Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

4 times acquisitions make sense for small business owners

Sometimes the best way to kickstart the growth of your business is to buy another business or property. You might not enjoy the same control as if you grew more organically, but markets are time-sensitive. Key acquisitions can help you capitalize on your ideas.

As the economy has picked up, we've seen mergers and acquisitions on the rise across the country, and Ohio is no exception. At the time this was written, Crain's Cleveland Business had already tracked 54 Ohio mergers and acquisitions. These mergers and acquisitions spread across 12 industries, proving that they're not just for big pharmaceuticals and multimedia conglomerates.

Resolving issues with staff members to avoid litigation

Business lawsuits can arise for a myriad of reasons, and this topic has been discussed in detail on our blog. Lawsuits which involve staff members are often especially tricky and there may be so much at stake. Not only do business owners have to worry about the financial penalties associated with these suits, but the outcome of a case involving an employee (or a group of employees) could influence other workers’ decisions in different ways. Sometimes, additional staff members may decide to take legal action following a co-worker’s lawsuit. As a result, it is crucial for business owners to prevent these lawsuits, when possible.

Whether your business is accused of wrongdoing involving overtime, non-payment of wages or other wage and hour violations, or someone who works for your company is considering legal action over allegations of racial discrimination or sexual harassment, the consequences of an employee’s lawsuit can be very damaging. In some instances, you may be able to clear up the misunderstanding and avoid a lawsuit by discussing the issue(s) with staff members. Unfortunately, communication does not always work, and litigation may be unavoidable.

Litigation over a construction accident

The construction industry can be particularly difficult for all sorts of reasons. Hard work in a difficult environment can lead to project delays or issues with workers quitting or failing to perform their job duties appropriately. Moreover, some workers even become hurt in a jobsite mishap, whether the accident occurred as a result of inexperience or some unpredictable factor. Even when construction workers and the companies that employ them prioritize workplace safety and preventative measures, things can go wrong, which may lead to a dispute (or even legal action) in some instances.

If you are in the middle of a lawsuit over a construction accident, it is essential to carefully review the different options that you could have. The way in which these cases are approached can play a major role in the outcome of the lawsuit, and it could have a huge impact on your business whether you run a large construction company or only employ a few workers. Sometimes, legal action can be avoided altogether when a dispute with an injured worker is handled in an appropriate manner.

Maintaining productive goals for your company

Goal setting is a critical component to furthering the initiatives of your company in Ohio. In fact, without setting goals, you will have an unclear picture of your company's progress, potential and future. At Dinn, Hochman + Potter LLC, we have helped many business owners to protect the most valuable assets of their organization. 

While your efforts to identify and set goals is a fantastic step in the right direction, if your business objectives are not regularly revisited to assess their progress and if other important factors are out of balance, any resources put toward achieving those goals may be far less efficient than they could be. In the worst case, you may be unable to accomplish your goals at all. Understanding the steps that you can be taken to align your company's goals with organizational processes will expedite your efforts to be successful. 

Job termination and litigation

From sexual harassment to lawsuits which involve another company, there are many different reasons why business owners may find themselves in court. Sometimes, these cases are brought forward by current or former employees, and these lawsuits can be especially tough for a handful of reasons. For example, a worker whose position was recently cut may decide to take legal action because they believe that they were unlawfully fired. Not only do wrongful termination cases arise, but some former workers may decide to pursue legal action for another reason, such as those who hold a grudge against the company they used to work for and accuse their former employer of some other type of wrongdoing.

If a former worker has decided to move forward with litigation targeting your business, it is essential to prepare for court in every way and make sure that the details surrounding their allegations are reviewed carefully. These cases can deal a damaging blow, and in some instances the consequences of litigation may be so severe that a business owner is prompted to close altogether. Even when these lawsuits do not have such a damaging impact, financial penalties and a shattered reputation can be very difficult for businesses regardless of their size.

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.

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