Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Handling the Potential Complications of a Contract Dispute

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, December 24, 2015.

California business owners know the importance of contracts. Far from just being “pieces of paper,” contracts address business’s ownership, management, services and a host of other issues. Those doing business in the state will want to be prepared for the potential complications that can arise should a contract dispute interrupt productivity.

Every contract creates obligations for those who sign it. Business owners typically want to minimize liability and avoid litigation. Sometimes, however, challenges arise due to a disagreement about the information a contract may contain. It may seem impossible to resolve without legal intervention.

The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation, is dedicated to helping clients create contracts that protect their legal and business interests. Every company’s needs are different, and each contract should reflect the unique factors of the company entering the agreement, using clear and simple language that explains each party’s obligations and responsibilities. Our experienced attorneys have offered guidance with regard to many types of contract disputes and are able to assess a situation to help determine the best way to resolve the issues at hand. 

Your business issues are our priority, and we are committed to helping you accomplish your objectives in a personalized and cost-effective manner. You can contact The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation, by using the form available on our website or calling our Fremont, California office to schedule a consultation. Whether you need assistance in drafting an agreement or reviewing a contract dispute, our business and commercial law attorneys are prepared to act on your behalf to achieve your goals.

contract complications, Contract Disputes, legal guidance

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Quick Tips Before Signing a Contract

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Business Formation & Planning on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

A business contract isn’t just a piece of paper. It’s a document that explains who you are doing business with, what type of business will be conducted and much more.

What is the person’s reputation in the industry? How has the business dealt with past deals? What is their reputation?

Consider the following factors before you sign an agreement:

  • Read the full agreement. This seems simple. However, all too often individuals sign agreements without reading the terms and conditions. If there is language that seems subjective or unclear, have an attorney review it with you and suggest amendments.
  • Know who’s involved in the contract. Who does the contract include? What parties will be held liable if there is breach of contract? Be sure the contract clearly identifies all parties.
  • Be aware of the length of the agreement and how it affects business. Make sure the actual length of the contract is clearly identified within the contract. If the contract is going to be renewed, how will that be handled? If the terms for the length of the contract are unclear, you can have an attorney assist you in making that language clearer.
  • Know your rights. Know what you are entitled to under the contract and what you are required to deliver. What happens if something goes awry? An attorney can draft terms in a contract to protect you from risks of liability and help you get what you bargained for from the deal.

While you may not consider working with a lawyer for drafting and signing a simple contract, the reality is that a lawyer can help save costs for disputes that could arise in the future. The time and money you spend, upfront, can ultimately be much more cost-effective. Consider how legal contract representation could benefit your situation.

Business Law, Contracts, tips on contracts

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Avoid a Contract Dispute Through Drafting a Watertight Agreement

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Before embarking on a construction project, having a well-drafted construction contract is vital. There are numerous variables that will have to be addressed to protect a California contractor. Financing, escalation of material prices, dealings with local governments, potential defects and more can have significant financial consequences for the ultimate success of the project and even lead to a contract dispute.

The guidance of an experienced construction contract attorney can be invaluable in drafting the contract and in providing advice with regard to the preparation of the project prior to drafting a contract. The purpose of a construction contract is to assign the rights of each party, as well as delineating responsibilities and duties. A well-drafted agreement can reduce risks of misunderstandings and may prevent expensive litigation at a later date.

The various parties in the contract must be clearly specified, and the scope and pricing of the project must be noted. Furthermore, timelines must be stipulated, along with payments and the retainage portions of payments. If a loan or another type of financing is involved, the details must also be spelled out in the contract.

Regardless of the relationship between the contracting parties, verbal agreements — even covering one small detail — can be detrimental and could even jeopardize the project. There are many additional issues to address to avoid a contract dispute, and the complexity varies according to the scope of the project. California contractors may find comfort in knowing that the services of attorneys who focus on the prudent planning and drafting of construction contracts are available to assist in pursuing the completion of profitable contracts.

Source: msbusiness.com, “COMMERCIAL FINANCE 701 — Construction contracts and risk mitigation“, Sept. 10, 2015

Contract Disputes

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Checklist for Business Dissolution Can Help Ease the Process

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Sales & Dissolutions on Thursday, December 4, 2014.

When a company owner decides — for whatever the reason — it is time to close up shop, something that seems should be such a simple process can actually be quite complex. Certain guidelines for business dissolution may apply, and those that do must be followed to ensure a smooth completion of the process. Creating a checklist of all procedures that apply to California businesses can provide owners with a simple and straightforward guide, which can be used to ensure everything is handled appropriately.

The size of a business can certainly change the number of steps that must be followed before doors are officially closed. Owners of large corporations or bigger businesses simply may be required to handle more than those of smaller companies. However, there are some procedures that are required regardless of company size, some of these could include: 

  • Filing appropriate IRS forms
  • Collecting assets
  • Resolving debts
  • Publishing notice of intent to dissolve
  • Filing any necessary documents with the state tax authority

These procedures are just a few of many that may apply to closing out certain businesses. An experienced business law attorney can help by providing a list of state requirements that are specific for any business type. Along with providing assistance in creating a procedural checklist, an attorney can ensure all legal bases are covered so business owners can close out their company with as few legal issues as possible.

Business law attorneys are available to help company owners in California through every stage of business ownership — from opening and operating to closing up shop. While business dissolution can be complex, it doesn’t mean the whole process has to be a nightmare. Creating a procedural checklist and seeking legal assistance, when needed, can make the process easier to handle.

Source: FindLaw, “Dissolution and Winding Up Checklist“, Dec. 4, 2014

closing a business, Sales & Dissolutions

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Common Reasons Tech Business Startup Firms Fail in California

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Business Formation & Planning on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.

Business is all about planning ahead. This is definitely true in the technology industry. Not only does planning ahead include an effective marketing plan and efficient operations plan, it also makes sure that business-planning strategies avoid some of the most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs in the technology startup industry in California. Doing so can ultimately make the difference between success and failure for a technology business startup.

One of the main reasons that technology startup ideas end up failing is that there is no need for the service in the marketplace. A recent survey revealed that 42 percent of firms failed due to failure to identify a target market. The more detailed a profile that a firm has for its target market, the more clearly the firm will be able to direct its resources and marketing efforts.

Another common mistake made by technology startups is having inefficient working capital. Almost 30 percent of technology firms failed due to not having enough cash to continue operations. Therefore, it is best to spend time in the beginning fundraising phases to ensure that a new company will start operations with a healthy amount of liquidity. This can allow business owners to have the flexibility needed during the startup phase, while also enabling firms to spend funds more effectively and strategically.

However, the best marketing strategy and operations plan may be useless if a business startup is not properly formed. This means that the company will have to comply with applicable rules and regulations specific to the new firm’s industry. Also, the correct legal paperwork will have to be submitted to the proper California regulating agencies.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal, “5 reasons your tech startup is likely to fail“, Sarah Gantz, Sept. 29, 2014

business failures, Business Formation & Planning, planning to fail, tech startups

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Reverse Business Merger is an Alternative Way to Obtain Funding

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Mergers & Acquisitions on Monday, May 5, 2014.

Startup companies have many challenges to overcome when starting a new business. One of the most common and significant challenges facing a startup is obtaining venture capital in California or in any other state. Many times there are more startups looking for funding than there are venture capital and Angel investors available. However, one unorthodox method of obtaining capital, which has gained some popularity recently, is using a business merger to garner funding.

However, startups looking to go this route are engaging in a specific type of merger known as a reverse merger. This type of merger is usually utilized in order to avoid the process and expenses related to an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Usually, a dormant shell company is chosen for this type of transaction. However, there are many shell companies that have less than pristine histories; therefore, it is important to properly research a shell company’s past in order to avoid any unforeseen liabilities.

Also, many public shell companies that are ready to be sold are not listed by NASDAQ, but instead are traded on less prestigious avenues. For example, the OTC Bulletin Board is a common place where shell companies are listed instead of the NASDAQ. Although these companies can be renamed and moved to the NASDAQ, this may end up negating any savings on expenses and time, which would be the original intent of a reverse merger.

Additionally, one must be sure to follow all proper rules and regulations when completing a business merger of any kind in California or any other state. This means having full knowledge of applicable laws. Incorporating a compliance strategy into one’s business plan will help to avoid future lawsuits and criminal charges, which would be highly detrimental to any business.

Source: Forbes, “Is A Reverse Merger The Way To Fund Your Startup?“, Martin Zwilling, May 2, 2014

business funding, IPO, Mergers & Acquisitions, reverse merger, shell companies

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Business Dissolution May Not Be Bad News in California

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Sales & Dissolutions on Tuesday, December 10, 2013.

Usually, when a business shuts down it is bad news for the company, its owners and its executives. This generally means that the business did not produce enough profit to survive in California or in any other state. However, one company’s recent business dissolution announcement is actually being received as good news by many in the company as well as the company’s business partners.

The company, American Car Care Centers Inc. (ACCC), is one of the largest groups in North America that is designed to serve the interests of tire dealers. The company recently announced that it will dissolve the business organization by the end of Jan. 2014. The marketing organization represents 16 tire dealer companies, which are also considered shareholders in the corporate entity.

ACCC stated that changes in industry dynamics prompted the board of directors to dissolve the company. However, the company’s President and CEO explains that the decision to end the business is a sign of success. He said that the decision to dissolve is based upon member distributors outgrowing the organization’s structure. Therefore, the member distributors have benefited from being involved in the organization, which means the ACCC succeeded in its mission.

On the other hand, companies in California or in any other state which decide to initiate business dissolution usually do so because they were not able to turn their struggling businesses around for one reason or another. Many times this is caused by drastic changes in the economy which may be out of the hands of the business owners. However, this also does not have to be bad news since this will allow the business owner to move on to the next chapter in his or her life.

Source: Tire Business, ACCC to dissolve; group’s member distributors ‘outgrow’ structure, Dave Zielasko, Dec. 6, 2013

closing a business, Dissolution, Sales & Dissolutions

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

California Real Estate Company Expands With Business Merger

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Mergers & Acquisitions on Thursday, November 14, 2013.

There are a variety of methods that a company may utilize in order to expand its share of the market. Some of these may include marketing, advertising or strategic property purchases. However, many times the best way to do this is through a business merger. This is what one California real estate company has decided to do in its recent merger with another real estate company.

The company, TRI Pointe Homes, is in the middle of finalizing its merger with Weyerhauser Real Estate Co. The merger is estimated to be a $2.7 billion deal and will give TRI Pointe Homes a larger control of the nationwide real estate market. The deal will bring an additional 27,000 properties into the company’s real estate portfolio. Approximately 16,000 of these properties will be located in California, which will make the company a significant force in the state’s real estate industry.

The merger will give TRI Pointe Homes ownership of Weyerhaueser’s five brands: Quadrant Homes, Winchester Homes, Pardee Homes, Trendmaker Homes and Maracay Homes. Weyehaeuser’s shareholders would account for approximately 80.5 percent of ownership in the newly merged real estate company. The merger is predicted to be finalized by the third quarter of 2013.

However, in order for this business merger to be successful in California, all of the legal terms of the transaction must be properly detailed in necessary legal contracts between the parties involved. The contracts should be carefully drafted in order to minimize any misunderstandings that may lead to future lawsuits. Knowledge of applicable laws regarding contracts and business will be integral. Additionally, it is important to file the correct paperwork with the proper regulatory agencies.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Home builders TRI Pointe, Weyerhaeuser Real Estate to merge, Andrew Khouri, Nov. 4, 2013

business mergers, commercial real estate business law

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Business Startup Companies Operate Virtually in California

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Business Formation & Planning on Friday, November 8, 2013.

Technology has completely changed the way people work and do business. The creation of the Internet has enabled the advent of the virtual workplace. It is now possible for a business owner in California to have team members located all over the United States as well as the rest of the world. One new business startup has recently begun operating as a virtual workplace.

The company, Seeq, was started by the same entrepreneur who founded Insitu, which was later reportedly sold to Boeing for $400 million. Insitu specializes in creating unmanned aircraft. Now five years after selling Insitu, the successful businessman is running a business which is currently operating as a virtual company. The owner of Seeq says that working in a virtual environment reduces problems related to personality conflicts, which enhances efficiency and productivity.

Seeq is a data company that is aimed at helping manufacturers analyze data regarding their industrial processes. Manufacturing companies commonly require gathering large amounts of data in order to make adjustments in industrial processes. However, due to the size and nature of the data collected, it is difficult to put the data into a proper context when analyzing the data. Seeq aims to provide manufacturers with cutting-edge technology in order to put data into more useful context for effective decision-making.

Whether a startup business in California is a virtual workplace or a physical office space, it is important to have a comprehensive business plan. This can help a company gain a clear vision of where the business is headed now and in the future. Business startup companies can use a business plan as a guide while making business decisions based upon ever-changing circumstances. However, the business plan should also ensure the company adheres to all applicable rules and regulations required by law.

Source: GeekWire, Seeq raises $6 million, looks to help manufacturers mine industrial data, John Cook, Nov. 5, 2013

Business Formation & Planning, virtual companies, virtual workplaces

Business legal services in Silicon Valley

It Is Important to Diversify Commercial Real Estate in California

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Commercial Real Estate on Thursday, September 12, 2013.

Real estate is an important investment for most people. However, this type of investment is subject to the rise and fall of the economy. This is why many people want to diversify their commercial real estate portfolio so they can minimize risk. The founders of the California Family Fitness gym chain decided to diversify their real estate portfolio recently by selling $98.7 million worth of real property.

The founders sold the ten properties, which are currently leased to California Family Fitness, in order to reinvest in other properties which were not solely dependent on only one tenant. Although the one tenant, California Family Fitness, is a healthy and growing company, the founders still wanted to further diversify in order to have a more balanced real estate portfolio. The founders of the gym chain currently operate another company Fit Development which will be used to purchase commercial real estate across multiple Western states.

The two founders of the gym chain, who had sold the chain in 2006 while retaining ten percent each, are currently contracted to purchase 500,000 square feet of properties in four different states, including California. However, the purchase needs to be completed soon, in order to take advantage of Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code. The code section allows the founders to purchase the commercial properties without incurring tax liabilities on the sale of their former properties, however they must finalize the purchase of the new properties within six months.

As one may be able to see in this case in California, selling and buying commercial real estate can require some knowledge of applicable law in order to make the transaction financially successful. However, each person will have different goals when making a real estate transaction. Certain tax and real estate laws may only apply in specific circumstances, therefore one’s strategy will have to apply the law to one’s specific situation.

Source: Sacramento Business Journal, California Family Fitness founders sell nearly $99M of real estate portfolio to reinvest in other properties, Kelly Johnson, Aug. 30, 2013

1031, Commercial Real Estate, Purchase

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