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Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

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. 

Contract disputes may require legal remedy

Companies often must depend upon each other in order to be successful. One company often supplies needed resources to another Ohio company. This relationship may be established through a hand-shake, verbal agreement or even a written contract, and without this relationship, it may not be possible for one of the companies to succeed. Thus, when there are problems that may lead to the dissolution of the relationship, contract disputes may arise.

Such a relationship has existed between Pabst Brewing Company and MillerCoors. For almost twenty years, MillerCoors has provided brewery services to Pabst Brewing. This agreement is in the form of a written contract that features a renewal option.

Shareholder disputes can adversely affect Ohio business

Company growth, profits and stability are vital to many Ohio companies. As the company grows, it may decide that adding shareholders will afford the company the resources and experience needed for future growth and profitability. In many instances, this addition proves to be an asset to the company; however, as with most changes, there can be obstacles. It is possible that these obstacles can be in the form of shareholder disputes.

Campbell's Soup has recently found itself at the center of a shareholder dispute. Amid lower than anticipated earnings, one of its shareholder groups began an attempt to force the sale of the company. When it became obvious that this attempt would fail, the group then began working to add members of its group to the current Campbell's Board of Directors. The various factions have come to an agreement in which two members of the shareholder group have been added to the board.

Solid contracts do not always prevent contract disputes

Hiring a new employee is often a leap of faith. An Ohio employer may not know how closely the new hire will compare to the outstanding resume and references presented during the hiring process. Nevertheless, the employer may offer the candidate a job. However, when is it appropriate to include an employment contract, and how can one avoid contract disputes that may arise in the future?

Generally, many small business advocates recommend using an employment contract if the employee has skills the company would have difficulty replacing. A contract may include incentives to keep the employee in the company longer. Additionally, the company may protect itself with a contract for an employee who will be privy to sensitive or confidential information. Such a contract can include terms to prevent a worker from sharing trade secrets or moving to a competing company.

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