Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Who Owns a Patients’ Medical Records When a Physician Leaves a Practice?

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Physicians have an ethical and professional duty to manage medical records properly. To start, the HIPAA Privacy Rule requires doctors, health care providers, and other parties to protect the confidentiality of sensitive patient medical records. When a doctor moves on from a practice group, it is crucial that all patient medical records are handled in an appropriate manner.

This raises an important question: How should patient medical records be handled when a physician leaves a group medical practice?  The Medical Board of California and the American Medical Association (AMA) provide some important guidance. In this article, our Fremont business lawyer explains the key things to know about who owns a patient’s medical records in California.

Background Ownership of Medical Records in California

Medical record ownership varies by state. In California, medical records belong to a hospital or a doctor. With this ownership comes certain ethical and professional obligations to patients. Patients have the right to access their medical records in certain circumstances. Under California Health & Safety Code 123100, patients have a general right to access their medical records and/or summaries. Further, the AMA Code of Ethics 1.1.3(f) states that patients should have the right “to obtain copies or summaries of their medical records.” To comply with statutory and regulatory obligations, group practices must handle medical records properly.

A Note on Professional Courtesy: California law does not require group practice to transfer records between providers. However, the Medical Board of California considers this a “professional courtesy.” The possible cost of copy and/or clerical fees depend on the specific situation.

Medical Board of California: Patient Records When a Doctor Leaves a Practice

The California Medical Board advises practitioners that patients should be notified regarding certain fundamental changes to the structure of a group medical practice. When a doctor leaves a medical practice in California, their patients should be notified and given a chance to make provisions for their medical records.

The AMA has also issued ethical guidance on this matter. Under AMA Code of Ethics Opinion 7.03, patients should be notified when their doctor is leaving a practice group. Further, they should be given the chance to have their medical records retained or forwarded to the doctor’s new practice group based on their preferences.

Medical Practice Agreements Should Address Patient Medical Records

Medical records should be addressed in agreements between doctors. You are always better off discussing and handling this matter at the beginning of a commercial relationship rather than the end of a commercial relationship. Any contracts that your medical practice relies on should have provisions for who owns patient medical records when a doctor leaves the practice. Agreements should include clear instructions for patient notification, including who is responsible for:

  • Sending out notices to patients
  • Bearing the cost of sending out notices to patients

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a California Business Lawyer

Lynnette Ariathurai is a business lawyer with extensive experience working with doctors and other medical professionals. Contact us today to set up a confidential initial consultation. From our Fremont law office, we work with medical practices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

The Importance of Having an Attorney Draft a Contract (IT Industry)

Professionally Drafted IT Contracts

Information technology (IT) remains one of the fastest-growing large industries. According to data from Statista, the total value of global IT companies now exceeds $5.2 trillion. Similar to other industries, contracts are at the basis of most commercial relationships in information technology. It is crucial that all businesses operating within the space have well-drafted contracts. Here, our Fremont business contract attorney explains why it is so important to have your contract drafted by a lawyer—especially if you are in the IT space.

Many Companies Need Professionally Drafted IT Contracts

Information technology is an incredibly complex field. Not only regarding the work that is being done, but also in terms of the structure and layering of the business. Along with other types of California companies, your business needs well-drafted IT contracts if:

  • You are an employer who provides on-site IT services for end-user companies
  • You are an employer that provides remote IT services for end-user companies
  • You operate a company that locates and recruits qualified IT professionals

It is especially important to have well-crafted contracts in place if you own and operate a recruiting company that finds IT professionals for end-users for a fee. Likewise, end-user companies that work with IT recruiting firms must ensure that their best interests are properly protected by the terms of the contract.

Companies that provide direct IT services to end-users can benefit from customized contracts. These IT firms may be located within the United States, outside of the United States, or a combination of both. There may be situations in which one company has access to the job opening and another company has access to the IT talent. Contracts govern these commercial relationships.

When Disputes Arise, the Terms of the Contract Matter

There are several reasons why well-drafted contracts are especially important for IT industry companies. When a contract dispute arises, the specific terms of the contract will, in large part, determine your company’s liability risk. A poorly drafted contract could dramatically increase your company’s liability in a dispute. Among other things, IT-related disputes arise over:

  • Serious professional errors by IT professionals
  • Alleged non-payment of fees to one or more companies involved in the chain of workflow
  • Employee is hired directly by the end user or one of the other companies in the many layers

One of the challenges faced by IT industry employers—whether contracting with an end-user for on-site or remote services—is that it can be difficult to stay on the same page. For example, problems could arise if an IT employee puts in overtime hours without the proper authorization. Also, if the employee is hired by the end user or another company to provide services to the end user, you are essentially cut out of the deal. Without a well-drafted contract, an IT employer could end up on the hook for additional costs or loss of income.

IT Companies Without Strong Contracts Risk Higher Costs, Decreased Revenue

Ultimately, it is the contract that will, in large part, determine each company’s liability risk. Imagine that an IT employer is not promptly advised of changes regarding a particular employee’s schedule. Payment for their services could prove to be complicated. The ability to invoice another company for work provided depends on the terms and conditions of the contract.

Another similar situation could arise when an end-user believes that an IT professional was working on the wrong tasks and/or the end-user is dissatisfied with an IT professional’s skills. Each party’s financial responsibility for any work performed will depend on the contract. The right contract puts your company in the best position to get paid (or avoid paying) for certain work.

Disputes over total payment for work provided is one risk that employer companies face in the IT industry. An even greater risk is if another company or the end user steals your employee. It is expensive and time-consuming to locate and retain skilled IT professionals. Employer companies could be stuck with major losses of revenue if they do not have well-drafted contracts in place. 

A Contract Should Be Structured to Meet Your IT Company’s Unique Needs

When a business law attorney drafts a contract, they do so with the rights and interests of their client in mind. As every situation is different, it is crucial that IT companies retain a lawyer who can draft a contract that is well-tailored for their specific circumstances. Information technology companies that don’t understand the importance of having an attorney draft a contract sometimes use formulaic contracts from the internet, taking on significant risk. They may be unknowingly shifting a large amount of liability risk back to their firm or not protecting themselves from other losses. An experienced California business attorney can draft a contract that effectively minimizes liability risks and ensures that your IT business is in the best possible position.

Contact Our Fremont, CA Business Contract Attorney for Help

Lynnette Ariathurai is a business law attorney with extensive experience drafting, negotiating, and reviewing contracts. Call us now or send us a message for a confidential consultation. From our Fremont law office, we help clients with business contracts throughout the Bay Area.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

LLPs vs Professional Corporations

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All businesses need the proper legal structure to thrive. For certain professionals that operate a business with more than one owner—attorneys, accountants, and architects—there are two options available: A limited liability partnership (LLP) or a professional corporation (PC). There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these entities. In this article, our Fremont business formation lawyer explains the key things to know about LLPs and PCs in California. 

An Overview of LLPs and Professional Corporations

As a starting point, it is useful to have a basic understanding of the two types of professional business structures. Here is a brief overview of these business entities:

  • Professional corporation (PC): Governed by California’s Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act, a PC is a specialized type of business entity that is registered for certain businesses that offer professional services.
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP): As explained by the California Franchise Tax Board, an LLP is a type of partnership business that allows certain eligible professionals to access many of the benefits—liability protection, pass through taxation, etc.—offered by an LLC. 

A Limited Number of Professionals Can Choose Between the Two Options

Not all licensed professionals in California have the option to choose between an LLP and a PC. In fact, you are only allowed to set up your business as an LLP if you are one of the following professions:

  • Licensed attorneys
  • Accountants
  • Architects

California law holds that other professionals are not eligible to operate their business as an LLP. In other words, medical doctors, physicians’ assistants, chiropractors, clinical social workers, dentists, nurses, optometrists, veterinarians, physical therapists, pharmacists, marriage, family and child counselors, and court reporters must operate as a PC.

LLPs Offer Additional Flexibility in Certain Circumstances

As LLPs share many common characteristics with LLCs, they offer several potential benefits to eligible professionals. Most notably, they offer business owners additional flexibility to customize their operations. As a partner in an LLP, you have access to enhanced protection from liability for professional malpractice claims filed against one of your partners, but the license holder for the LLP remains personally liable for all malpractice of the business. This differs from a general partnership where all partners are liable for the malpractice of one partner. Therefore, adequate malpractice insurance coverage is still recommended, as is errors and omissions insurance.

Setting up a well-structured LLP is complex. It is crucial that you have a properly crafted partnership agreement that clearly lays out ownership/operational rights and responsibilities. If you are a lawyer, accountant, or architect preparing to form an LLP in the Bay Area, an experienced California partnership agreement attorney can help. 

Know the Tax Differences: LLP vs. PC

In California, a PC is generally taxed as a C-corporation unless an S-corporation election has been made. LLPs in California are usually taxed as pass-through entities. A 2021 reform passed by state lawmakers (California Assembly Bill 150) created a new pass-through entity elective tax option. If you have any questions about what type of entity offers a more advantageous tax structure for your business, it is best to consult with a licensed certified public accountant (CPA).

Get Help from a Business Formation Attorney in the Bay Area

Lynnette Ariathurai is a California attorney with experience helping entrepreneurs start business. If you have any questions about LLPs vs professional corporations, we can help. Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation. With an office in Fremont, we serve communities throughout the Bay Area.

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Are LLCs the Right Entity for You?

The current economic environment is highly competitive. It is more important than ever that businesses have the right legal structure in place. An LLC might be the right entity for your California business. Indeed, there are many reasons to select an LLC as a business entity. However, an LLC is not the right business entity for every situation. In California, certain types of businesses cannot lawfully operate as an LLC. Here, our Fremont business formation lawyer highlights the key things to know if you are trying to determine if an LLC is the right entity for your company.

Know the Benefits of Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

As explained by the California Franchise Tax Board, a limited liability company is a type of business entity that “blends partnership and corporate structures.” There are a number of different potential advantages to operating as an LLC, including:

  • Ease of set up: It is relatively easy and cost-effective to set up an LLC in California. You will have to select a name for your LLC, complete form LLC-1 and submit it to the Secretary of State and pay California’s annual LLC tax. There are minimal other requirements, including annual compliance costs.
  • Liability protection: Perhaps the primary benefit of an LLC is that it offers strong liability protection. As a member of an LLC in California, your personal assets can be protected from the debts and liabilities of the business. There are limited exceptions, similar to a corporation.
  • Flexibility: A California LLC is a fundamentally flexible business structure. You can effectively structure your company in the way you feel works best—profits, financial obligations, and voting rights can be split however you and the other members desire. 

It is highly recommended that you have a professionally drafted operating agreement for your LLC. A well-crafted agreement will ensure that your rights and interests are properly protected.

California Law: Not All Businesses Can Operate as LLCs

It is important to emphasize that not every type of business can operate as an LLC in California. In fact, most licensed-businesses cannot be structured as an LLC. While there are limited exceptions, you should always consult with an experienced Bay Area business lawyer before moving forward. California law is evolving and certain CSLB, service businesses and home health care businesses can now be structured as LLCs.

For certain types of licensed professionals (lawyers, accountants, architects, etc.), an alternative type of business entity called a limited liability partnership (LLP) is an option. If you have any questions about forming an LLP, our Fremont, CA business formation lawyer can help.

LLCs are Not the Right Entity for Every Business

Even if your specific type of company can operate an LLC in California, it may still not be the best option for your needs. While LLCs offer some strong advantages—low administrative costs, liability protection, flexibility, etc.—there are also some downsides.

Most notably, an LLC operates as a pass-through entity for tax purposes. There will be a self-employment tax for LLC members. For this and other reasons, LLCs are generally not the best option for companies holding significant inventory, leasing expensive commercial space, or that have high overhead costs.

Consult With a Business Lawyer in the Bay Area

Lynnette Ariathurai is an experienced, solutions-driven business formation lawyer. If you have any questions about whether an LLC is the right entity for your business, please contact us today. We serve communities throughout the area, including Fremont, Newark, Union City, East Bay, Milpitas, San Leandro, Santa Clara, Hayward, and San Jose. 

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

How to Buy or Sell a Medical Practice

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Buying or selling a medical practice is complicated. Beyond the complexities that come with any major commercial transaction, there are also specialized legal considerations for the owners and operators of medical practices in California. In this article, our Fremont business law attorney discusses some of the most important things to know about buying or selling a medical practice in Northern California. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to call our law office.

Due Diligence: Make Sure Your Counterparties are Reliable

You should never buy or sell any business without conducting thorough due diligence. Broadly defined, due diligence is an investigation, inquiry, and general exercise of care that a person should take before entering into an agreement.

Due diligence is essential when buying a medical practice. You must have a full understanding of the financial position of the business, including its assets and potential liabilities. Due diligence is no less important when selling a practice. Make sure your counterparties are reliable.

The Structure and Components of the Deal

The structure and components of a purchase agreement matter. Of course, this starts with determining the appropriate purchase or sale price for the medical practice. Parties should also pay very close attention to the structure of the transaction. You may be best off with a stock sale, whereby the entire medical practice is purchased. Alternatively, the parties may prefer an asset sale in which the buyer purchases specific assets held by the practice. It is always the best practice to have a medical practice purchase agreement reviewed by an experienced business lawyer.

Unique Concerns for Buying or Selling Medical Practices

Doctors and other medical professionals who are buying or selling a practice in California should be aware of some of the unique federal and state regulations that will impact their rights and responsibilities. Among other things, these include:

  • Restrictions on ownership: Any transfer of ownership of a medical practice in California must conform to the requirements of the state’s Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act. Medical practices are generally structured as PCs (professional corporations) — there are restrictions on who can own these business entities.
  • Patient notice: The Medical Board of California has regulations in place regarding patient notice when a practice is sold to another party or intends to close. Make sure that patients are notified of the transaction as soon as possible.
  • Medical records: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires medical professionals (and medical practices) to protect sensitive medical records. HIPAA’s privacy requirements must be followed through all aspects of the sale.
  • Controlled substances: If the medical practice has access to any controlled substances, it is imperative that these highly-regulated drugs are handled properly in accordance with the applicable federal and state laws.

Finalizing the Sale of a Medical Practice 

Before the medical practice sale can be finalized, there are several issues that need to be addressed. Once the final structure of the business purchase agreement is in place, be sure to attend to future-focused issues, such as tail insurance and whether there will be a non-compete agreement in place. An experienced California business lawyer can help you secure, organize, and complete all the legal and commercial documents that you need to finalize the transaction.

Consult With Our Bay Area Business Law Attorney Today

Lynnette Ariathurai is a top business lawyer with the skills and experience to represent medical practitioners with buying or selling a medical practice. Contact us today for your fully confidential initial consultation. We serve communities throughout the Bay Area, including Fremont, Newark, East Bay, Union City, Hayward, Santa Clara, Milpitas, San Jose, San Leandro, and Gilroy.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Restructuring a Business When Adding a Partner

Restructuring a Business When Adding a Partner

Restructuring a Business When Adding a Partner

Successful businesses are not static. With market conditions constantly in flux, it is not uncommon for companies to restructure. You may need to restructure your business if you are bringing a new partner into the mix. In this article, our Fremont, CA business law attorney highlights some of the key ways in which you may need to restructure your business when adding a new partner. 

Four Ways You May Need to Restructure Your Company When Adding a New Partner

  1. Modifying Ownership Interests

A new business partner is likely to have some sort of ownership interest in the company. By definition, this means that the ownership stake held by you—and the other current business partners—will be diminished. Whether another current business partner is leaving the company or you are simply adding a new person into the business, you need to determine exactly how ownership interests will be modified. An experienced Fremont, CA business law attorney can help to ensure that this process is handled properly. 

  1. Changing the Legal Entity of the Business 

A new partner may mean that you need to adjust the underlying structure of your business. A change to a new legal entity may be advisable or even required. Such as when you want to minimize your liability when adding a new partner.  You may want to change from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or limited liability company.  Changing the structure of your business will involve drafting and filing appropriate documents.  It is imperative that you and your business partners carefully comply with all applicable rules and regulations. 

There may also be tax considerations. For example, the State of California Franchise Tax Board notes that general partnerships (GPs) are not subject to an annual tax, but all limited partnerships (LPs) must pay an $800 annual fee to the state. Yet, this annual tax is often a small price to pay for the liability protection afforded by a limited partnership. 

  1. Drafting (or Renegotiating) Contracts  

Contracts are at the foundation of many businesses, especially partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and S corporations. If you are adding a new partner to your California business, it is essential that you have comprehensive, well-drafted agreements in place. In some cases, you may need to renegotiate some of your company’s existing contracts in order to make space for the new business partner. 

  1. Selling or Purchasing Assets 

Finally, it may be advisable to sell or to purchase assets when adding a new partner to the company. The addition of a new business partner is often a good time to reorganize the company so that it is in the strongest possible position to take advantage of all available opportunities. Your business may be better off without certain underperforming assets on the financial books or may want to expand into new areas. As asset purchases or sales can be complex transactions, business partners should be prepared to consult with a lawyer. 

Get Help from Our Fremont, CA Business Law Attorney Today

Attorney Lynette Ariathurai is an experienced partnership law attorney. For help restructuring your business when adding a new partner, please contact our firm today. With an office in Fremont, we are near Newark, Hayward, East Bay, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, Santa Clara. 

Business Formation & Planning, Contracts, ownership

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Should Attorneys Speak for Employers During Employee Disputes?

To be successful, businesses and organizations need strong relationships with their employees. A legal dispute with an employee can cause serious headaches for a business owner or manager. Even worse, it could put the company or organization at a liability risk. A lawyer with experience representing employers can help your business navigate a conflict. 

This raises an important question: Should an attorney speak on behalf of an employer during a dispute? The answer depends on the circumstances — though it is always important to consult with a lawyer as early in a dispute as possible. Here, our California employment law attorney for employers explains what you can expect from your lawyer during a dispute with an employee. 

Preventing Claims through Proactive Guidance

It is important to emphasize that a dispute with an employee is not the same thing as an employment law claim. An attorney can help your business take proactive measures to prevent employee claims. This starts with putting the right practices and structure into place. By doing so, your business can go a long way towards reducing the risk of a dispute. Even if a dispute has already arisen, it may be possible to resolve the matter before a formal claim is filed. 

If your Bay Area business is already locked in a dispute with an employee, a lawyer can help you take the appropriate action to resolve it. What exactly this entails depends on the specific situation, including the ultimate objectives of your business. In some cases, the best path forward is to take time to understand the employee’s concerns and look for a mutually workable, low-conflict solution that avoids a claim with the Labor Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). 

Defending Employment Law Claims

Not all employee claims are preventable. Even if your company does everything right, there is still a risk that you could face legal action from a current or former employee. Our experienced California employment law attorney for employers can defend your business or organization in an employee claim. 

Once a formal claim is filed with the Labor Commissioner, EEOC, DFEH, or any other agency, it is best to let your employment law attorney speak on behalf of your business. It is still possible that the matter could still be resolved outside of court. Nonetheless, it is best practice to work with an employment lawyer for employers who can ensure that the rights and interests of your business are protected. 

Get Help from an Employment Lawyer for Employers in California

Attorney Lynette Ariathurai is an experienced, results-driven employment lawyer for employers. If you have any questions about defending your business or organization against an employment dispute, we are more than ready to help. 

Contact us now for a strictly confidential initial consultation. We represent employers throughout the Greater Bay Area, including in Fremont, near Newark, Hayward, East Bay, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, and Santa Clara. 

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Best Practices for Navigating Changing COVID Laws for Businesses

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities around the world. According to data from the California Department of Public Health, there have been more than 4.1 million cases of the virus confirmed in the state as of mid-August of 2021—and with the Delta variant, case rates are rising once again. For businesses, navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment during the pandemic is challenging. Here, our Fremont, CA business lawyer highlights some of the best practices for companies looking to navigate COVID-19 regulations in the Bay Area.

Do Your Research (Local Law Matters)

You need to stay up-to-date on all applicable laws. Indeed, the only truly effective way for businesses to navigate the changing COVID-19 legal landscape is to work with an experienced business lawyer or do frequent independent research into the relevant rules and regulations. Notably, it is imperative that business owners refer not just to federal and state guidelines, but also to local rules and ordinances.

In California, the regulations sometimes vary from city to city or county to county. Here is an example: On August 2nd, 2021, Cal/OSHA released new guidance on masks. Under the statewide public health regulations, facial coverings are required in certain places, such as healthcare settings. For vaccinated people, masks are only “recommended” in most indoor workplace settings. However, some local governments have different requirements. For example, on August 3rd, 2021, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency reinstated a full indoor mask mandate—regardless of vaccination status. Make sure you know the rules in your area.

Implement a Process for COVID-19 Planning/Rapid Decision-Making

As the COVID-19 outbreak is still a developing public health crisis, it is crucial that businesses in the Bay Area build and implement a process for pandemic planning and rapid decision making. Keep in mind that things can change quickly. Several factors are subject to change, including masking rules, vaccine regulations, social distancing guidelines, and capacity restrictions. A well-developed plan can make navigating the pandemic far easier. Among other things, your business should have:

  • A plan designed to meet your unique needs/industry
  • A proactive mindset, always ready to address changing rules
  • A clear chain of command to ensure swift and decisive decisions when necessary

Be Ready to Seek Professional Guidance on COVID Regulations

Owning and operating a business is difficult enough during normal times. With the COVID-19 pandemic posing a wide range of challenges on businesses in the Bay Area, it has become even more complicated. You should not hesitate to consult with an experienced California business lawyer who can help you and your partners manage the pandemic.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a Bay Area Business Lawyer

Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai is a skilled, solutions-focused advocate for business owners. If you have any questions about the best practices for navigating changing COVID-19 laws, our law firm can help. Contact us today for a strictly confidential consultation. From our Fremont law office, we represent businesses throughout the Bay Area, including in Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, and Newark.

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Preparing Your Business for Bringing Employees Back to the Office in California

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According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), more than 20 million state residents were fully vaccinated as of July 1st, 2021. With vaccinations rising and COVID-19 cases dropping, more and more employers are getting ready to bring their remote staff back into the office. It is a complicated thing to do—sorting everything out requires careful planning. Here, our Fremont, CA employment law attorney for employers highlights some of the key things to know about preparing your California business to bring employees back to the office.

Follow State and Federal Public Health Guidelines

As a starting point, business owners and managers should keep up with changing federal, state, and local public health & safety guidelines. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a considerable amount of guidance for employers and employees. As an employer preparing to bring workers back into the office, you need to be ready to answer some key questions, such as:

  • Will you ask employees to show proof of vaccination status?
  • Will there be any masking or social distancing policies in place?
  • Do employees have the option to remain on a full or partial flex schedule?
  • What steps will you take if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?

Know the Unique Needs of Your Workplace

Every workplace is different. It is crucial that business owners consider the unique needs of their company. Among other things, this means taking proactive steps to adapt the physical workspace for the return of employees. In California, companies are using a wide range of strategies to prepare for the return of remote workers. Some companies are putting an emphasis on ventilation and sanitization. Other businesses are opting to reopen at partial capacity—allowing some employees to continue work remotely either full-time or part-time.

Getting Legal Advice on COVID-19 Laws

Before you bring your employees back to the office, you should seek legal advice concerning the current COVID-19 federal, state, county and city laws that apply to your business. Some questions you may have are:

  • What protocols must I follow at the workplace for my industry?
  • Can I require employees to be vaccinated before returning?
  • Can I terminate an employee who refuses to come back to the office?
  • Am I required to reasonably accommodate an employee and allow some employees to work from home and require others to work at the office?

The answer to each of those questions may depend on what industry you are in and what city, county, and state that your business resides in. The laws are complicated and continually changing, but you can rely on us for timely, accurate counsel.

Effective, Open Communication with Employees is Key

As employers in California bring their staff back to the workplace, it is important to develop clear, well-articulated policies. Open communication between businesses and employees can go a long way towards reducing conflicts. Employers may also benefit from adopting a more flexible approach that allows for a gradual return to the workplace for many workers. Of course, consistency and clarity are important. At the same time, that does not mean that every employee is dealing with the same issues. There may be some circumstances in which companies are required to make accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other state/federal labor regulations.

Get Help from a Business Law Attorney in Fremont, California

Attorney Lynette Ariathurai is an experienced employment law attorney for employers. If you have any questions or concerns about preparing your California company for bringing workers back to the office, our law firm can help.

Contact us now to arrange a confidential appointment with an attorney. From our Fremont law office, our law firm represents employers throughout the region, including in the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley.

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Business Legal Items Needed to Open a New Medical Practice in California

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Are you preparing to open a brand new medical practice in California? If so, there are important business and legal considerations that you should be aware of. State law impacts the structure and ownership requirements of your business. Here, our Fremont business formation attorney provides a brief overview of the business and legal items needed to open a medical practice in California.

Entity Selection and Business Formation

Business startup is complicated—especially in the health care industry. California has specific rules and regulations regarding the formation of a medical practice. In fact, state law generally prohibits doctors and medical professionals from operating their business as a limited liability company (LLC) or traditional corporation.

Instead, medical practices are usually formed as a specialized type of business called a professional medical corporation. Under California’s Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act, there are restrictions on who can serve as an officer/director of a medical corporation and restrictions on who can own shares in these corporations.

Commercial Lease

A new medical practice must operate from somewhere. Most likely, this means that your new business will need to enter into a commercial lease agreement. In entering a lease agreement, there are a wide range of different issues that should be considered, including:

  • The location and convenience for current and future patients
  • The monthly cost and duration of the lease
  • Specialized medical issues, including waste removal, potentially hazardous materials on the premises, and storage of sensitive patient information
  • Common area maintenance (CAM) charges (also known as a triple net lease (NNN))

An experienced California business law attorney can help you negotiate and draft a commercial lease agreement that works effectively for your new medical practice.

Employment Matters

If your medical practice is planning on hiring employees, you need to take the time to put the proper structure in place. Make sure you and your business partners understand the legal requirements of your business. As an example, all employers in California with five or more total employees are subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). An employment lawyer with experience representing business owners in the healthcare industry can help you create and implement strategies to limit conflict with employees and reduce your liability risk.

Business Contracts

In the modern business world, contracts are at the basis of most commercial agreements. Whether your medical practice is working with partner companies, such as a medical service organization (MSO), or entering into agreements with outside suppliers/vendors, it is essential that you rely on well-drafted business contracts.

Call Our Fremont, CA Medical Practice Formation Attorney for Help

Attorney Lynette Ariathurai is committed to providing forward-looking guidance and cost effective legal representation. If you have any questions about what business and legal items you need to start a medical practice in California, we can help.

Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation with a business lawyer. From our office in Fremont, we serve businesses and startups throughout the region, including in Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, and Newark.

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