Articles Posted in BUSINESS LAW

As an Atlanta breach of contract lawyer, I am seeing more and more Georgia breach of contract claims. My opinion is that part of the increase in frequency of breach of contract claims is attributable to the difficult economic times we have encountered. In my Georgia business litigation law firm, I have seen a dramatic increase in breach of contract claims relating to business, real estate, lease agreements, and other forms of contracts. However, the proper way to handle a breach of contract situation is to seek an experienced breach of contract lawyer as soon as you think a claim may exist.

A breach of contract in legal terms amounts to a broken promise to do, or not do an act. Under general principles of law, a breach of contract occurs when a party fails to perform any material term of a contract without having an acceptable legal reason. The contract may be written, oral, or even implied. Under Georgia law, a breach of contract may include not finishing a job, failure to make payment in full or on time, failure to deliver goods, substituting inferior or significantly different goods, not insuring goods, or even failure to begin work on an agreement. In fact, if a party conveys they will not be able to perform under a contract, this is constitutes a form of breach of contract called “anticipatory breach,” and occurs where a party indicates by words or acts that party will not begin, complete, or otherwise materially perform the promised work.
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As an experienced Atlanta Business Attorney, I frequently advise clients on Georgia employment contracts both for the employer and for employees. In giving advice to those on “both” sides of the desk, I have become familiar with the concerns Atlanta contract lawyers, Atlanta business employers and owners and Atlanta employees have in regards to Georgia employment agreements.

I cannot underscore or emphasize enough the importance of having all your Georgia business contracts drafted, reviewed, and advised upon by an experienced Atlanta Business Lawyer. It is commonplace to see that the necessity of this only hits home when business needs change and business owners-employers and employees alike have to take into consideration, workout or litigate what was not contemplated, or memorialized in writing, when the employer-employee relationship began.

In my practice as Atlanta Business Contract Lawyer, I see the worst in good people, both employer and employee alike. This most often occurs when the simple terms sets forth both below are not set out in detail in a Georgia business contract. Also essential to any Georgia business employment contract, is a comprehensive understanding of the contract. A Business contract is only as good as the parties understanding of it in addition to their adherence and compliance with such contract. As such, I have set forth a list of what I call essential elements and which need to be addressed in any Georgia employment contract. Below is a short list of issues to be considered, negotiated, memorialized, and reviewed by an experienced Atlanta Business Contract Lawyer.

1. Term of Employment: Georgia Employment agreements are considered “at-will” if they do not otherwise specify. When advising on Georgia business contracts, I usually suggest that the Georgia employment agreement specify whether it is for a specified term, with options to renew, negotiable at the end of any term or “at-will.” Also essential to the term of employment are factors such as deferred compensation, health insurance, 401K benefits, and a host of other compensation issues.

2. Position, Job Responsibilities, and Function: Georgia employment agreements should contain specific terms, which set forth the employee’s status with the business, the responsibilities of both the employee to the business and employer, but the business and employer to the employee (i.e. training, travel expense account, etc.).
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One of the most important services an experienced Georgia business lawyer can offer you and your business is knowledge, expertise, personalized legal guidance, and greatly increased chances your GA business will be successful, profitable and sustainable. Lawyers, unlike legal document services, know the problems encountered by GA businesses similar to yours, the GA state and federal courts and the government agencies you will inevitably interact with and the consequences a minor mistake or careless assumption may cause. These consequences can be costly, permanent, or even fatal to your business and your personal finances and welfare. As an experienced business lawyer in Georgia, I have found many of these problematic business situations arise out of faulty legal documents, improper business contracts, agreements or transactions. These are just some of the compelling reasons you should consider hiring a Georgia business law firm to assist and guide you in your business dealings.

Moreover, if your business is successful, the chances are good that you will need a good GA business lawyer again. Our Firm receives repeat Georgia business referrals constantly from clients who I have helped start their own Georgia business, and who later found that they needed other legal services, like reviewing a Georgia lease or taking their business to the next level of growth and profitability. In contrast, I also receive a large number of referrals from business owners send troubled colleagues my way so for resolution of a Georgia business dispute which otherwise could have been avoided had these business owners taken the time to get their businesses off to a good start with proper legal representation. I firmly believe, and have seen time and time again, that it is commonplace prudent business judgment for business owners and entrepreneurs alike to seek the services an experienced GA business lawyer. These services are invaluable and should at the very least, be considered.

A short list of the benefits a GA business lawyer can provide are as follows:

• Advice on which business entity is best for your situation and the best family or friends to involve;
• How to run your business and keep your books in order to get the maximum benefits from incorporation and avoid personal liability by another party “Piercing the Corporate Veil” and being able to access your personal assets for collection on any judgment against you or your corporation;
• An honest discussion of legal liability for the business and for you as an individual;
• Analysis of Georgia laws, county laws, city laws and local requirements will affect your business;
• Assistance with for permits, licenses and zoning and other requirements which will have an impact of your business and are necessary for its operation;
• Advice on the tax consequences and benefits of your GA business entity is subject to or entitled to;
• Assurance that your papers were completed correctly;
• Assistance with GA business contracts in your dealings with your clients and vendors;
• A local experienced GA law firm to call on when issues arise; and, you can be rest assured they will.
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As an experienced Atlanta business lawyer, I find that one of the most rewarding parts of my business practice is helping clients set up a brand-new Georgia business or re-establish and existing one. In doing this, the basic issues which first need to be addressed, are choosing the correct legal entity under which the Georgia Business will operate and filing the necessary papers with the GA Secretary of State. In addition, the business must establish and confirm any necessary business relationships and memorialize these in legally binding contracts per GA law. Any business must also understand the legal requirements and ramifications of local, State of Georgia and federal tax requirements, and licensing.

In recent years, my colleagues and I have begun to notice “client perceived” competition from do-it-yourself companies, called legal document services or elawyering. Essentially, they offer legal forms and instructions for filling them out, claiming you will pay a much lower price for using their services than you might pay if you go to a licensed GA Business Attorney. Naturally, these services are only offered for common legal matters, which assume and lull you into a false sense of comfort that you have set up your business correctly. These elawyer and internet form companies maintain and make you believe your business is “cookie cutter” and without unusual circumstances. These services claim to offer such services as deed transfers, startup papers for a new business, etc. In the many years I have practiced business law, I have found that there is not a business without unusual circumstances, needs, and dynamics. This is a fact, not conjecture.


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In my practice as a commercial real estate lease lawyer, I have found the majority business owners will have to deal with the reality of entering into a Georgia commercial lease agreement at some point in during the course doing business. Commercial leases can be lengthy, complicated, convoluted, and practically impossible for even the most sophisticated businessperson to understand. They may utilize industry standard terms such as “triple net lease”, “Subordination”, “Estoppel Certificates”, “Tenant Improvement Allowance”, all of which have legal significance and significant legal implications. There are also always practical issues such as parking, signage and business hours, indemnification and insurance issues, which seem to look harmless in the lease, but may have widespread significant and destructive consequences to the business tenant and even the landlord if not thought through and considered during the due diligence period. The due diligence period is the period in which the parties to a contract, agreement or other business matter are negotiate, research, investigate and consider all issues which can be thought of before any business transaction should take place. During this due diligence period, all commercial leases should be carefully reviewed and scrutinized by an experienced Georgia lease attorney from a Georgia real estate contract law firm. This should be done prior to signing and by both the property owner, prospective tenant and any other party to the contract or agreement.

Remember that once you or your authorized representative signs a commercial lease, you will be bound by its terms. It is common for commercial leases to bind parties for many years on end or even decades or more. There are oftentimes options for additional terms in the lease or agreement that can be exercised and should be carefully thought through. That being the case, a commercial lease can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars or more, and as such, may be a substantial asset or a liability to any business depending on your position.

There are many working parts in a commercial lease. Often times, many of these parts are negotiable and it is customary and wise to have an experienced Georgia real estate contract attorney to protect your business and personal interests. As such, each of these elements should be understood and considered when negotiating and/or entering into a lease and prior to signing. If you have concerns or fail to address them, you are likely setting yourself up for prospective trouble in the future. As you would expect, commercial landlords usually have ready and offer the initial Georgia real estate agreement to the prospective tenant. They have already paid their experienced GA real estate contracts attorney to draft these agreements in their best interests and with all terms most favorable to their interests. Both landlords and prospective tenants need someone in their corner to protect their best interests when proposing and entering into these specialized real estate contract agreements in Georgia.
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The three letters “IRS” strike fear in a lot of people, and for good reason. Nobody likes to be audited by the IRS. An audit is time-consuming and nerve-racking. An audit can also be expensive, with not only professional fees, but potentially having to pay a deficiency in taxes (plus interest and maybe penalties).

A primary cause for drawing an IRS audit is business deductions that look out of the ordinary. Even if legitimate, you still have to provide documentation, etc. So why would you want to draw attention to yourself? Yet I see many taxpayers do exactly that when they form a single member limited liability company (“LLC”).

If you are starting a new business, and select an LLC as your business entity (which I frequently suggest is the best entity), then you need a multiple owner LLC. If you have a business partner, then the LLC will be a multiple member LLC. But if you are starting a business by yourself, then make a spouse or family member a 1% owner.

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