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Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Seeking a zoning exception or variance in Cleveland, part 1

As any developer can tell you, bringing a successful commercial real estate project to fruition is all about problem-solving. Your first problem is finding a property that you want to build on. And then you have a whole host of other problems that involve financing, construction, sales and so on. And one of the major hurdles you will have to clear is getting permission from local governmental agencies to perform construction that adheres to the needs of your project.

Verification, notarization and budgeting solidify contracts

One of the main reasons for creating contractual agreements with business partners is to establish responsibilities and obligations. Ideally, so long as both parties deliver on their promises, all will go well. An effective business contract is one that covers all contingencies in terms that are concise and understandable. But achieving this is not always as easy as it sounds. And unfortunately, problems with contracts are sometimes not discovered until well after the document has been signed.

A noncompete agreement must have a legitimate purpose

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner to protect your interests is have high-value employees sign noncompete agreements. The intent of having an employee commit to a noncompete agreement is to keep him or her from going to work for a direct competitor for a specific period of time after leaving your company. But when crafting such an agreement, you need to make sure that it is legally enforceable.

Approach potential business partnerships with deliberate care

Forming a partnership, be it limited or general, with another party can do a great deal to expand your business opportunities. But you need to examine every aspect of a potential partnership extremely carefully. And when it comes to formalizing your partnership, you want to create a contract that clearly states each party's responsibilities and obligations.

But what can you do to better ensure that the partnership you are considering will offer the benefits you are looking for? Well, first and foremost, you want to take all the time you need to fully assess the other party's commitment to the partnership. To this end, you need to sit down with the other party and craft a business plan that helps clarify your common goals and expectations. Creating a business plan is also a good way of determining if your potential partner is a good fit. If you discover that the other party has a different set of goals or conducts business in a manner that is contrary to your style, it may be best to forgo the partnership. 

Conflicts can undermine the success of a family business

The rewards reaped from owning and running a family business can make the endeavor more than worthwhile. But balancing the needs of the business with the desires of family members can be extremely challenging. There are many potential pitfalls that are unique to family businesses. This is because your coworkers are not just fellow employees, but your flesh and blood.

What can the funds from a 504 loan be used for?

Commercial real estate projects are multi-faceted and extremely complex. And financing is typically the most important aspect of successfully bringing a project to fruition. After all, you won't be able to even break ground with the first shovel without there being money to pay for land, construction, fees, taxes and all other related costs. As such, you will likely be seeking to secure a sizable business loan before proceeding.

How do I red-line a contract?

You would never enter a serious business arrangement without the protection of a contract. And when it comes to written agreements, the devil is in the details and it is critical to make sure that you thoroughly understand all of the terms of a contract and that those terms are to your benefit. This means that once a contract is drafted, you want to go over it very carefully and make any necessary changes.

Deceptive advertising constitutes unfair competition

You can work day and night building your business but to succeed, you will need a customer base. And advertising is an essential part of letting the public know about your company. Creating an effective advertising campaign can give you a real edge over your competition. But it is important to remember that there are limitations in regard to the subject matter that may be contained in an advertisement.

You can learn from your job while founding a start-up

Of course building a start-up takes a lot of time, money and energy. Moreover, there is always the chance that a start-up may not succeed. And often, people believe they have to quit their jobs just to begin the process of developing a company. This belief may dissuade them from trying to pursue their dreams of running their own companies. But if you have ambitions to start a business, but are apprehensive about giving up your job, you might want to keep your job while laying the groundwork for your company.

There are a lot of things you can do while working your day job to get the ball rolling on your start-up. For example, learn all you can about running a business by carefully observing your present work environment. Look at what the company does well and the areas that could use improvement. Take note of the company's management style, leadership and team building techniques.

It's never too soon to plan for a family business's succession

If you are living your dream of owning and running your own successful family business, you have more at stake than just turning a profit. You have also built something that you could hand down to your children, allowing them to keep your creation alive and well into the future. This is why it is so important to start planning for a time when your family members take full responsibility for the care of the business.

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