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Orange County Business & Commercial Law Blog

Contract disputes can affect your construction company's success

It often seems as if everyone in the U.S. suffers from anxiety about unfair treatment when entering into an agreement or contract with another party. In particular, professionals in the construction industry often experience an unexpected threat of litigation over something that may not be their fault.

Many people automatically assume that construction contractors are only out to make money and are willing to lie or cheat to pad their wages. We know that this is not normal or even acceptable behavior on the part of contractors here in California. Most of you strive to operate your businesses honestly and fairly. With this in mind, it is safe to say that the last thing you expect is for your clients to initiate contract disputes in a legal setting.

Business plan templates can help California beginners

New businesses have been the heart of California since it was founded, although the needs of the citizens and the available resources have changed a bit in modern times. One thing has not changed, however, and that is the need to plan what a business needs and how its assets are deployed to build its future.

Sometimes, you have the start from the basics with a template business plan. These documents can be helpful when founders need to think about early priorities with a little bit of help. In some cases, initial business plans may be made entirely with resources like templates.

New law prevents forced arbitration in employment contracts

A contractor promised work and never came through. A supervisor keeps making inappropriate comments and no one will do anything about it. It feels like the only option is to sue the responsible parties in California civil court. But then you find your contract requires you to rely on arbitration.

Fortunately, that conclusion's days are numbered. The government in Sacramento recently passed Assembly Bill 51, so clauses like this in employment contracts will be illegal starting with the beginning of 2020. The clause added to the California Labor Code by the bill prevents employers from making forced arbitration a condition of employment.

California's contractor economy is changing

California's economy has always been a large and complex entity, and it supports millions of people in hundreds of industries. One level of the economy, often called the "gig economy," is a big part of how people get into and move up through the many jobs that are available.

But freelance and temporary employment are more than they once were. These arrangements used to cover work that would wrap up quickly or employees who needed help entering the job market, but state officials in Sacramento have become concerned employers were using gigs to keep employees from claiming benefits.

New law in Sacramento aims to preserve cheap housing units

Do you know what moves the Golden State forward? The economy has gone from producing gold to agriculture to almost everything. So, is there one factor that matters most? It appears that housing is not only the greatest promise in California's economy but also the greatest need.

"We have to address the issue of production in the state of California," the governor said, adding a colorful phrase for emphasis. "We need to build more damn housing."

New businesses in California take vital planning

Let's start a business! It's a vital part of the American dream to be your own boss and make your best ideas a reality. Maybe you won't get rich, but you may be happy and support your community and your industry with jobs and innovation. But if you want to get to success with an independent business, you have to put some preparation into it.

Market research is always a good start. Large corporations focus on market research when they are ready to develop or introduce new products. Understanding what to make and for whom will help generate an outline of the business. This includes what the business will do and what it will not, pointing the way to relationships with outside vendors and other third parties.

New California law affects labor contracts

California became the largest and most successful economy in the United States with the resources to make nearly anything and labor pools with the right abilities. Labor disputes have shaped how employers treat employees at several times over the years, but strikes are not the only way to change this sort of history.

A new law just created in Sacramento is the most recent change in the relationship between business owners and the people who do the work. Companies who are accustomed to engaging freelance and contract employees in the so-called "gig economy" will have to grant these workers protections closer to regular employees.

California construction litigation often involves the environment

Construction is a great business to be in. Land values and the social importance of new housing are near an all-time high in California. So, why aren't more firms getting into the industry? Because it's not easy creating the future real estate for homes and businesses in the Golden State.

Few builders are unfamiliar with litigation of some kind. Time in court may be required when creating or expanding a business, especially if expansion include purchasing other firms. Labor disputes and regulatory red tape can also bring contractors and specialists into legal proceedings, as well as increase the need for a lawyer on their side.

Restrictions on natural gas may make construction harder

Not in my backyard. Zero population growth. Fight climate change. California is aflutter with buzz words like these as politicians, citizens and builders work out the state's future while development continues at a breakneck pace. Decisions can bring new laws that construction companies and contracts must know, and disputes can land unprepared parties in court.

Many new laws regarding construction make a slow start in the Golden State, with one or two prominent municipalities setting the tone for the future with an innovative law. Other cities or towns may adopt similar regulations, with some statewide laws growing out of these developments.

Why does it matter how a business is legally organized?

When it comes to starting a construction business, Californians are going to have a lot on their minds. Where should the headquarters be? What is your operating capital? If a question about the form of the business is not one of your first few questions, however, it may be best to stay home.

  • Why does it matter what kind of company you form?

It may matter a lot immediately but it will almost certainly matter more in the future. Some of the first concerns are how a company is managed and who owns it. Later, people may want to transfer or sell their interests. If the company is named in a lawsuit, it will certainly matter who may hold financial liability and how it is structured.

  • How are companies formed to shield owners from liability?
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