Category: Business Law

  • How to Classify an Independent Contractor vs. an Employee

    How to classify an independent contractor vs. an employee is an increasingly important issue for businesses. Up to a third of the American workforce may be self-employed full- or part-time. A major question for these individuals and the companies for which they provide work is how many of them are, under the law, employees? Why Classification of Workers Matters With every employee comes costs, taxes, local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and statutes. You may be tempted to apply an “independent contractor” label to avoid all this expense and hassle. But that could subject you to far greater liability if the person, according to the law, is an employee. Because of a successful complaint to a government agency or the filing of a lawsuit,

  • How Do You Handle a Breach of Contract?

    Are you presently part of a contract where the other side is not living up to their side of the deal? Or perhaps worse, is the other side in a contract claiming that you are not performing according to the terms of an agreement? If either of those are the case, he may be involved in a contract dispute. Dickson Frohlich can help. What Is a Contract? Contracts are found in a broad array of contexts. While contracts themselves may differ, they all have a few key components: the presence of an offer, the acceptance of that offer, and an exchange of consideration, meaning value such as goods, services, or money. Technically, contract law covers virtually all economic exchanges. Take, for example, the purchase of a hamburger: the restaurant is offering th

  • Obama Administration Establishes New Mitigation Policy in Form of “Net Benefit Goal”

    The Obama Administration circulated a memorandum on Nov. 1, 2015 that directed designated federal agencies to modify existing policies to incorporate a “net benefit goal” to reduce the impact of utilizing natural resources. The revised approach was to be adopted by the EPA; Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The memorandum establishes new federal mitigation principles based on the net benefit goal. Put another way, the policy creates a “no net loss” objective when the applicable agencies utilize sensitive, scarce, or important resources, or this goal does not conflict with agency objectives and natural resource goals. The policy will steer agencies toward zoning to limit t

  • Independent Contractor or Employee?

    Construction projects tend to involve many different workers doing many different jobs. Sometimes, construction companies hire employees who only work on that particular company's projects. In many other situations, however, crews can be made up of independent contractors,1 sub-contractors, and other self-employed workers. Recognizing the legal distinction between an independent contractor and an employee is highly important as wrongly classifying a worker can have many negative legal implications. For example, employees have many rights and protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),2 Title VII,3 and other employment laws with which employers must comply. These laws do not apply to independent contractors, however. This distinction has im

  • Business Taxes Can Be Complicated

    Just as every individual must pay their annual taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),1 every business must also pay taxes. There are many different types of business taxes and how you should file your tax returns largely depends on the type of business you own. For example, some business types are taxed as follows: Sole proprietorship or Partnership – claim business profits and losses on personal tax returns (pass-through taxation)2 Corporation – file separate corporate tax returns Limited liability company – can either opt to claim business income or losses on your personal returns or can be taxed as a corporation For this reason, which taxes are best for you should be considered when you are choosing what type of business entity

  • Does Your Business Website Need a Privacy Policy?

    Conducting business on the internet is extremely convenient, but can also be risky due to the threat of hacking, identity theft, and other types of fraud that may cause a consumer injury. For this reason, many people are wary to engage in transactions on websites they do not trust or that do not seem secure. One important step in assuring consumers that your website is safe is by having and posting a thorough and quality privacy policy. What is covered by a privacy policy? The following is information that should always be included in a business website privacy policy: The type of information the website collects, including names, contact information, and credit cards numbers. How the information is collected, including using cookies, acco

  • Preparing For Business Succession After You Die

    There are an estimated 23 million small businesses1 throughout the United States and our economy and job market in part depends upon the success of the businesses. If you own your own business, you not only want the company to thrive while you are alive, but also likely after your death. While all of us dream of retiring and effectively passing on the family business to the next generation, unfortunately many people do you not get the opportunity to do so. If you suddenly fall ill, get in an accident, or pass away without a clear plan for your small business, all of your hard work may be in jeopardy. For this reason, you should always address business succession as part of your estate plan. Durable Power of Attorney First, you should always set out a

  • How Can a Small Business Attorney Help Me?

    Running a business inherently implicates certain laws and regulations. Even if you operate as a sole proprietor and work in a relatively low-risk industry, simply conducting business exposes you to legal liability. Many people who are self-employed or own a small business are hesitant to consult with a business law attorney because they assume that it will be expensive and believe that they can handle their legal needs themselves. The fact of the matter is that consulting with a small business attorney is an investment that can help a business operate more efficiently and in a way that may save you thousands of dollars in the future. As a result, anyone who is currently operating a small business or considering starting one should discuss their options

  • Examples of Benefits of an LLC

    When you start a business, you have many choices when it comes to the legal formation of your company. One type of legal business entity that is particularly common in modern times if the limited liability company, or LLC. The following are some reasons why many new business owners are choosing an LLC over other types of business entities. Greater credibility – Though there are numerous successful sole proprietorships and partnerships (businesses that have not been formally established), forming an LLC can add credibility to your company and increase the trust of potential customers or clients. Every LLC must identify its legal formation in the business name, so clients will know you have registered your business with the state. Simple setup and mai

  • Business Owners and Legal Responsibilities

    Federal, state, and local laws place numerous legal responsibilities on business owners. The following are only a few examples of the legal responsibilities of business owners in Washington state. Registration, permits, and licenses If you wish to operate as an LLC or corporation, you must properly register with the Before you start operations, you must comply with all of the Washington state requirements for your type of business. The exact permits or licenses you require will vary depending on your specific business. For example, any business that sells food must have a permit, and many professions such as lawyers, doctors, and accountants, require state licensing. The Department of Labor has information regarding licensing on its website.2 T