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Inside Business Law Los Angeles

Inside Business Law Los Angeles

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What Does A Business Lawyer Do?
Business Lawyers represent businesses in a variety of cases. Whether representing businesses and entrepreneurs in litigating employment law matters including discrimination, harassment, disability issues, wage and hour resolving contract disputes between business partners or contractors, negotiating and drafting of all manners of business-related contracts, managing compliance with state and local licensing and zoning rules and regulations, or properly forming business entities in California, our attorneys have the expertise and understanding of the Los Angeles business and legal climate to help your business meet all of its legal requirements and challenges.

Forming a Business Entity
We are trusted and experienced. Various business entities provide personal asset protection which shields you from being personally liable for business lawsuits or debts. Our business lawyers will form your new business the correct way, helping you choice the type of entity that best suits your needs, saving you time and money by avoiding costly errors. Let us handle your business formation while you focus on growing your business.

Incorporated Documents
A certificate of incorporation is a legal document relating to the formation of a company or corporation.
Articles of incorporation refers to a set of formal documents filed with a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation. We understand the need for filings to be perfect to save you time and money. You need a lawyer to do this for you so that you can free up vital time to run other parts of your business. There are many types of incorporated documents. We can tell which entity will protect you and your business. For example, articles of incorporation must contain pertinent information, regardless of whether you are forming a C corporation or an S corporation, the company formation document is called the Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Incorporation. This document provides the state with necessary information on your business.

Contract Law
At McElfish Law Firm, we have years of experience handling contract matters for individuals and businesses throughout Los Angeles. We can assist you with:
• Contract drafting – when drafting a contract, we will receive input from both parties and strive to
write a contract that meets the needs of our client.
• Contract review – our attorneys can review a contract for inconsistencies and unacceptable clauses
before you accept it.
• Contract negotiation – we can negotiate the terms of a contract to assure your interests are
• Contract litigation – in addition to negotiation, we litigate breach of contract issues and other
contract dispute matters. A contract case usually comes before a judge because one or both parties
claim that the contract was breached. A breach of contract is a failure, without legal excuse, to
perform any promise that forms all or part of the contract. Breach of contract is a fairly common
occurrence in the world of business, and happens for various reasons.

Breach of Contract
It’s not uncommon for businesses to find that a distributor, supplier, or other business entity does not deliver on what was agreed upon. When honest discussions fail to bring about results, it may be time to speak with a breach of contract attorney to learn your rights and get what’s owed to you. Work with attorneys who have the experience and who will fight for your rights in making sure those contracts are honored.

At McElfish Law Firm, we represent clients in all types of breach of contract cases, including:
• Failure to pay for a product or services
• Failure to deliver a product or services
• Missed deadlines
• Failure to meet the terms of a secondary agreement, such as a lease, mortgage or loan document
• Disputes over terms in the contract
• Disputes between partners or workers

All McElfish Business Practice Areas

• Business Disputes
• Forming New Business
• Incorporated Documents
• Contract Law
• Construction Defect
• Employment Contracts
• Landlord Representation
• Real Estate & Lease Litigation
• Wage and Benefit Claims
• Construction Law
• Employment Disputes

How We Can Help You

We have the experience to help you or your business achieve the legal results you need even if you do not see your business matter listed in here. Call us today to learn more 310.659.4900.

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Los Angeles Restaurant Law Attorney

Los Angeles Restaurant Law Attorney

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Did you know that we are a boutique litigation law firm practicing many areas of law including restaurant law since 1991 located in the heart of Sunset Strip in West Hollywood? What does this mean for local restaurant owners? It means that we are a community-driven, easy-to-reach, legal services hub ready to assist restaurants and other Los Angeles business owners with any legal disputes that may arise. We give local restaurant owners priority. We have attorneys available with experience as a former Bar/Restaurant owner.

Top Hurdles When Opening a New Restaurant in Los Angeles:

o  New restaurants tend to make investment experts wary because more than half of restaurants fail within their first five years.
o  A lot of inexperienced restaurateurs go into a project under-budgeting it.
o  In Los Angeles owners need at least $1 million in capital or loans to start.
o  Business partners want out of the contract or do not want to renew the lease.
o  Building owners sell the building or increase rent

We have gathered some common issues from restaurant-related cases that we have successfully assisted in mediation or in trial.

Common Litigation Issues Restaurant Owners May Face:

Forming a business entity
Purchase Agreements
Commercial Lease Disputes
Employee Sexual Harassment Claims
Vendor and Distributor Agreements
Employment and/or Labor Issues
Partnership Disputes
Slip and Fall Injuries on Premises

If you own a restaurant, contemplating purchasing or opening up a new restaurant, or you have had any legal situations come up, McElfish Law Firm is here to help resolve your issues. Contact us to discuss how you may benefit from the firm’s specialized services in this area. You may contact our restaurant law attorneys at McElfish by calling (310) 659-4900 or sending us a direct message online www.mcelfishlaw.com.

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Restaurants Will Suffer From an Increased Minimum Wage

Restaurants Will Suffer From an Increased Minimum Wage

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Raising the minimum wage will have severe consequences, especially for those working in the restaurant industry.

A higher minimum wage will result in a challenge for restaurants, which depend heavily on hourly workers. The increased cost of labor will likely cause higher costs to customers. Restaurants could also cut hours or the number of employees they have while relying more on computers to service customers, or ownership will be forced to take on shifts themselves to defray costs or significantly raise the price of their product. Some restaurants may even be forced to close.

In Los Angeles, instead of increasing menu prices some restaurants are eliminating tipping and instituting a “service charge.” A service charge is restaurant property, whereas tips are the property of the server. Currently, servers average 20% tip. After paying out support staff they usually take home about 14% of the total sales for the night. This would prevent businesses from passing the cost onto the customer. If businesses keep raising prices, the consumer loses and eventually may stop consuming. With nowhere for business owners to hide from the minimum wage increase (say, in other neighboring municipalities) except out of state, Los Angeles could be in the same boat, for better or worse, as every other city in the state.

It is important to contact your attorney to make sure you understand and are in compliance with the new minimum wage laws that have been enacted in the city of Los Angeles.

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California Business Licenses

California Business Licenses

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What Is a Business License?

A business license or permit is generally recommended, and sometimes required, for individuals or businesses to operate in California. Business licenses exist at the local, state, and federal level. Licenses and permits cover almost every type of business activity, such as building construction, restaurants and nightclubs, retail sales and the ability to work as a licensed professional.

What Determines the Licenses I Need?

The type of licenses or permits you will need depends on several factors, including:
•Your profession or occupation
•Whether you are an employer or an independent contractor
•Your industry and business activities
•Your place(s) of business

Professional Licenses in California

Depending on your profession, you may need to obtain a license to practice in California, even if you have been previously licensed in a different state. The licensing requirements vary by profession, and many are issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs. A few of the professions for which a license is required are:

•Healthcare Practitioners
•Alcohol Sales
•Food Sales
•Aestheticians and Cosmetologists
•Real Estate Brokers and Agents
•Security Guards

Do I Need Any Local Permits?

Local permits are dependent on city and county requirements and ordinances. Local licenses and permits are common for items such as:
•Construction or renovation
•Health permits
•Zoning permits
•Local business licenses

License and permit requirements vary, so to be sure, you should check with your local authorities.

How Can I Find Out If I Need a Professional License?

You should always check with your local authorities in the city or county where you plan to work or operate a business.
Should I Consult a Business Attorney in California?

Applying for business licenses and permits may not require the help of an attorney. However, if you are setting up a new business, an experienced business attorney can help provide guidance on permits, as well as other business organization issues. If you have been charged with criminal or civil penalties for a failure to have a proper permit, an attorney can help defend you.

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11 Important Legal Issues for Restaurant Owners

11 Important Legal Issues for Restaurant Owners

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If you own a restaurant or are considering opening one soon, here is a list of current legal issues that should be front and center for California restaurant owners in 2017:

1. Overtime – employees earning between $23,660 to $47,476 will qualify for overtime pay under federal law.

2. Minimum Wage – Effective January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for all industries will be increased yearly. From January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase for employers employing 26 or more employees. This increase will be delayed one year for employers employing 25 or fewer employees, from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2023.

5. Predictive scheduling –The California Fair Scheduling Act requires certain businesses with more than 500 California employees (including electronic and tech retailers, grocery stores, restaurants, and franchises)

7. Health grades – expect stricter point deductions for restaurant health grades.

8. Tip Pooling – Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers and their agents from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a patron. Furthermore it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages. The law further states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. “Gratuity” is defined in the Labor Code as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons.

9. Wage disparity – California employers should review the compensation paid to their employees to make sure that workers of a particular race, ethnicity or gender are not being paid more for the same work than employees of another race, ethnicity or gender unless the employer can show that the disparity is fully justified by factors unrelated to membership in the protected class. It is also worth noting that law prohibits retaliating against an employee for discussing his or her salary or the salary of others or for asking about the salary of others.

10. LGBTQ workplace rights – California is now the first state in the country to require that all single user bathrooms be gender neutral. This means that all single user bathrooms must be identified as all gender. This new law applies to restrooms in all businesses and places of public accommodation.

11. Criminal history disclosure – The Los Angeles City Council has approved an ordinance that prohibits employers from asking applicants whether they have a criminal record until a conditional offer has been made to the applicant. Once an offer has been made, the employer may ask about the potential employee’s criminal record. The policy requires any employer that decides not to hire a person because of a criminal record to provide a reason for the decision.

Should I Consult an Attorney?
An attorney can help you meet all the deadlines and fulfill requirements needed to open a restaurant. He or she may also be able to help you decide which legal issues are most pertinent to your business, and work though possible strategies for the best legal protection.

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4 Common Types Of Small Business Litigation Suits

4 Common Types Of Small Business Litigation Suits

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While big corporations and companies get sued fairly regularly, small businesses are liable these days as well. Small business litigation suits are more common than people think, and they can have serious consequences for the companies involved, including costing huge amounts in legal fees and settlement costs, tainting professional reputations, and taking up valuable time and effort. If you own a small business, be sure to safeguard your company from these four common small business litigation suits:

  1. Breach of contract – Contracts often come with fine print, and if one or more parties violate any of these fine-print terms, a lawsuit can ensue and a small business can owe thousands of dollars in things like court fees and settlement costs.
  2. Debt litigation – If a business doesn’t settle their accounts, pay their bills, or pay vendors and merchants, those parties can choose to file suit so that they can collect on the debts owed to them. Alternately, a small business can also choose to sue customers or vendors who refuse to pay them.
  3. Wrongful termination – If an employer or organization fires an employee without due cause, they can be sued for wrongful termination. Termination can also be wrongful if the employee was discriminated or retaliated against, or if the company didn’t follow its own termination processes and procedures.
  4. Workplace injury – Although some workplace injuries can be settled through worker’s compensation, the employee may seek compensation in another way if the business doesn’t carry worker’s comp insurance. This is often done through a lawsuit, which can garner the injured worker funds for pain, suffering, lost time from work, permanent disability, and medical bills.

Small Business Litigation

If your company is facing small business litigation suits like the ones above, don’t go through it alone. Contact McElfish Law Firm today at (310) 659-4900 to enlist the help of a professional and experienced small business attorney.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from McElfish Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.


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