Most business and real estate attorneys assume that the statute of limitations on an oral contract is two years, and on a written contract is 4 years. These are boilerplate assumptions that can trap a businessperson or a landlord; they do not always hold true once we delve into the specifics of a case. Continue reading
As we start work in 2019 in earnest, the commercial leasing market remains very active. We find ourselves representing a number of commercial landlords and tenants in connection with long-term commercial leases. One area in which we are adding great value is in the examination of “boilerplate language” within a proposed agreement that actually needs customization to protect our clients’ interests.
Great Commercial Lease Agreements Contain No Boilerplate
Most recently we represented a well-established auto body shop that sold its business to a national auto body and collision repair chain. As part of that transaction, the new owners leased the building that our client, the seller, owned to become the client’s tenant. Continue reading
We are often asked by credit managers in California if there are any additional credit approval criteria to consider when a proposed customer and credit applicant is an out-of-state (“foreign”) corporation. While each case is fact-specific, there are some general factors for credit managers to consider that uniquely apply to extending open account credit terms to foreign corporations doing business in California.
Working with Foreign Corporations in California
The method you choose for holding title on your real estate property in California can have unexpected legal and tax consequences, especially years from now when death or disagreement brings change to the relationship between the co-owners.
Given these distant, hard-to-imagine impacts, choosing how title is vested by the co-owners is often an afterthought (or even overlooked)! But the consequences of improper vesting can be devastating. Typically, problems do not arise until many years after the recording of the grant deed that includes the improper vesting. Then, the improper vesting suddenly becomes a problem upon the attempted sale or refinancing of the property, or upon the death or dissolution of marriage of one (or more) of the owners.
When you decide that you must pursue a divorce, the best first step is to hire an attorney to represent you. Selecting an attorney is harder than most people think, though, because you want to work with a lawyer that treats you and your case effectively and respectfully. There has to be a great deal of trust between you, and a comfort level in your day-to-day working relationship, as you will be working closely with your lawyer for many months and sharing very personal information.
This may be why women make up a higher percentage of attorneys in family law practices than in other areas of the law. Given that most divorces still involve a man and a woman, the desire for many women to work with a lawyer of the same gender creates a natural demand for women attorneys in this practice area. Continue reading
Co-ownership of properties is a very common financial arrangement in real estate. With two or more persons involved in a purchase, their combined buying power can expand the number of properties that they can pursue. One party involved may also provide a higher credit score or more substantial assets that could win better loan terms.
Co-ownership lowers the business risk for both partners because it becomes a shared risk, rather than one which must be borne by a single person. However, these are long-term business relationships (even those between family members), and time can change the motivations of the people involved. Indeed, one partner may decide they wish to exit, and has the legal right to do so (more on that below.) Much can go wrong in a co-ownership partnership, if the possibility of these future issues arising is not accounted for in the initial partnership agreement.
How co-ownership can become problematic Continue reading
One of the most frustrating areas of maintaining a successful business is collecting on receivables. It has been said that “a sale to a customer is no more than a gift, until the payment for it has been collected and gets deposited in the bank.” Many businesses learn this truth the hard way, generating great sales and revenue, but suffering from terrible cash flow because payments due are not forthcoming in a timely manner.
Improving Debt Collection
Many businesses rely on a credit application for the terms and conditions of its sales to its customers. Often the credit application is the only document that the customer actually signs. Relying on invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading, delivery tickets and the like that are not signed by the customer in the ordinary course of business will not support an award of attorneys fees in the event of a collection action and judgment. This is true even though these documents may contain a prevailing party attorneys fees clause. Because the credit application is usually signed by the customer, however, the creditor/seller often successfully relies on the prevailing party attorneys fees clause in the signed credit application for an award of attorneys fees in the event of collection litigation and judgment. Continue reading
It’s usually easier to buy an existing business than to start up your own. This is because everything is already in place, including a customer base. However, there are some things to look for when you buy a fully-operational business. Follow the tips listed below to give yourself a fair chance of success at converting someone else’s business into your own. Continue reading
Signing a commercial lease is a significant commitment for most businesses. Whether negotiating or renewing a commercial lease, it can be difficult to determine the best lease term for your business. Many companies settle for a “standard” 5-year term, which may be appropriate. But there are factors to consider that could make a shorter or longer term more advantageous for your particular business. The information in this discussion may be useful helping you arrive at an appropriate lease term. However, if you’re still not sure, the best approach might be to consult with commercial leasing attorneys to advise you. Continue reading