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Hackensack Business and Commercial Law Blog

Should you buy a franchise?

Have you always dreamed of owning your own business or running a business? A franchise might be the right option for you. 

Buying a franchise can be an exciting opportunity, and one that many baby boomers are exploring instead of heading into retirement, according to recent reports. Before you make the decision to buy a franchise, you need to understand what a franchise is and the benefits and risks of owning one.

Small businesses may not want to gamble with risk

Entrepreneurs are usually pretty savvy. They've been around business for a while, and they've done their research before they've invested their time, money and energy into their enterprise. They surround themselves with trusted advisors who guide them through the regulations and picky accounting and legal details that they would rather not spend too much time on themselves. They'd rather be selling something, or making something, or helping others to sell or to make something.

Is that too romantic a vision of an entrepreneur? Some would argue that it is, especially since the advent of the World Wide Web and the smartphone. A college student sitting in her mother's basement may come up with a brilliant bit of code on Tuesday and find herself preparing for an IPO by the end of the year.

Should homeowner sue builder for fraud or breach of warranty? p4

We are finishing up our discussion of a case that may yet go to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The defendant is a developer who planned and built a 10-home enclave on the hills overlooking the Passaic River. The plaintiffs, a married couple, contracted with defendant to build a home with modifications to the architect's original plan; the request required further modifications to a retaining wall -- a retaining wall that was supposed to keep the house from sliding down the hill.

The developer testified that he had inspected the wall after it was constructed and casually monitored its progress during construction. He assured the plaintiffs that the wall was sound. The plaintiffs purchased the home (for $1.56 million), but learned a few days later that the house was sliding downhill.

Should homeowner sue builder for fraud or breach of warranty? p3

We're still talking about the homeowners who discovered, just after they closed, that their home was sliding down the hill. The home was built in a neighborhood overlooking the Passaic River. The couple had made changes to the original plans that required a design modification for a retaining wall. They sued when they realized there was a crack in the foundation and that the house was shifting.

The plaintiffs claimed the developer had violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The first court found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded them $7.4 million. The award was so high because the law calls for triple damages for violations. The developer appealed, and the appellate court reversed the decision, finding no violation under the CFA.

Should homeowner sue builder for fraud or breach of warranty? p2

We are following up on our April 3 post about a new home with a serious structural problem. The plaintiffs are a New Jersey couple who purchased one home in a 10-home development along the Passaic River. They asked for changes to the original plan that, according to the builder, required modifications to the retaining wall originally planned. The architect knew nothing about the modifications until after the home was completed; neither, for that matter, did the borough engineer, who raised questions about the construction and design.

After conducting his own inspection of the retaining wall, the architect was confident that it was sound and put that in writing for both the plaintiffs and the borough. The borough issued a certificate of occupancy, and the plaintiffs closed on the house. Before they moved in, they discovered that the house had a serious crack in the foundation and, in fact, was sliding downhill.

Does being a good store manager mean you should own a franchise?

Whether you’re working in food service, retail or another industry, there comes a time in nearly every store manager’s career where you start to wonder – “I’m a good manager. Should I open up my own franchise and go into business for myself?”

The answer depends on more factors than you might realize. There are a lot of meaningful differences between being a manager and owning your own store. Ask yourself these questions, which are based on a recent interview in QSR Magazine, to help determine if owning a franchise is the right career move for you:

A good business plan begins with the right entity selection

“New businesses are the engine of the economy,” said Ray Rossi, the director of the 2015-2016 Rutgers Business Plan Competition. It is a competition designed to encourage students to take an active role in entrepreneurialism. We shared the top three winning business plans in our recent post.

Ray Rossi was right when he made that statement, but a new business cannot thrive without a solid plan. Our law firm helps new companies build a successful framework for their businesses, beginning with the right entity selection for their venture.

Founder of Angie's List explains how to build a business

Every business owner in New Jersey wants to be successful -- especially right out of the gate. In our post on Sunday, we discussed the very beginning processes of establishing a successful business: finding the right co-founder. But where do you go from there?

The answer may vary depending on the type of business you are launching, but it is always wise to take advice from those who have already found success. In a recent article in Entrepreneur, the founder of Angie's List, a consumer service review website, offered a few tips on how to help your business grow and flourish.

Should homeowner sue builder for fraud or breach of warranty?

A home construction lawsuit may give new meaning to the term "mobile home." The homeowners contracted with the developer to construct a home in a new, upscale enclave in Florham Park, New Jersey, situated in the hills overlooking the Passaic River. Soon after the closing, before the couple moved in, a plumber explained to them that their house was sliding down the hill.

Florham Park is a small community of about 12,500 people. The borough is about 45 minutes outside of New York City, and it seems to attract affluent families from the area and commuters from New York. The average household income, according to City-data.com, is about $30,000 per year higher than the New Jersey average.

Rutgers students win big in entrepreneurial competition

The entrepreneurial spirit that helped make our country great is alive and well at Rutgers University in New Jersey. You can find it in the efforts made by students during the 2015-2016 Rutgers Business Plan Competition. The goal of the competition is to help foster and encourage innovation.

This is not your average competition. The students had to do a lot more than submit an idea for a business. Ray Rossi is the director of the competition. He explained that in order to compete, the students had “to create an executive summary that describes their business in two pages and then present a comprehensive business plan.”

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