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Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

A breach of contract can negatively impact your business

Business owners in Ohio understand that they will likely face contract disputes at some time during the course of doing business. Unfortunately, many of these disputes are the result of parties not living up to the promises they made in contractual agreements. When a breach of contract occurs and parties are unable to resolve their issues, contract disputes are often filed by the aggrieved parties.

Helping Entrepreneurs Make Business Formation Decisions

At the Cleveland law firm of Dinn, Hochman & Potter, L.L.C., we offer a wide range of legal services to business owners and company leaders in northern Ohio. In fact, over the years, our law firm has been instrumental in helping countless entrepreneurs start their businesses. If you are planning to open a business in the Cleveland area, you may wish to contact our offices for advice and guidance.

Choosing the right entity type for your business is important. In fact, it is one of the most important decisions you will make as an entrepreneur, because the type of business you form will have a number of long-lasting effects on your business. Additionally, the type of entity you form will also affect your personal financial exposure.

What do business litigation attorneys do?

If you are a business owner in Ohio, it is likely that, at some point, you will find yourself involved in a business dispute. Sometimes, those involved can resolve their business disputes without third-party assistance, but, sometimes, disputes escalate and require the help of legal professionals. For some business owners facing disputes, the question is "What do business litigation attorneys do and can they help?"

Debt financing is a valid option for help funding some startups

If you are in the early stages of operation or even the planning and setup of your business, you may find you need additional capital to run things smoothly. Maybe you have a family-owned business or don't want to relinquish any control to venture capitalists and shareholders. If this is the case, a strong option for help with funding is debt financing.

Are my trade secrets really confidential with an NDA in place?

If you have a business that wants to retain an edge over competitors, protect client lists or simply wants what's working well for your company not to end up being a blueprint for every startup and potential competitor out there, you likely need a nondisclosure agreement. While this may be the most effective way of making it clear that information an employee or consultant is privy and should remain confidential, there is no way to guarantee that the information won't be leaked. That is unless you trade in magic and can cast a spell to seal the lips of those who might be compelled to share information for the benefit of another. Since that is not likely to be the case, a well-executed NDA is the next best thing.

Should I expect commercial and residential leases to be the same?

When working within the commercial real estate market, particularly as a lessor or as a lessee, you will benefit from a well thought out and agreed upon written contract. This agreement can go far in establishing a persisting symbiotic relationship between parties. Because contracts are legal and binding, it is imperative that you carefully consider everything you are requesting or agreeing to. An attorney well versed in business litigation and commercial real estate can sit down with you and help you construct an all-inclusive document.

How do I protect the successful strategies my company uses?

Many people start businesses up yearly throughout the U.S. Perhaps more so with the dawn of entrepreneurial spirited e-commerce solutions, like Shopify and Wix. As your business grows, your employee roster grows, and you begin to realize what works and what doesn't. The strategies and tactics you practice must be guarded so that you can retain your specific niche in the market, but how do you protect your secrets to your success?

What if I need to enforce an arbitration award?

So many business contracts today include mandatory arbitration provisions, and often for good reason: compared to litigation, arbitration is often faster, less expensive and more responsive to the needs of the parties, But sometimes arbitration alone may not be enough to finally resolve a contract dispute. This can happen, for example, if after the arbitration one of the parties to the proceeding chooses not to comply with the decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators. In such an event, how exactly is an arbitration enforceable?

The answer lies in Ohio laws governing arbitration awards. These laws set out the procedures for what to do to obtain a court order directing a party to an arbitration to comply with the award.

What constitutes a deceptive trade practice?

There are a variety of colloquial ways to describe business practices that attempt to unfairly take advantage of business partners or customers, such as “sharp dealing” or fraud, but the term that the law applies to them collectively is “deceptive trade practices.” Ohio law codifies activities that comprise such unfair dealings in its adoption of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

This post presents an overview only of the subject of Ohio deceptive trade practices law, and is not intended as a comprehensive treatment of the subject. It should not be taken as legal advice. If you need legal advice on how to avoid having your business accused of such unfair practices, or to defend your business interests if you have been so accused, consulting with a business attorney who knows how Ohio's relevant laws work is an important first step to take.

What is "piercing the corporate veil?"

It is an axiom of business law in Ohio that one of the reasons for incorporating is to minimize the risk of liability to shareholders in the company. But shareholder immunity from liability is not unconditional; under some circumstances it may be possible for a shareholder to be sued for acts that he or she commits under the aegis of the corporate form. This bypassing of the corporation to sue the shareholder directly is referred to as, "piercing the corporate veil."

Piercing the corporate veil requires the plaintiff to satisfy a three-part test. First, the individual shareholders must have exercised control over the corporation to such a degree that the company no longer can be said to have a separate will or existence of its own as a legal entity (that is, the corporation has become an "alter ego" of the shareholder or shareholders controlling it); second, the shareholder or shareholders exercising that control must have used it to commit a fraud or other illegal act against the person who seeks to pierce the corporate veil; and third, the injury to the plaintiff must have resulted from that wrongful act.

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