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Hackensack Business and Commercial Law Blog

How does a tax lien affect a commercial property sale?

It is important to understand liens in general before moving on to the subject of tax liens. Black's Law Dictionary defines a lien as "a legal right or interest that a creditor has in another's property." When you take out a mortgage to purchase a home, you are voluntarily placing a lien against the property; the lienholder is the lender, the security is the house.

When you renovate your office building, the general contractor is responsible for paying all of the subcontractors. If the general does not, though, those companies may file liens -- specifically, mechanic's liens -- against your property. You may never have had any dealings with the plumber or electrician, but your property is the tangible evidence of their work.

Former World Champ suing to end contract with boxing promoter

Miguel Ángel "Mikey" Garcia was undefeated as a super featherweight. Among other titles, he has won the WBO World Championship in that division and moved on to become a super lightweight. At age 27, Garcia now stands at 34-0.

He's at the top of his game, and he's a top commodity. It's no wonder his promoter, Top Rank, doesn't want to lose him. Unfortunately, what started as a dispute over fair pay has escalated into a full-blown court battle over, among other issues, whether:

Is it wiser to own a chain or to be a franchisor?

When people talk about lucky pets, Leona Helmsley's Trouble often comes to mind. The Maltese inherited $12 million -- later reduced to $2 million -- from the notorious New York hotelier so that the dog could continue to enjoy her (Trouble's) lavish lifestyle. Please note the "continue": It is fairly clear that Trouble wanted for little before Helmsley's death.

Trouble (the dog) came to mind when we read of the expansion plans of a New Jersey company. The company runs dog daycare and boarding facilities that cater to the more pampered pet. Equipped with high end finishes, state-of-the-art materials and cutting-edge floorplans, the facilities have proved popular enough that the founders have opened more, in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And, their expansion has included both owned and franchised facilities.

New Jersey bars, restaurants can be sued for playing the jukebox

The next time someone plays a song on the jukebox at your bar or restaurant, it could lead to a lawsuit from one of the giant companies that license song rights. That is the lesson a handful of New Jersey watering holes learn each year, according to USA TODAY.

The companies that initiate these potentially expensive suits are Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC). These organizations own the rights to play virtually every song heard on TV and the radio. They charge bars and restaurants for licenses to play songs on their jukeboxes.

What should an employer know about the non-disclosure agreement?

It goes without saying that contracts are really, really important in the business world -- and yet there are ample opportunities for companies to botch certain contracts or the way they are supposed to be handled, thus creating a legal headache for that company. One of the trickier aspects of the employment process is the act of hiring an employee. It may not seem that difficult to most people, but employers know all too well how tricky this can be.

One aspect of the hiring process that can cause trepidation for an employer is the non-disclosure agreement (or non-competition agreement). The point of this document is to protect the employer in case the employee leaves the company or tries to go off and work for a competitor or business rival.

Franchise law is complex, get a lawyer who understands it

If you're at all familiar with business law you know that there are a lot of elements involved that make everything work properly. From contracts to business plans, securing capital to making sure a company is complying with both state and federal laws, it's not hard to see why it takes a lawyer's help to do most things in the business world.

But there is one area of business law where this is more so true and that's in franchise law. Considered a small niche area, franchise law can present unique and difficult legal challenges because it requires knowledge of both state and federal franchise laws. Without a good legal background, the application of both sets of laws may seem confusing, which is not a good thing because confusion can lead to mistakes and mistakes can lead to legal consequences.

Cover your legal bases when franchising in New Jersey

The franchisor-franchisee relationship can be highly profitable, but it can also be highly contentious. When a dispute does arise, neither party automatically wants to litigate -- cost-efficient negotiation may be possible -- but going to court is necessary in many cases.

Because franchising law is complex and varies a great deal from state to state, franchisors and franchisees need experienced legal counsel to protect their respective interests. Having a lawyer who has worked on both sides -- for franchisors and franchisees -- and who knows the underlying case law can give you the advantage you need to prevail.

Does Small Claims Court handle business litigation?

We often discuss the different types of litigation a business may face. We have written about breach of contract, class action, consumer protection and employment cases, about franchise and real estate disputes, even about lawsuits involving the government. Every claim is unique, regardless of the size or nature of the plaintiffs and defendants, regardless of the size or nature of the relief sought.

There is one kind of lawsuit that we seldom discuss, not because these cases are rare, but because they are seldom newsworthy. They can, however, lead to more complicated lawsuits with higher stakes, so businesses should be aware of them. We are talking, of course, about claims heard in Small Claims Court.

What resolutions are possible after a breach of contract?

Contracts are crucial in the business world. In just about any business operation, there are contracts in place to protect and define employment relationships, ownership rights, performance of services, liability and many other aspects of owning, working at or working with a particular company.

In many cases, these contracts work as expected and all parties comply with the terms and understand their obligations. However, if one party breaches a contract, there can be legal action and consequences taken to address the breach and help the non-breaching party seek relief. 

When a business is facing environmental violation accusations

One thing that a great many business owners care deeply about is their business being a good corporate citizen. One thing being a good corporate citizen can involve is taking care of the environment. Thus, it is not uncommon for a business owner to put a great deal of effort towards making sure their business' various operations are done in an environmentally responsible manner. Consequently, a business owner can feel crushed when allegations of environmental regulation violations are leveled against their business.

Having one's business facing allegations of environmental regulation violations can not only be emotionally tough on a business owner, it can also have the potential to threaten their business' future well-being.

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