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Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

New business needs and business financing decisions

The ideas are varied; however, the needs are basically the same. To be successful, each new Ohio business will need ideas, customers, products or services and the funds to make it all happen. For some, these items appear to fall into place. For others, business financing decisions can appear to be the most challenging part of the equation.

One of the first challenges that needs to be overcome is determining the type of financing that the business requires. Many times, smaller companies are hesitant to seek the necessary financing out of fear that they will not be approved. However, without this financing, it can be difficult to provide products and services within a reasonable time period.

Insurance a vital part of business planning

Each business throughout Ohio has needs unique to its structure and type. These various needs take the form of inventory, services, people and even business planning. As each business is established and then continues to operate, the need for insurance becomes an important part of the planning process.

The majority of businesses will want to carry general liability insurance. This provides insurance for a variety of concerns such as someone being injured on the business property or even statements that may be made that could potentially cause harm or cause loss to another entity or individual. There are a vast array of concerns that general liability insurance can cover.

Breach of contract subject of lease dispute

Location is a vital component of almost every Ohio business. In some cases, the business purchases the property; in other cases, the business leases the property. Regardless, for many businesses, this location is essential to its ability to conduct business and make a profit. In the case of a lease, it is possible that a breach of contract on the part of the lessor or the lessee can have a substantial impact upon the business.

Several years ago, one seasonal concession business lost its location due to a natural disaster. In an effort to assist businesses in continuing to operate and make money, businesses were allowed to operate from trailers in the vicinity of their former locations. As a result, at least one business owner purchased what he says is a $40,000 food trailer.

John Steinbeck's son committed breach of contract, says judge

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck continues to line many bookshelves in Ohio and throughout the nation. Although the author has been deceased since 1968, his work continues to be a hot topic of conversation in literary circles, and apparently, in some courtrooms as well. His son, Thom and the daughter of his third wife are currently battling it out over ownership of Steinbeck's writings and a breach of contract.

Names, such as Steven Spielberg, James Franco and Ron Howard have been mentioned during the acrimonious dispute. Spielberg reportedly adapted Steinbeck's story for a film version he was never permitted to launch. Franco and Howard were supposedly going to appear in court as witnesses for the defense; however, the plaintiff (Steinbeck's third wife's daughter) has challenged that issue, saying an agreement was already made not to call those particular witnesses.

Business financing decisions and creditors decision process

Every day, new businesses open their doors throughout Ohio. The majority of these businesses have had to make numerous business financing decisions as a part of this process. Often, these financing decisions involved creditors and specific credit criteria. Prior to lending money for a business venture, creditors often look at various factors to make an informed decision.

One of the first things the lender will look at is the capacity of the business owner to repay the debt. Does the individual or the business have the income necessary to meet the new financial obligations created by the business loan? Most of the time, creditors are looking for a minimum net income of 1.25 times the debt obligation.

Former Uber CEO at center of shareholder disputes

After investing both time and money into a new enterprise, a business entrepreneur expects to reap the rewards of such a venture. Perhaps these rewards are in the form of income, or perhaps prestige is the ultimate goal. As the Ohio business continues to grow, it is possible that it will look for investors and shareholders to assist with further growth and development. While this scenario does provide the financial opportunity the company is looking for, it also opens the door to the possibility of shareholder disputes down the road.

One business enterprise is now facing its share of controversy between its board of directors, former CEO and major shareholder. Venture firm and shareholder Benchmark is now suing to remove Uber's former CEO from Uber's board of directors. In addition, in its suit, Benchmark is also looking to reduce the board by three spots.

Contract disputes: Contractor claims city unlawfully rejected bid

When it comes to bidding on an employment contract, businesses in Ohio and elsewhere often have to compete with rivals. While in many cases the job may go to the lowest bidder, a company could decide to enlist the services of the another party instead. Should the previous business believe that this decision is unlawful, intense contract disputes may ensue.

A contractor in another state has recently filed a lawsuit against a city under similar circumstances, after it claims it was unlawfully denied a contract. The contractor asserts that it was the lowest bidder on a road and parking lot project, but the job ended up going to a competitor that was next in line. This comes just days after it filed a separate lawsuit against the same city for breach of contract in connection with payments that the city allegedly failed to provide.

Business financing decisions critical to success

How to finance a business can often be one of the greatest challenges that an Ohio business owner will face. For new businesses, there may not be that many financing options available. For struggling businesses, this may be true as well. Business financing decisions can have a lasting impact on both the business and the business owner.

When the business owner needs immediate and/or easy access to funds, one of the first resources tapped into is often the personal credit card. This may appear to be a prudent choice; however, it can lead to complications when it comes to keeping personal and business finances separate. Research indicates that a large percentage of new businesses will not last; therefore, the decision to utilize personal credit can create personal liability for the business owner.

Voice of Kermit at center of employment contract disputes

Employees are perhaps the most important component of most Ohio businesses. They are the ones who interact with the public, represent the company and drive the day-to-day business operations. However, at times, the contribution of employees to the overall company welfare is not recognized and employee contract disputes become a possibility.

Steve Whitmire, the voice of Kermit the Frog, is at the center of an employee contract dispute. According to Disney, Whitmire's employment as Kermit's voice was terminated in Oct. 2016 for "unacceptable business conduct."  Statements by Disney indicate that there was a history of Whitmire's hostility toward co-workers, along with the inability to negotiate a contract.

Lakeside commercial real estate purchased by local investor

Ohio investors may be watching with envy as the ownership of Quay 55 changes hands again. Once a warehouse for receiving cars shipped from auto manufacturers, the building situated on the shores of Lake Erie underwent a $28 million renovation project to convert it into apartments in 2002. For years following, the real estate was labeled distressed because of mortgage defaults and many vacancies. However, now boasting a 94 percent occupancy, the purchase may be considered a wise investment.

Currently the only privately owned lakeshore property in Cleveland, the building was recently purchased for an undisclosed amount of money. The new owner -- a local property developer -- plans to invest another $400,000 in renovations. Among those upgrades includes the addition of 29 new units and replacing the old and leaky roof.  

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