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Dallas Business Law Topics

Can a tenant break a lease?

A commercial shopping center has the potential to produce a high return on investment with a blend between stable anchor tenants and lucrative outparcel or subdivided tenants for a landlord. A key factor to being able to attract and retain quality tenants is the type of lease, terms of the rent or Common Area Maintence (CAM) fee, and any personal or corporate guaranty on the lease. Therefore, it is vital to establish both a strong understanding of your goals and a relationship with your attorney who will draft and negotiate these terms on your behalf.

The three main types of commercial leases include: form of net lease, where the tenant pays a percentage of usage of common costs such as parking lot maintenance, share of utilities or property taxes, gross lease, where the tenant pays a fixed amount each month which provides all services from landlord, and finally, a percentage lease which may incorporate features of the above leases along with a percentage of gross sales payable to landlord.

Does your LLC need an operating agreement?

Starting a new business often involves significant document preparation, and you may wonder if you can forgo some of the steps involved in the interest of saving time and money. The short-term solution would be to file and prepare only the minimum to begin operations. The long-term advice is to plan and budget for a robust set of documents which clearly describe all interactions between parties.

If you form an LLC, Texas state law does not require that a limited liability company draft, sign or maintain an operating agreement other than the statutory template agreement provided as a default. However, your business may not fit the standard terms. Each business will have unique partners, financing, or contractual risk that should be clearly written down to reflect your intentions. If you value the time and energy in forming the business, you and your co-owners should memorialize the terms of the partnership because it may help prevent future disputes among the owners of the LLC and protect your limited liability status in the courts.

What types of businesses are there?

As a prospective business owner or entrepreneur in Texas, you may be wondering how to start your business. Every business requires organization and a clear understanding of the need to maintain and keep documents. Palmer & Manuel, PLLC, can provide a clear breakdown of the types of documents that every business will begin to create. We offer a complimentary consultation to assess your liability protection and organization of all documents.

You deserve payment

You did the research, connected with your clients and complied with all of the necessary regulations to get your financial business off the ground. With all the work you put into it, you expect other people to do the same and to repay their part of your partnership. At Palmer & Manuel PLLC, we want to help you get what you are owed if your Texas investments do not go exactly as planned. 

What you may not know is that you are entitled to many of the same legal protections as the major national corporations, even if you are the owner of a small financial company. Furthermore, your contract may give you specific powers of which you are not aware or which you are unsure how to enforce.

Commercial versus residential lockouts in Texas

Many states have housing statutes and ordinances that lean heavily towards favoring the renter. Texas law treats lease agreements differently. From the landlord's perspective, the largest advantage is probably in the power to handle tenants who are delinquent on rent.

Before any further discussion, it is important to note that eviction is a formal process. Landlords who attempt to take action against tenants without going through proper channels could be subject to various types of lawsuits. Even with that in mind, Texas put a relatively large amount of power in hands of its lessors.

Legal considerations regarding real estate transactions

Every real estate transaction involves a significant number of legal issues. Every risk can be analyzed as either high or low probability and a high or low expected cost. For commercial transactions, nearly all legal decisions involve a high expected cost. For residential transactions, most decisions carry a relatively low penalty. The pivotal decision is knowing when to hire an attorney to protect your interests and when to rely on "your gut."

In Dallas and cities all throughout Texas, real estate offers a great opportunities to grow wealth, provide cash flow and generate returns for investors, but those who fail to prepare accordingly may face legal issues down the road that could have been avoided altogether.

What is a family limited partnership?

As a Texas business owner, you have worked hard to build your company, and now it is time to start thinking about your legacy. A family limited partnership allows you to protect your business assets from liability, provide for your family and secure the future of your company even in the event of your retirement, death or incapacitation. 

According to FindLaw, despite the name, you do not have to transfer interests in an FLP to family members. You may choose to make gifts of interests in the FLP only to kin to keep a family-owned company intact, but you are at liberty to choose whomever you want to receive investments and other interests. 

What should you include in your partnership agreement?

A partnership agreement is not a requirement to start a new business, but if you are thinking about forming a new business partnership in Texas, or if you have a partnership already established, you should think about drawing one up. According to FindLaw, establishing your own rules by which to govern your business prevents the state from imposing a set of default one-size-fits-all rules upon you. Furthermore, making your own partnership agreement allows each partner to know where he or she stands and what expectations he or she must meet, which may help prevent minor problems from escalating into major disputes. 

One of the most basic items to include in your partnership agreement is the name of your business. You may use a fictitious name for your company, as long as it is not already in use, or you may name it after the partners involved. In either case, your partnership agreement should also include the following information.

Navigating the new business tax laws

As a new calendar year gets underway, many companies are turning their attention to how the newly implemented tax laws will play out as they file their 2018 business tax returns. Texas businesses may also decide to reevaluate the form of the entity they are using.

Historically, the tax burden associated with operating a business as a C corporation deterred many companies from creating this type of structure. As a result, the S corporation and the LLC grew to become quite popular in part due to their tax structure which could be more favorable to smaller businesses. That, however, may well change under the new tax code and some businesses may wonder if they should migrate to a C corporation structure.

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Palmer & Manuel PLLC
8350 N. Central Expressway Suite 1111
Dallas, TX 75206

Phone: 214-242-6444
Fax: 214-265-1950
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