Business Transactions

Q.:  The current economy has sunk my small business. Customers have stopped buying and I can’t make my overhead expenses. Is there a legal way of breaking a commercial lease that has eight months left, given the terrible events happening in this economy?   A.:  You can try speaking to your landlord to see if […]

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Q.:  We want to do open a Sushi bar in a new shopping center. What can we reasonably ask the landlord to do for us before we move in (i.e., gas piping, drain work, ceilings)?  What should we ask for in negotiating a commercial lease? A.:  As my mother always says, “If you don’t ask, […]

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Many entrepreneurs have law questions about handling business customers and how to collect money.  Business customers are both the lifeblood of your company … and can be the bane of your existence, especially when you’re working with difficult people or those who don’t pay.  (You’ll hear that plaintive theme in these posts). Want to know […]

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Q.:  We assumed a lease at a shop and, in light of the current economy, our sales have dropped. I am behind on rent and I’m being evicted. The owners are pursuing the balance of the lease term (three years). I tried to settle outside of court but they will not budge. What can I […]

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Q.:  Our small business fabricates and installs granite countertops. We installed a kitchen for a client, and during and after the installation they seemed happy with the job. But here’s the saga …. When it was time to collect payments, the husband left and the wife said she couldn’t give us a check because her […]

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Q.:  I recently started a janitorial cleaning business. Our first job was subcontracted from another cleaning business. We completed three months of work and have yet to receive any payments. Two months ago I met with the cleaning contractor owner to come to an agreement. We signed a promissory note detailing a down payment and […]

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Q.:  I own a pet-sitting business. Can I charge interest to my clients if they don’t pay within, say, a month? A.:  You cannot charge interest – and expect them to pay it — if you have not previously notified your clients that you will do so if payment is late.  That’s changing the terms […]

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Q.:  A work order constitutes an agreement to perform a service. Indebtedness does not occur until the service is performed. So does a signed work order acknowledge an indebtedness? A.:  A signed work order does not necessarily acknowledge a debt.  The work order simply reflects both sides’ agreement about the work that will be performed.  […]

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Make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s before signing on the dotted line. Make no bones about it; buying a business is a big deal. Depending on whether you buy all or part of a business, your investment will likely result in the largest single asset you ever own. Don’t […]

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Q.:  I own a small hair salon. A customer recently received services, then said she forgot her wallet and would return later in the day with her payment. She never came back. She has done business with us before but is not a regular customer. What are my steps on how to collect money from […]

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