Articles Posted in Business Transactions

AdobeStock_516820932-300x200There are many risks involved with entering into any contract. Business litigation costs time and money that interferes with efficient business operations. The best way to mitigate the risk of a business contract is to hire an experienced Los Angeles business attorney to draft your contract with as much protection as possible. At Structure Law Group, our skilled Los Angeles business litigation lawyers know how to prevent disputes in the drafting phase, negotiate dispute resolution during the contract performance, and litigate disputes in court when necessary.

Financial Protections

Some contract provisions provide financial protection. Insurance requirements, for example, can provide financial security against the risk of loss. Los Angeles business owners can also create financial protection with a liquidated damages clause. This contract provision imposes a set monetary fee, that a breaching party is required to pay in the event that they breach the contract. It is not designed to be a penalty, so courts will usually not enforce liquidated damages provisions that are not closely tailored to the party’s actual financial losses. But setting the amount of these financial losses ahead of time provides one party with financial security in the event that the other party breaches the contract. It also sets a financial incentive to encourage both parties to comply with the contract.

AdobeStock_330254153-300x200Classifying workers as employees or independent contractors has many different legal implications. In recent years, massive litigation efforts from big companies like Uber have highlighted confusion in this area of the law. This confusion led to the passage of AB-5, which was signed into law in September 2019. The law creates a test for determining whether a worker should be properly classified as an employee or an independent contractor. Business owners should understand this law so they can apply it properly to all workers and thus avoid unnecessary liability.

How AB-5 Changed the Rules of Classification

The new test for classification is known as the “ABC Test”:

AdobeStock_183215665-300x158A corporation is a legal entity that grants its shareholders and directors certain legal protections. While these members are generally protected from the debts of a business, it is not always the case. A plaintiff can “pierce the corporate veil” in certain situations, meaning that the court will hold the shareholder or director personally liable for the debts of the business. It also means that your personal assets can be used to satisfy business debts. Learn more about “piercing the corporate veil” – and what a corporate lawyer can do to help minimize your risk of liability.

What Is “Piercing the Corporate Veil?”

In common law, corporations have provided legal protections for their shareholders and directors. Shareholders and directors are not generally held personally liable for the debts of their business. In some limited circumstances, however, it might be possible to “pierce the corporate veil” of legal protection and hold them personally liable for corporate debts. Doing so allows plaintiffs to access the personal assets of shareholders and directors to satisfy the debts of the business.

AdobeStock_185592300-300x200Business owners have been confronted with a host of costly legal issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For those with employees, the risk of COVID lawsuits has been a serious concern from the earliest days of the pandemic. Most employers assume that any COVID lawsuits will be covered by their liability insurance. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case.

Workers Comp Lawsuits V. Personal Injury Lawsuits

First, it is important for employers to understand the difference between workers’ compensation coverage and liability coverage. Workers’ compensation coverage pays for any injury that employees sustain in the scope and course of their employment. The employee does not have to prove negligence – so long as the injury occurred on the job, it will be covered. If an employee believes they can prove that the employer was negligent, they can file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. These lawsuits are not covered by workers’ compensation coverage. An employer must maintain a separate general liability policy to cover claims of this nature.

AdobeStock_101676859-300x200Corporations are subject to many fiduciary rules that govern their operations. Most business persons are familiar with the prohibition on interested transactions and placing one’s own financial interests ahead of the company’s. Yet the application of this rule varies widely from state to state. The Delaware Supreme Court has recently issued a ruling that will apply to the many businesses which fall under Delaware’s state laws of corporate governance. Learn more about the standard of review for interested transactions between a controlling shareholder and their subsidiary company:

In re MFW

The litigation started with a dispute between the shareholders of M&F Worldwide (MFW). A merger was proposed between the controlling stockholder and a subsidiary company. Minority shareholders objected to the merger and brought suit to stop it. Prior case law had subjected such transactions to the stringent standard of “entire fairness.” Yet, in this case, where there were two important procedural safeguards protecting the minority interest, the Court of Chancery held that the more lenient “business judgment” standard could be applied. The ruling was appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court. Because the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling, it has created a new legal standard under Delaware law.

AdobeStock_268338488-300x191California business owners know that social media marketing is the way to reach today’s consumers. Many businesses have sought to and built successful relationships with social media influencers for effective content creation. However, there are legal issues that can arise in such business relationships. The Los Angeles business lawyers at Structure Law Group can help you prevent problems in the following areas:

Written Contracts

Some influencers have pre-printed contracts that they use as a standard for all transactions while others expect the business owner to take the lead in drafting contract terms. In either event, it is imperative that business owners carefully consider all the legal implications of a commission/commissioned work or contractual relationship of this type. Many contractual relationship problems can be prevented with unambiguous terms written into an enforceable legal contract. Here is just a small list of the terms that should be considered when entering into this type of contractual relationship:

AdobeStock_476679934-300x200NFT’s are a popular new digital asset. Here in Silicon Valley, tech-savvy business owners want to be at the forefront of this cutting-edge technology. Like an asset, however, it is important to understand the product before investing in it or pouring resources into it for technical development of some new business venture. Poor investments can leave business owners to answer to disgruntled shareholders, investors, employees, customers, and even government regulators, including lawsuits, class action suits, and regulatory or administrative investigations and action. Learn more about NFT’S – and what your business needs to do to invest in them safely.

What Are NFT’s?

NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” An NFT is a unique piece of digital artwork that is sold online. As with cryptocurrency, NFT ownership is recorded in a digital ledger on the blockchain of some type. NFT’s can be resold. Because of this, an owner can capture appreciation by reselling the NFT’s. NFT’s can also be used for secondary transactions and capturing royalty related to a piece of art or subscription.

AdobeStock_183500602-300x200Business owners in Silicon Valley are well acquainted with all kinds of legal contracts. It is important to know your legal rights – as well as your obligations – under any contract. Many contractors try to bully others with threats of breach of contract and costly litigation. The experienced contract lawyers at Structure Law Group are here to help your business handle all types of breach of contract issues. Here are some of the most common disputes:

A Vendor’s Breach of Contract

Most businesses must enter into vendor contracts to get the goods and services necessary for their daily operations. If these vendors breach their contractual obligations, your business could be left unable to deliver on its own contractual duties to customers. A well-drafted vendor contract can help prevent confusion or ambiguity. Our contract attorneys can also help you determine the best course of action when a vendor breaches a contract. While litigation is sometimes necessary, it is not always worth the cost of a damaged business relationship with a trusted partner. An experienced contracts lawyer will be able to give you options for handling the problem.

AdobeStock_199400743-300x200Hearing the phrase, “a complaint filed against you is being investigated by the California Labor Commissioner” may sound intimidating – and for good reason. Any employer should take investigations conducted by the Labor Commissioner seriously.

If you are an employer who is being investigated by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), you need to understand your rights and obligations. If you received a notice of the ongoing investigation of a complaint filed by your employees, get in touch with a lawyer right away.

At Structure Law Group, our skilled employment lawyers have helped numerous employers across California deal with the California Labor Commissioner and ensure that employers’ rights are protected throughout the process.

AdobeStock_466265284-300x200As an employer, it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of employment laws. Specifically, we are talking about California’s laws regarding the classification of independent contractors. These laws have seen several changes over the past few years.

If you are an employer in California, you need to be aware of the current independent contractor laws in California to ensure that you classify your workers in compliance with state law and avoid harsh penalties for misclassification.

Employers can avoid problems with the misclassification of workers by working with an experienced employment lawyer. At Structure Law Group, our lawyers help understand employers their rights and obligations to ensure their compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.