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Dallas Business Law Topics

Reviewing home purchasing contingencies

There is no denying that the process of purchasing a new home in Dallas is an exciting one. Such excitement may prompt you to want to rush into putting a property that you think is your dream home under contract with the hopes of completing your purchase as soon as possible. Yet many clients have come to us here at Palmer & Manual PLLC in your same position without first thinking about what protections they may want to place in their purchasing contracts to help keep them from making a potentially port decision. Such additional thought need not deter you from pursuing a property, but rather ensure that you are getting what you think you are paying for. 

Whenever you (as a potential buyer) put a home under contract, you will want to ensure that certain contingencies are put into the purchasing agreement to help protect your down payment. Such contingencies are meant to allow you to back out of a contract (with your down payment) if information surfaces that causes you to question your decision to buy the home. Per Realtor.com, two of the more common contingencies meant to protect you as a buyer include home inspection and appraisal contingencies. If the home does not appraise for the value the seller is asking for, or if issues with the home’s structural integrity arise during an inspection, these contingencies would essentially void your contract. 

Benefits of writing up a partnership agreement

Forming a business as a partnership is exciting. But even if you run the business with a best friend, close family member or trustworthy colleague, you never know when things can go sour. A partnership dispute can cause your business to falter, especially if you do not have a strong agreement in place. 

Writing up a partnership agreement can give you the tools necessary to avoid and resolve arguments. Here are the main advantages of putting this document in writing. 

Forming a Business Partnership

Forming a business as a partnership is exciting. But even if you run the business with a best friend, close family member or trustworthy colleague, you never know when things can go sour. A partnership dispute can cause your business to falter, especially if you do not have a strong agreement in place. In our experience, typically a successful business produce more disputes than a struggling business. With a division of responsibilities, there will be natural differences in expense reimbursement, re-investment goals, and even procedural policies. These disagreements may seem small, but add up over time and can fracture even the strongest relationships.

Writing the general and specific elements of the partnership agreement can give you the tools necessary to avoid and resolve arguments. Here are the main advantages of putting this document in writing.

Communication guidelines under the FDCPA

The word "harassment" is often thrown around quite liberally when it comes to debt collections. Many in Dallas may understand that they legitimately owe on their debts; they just do not like to be reminded of it. You (as a business owner) have every right to collect what is owed to you; at the same time, you do not want your reputation damaged by those who you have to pursue for outstanding debts. A question that is often posed to us here at Palmer & Manuel PLLCB by clients in your same position is what does the law dictate when it comes to communicating with those that owe your company money? 

To adequately answer that question, you must be familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This is a federal law that serves to not only protect consumers' (debtors') rights, but also guide the collection efforts for creditors. While many may view any contact made by creditors as harassment, according to the FDCPA, your debtors can indeed be contacted in regard to their liabilities within reasonable hours and through the proper channels. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "reasonable hours" means anytime between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm, and "proper channels" is typically limited to a debtor's personal phone number (your debtor cannot be contacted at their place of business unless they have given permission to do so). 

How should I select a business partner?

If you are like many entrepreneurs in Texas, you might consider partnering with another person to help get a new venture off the ground. The reasons people enter into partnerships vary and may include increased access to capital, specific industry or market expertise, expanded production capabilities and more. While a partnership may have many positive benefits, it should not be something rushed into.

As recommended by Entrepreneur magazine, business people should carefully evaluate potential partners and partnership agreements before making any final decision or signing a contract. If two people have never worked together before, it might be wise to establish some sort of trial period in which the two can test out their ability to work together and make joint decisions. It will be important for each party to truly understand each other's style to assess compatibility.

Putting a home under contract

With all of the excitement that comes with searching for a new home in Dallas, one might start to wonder people say buying a home is such a stressful process. Finding a home certainly can be fun; actually buying it can be a different story. Many think that the hardest part of the entire process is putting an offer in and having it accepted. Oftentimes, however, it is at that very point when the stress truly sets in. 

When one has a home under contract, they typically view the house as being as good as theirs. While they are one step closer to making that a reality, much can still happen to derail the sale. Typically, however, any actions that nullify the proposed sale of a home will not come from the seller. According to SFGate.com, while a seller can continue to receive offers on a home while it is under contract, they cannot reject the current contract for a better offer. If they do attempt to back out of the sale (without having good cause to do so), the buyer can take them to court to either force the sale via a court order or sue for breach of contract. 

Family business succession and protection

Many businesses in Texas are started by relatives or married couples. Other businesses may be started by an individual but with the hope that one day the business will be passed on to the founder's children. These situations all require some smart, proactive and strategic planning in order to ensure the business continues to be properly managed.

As explained by Entrepreneur magazine, a prenuptial agreement can be a useful tool in a variety of situations. For couples who own and operate a business together, it may provide some protection for the business in the event that the couple divorces by outlining provisions for ownership of the company ahead of time. If one person owns a business alone and then gets married, a marital contract can identify the business as that person's separate property.

How anticipatory repudiation may affect your small business

As a small business owner, you likely deal with contracts all the time. That is, you may regularly execute leases, purchase agreements or fulfillment contracts. When you enter into a contract in good faith, you expect all parties to honor its terms. If someone does not do so, your organization may sustain damages. 

While you do not have to be a lawyer to understand the terms of an agreement, you should know about anticipatory repudiation. According to the Uniform Commercial Code, anticipatory repudiation allows the non-breaching party to protect its interests when the other party does not perform. Obviously, knowing about a future breach as soon as possible makes sense for any organization. Here are three ways anticipatory repudiation may arise: 

Understanding breach of contract damages

At the law firm of Palmer & Manuel, PLLC, in Texas, we help many business owners negotiate and draft their numerous contracts. Since contracts represent such a large part of any business, having a good written contract with each of your partners, suppliers, independent contractors and a myriad of others best serves your interests.

Despite the best contract and the best intentions of its respective parties, however, breaches occasionally occur. When this happens, you have the right to sue the offending party for breach of contract. The University of New Mexico explains that in any such suit, you can collect two types of monetary damages,  compensatory and punitive.

Considerations in choosing a business structure

When you create a small business in Texas, you have choices as to what structure it will have. At Palmer & Manuel, we know that there are so many different ways of forming a new business that it may be difficult to decide which structure is best. 

Both your situation and your long-term goals can assist you in deciding on a business structure. According to FindLaw, the following criteria may be helpful considerations in reaching a decision in that regard. 

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