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Buffalo New York Legal Blog

Do you use boilerplate forms in your business?

Do you use pre-prepared forms in your business? Almost every business does in some capacity. Digital technology has made our communications instantaneous. However, when relying on boilerplate forms to buy or sell goods, a fast paced email interaction and order fulfillment process could cast ambiguity on the enforceability of your business agreements. As such, businesses should understand the contract formation process to reduce operational risk, streamline fulfillment processes and protect the bottom line.

Reasonable accommodations include more than an accessible workspace

While it is common knowledge that any workplace needs to treat employees fairly, the discussion of what “fair” means leads to debate. What is clearly defined, is that employees cannot be discriminated against based on their gender, race, country of origin, gender or disability.

Another word that many people disagree upon is disability. Anyone who has sought assistance for a medical condition knows the challenge of securing medical proof of a condition. For some people, seeing is believing. When a disability is not visually apparent, employers might be hesitant to comply with an employee’s needs.

Proven legal input can promote an optimal commercial lease outcome

Some of the nearly countless million Americans who have executed one or more residential leases in their lives have of course jockeyed a bit with their landlords on a relevant contractual point or two.

Heavily negotiating a residential lease is rare, though, and spells an attempted would-be lessee tactic that landlords don't often expect to see.

What issues are centrally relevant to a commercial lease?

Business owners across New York routinely deal with widely varied and pressing matters. That is of course understandable. Business is complex, being replete with challenges and opportunities.

Commercial participants must timely address entity choice and craft key foundational documents and agreements. They must often deal with lenders, suppliers, vendors, government regulators, customers and other parties. They necessarily focus on labor, costs, compliance, taxes and myriad other factors germane to near-term opportunities and longer horizons.

Finding out how much do you need to pay your employees

Increases in New York's minimum wage went into effect on Dec. 31. The changes impact businesses differently depending on where in the state your business is located.

The concern about such changes goes beyond the increased costs employers will face. It is also important to note that keeping track of what to pay employees will not become any simpler.

Business startups and company growth

Owners of business startups need to pay particular attention to helping make their company grow. But business growth can present its own set of issues. It means reinvesting profits back into the business. And it can also mean revisions to the organizational structure.

One business periodical provided some tips concerning the considerations owners of startups must make. These include:

Avoiding mistakes when selling your business

When putting a business up for sale, small business owners will wish to sell their business quickly and profitably. However, it’s always a good idea to be cautious.

One business periodical discussing mistakes to avoid when selling a business speaks about insufficient preparation, and business owners not appropriately valuating the worth of the business before placing it on the market. Especially when conducting a business sale in a hasty manner, mistakes are more likely to occur.

Employee rights violations and the consequences

Employees have many avenues to air their grievances. It’s therefore important for businesses to understand the rights their employees have.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists some specific rights employees have under federal law. Violations of these rights can result in potential liability. It may also damage the company’s reputation.

Deciding what to pay employees who receive tips

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires restaurant owners to pay tipped employees at least $2.13 per hour in wages. The employer can then take a tip credit for differences between wages paid and minimum wage requirements.

However, many tipped employees also perform services unrelated to receiving tips. Deciding what to pay such employees can be difficult.

Requirements for holding on to your liquor license

It's a complicated process for a New York business to obtain a liquor license. And once a business obtains the license, it can sometimes be difficult to retain it.

The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) put out a handbook specifically addressing various questions entrepreneurs may have concerning liquor licenses. The handbook describes the types of liquor licenses a business can obtain, the types of alcoholic beverages allowable to sell, and the various conditions for keeping the license.

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