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Hackensack Business and Commercial Law Blog

Conference examines state of NJ commercial real estate market

There is no question that the commercial real estate market here in New Jersey has rebounded significantly from the nightmare that was the Great Recession, which saw stymied development, record foreclosures and high vacancy rates.

Indeed, new projects are being announced virtually every day across the Garden State with sustained growth being seen in the industrial, multifamily and office sectors of the real estate market.

Interestingly enough, however, at a gathering of industry executives this week the hot topic of discussion was how even though New Jersey's commercial real estate market as a whole is expected to thrive for the foreseeable future, there were nevertheless a few issues that could serve to potentially derail this otherwise favorable state of affairs.

Trying to scam someone in New Jersey? Fuggedaboutit

New Jersey residents have a reputation for being outspoken. Bad service in a restaurant does not go unnoticed. A department store finds out quickly if it has overcharged a customer. If traffic on a bridge seems unusually heavy … someone says something.

State lawmakers understand, even share the demand for quality, but they have also made sure that the state protects a consumer's right to what was promised. The Consumer Fraud Act provides consumers with an avenue of redress if a person or business, to use the local idiom, tries to pull a fast one.

Summer is over, so the real work starts now; an attorney can help p2

No detail is too small when you are starting a business, but all the small details can be a bit of a buzz kill. Your enthusiasm ebbs just a little with every hour spent on these issues and not on the big picture, not on realizing your dream.

You can focus on what matters to you by working with an experienced team of lawyers to guide you through the legal side of starting a business. Our lawyers understand the finer points of business formation. We understand, too, that each business startup is unique, so our services and solutions focus on each individual client; we don't try to force square pegs into round holes.

Now that summer is over, the real work starts

The summer is coming to a close, but for many of us Labor Day marks a time of new beginnings. It is not just the beginning of the school year, either. A summer vacation can put a whole new spin on life. A couple of weeks in Cape May could be just the thing to trigger a new business concept. A modest win at an Atlantic City casino -- while they're still open -- could give a budding entrepreneur the push she needs to put her idea to work.

The thing about starting a business is that there are so many details to take care of before you do anything else. You need to think about how the business will be organized -- as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, an S corporation?

Summer's over, and the real work starts now; an attorney can help

In our last post, we were talking about the rejuvenating effects of a summer break. While some of us spent our time off thinking about our next nap, others spent their breaks dreaming about business opportunities. Now that Labor Day has passed, we all have to put our white shoes and tank tops away and get back to work.

It is time to get moving on that business idea.

No detail is too small when you are starting a company, but all the small details are a bit of a buzz kill. Your enthusiasm ebbs just a little with every hour spent on these issues and not on the big picture, not on realizing your dream.

Attacked from all sides, is franchising on the chopping block? p3

The California State Legislature has passed a law that drew strong support from franchisees and sharp criticism from franchisors across the country. The law, if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, will have no legal effect on operations here in New Jersey -- yet. Other states, including ours, could follow the Golden State's example.

National franchisors may not jump to make the standards imposed by this bill uniform across their networks, but franchisees may well begin to lobby for similar laws in their own states. Whatever else happens, though, if the bill becomes law, the relationship between franchisee and franchisor could be even more complicated.

Focus: major business relocation to Camden announced

The City of Camden "is in the midst of a comeback," states an editorialist in a recent South Jersey Times article, with that writer lauding the state's Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 as the catalyst for promoting regional economic development.

Indeed, notes Debra P. DiLorenzo (the president Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey) in an opinion piece written for the publication, recent salutary business development in the area has led to a "Camden renaissance."

Here's why, she says.

Attacked from all sides, is franchising on the chopping block? p2

One of the reasons an entrepreneur will purchase a franchise is that the brand is already established. The reputation of the restaurant chain, for example, will drive traffic into the franchise location without a lot of marketing from the franchisee. The franchisor benefits, of course, because the chain is expanding, the brand has a new or increased presence in that market.

The effect on the brand is an argument made by both proponents and opponents of a bill in the California Legislature. A quick update from our last post: The Assembly passed an amended version of the bill last week and sent that version to the Senate for concurrence. The process is the same as New Jersey's: The two houses must pass identical versions of the bill before it can go to the governor. That takes some negotiation at times. It is not clear what the Senate will do in this case.

Attacked from all sides, is franchising on the chopping block?

Earlier this month, we posted about the National Labor Relations Board's decision to lump McDonald's Corp. and a number of New York City franchisees together as the employers of workers attempting to unionize. In June, we wrote about franchisees' opposition to a minimum wage hike in Seattle. Another dispute is brewing in California, this time over a proposed state law that would increase the protections afforded to franchisees.

It's hard not to wonder if the franchise model itself is under fire. For those of us who remember the old Time-Life "Mysteries of the Unknown" commercials, can this be dismissed as chance? All of this activity could be a coincidence, but it is hard to dispute that real change is just around the corner.

Is a sole proprietorship the right business model for you?

Someone once said that you only need two things to start a business: a product and a customer. There are entrepreneurs out there who would argue that all you need is an idea. Still others would say that you need a business plan, startup capital and investors, office or production space, marketing materials and a solid team of advisers.

However you arrive at your business, you should think about what kind of legal entity it should be. If you plan to open a factory with hundreds of workers, you might decide your business should be a corporation. If you are the business, though, you might opt to be a sole proprietorship.

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