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Orange County Business & Commercial Law Blog

Partnerships can help businesses expand

Starting your own business is one of the best ways in California to declare your independence. It is one of the most American acts to take on all of your own potential while also taking on all of the risk in a business venture. Therefore, it's very important to plan a business' creation or expansion carefully to avoid failure.

Many industries offer more risk to entrepreneurs than others. Products and services with extra regulation are often the ones that may pose the greatest dangers to consumers if they are badly planned or misused by the people who buy them.

Contract disputes are getting harder and longer to solve

From marriages to car purchases, people are always looking for the security of legal contracts. When parties back out of arrangements that have not yet been made official, there is little recourse except to learn a lesson and move on. When it comes to massive projects like building a skyscraper, contracts are usually signed before the work is even planned, adding a layer of protection for builders.

Contract disputes are mostly settled out of court, with options for mediation with a conflict resolution professional or a settlement out of court before a jury would render a verdict. But a recent study shows that contract disputes in construction cases are getting longer and harder to solve.

Lawsuit stalls construction in historic California neighborhood

From plumbing to landscape architecture, few ventures bring together more disparate industries and professionals than construction. Contractors and management firms often have to put their money forward while getting projects off the ground, which can cause problems during sudden delays or cancellations.

Many types of construction are subject to delays that are not part of most long-term project planning. For example, a Santa Clara construction project is temporarily coming to a halt over its possible effect on a property with historic claims. A preservation society has filed a lawsuit against the city until it completes an environmental impact report on the project's plans.

Prospective law may change the face of California construction

California is on the rise. In fact, conditions for many people in the Golden State have been so good for so long that it seems its rise will never stop. But the growth of the economy is bringing its own problems, and construction may be the solution once the government in Sacramento makes changes.

A bill in the state Senate is designed to encourage home building by requiring cities to relax any zoning restrictions within a certain distance of mass transit stops and terminuses. Another provision would require wealthier communities to allow for more apartments regardless of proximity to mass transit.

How does the type of corporation affect taxes?

When someone is pursuing a dream, she or he is more likely to succeed if planning is involved. It is the same when someone is chasing a good business opportunity, and it is especially true when both are the case. Although it may seem insignificant for small businesses, the type chosen for a company or corporation can save vital assets and resources from taxes and liability.

How has 2018 affected the taxation of corporations?

Los Angeles is the site for a new construction fight

Los Angeles is undergoing a critical moment with its housing development. While cities in southern California and the Bay Area are seeking to solve housing shortages with innovative developments, some lawmakers in the City of Angels is trying to keep the character of its outlying neighborhoods.

The government in Sacramento has passed several statewide laws, such as Senate Bill 50, easing some municipalities' path to compact and affordable housing near transit hubs. This approach has been lauded as the most efficient and sustainable way to keep California's growth on track without contributing to overcrowding and longer commutes. But at least one city council member in Los Angeles opposes these laws.

Mediation helps with California business and labor disputes

Contracts keep trade open and employment free by reducing the risks of doing business with or working for another person or company. All honest businesspeople enjoy the security of contracts and the ability to pursue justice if one is breached.

There are many ways to work out a contract, and there are many ways to resolves disputes within one. A lawsuit for breach of contract is one definitive way to challenge someone's conduct or failure to meet an obligation. A simple lawsuit, however, is increasingly becoming a last resort after other steps, including mediation.

New law may help California developers with key projects

Transit by road or rail was California's big issue during the end of the 20th century, but now the big challenge is creating enough housing for a growing number of residents and workers. The governor in Sacramento has set the goal of having 3.5 million new housing units in the Golden State in the next six years.

One of the main drivers of new residential construction in California has been the belief that dense housing near transit centers is the best solution. However, a recent study claims that the price of units in these key areas has increased while the number of available units has not.

Bankruptcy filing puts business formation under public scrutiny

The legal form a business should take is often not the most attractive thought for an entrepreneur in California, but the right plan for a commercial entity is one of the earliest and most important decisions to make. The legal form of a business dictates how it is run, who can manage it and how its proceeds are taxed.

The recent bankruptcy filing by a California utility giant has brought the form and responsibilities of business entities back into more public attention. Large companies with substantial public responsibilities are often different from other business enterprises because there are some implicit duties beyond those to a shareholder or a company's employees.

Contract voided by California appeals court ruling

Employees of all sorts of enterprises in California find themselves agreeing to wide-ranging employment agreements, from injury waivers to nondisclosure orders. Most of these documents are designed to give employers the upper hand in the case of a claim, but many rights cannot be legally signed away even if that's what an employee wants.

A court of appeal in California's Third Appellate District recently denied an attempt to force an employee into arbitration over a workplace dispute. Many employers try to maintain control of dispute resolution methods by requiring complaints to be arbitrated under their own terms and occasionally by their own personnel. But the construction of the agreement made it unenforceable under California law, leading the judge to render the entire agreement moot.

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