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March 2016 Archives

Damages for breach of contract in California

Most California businessmen understand that a breach of contract may entitle them to recover damages or may expose them to a lawsuit aimed at recovering damages caused by the breach. However, very few business owners understand how much or how little money may actually be recovered if a contract dispute results in a lawsuit.

Protecting proprietary information in California

Almost every California business possesses information that it deems vital to its success. Customer lists and financial information are common examples. Some companies employ manufacturing methods or chemical formulae that are not commonly known but which cannot be protected by a patent. A common issue for all such businesses is protection of this information, i.e., keeping the information out of the hands of competitors or potential start-up companies. California law provides two basic methods of protecting proprietary information: the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and confidentiality agreements. Whether either method should be used should be decided during the original business planning process.

Why small businesses need a shareholders' agreement

Most Californians who are contemplating starting a business are aware that state law requires the filing of articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State and the adoption of written by-laws by the board of directors. These two actions are the minimum requirements to start a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), but they are not the only documents concerning business formation that owners should consider.

Obtaining a contractor's license

Construction work can be both satisfying and profitable, and it draws many persons who see themselves as successful builders and entrepreneurs. Entering the construction business seems simple: buy tools and a truck, identify materials suppliers, buy business cards and post some ads on the internet and you're off. But not so fast. California requires all persons and entities that wish to do business as a contractor to obtain a contractor's license, post a bond and satisfy the state's working capital requirements.

Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to affordable housing law

Many cities in California are having difficulty providing a sufficient quantity of low income housing. To solve the problem, San Jose and many other cities in the state passed ordinances that require housing developers to include a minimum number of below-market units in new projects within the city limits. In a ruling that may have implications for construction law across the entire state, including Orange County, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a decision of the state supreme court that upheld the constitutional validity of the San Jose ordinance.

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