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Orange County Business & Commercial Law Blog

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?

Labor contract ignites lawsuit in San Diego public works project

It's not easy to go to court over any issue. Contractors and other construction professionals often roll their eyes when injunctions and other legal instruments show up over a dispute because it means more time and money spent on something other than the project at hand.

Contractors often have to adhere to specific labor regulations within the state of California or one of its municipalities with its own laws. One example is San Diego's massive project to reclaim drinking water from recycled sewage, which included a requirement for builders to accept union-friendly contracts.

How do builders adjust to the new realities in California?

Builders know they may run into a variety of legal challenges, from zoning issues to breaches of contract with subcontractors. California communities have caused some recent trouble with new restrictions that aim to reduce the number of new stand-alone housing units and increase the stock near transportation hubs to reduce pressure on expanding towns and cities.

  • How can builders respond to legal issues?

Retaining legal counsel for businesses is often a good idea. Lawyers who are more familiar with specific business entities as well as the legal background of commerce may fare better defending their interests. Otherwise, legal advice is often helpful with specific types of construction litigation.

  • How can builders manage costs as profit margins shrink?

California adopts a strict definition of independent contractor

Construction is big business in California, and that leads to a lot of legal requirements for large companies to do business in development. Fortunately, that is nothing new, as California has been experiencing construction booms for more than a century. New conditions are always arising, however, like the push to build more multifamily units near transit hubs to reduce urban sprawl.

One factor that has always interested construction managers and their lawyers is who is a legal employee and who is not. This is important because firms hired to build large-scale projects or even individual homes often have contractors and subcontractors doing large parts of the work, like plumbing and electrical installations.

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.

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