Corporate Compliance: Avoiding and Preparing for a Lawsuit

A business should always be prepared for a lawsuit, and the best time to prepare for one is before any possible legal claims arise.  Corporate compliance can go a long way in preparing for and avoiding a lawsuit.  If a business has a self-monitored corporate compliance plan and audits its own practices consistently, it will not only avoid potential lawsuits, but have self-preserving support in the case of a lawsuit.

Organization

Organization is the most important…

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What is an S Corp?

An S Corporation (“S Corp”) is known as a pass-through tax entity because business profits are only taxed at one level: the owner’s personal tax returns. Partnerships and LLCs may elect to be taxed as an S Corp, but corporations’ profits are taxed pursuant to the owner’s personal tax returns and the corporation pays its own taxes. This feature makes an S Corp an attractive business entity for those considering formation.

S Corp

An…

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Residential vs. Commercial Leases

California law treats residential and commercial leases very differently. Generally, commercial tenants receive less legal protections than residential tenants. It is therefore critical for both landlords and tenants to be very familiar with the terms of a commercial lease, and not just assume that the same standard provisions are provided in each agreement.

Residential Lease Agreement

For starters, a residential lease agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord to use property for living. The agreement is usually…

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Landlord and Tenant Issues: Mandatory Disclosures

California law requires landlords to make certain mandatory disclosures to tenants, most of which are usually found in the lease or an addendum to the lease, and generally concern the health and safety of potential building inhabitants. It is important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of the mandatory disclosures. If a landlord does not make a required disclosure, or fails to disclose dangerous conditions on the property, the landlord can…

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Are Ridesharing Apps Like Uber and Lyft Breaking California Law?

Consumers love the convenience of new ridesharing startup companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar offer. With a few taps on your smartphone, you can have a car waiting for you within minutes. State and local governments, however, are less in love with these companies, and have been trying to halt their services around the country. Most recently, the California Public Utilities Commission sent letters to all three companies informing them that their ride-share services violate state…

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Landlord and Tenant Disputes: Normal Wear and Tear

One of the most dreaded parts of renting a place to live is moving. Tenants generally bank on the fact that they will not see their security deposit again. This does not necessarily have to be the case, and tenants as well as landlords should stay informed about their rights to know how much of their deposit they are entitled to receive back from the tenant’s perspective, and how much can be held back…

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The Difficulty of Challenging a Variance

Challenging a variance in California can be very difficult.  In the recent case of Eskeland v. City of Del Mar, 224 Cal. App. 4th 936 (4th Dist. 2014), a property owner purchased a home with a pre-existing non-conforming structure. His front lawn was shorter than 20 feet, violating the city’s zoning ordinances. On top of that, he wanted to build a new house on the same, non-conforming footprint as…

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RULLCA: California’s Revised LLC Act

In January 2014, California replaced its Limited Liability Company (LLC) law with the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA). RULLCA repealed the law that had governed California LLCs for two decades, and provides new provisions governing the formation and operation of limited liability companies.

RULLCA will govern all California LLCs organized on or after January 1, 2014. The new law made several new changes to the formation process of an LLC. For example,…

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California Paid Sick Leave Law

On September 10, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1522, a law requiring public and private employers to provide their employees with at least 3 paid sick leave days per year. It is very important that employers begin implementing paid sick leave policies to make sure they are compliant with the new law, which goes into effect in July 2015.

Under the new law, most employees will be entitled to one (1)…

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Requirements of a Properly Formed Business Entity

There are a number of options when it comes to choosing a business entity for a particular organization or business venture.  Business owners and entrepreneurs can greatly limit their personal liability by forming a business entity or reorganizing a business. Which entity is best suited to a particular owner, organization, or business venture will depend on evaluating which entity is most aligned with their business model and objectives. In California, entity options include a…

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