers throughout the world.

Protection from business litigation losses

While employers can do a lot of things to help avoid potential lawsuits, they still happen. The losses some may experience as a result can greatly impact their businesses. Business litigation, for whatever the reason, can be costly if appropriate protections are not put in place. It can be difficult for company owners, whether in Texas or elsewhere, to know exactly what is needed to ensure their companies are fully covered.

Some of the most common legal complaints company owners will face throughout the lives of their businesses are in regard to employment practices. Employees, both current and former, may file claims for discrimination, harassment, wage complaints and various other issues in an effort to seek compensation for any losses they believe they have incurred at the hands of their employers. In the past two years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received approximately 200,000 complaints by disgruntled employees and has achieved about $700 million in damages for those individuals.

The acquisitions of businesses in Texas

Business acquisitions can be brutal -- to say the least. As a buyer, obviously, the goal of taking over a company would be to do so in a way that improves one's bottom line. Negotiations can be difficult, though, as reaching terms that meet the needs of both sides sufficiently can take time. Before spending too much time, effort and money on the process of buying businesses in Texas, potential buyers can state their desired terms of purchase in an acquisition letter of intent.

While there are many important terms that can be included in a letter of intent, details about exclusivity may be at the top of a buyer's concerns. Gaining exclusive rights to negotiate with a business owner regarding an acquisition will give the buyer more time to research and discuss the terms of the purchase. Without this, a potential buyer will likely be one of many, and having such competition can make it difficult to secure a deal that is best for one's future goals.

Home-based businesses and avoiding insurance disputes

Those in Texas who run home-based businesses may not feel they need all the same insurance protections as other companies. This line of thinking, though, can cause problems and even lead to insurance disputes. Just because a business is run from someone's home does not mean that company-related items will be covered in the event of accidents, litigation, theft or disaster.

Numerous people across the state run businesses from their homes, which has various benefits. Some may feel, though, that their companies are too small to warrant the expense of business insurance. The truth is, many homeowner or rental insurance policies do not cover losses that are associated with home-based businesses.

Selling or gifting businesses, what's the best move?

There comes a time in every business owner's life in which he or she will have to decide what he or she will do with the company when it is time to retire. For some, this decision is coming up faster than they would like, while others may feel it is not anything they will have to think about for some time. When deciding what is best for their businesses, owners will have to look all possibilities and give careful consideration before making any rash decisions that may hurt their companies in the future.

One of the first things a company owner will have to decide is whether or not he or she will want to company to remain in the family. If the answer is yes, the next question is likely to be: How should I pass the business on to my loved ones? Many think that gifting the company is the way to go, but others might suggest selling the company instead.

Texas claims top spot in 2014 commercial real estate market

The year 2014 was big for the state of Texas in many ways, one of those being that the commercial real estate market was at a high point. In fact, the performance of commercial real estate was better than it had been in nearly a decade. This is great news not only from an economical standpoint, but also for those who deal directly with this rapidly growing market.

Commercial real estate is simply big business. A massive increase in growth is great for commercial investors, as potential profits can be significant. This is, of course, also a wonderful sign of a healing economy, which everyone would like to see continue.

Insurance company faces breach of contract lawsuit

When in business, a company cannot always please every customer. There will always be some type of disagreement or misunderstanding from time to time in Texas. The health insurance industry is no exception. One insurance company has recently found this out after being sued for breach of contract by one of its customers.

The plaintiff in the case had purchased health coverage from the defendant company United Healthcare Services. The complaint filed with the court in mid-May claims that the man had obtained coverage from the insurance provider beginning in 2008. The policy also covered the man's daughter, according to court documents.

Contractor sues sheriff's office for breach of contract

Owners of construction companies in Texas are likely aware that the list of business issues that could potentially lead to disputes is endless. Many can be resolved internally, but when large amounts of money are involved, legal assistance may be critical. A sheriff's office and two other entities in another state were recently sued by a contractor claiming non-payment of agreed-upon fees for labor. This breach of contract lawsuit involves over $700.000.

Court documents state that a joint venture of architects and a construction company entered into a contract with the plaintiff to perform labor as a subcontractor on the building of a processing center for new inmates at a jail. The original contract was for electrical work at an agreed amount of $12,063,000 and included the supply of labor, equipment and materials, along with insurance and taxes. The plaintiff was also contracted to supervise the electrical equipment installation, fire alarm, lightning protection and grounding systems, communication systems, and other associated systems.

Owning and operating businesses is not as easy as it sounds

Before opening a business, potential owners typically take a lot of time to plan and prepare for all the issues, both big and small, that may arise. Despite planning and making all appropriate preparations, owners of businesses might find, soon after their openings, that owning and operating their own companies may not be as easy as it once sounded. There are many issues that business owners in Texas and elsewhere may experience when first getting up and running. Here are just a few of them.

One of the biggest issues affecting start up companies is the inability to build a strong client base quickly. Customers are not always easy to come by, so a business owner will have a lot of work to do in order to get their company's name out there. Having a quality product that serves a valuable purpose is only part of building a business. The right kind of marketing is needed to gain clients, and excellent service is needed to keep them.