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San Jose breach of contract attorneyMost contracts that your business signs will be fulfilled without issue. The weekly cleaning service keeps your office spotless, and you pay them on schedule. You provide technology services to your customers that meet or exceed the specifications defined in your contract, and your customers give you plenty of lead time to implement changes and are never late with a payment.

But what happens when one party fails to meet their contractual obligations?

Defining Breach of Contract: Material Versus Non-Material

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San Jose business debt collection lawyerIf your body’s blood flow is obstructed, you can die. Likewise, without good cash flow, your business can die. This is no exaggeration, particularly for tech start-ups and other young businesses. No matter how hard your sales team and operations staff work, if your customers are not paying you in a timely manner, you will soon have a deadly serious cash flow problem.

If you are lucky, most of your customers are good payers, and friendly reminders are all that is needed to collect on debts owed to your business. But what if you have a debtor who becomes deliberately evasive over a lengthy period of time? Or what if a customer withholds payment due to a contract dispute, or someone you have sued has fraudulently transferred assets in order to become judgment-proof? In such difficult situations, there are a variety of ways in which an experienced commercial debt collections attorney can help.

Proactively Avoid Commercial Collections Problems

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Silicon Valley breach of contract attorneyLegally binding contracts are a vital element of doing business, regardless of the industry in which one operates. Agreeing to and formalizing the criteria under which a business relationship will proceed provides a measure of protection for everyone involved. However, when one party fails to abide by a signed contract, it is important to understand the steps one might take to restore order.

Types of Contract Breaches

Business contracts are put in place for a variety of valid reasons. Companies place employees, contractors, suppliers, distributors, researchers, and other contributing parties under contract in an effort to build, maintain, and protect a competitive edge in the marketplace. When a contract is broken, it usually falls into one of the following categories:

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Silicon Valley employment discrimination claim defense lawyersPerhaps the best way to avoid lawsuits and civil litigation related to claims of employment discrimination from former, disgruntled employees is to create, promote, and nurture a workplace that encourages diversity and acceptance. However, try as you might, it is always possible that a single incident may evolve into a costly and frustrating experience.

Employment Discrimination Suits On The Rise

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently revealed statistics indicating that the number of employment discrimination suits being filed against employers is increasing. During Fiscal Year 2010, for example, that number reached an all-time high. Information about this trend from the EEOC indicates that:

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Posted on in Employment Law

Silicon Valley wrongful termination lawyerFrom the moment a company hires its first employee, it must be prepared to face a claim of wrongful termination. Small businesses can be impacted more severely in these cases, as their resources to fight such claims may not be as deep as their larger counterparts. Having a strategy and working with experienced legal professionals is a step in the right direction.

Set Your Business Up for a Successful Defense

In most states, California among them, there are usually clearly defined criteria for terminating a worker’s employment status. It is important for managers and human resources professionals to be aware of the laws and implement proper procedures when initiating the employment termination process. Taking the following measures can help support your business’ case in the event a wrongful termination claim is filed against it: 

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Posted on in Business law

San Jose mergers and acquisitions lawyersRecently, we used this space to present a few ideas on how to avoid the pitfalls that could stall, slow, or even destroy merger activities. As a follow up to that discussion, we are presenting a few ideas you might find helpful in maintaining a smooth transition and integration following a successful merger.

Moving Forward After the Merger Requires a Plan

Once the contracts are all signed, the handshakes take place, and the deal gets done, it may appear that the merger process has come to a successful completion. Some might say, however, that the hard work is just getting started. Managing the marriage of two companies and their individual operations, even if they do business in the same or similar industries, will require a great deal of thought, competency, and attention. Here are a few things to keep in mind that may help smooth the transition process:

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Posted on in Employment Law

Silicon Valley employment law attorney performance reviewIt is not uncommon for any business, in any industry, to experience conflict with one or more of their employees. Whether their actions are disruptive in the workplace, disrespectful to co-workers, or damaging to the business’s reputation, it is critical to respond to and quickly resolve matters through sound employment counseling practices.

Establish Expectations

Working proactively to correct the attitudes and behaviors of a difficult employee is a better strategy than waiting and reacting to a situation that has become untenable. Allowing even a single difficult employee to disrupt the workplace can have a negative impact on morale, productivity, and even profitability. Consider implementing some of the following employee performance review tips to help set clear standards and expectations for your employees:

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Posted on in Business law

San Jose business mergers lawyerWhether to increase geographic expansion, take advantage of economies of scale, or for any number of other reasons, a business merger can be an important strategy in the growth and success of your company. Taking on such an endeavor includes a number of important legal, financial, personnel, and ethical matters that must be addressed before, during, and after the completion of the merger process.

Merger Mistakes To Avoid

As a way of providing some guidance regarding the merger process, here is a summary of some of the mistakes a company’s merger team must avoid to ensure the successful transition of multiple entities into a single, cohesive, and profitable unit:

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San Jose debt collection attorneyBusinesses rely on revenue from a variety of sources to ensure ongoing success, and as a means to pursue growth. However, when that revenue is slow to arrive due to non-payment for goods or services received, or other reasons, it is important to implement sound debt collection protocols and prevent your operations from suffering due to outstanding debt.

Take Steps to Collect Debts

Once an amount owed becomes overdue, it is important that a business implement a strategy to initiate collection of that debt or hire a knowledgeable professional or team that can create and implement an effective plan on its behalf. It might surprise some that there are companies that go out of business because they simply do not know how to pursue the money they are owed. Here are some basic steps to take when collecting debt:

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Posted on in Business law

San Francisco Bay Area business partnership dispute attorneyEven some of the biggest and most successful companies have faced their share of internal struggles and disputes among those who were there from the beginning. Some are able to overcome their disputes after a period of disagreement, while other partnerships dissolve under the pressure of internal conflict. However, with good planning, businesses can put a system in place to manage partnership disputes before they become an issue. 

Steps For Avoiding or Resolving Partnership Disputes

Even businesses that operate smoothly for years can suddenly face turmoil when issues of disagreement among the principals threaten to tear down everything they have worked so hard to create. Here are a few ideas to consider when starting a business that may help you avoid or overcome times of disruption:

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how to close a business the right wayClosing a business requires more than just hanging an “out of business” sign in the window and locking the doors. Depending on the circumstances, the closing of your business can cause high levels of stress and anxiety, especially for those unfamiliar with the proper steps to take and the correct forms to file. While both the state of California and the federal government offers resources to assist, the help of an experienced business law attorney could make all the difference. 

When closing a business in California, the owners must:

  1. File final year current tax returns
  2. File proper dissolution, surrender and cancellation forms with the California Secretary of State’s office within 12 months of filing the final tax forms
  3. Refrain from conducting business in the state after the final taxable year

This three-step outline, in a very general sense, is the procedure one must undertake for closing a business. The reality of the situation involves the filing of a number of forms with both state and federal authorities, and failing to follow proper procedure could result in unnecessary stress and even litigation. It is important to remember that all tax forms remain open to audit until the expiration of the statute of limitations. In addition to filing final state and federal tax returns, it is important to:

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