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Can a Text Message Create a Legally Binding Contract

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With the prevalence of cell phones, work is increasingly being conducted by and through text messages; for many people, this may even be their preferred form of communication! Texts can be used when setting up coffee or lunch meetings, hashing out details of a plan, checking in with your independent contractors to see if they’re available to help with a project quickly, arranging for a digital influencer on social media to promote your business and products, and to confirm the details of a potential sale! This all begs the question of whether a text message can create a legally binding... READ MORE

Complying with California’s Rest and Lunch Break Laws

A common pitfall for employers in California is not adhering to the state’s strict requirements to provide employees with appropriate meal and rest breaks. Non-exempt workers (as a general rule, this is anyone who would be entitled to overtime pay) are entitled to a 30-minute meal break on workdays that are longer than five hours and an additional 10-minute break for every (approximately) four hours worked. In other words, in a “standard” eight-hour day, employers should be providing their non-exempt workforce with at least two 10-minute paid rest breaks and one 30-minute unpaid meal break. Rest Breaks Though “one rest... READ MORE

How to Avoid Common Hiring Pitfalls

As your business grows, you’ll bring in team members to help you manage everything from driving sales to keeping the books straight. Eventually, you’ll hire a human resources expert to help you manage your employees, but even before you grow to that point, you can still take steps to avoid stumbling into any common legal pitfalls in the hiring process. Application When searching for a new team member, you should start by creating a job description that makes it clear what you’re looking for and what it will take to be successful in the role. This is the time to... READ MORE

Oral vs. Written Contracts


By DeAnn Flores Chase October 19, 2018    Category: Business Law

Oral vs. Written Contracts

Contracts form the foundation of all business. A business uses contracts to form a relationship with its suppliers, contractors, customers, and employees, which act as an assurance that what it has asked for will be completed and that products purchased will arrive in time and perform as advertised. A contract is fundamentally an agreement between two or more parties that’s legally enforceable. However, a contract does not have to be written in order for it to be enforceable by law. Contract Basics In order to create a valid and enforceable contract, there must first be a mutually recognized offer, clear... READ MORE

How to Negotiate Contracts


By DeAnn Flores Chase October 12, 2018    Category: Business Law

How to Negotiate Contracts

As a small business owner, you’re probably going to see a lot of contracts. Contracts are vital to any business, since they’re used to buy and sell goods and services, hire people, protect secrets, establish partnerships, and much more. These contracts can protect you, protect your business, set your salary, and guide business relationships in a positive direction. Because a well-drafted contract can be so central to business success, before entering into an agreement, you should be sure to take the time to properly review and negotiate the details. Read the Contract: Before signing anything, take the time to actually... READ MORE

Selling a Franchise Location


By DeAnn Flores Chase October 05, 2018    Category: Business Law

Selling a Franchise Location

As your business grows and changes, you may reach a point where you want to sell all or part of your franchise locations. This could be due to retirement, health, family changes, or simply because you want to do something different. That’s when you’ll find that selling a business requires just as much planning and strategy as growing one, at least if you want to maximize the value. Buyers often make a purchasing decision based on how quickly a business will provide a return on investment, so it’s important to take the time to set your business up in a... READ MORE

Hiring a Consultant for Your Business

If you’re growing a successful business, you’ve probably learned along the way that you can’t do everything. To help you grow your business, you may decide to bring in a consultant to help you tackle a certain challenge or to help you set up a new aspect of your business. Consultants are a great resource for any business, whether you’re looking for management advice or marketing assistance. They’re great at providing highly skilled help, but they are also a source of liability, and there’s a few things you will want to keep in mind before you retain a consultant for... READ MORE

Licensing Intellectual Property


By DeAnn Flores Chase September 28, 2018    Category: Business Law

Licensing Intellectual Property

Licensing intellectual property allows businesses to capitalize on the name of other brands in exchange for royalty payments. The owner of the intellectual property is known as the licensor and the business or individual gaining a right to use the intellectual property is known as the licensee. There are many well-known brands and products that utilize licensing as part of their business strategy. For example, t-shirts, shoes, hats, etc. bearing the name of a sports team requires a licensing agreement that explicitly permits the manufacturer to produce these goods with the sports team’s intellectual property emblazoned upon it. Generally, the... READ MORE

How to Terminate an Employee


By DeAnn Flores Chase September 21, 2018    Category: Employment

How to Terminate an Employee

In an at-will employment state like California, you can, in theory, fire anyone at any time. However, state and federal legislation have particular exceptions to prohibit employers from firing someone for any reason. For instance, you cannot fire someone for refusing to do something illegal, or for a discriminatory reason (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and more). If you fire someone for the wrong reason, you can face a wrongful termination lawsuit. Setting Clear Policies on Termination  Your employee handbook is a great place to identify your company policies on discipline and termination. Outline these policies in your handbook,... READ MORE

Setting Up Workplace Policies To Tackle Harassment

Workplace harassment is a troubling and difficult subject that’s been increasingly prevalent in the news as more people come forward to discuss their experiences. As a result, businesses that may have previously considered themselves well equipped with policies to prevent and confront harassment are now reevaluating these policies and updating the types of training they provide to supervisors and employees. As a business owner, it’s important to have clear policies in place to reduce the potential for harassment. These policies help ensure your employees work in an environment that is professional and respectful so they can focus on doing their... READ MORE