Legal-Ease: Numbers, numbers and business numbers

Similar to today’s technology requiring the memorization of a lot of different numbers and passwords, businesses also require an array of numbers and passcodes. 

As part of the filing of an LLC, the Secretary of State assigns a document number to identify the actual, filed articles. The Secretary of State also assigns a business its charter number, which helps identify the organization. And usually following an entity’s establishment, a business will get an employer/tax identification number, also called an EIN. 

Legal-Ease: What to do when the plan fails

Successful people both plan for success and for less-than-ideal circumstances. When a plan fails, it’s important to engage in three big steps. First, don’t just bury your head in the sand. Second, be proactive and gets plans in place early. Finally, be open-minded and be willing to accept help from others. 

Legal-Ease: How far can I stretch my liability protection?

Sometimes we wonder how far something can legally be stretched. When forming an LLC, some may wonder if there’s any way to protect assets from being used to satisfy legal responsibilities related to an accident or misdeed. 

Legal protections, like a tape measure, include limits on how far they can be stretched. 

Legal-Ease: Will Lake Erie sue you?

The residents of the city of Toledo voted that Lake Erie and its watershed, which includes Allen County and any county adjacent to Allen County, can sue any business or government that causes harm to Lake Erie or fails to undertake protective action of Lake Erie. This law is largely symbolic designed to show that Toledo wants less pollution in Lake Erie and is not likely to be enforced. 

If LEBOR were to actually be enforced, it could immediately affect all businesses in northwest Ohio. 

Legal-Ease: Earning, keeping and expanding trust

Trust is the basic foundation of human interaction. Lee is regularly asked by landlord clients what type of person they should seek as their property managers and tenants. His answer is always the same: trust. 

Our legal system is set up to create or at least maintain trust so that business and commerce can operate. Trust is also guaranteed to be kept throughout durations of business transactions through the use of legal documentation. 

Legal-Ease: Caution with corporations

Before LLCs were legally able to be established, the practical ways to organize businesses was to establish either a corporation or limited partnership. 

Limited partnerships are cumbersome to maintain are are confusing when compared to LLCs. 

There can be some legitimate reasons for a new business to organize as a corporation instead of an LLC for tax purposes. When organizing a new business, caution should be exercised to be sure that the business is being established in the best way possible. 

Legal-Ease: Warranties and out-of-business retailers

When a business closes, its commitments are typically canceled along with the business itself. So, for example, a retailer that closes down may have the ability to walk away from its property lease. This applies to contracts with other vendors as well. 

Among contracts that a business may walk away from upon closure are warranties. Warranty liability for closed businesses usually will break out into two categories. 

Legal-Ease: Communicate first, then plan

Too little communication can be terrible for personal relationships. Lack of communication when it comes to family businesses can be similarly devastating. Sometimes assumptions are made when it comes to the family business and succession planning, and this can cause trouble. 

Legal-Ease: Business protection of customer information

Nefarious people around the world seek out our personal information to steal identities, unlawfully take our money, assets and reputations. The struggle is even harder for business owners. 

Cyber criminals will often try to hack into the customer database of a single business to secure multiple people’s information at the same time. 

The question for small businesses is often how much protection the business owes its customers from data theft. 

Legal-Ease: What should I be ready for in selling or buying a business?

The process of buying and selling a business usually breaks down into five steps and considerations. 

First, the seller and buyer of the business need to reach an agreement. Second, both the seller and the buyer secure third-party professionals to assist them. Third, a purchase agreement is prepared. Fourth, the seller and the buyer of the business need to ensure that the details of the agreement are accurate. Finally, there’s a closing.