Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Six ways to raise capital for your small business

Starting your own business is often a dream come true. You get to make the big decisions, be your own boss and build something from nothing. However, opening a business is also a lot of work.

You create your product line, market your products and select a location. Even if you are only operating online, you still need money to get started. Here are six ways you can raise money for your business.

Business startups and business financing decisions

Great ideas can lead to financial success. This is often the catalyst that drives the Ohio entrepreneur to venture into the world of a new business startup. Along with this decision, though, is often the need for various business financing decisions.

The first step to acquiring financing and a successful business venture is often developing a sound business plan. In addition to addressing what the business will offer, the entrepreneur will want to research the market and develop projections based upon this research. He or she will want to provide data related to the business offering itself, competition, potential customers, projected sales and projected income.

Minority shareholder disputes in closely held businesses

A closely held corporation is a good model for small business owners who want to retain control of their company, usually among family members or a small group of shareholders. It is not unusual for a closely held business to have different levels of shareholders, including those who hold only a minority interest. Even when an Ohio company has a small number of people with ownership rights, it may not be immune to shareholder disputes, especially if the minority shareholders feel their rights are not respected.

Minority shareholders still have a stake in the company and receive profits from its success. However, they do not have decision-making authority, so they may not be included in moves that seriously affect the future of the company. Nevertheless, minority shareholders do have rights if they disagree with decisions the controlling members make. For example, a minority shareholder may opt to sell his or her shares to other members.

Ohio TV channel pulled while contract disputes continue

Ohio WJW Channel 8 viewers may be feeling quite frustrated since losing access to their favorite station. There is currently no information regarding when (or if) the station will return to service. The situation involves contract disputes between Tribune Media, the parent company of WJW Channel 8, and Spectrum.

The central issue in the ongoing dispute between the two companies has to do with how much Spectrum should pay Tribune to carry its programming. Spectrum has stated that it finds Tribune's prospective increased rates unfair. The company noted that Tribune's programming is available free for those who have access to a TV antenna or the internet.

Ohio business formation has another record year

Entrepreneurs in Ohio apparently could not have picked a better time or place to start their businesses. The Buckeye State is quickly gaining a reputation for being friendly to those in various stages of business formation, and the numbers from last year's filings have broken records once again. For the ninth straight year, more new businesses than ever before registered in Ohio, and Secretary of State Jon Husted hopes to keep the trend positive.

Husted has enacted numerous programs to simplify and streamline the process for starting and operating a business in this state. This includes reducing the cost of registering a business, shortening the processing time, and taking advantage of technology to allow business owners to handle the process of filing and renewing their business registration online. Currently, about 75 percent of Ohio entrepreneurs start their businesses online although all forms needed for the process are available on the state's website.

Ohio real estate trends for 2019

With the new year, many like to make predictions about what to expect as the culture, laws and popular influences change. Those predictions are worth more when they are based on experience and observations. When Ohio investors look at the upcoming year for real estate trends, they may be able to make more educated decisions if they know what some analysts are expecting to see in both commercial and residential transactions.

The cost of building is rising, mainly because of interest rates and the fact that labor prices are increasing with changes in immigration laws. This may mean that investors will be watching the supply and demand more closely before taking on large construction projects. However, many of those construction projects will be build-to-rent communities, which are attractive to both those younger families just starting out and those who are downsizing in their later years.

Employment contract disputes can affect company

Employees can make or break a company. Good employees can attract new customers, produce results and generate income for the company and its owners. On the other hand, other employees can have a negative impact on the company, its reputation and its bottom line. Employment contracts are sometimes used in an effort to retain good employees and protect the company against the damage that some employees can cause. Still, even with employment contracts in place, Ohio companies can find themselves at the center of employment contract disputes.

Media giant CBS has recently found itself at the center of an employment contract dispute. Its former chairman-CEO, Les Moonves, was terminated amid allegations of misconduct and misuse of power while employed by CBS. According to CBS, an investigation into the allegations shows that the termination was for cause.

Business financing decisions and available options

Starting a new business can be an expensive venture. The Ohio entrepreneur often has numerous expenses before the first item is ever sold. As such, business financing decisions can play a critical role in the new company's success.

Of course, listening to the customer and building trust is an important part of the process. The entrepreneur who listens to what the customer wants is the one who will most likely deliver a product that the customer is interested in buying. In addition, by building trust in the product and the company, more customers will become interested in trying out the product.

Written business plan part of the business planning process

Planning is the key ingredient for almost every worthwhile endeavor. This certainly holds true when an Ohio entrepreneur decides to begin a new business venture. In fact, creation of the business plan is often what drives the initial start-up and provides the roadmap for all future business planning decisions.

The executive summary is an essential element. This part of the business plan provides an overview of the company and its products and services, as well as its operational details. The executive summary often sets the stage for potential investors and lenders in making decisions regarding the company. An overview of the company is also an important element. This should include information related to the owners, location of the business and markets, and where the company currently is in the formation process.

Keys to succession planning for your small business

Are you starting to feel the lure of retirement but are not quite ready to hand off your small business? If so, now is the perfect time to review your business's succession plan. If you don't have one, now is the time to prepare one. Planning for succession of your business can be complicated, and you will want to meet with various advisors, including financial, legal and tax advisors to complete your plan. In the meantime, here are a few key factors to consider. 

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