Gainesville Business And Real Estate Law Blog

Things to think about when starting a contracting business

At the Roberts Law Firm PC in Georgia, we believe in entrepreneurs like you. We also know, however, that starting a new business is not only exciting, but also complicated and fraught with possible perils. The decisions you make before ever opening your doors for business can have positive – or negative – effects on your company for years to come. That is why is it so important that you think carefully before making any decision.

If you are thinking about starting a contracting business, Home Advisor explains that the first thing you must do is decide which business structure best meets your needs. Your basic choices include the following:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited liability company

Pre-foreclosure initiated on former actor's home

Facing foreclosure in Gainesville may prompt some to withdraw from interactions with others in their communities out of embarrassment. The stigma that surrounds foreclosure may be based on an assumption that those who are dealing with it are only in a financial predicament because of poor money management. In reality, any number of reasons may exist as to why a home may go into foreclosure, and many of those having to face it may be people that most would never dream of having difficulties affording their properties. 

The case of a former television star confirms this notion. The New Jersey home of John Amos (who is known for several prominent TV roles) was recently listed as having gone into pre-foreclosure. The actor had been trying to sell the property, listing it "as is" and informing potential buyers in its listing that they would be required to cover the cost of any inspections. His asking price, however, was almost $15,000 over what the property was recently assessed at. Being in pre-foreclosure basically means that Amos still has the opportunity to settle the debts owed on the property. If he cannot, then a repossession may be imminent. 

Understanding DBA registrations

Name recognition is among the most sought-after benefits that businesses in Gainesville aspire towards. A company's name can be as valuable as its brand, products or services. Thus, a good deal of consideration should go into choosing a company name during a business' formative stages. In some cases, one's own name fits the business that he or she runs best. However, many also see the benefit of establishing an entirely different name that prospctive clients can associate solely with that business. 

When one chooses to call a business by a name other than his or her own, that fictitious name must then be registered around the same time a company commences its operations. This action is often referred to as a "Doing Business As" filing. DBAs must be registered in conjuction with a business license application in the counties the companies are located in. Per Georgia's Commerce and Trade Code, said registration must be filed not later than 30 days after a business opens its doors, and must include all of the names of those managing the business as well as the nature of the business. While business applications must be renewed annually, DBA resgistrations need only be renewed when a change in a company's ownership occurs. 

Getting your EIN

It is often the small steps that slow a business from getting off the ground in Gainesville. You (and your business partners, if you have any) have made all of the important decisions regarding your company's management structure and your service model, and you may even have client orders pending. Yet there still is one step that may need to be taken before you can officially be open for business, one that many of our clients here at The Roberts Law Firm, P.C. overlook: Getting your tax identification number. 

Yet before you start panicking for not already having considered that, you should first know if you even need it. According to TurboTax, you need a tax ID number (or more specifically, an Employee Identification Number) if any of the following scenarios apply to your company: 

  • You employ a workforce
  • You operate as either a partnership or a corporation
  • You withhold taxes from any salaries or wages that you pay

When you and a neighbor disagree about boundaries

You likely want to get along with your neighbors. After all, being right next to you, your neighbors, and their relationship with you, can very much impact your life as a homeowner. However, there are a range of things that could end up generating arguments between you and a neighbor. One major source of potential disputes between Georgia neighbors are boundaries.

What is a breach of contract?

If you are like most Georgians, you have entered into many contracts so far in your life. Some were more important than others. Some were in writing; others were verbal. Some called themselves contracts; some called themselves something else such as your mortgage, your car loan, your agreement with your internet and/or cellphone provider, your order confirmation from an online vendor, etc. If you are married, your marriage license is a contract between you and your spouse.

A contract requires a minimum of two parties, each of whom expects to benefit from it in some way and each of whom agrees to do certain things to fulfill his or her end of the bargain. As FindLaw explains, if one party fails to do so, (s)he is said to have committed a breach of the contract

Multi-billion dollar development project facing foreclosure

It may be easy for Gainesville property owners that are facing foreclosure to be humiliated by their predicaments. A presumption may exist that staying on top of one's financial obligations in relation to a property is relatively easy, and that those who struggle with them only do so because of poor money management. Yet were one to actually know how many homes and property developments face the threat of foreclosure, the perceived stigma associated with such a dilemma might easily vanish. 

A multi-billion dollar commercial development project may be the last thing most would believe could be threatened by foreclosure. Yet that is exactly what is happening with a project that was recently initiated in Texas. An Atlanta-based development firm first broke ground on the project (which is reported to include retailers, entertainment venues, residential dwellings and office space, among other things) back in 2014. The work quickly halted and unpaid bills (which have resulted in over $10 million in liens being filed against the project) soon began to pile up. Amid the worry felt by contractors and foreign investors involved in project, a financing firm that had provided over $130 million in loans recently initiated foreclosure proceedings. It went as far as to even schedule a sale (which ultimately did not happen). For its part, the development firm states that it still plans on completing the project as soon as secures new financing. 

What can I do about a tax lien?

If you are a Georgia resident and are faced with a tax lien on your property, that means a delinquent debt liability has been recorded with one or more Superior Courts. According to the Department of Revenue, it can file the lien in order to secure the debt if it is in George's best interest.

Once the state has filed the lien in connection to a specific property, the lien is then attached to it even if it trades hands, which can affect any sale of the property. Even if you (as the targeted taxpayer) dies, it remains attached to the property as it becomes part of your estate.

Defining duress

The business contracts your company enters into with clients in Gainesville ensure you continued access to work and/or resources. Yet a bad contract can also lock you into a seemingly unfair agreement. You might tell yourself that you would never knowingly enter into a bad contract, yet many of those that we here at The Roberts Law Firm, P.C. have worked with once shared the same assertion. However, pressure-filled circumstances often prompted them to enter into such agreements. Could you reasonably be faced with the same sort of duress? 

People often hear the word "duress" and picture a frightened person hastily signing a contract while being watched over by a pair of unsavory individuals holding baseball bats. Yet duress can have many forms. The State of Georgia recognizes imprisonment, threats or any acts "by which the free will of the party is restrained and his consent induced" as qualifying as duress. The reason for this is that the state recognizes that free assent is vital to validate a contract, and that duress or undue influence compromises that. 

What can you do to build a strong foundation for your start-up?

If you have recently launched your start-up company, chances are you have already poured hundreds of hours into strategizing, analyzing and planning how to market and sell your product or service in Georgia. Propelling your company past competitors and highlighting what makes your product unique are tasks that can only be accomplished with a solid foundation. Additionally, you must remember that maintaining a smooth-functioning organization will require dedication and persistence. 

Forbes interviewed several successful business professionals who have some excellent advice for you. According to these experts, some of the important things you can do to build a strong foundation for your start-up include the following:

  • Keep your finances orderly and properly documented for convenient reference at any time.
  • Know who your target market is and what they are looking for in a product or service. 
  • Utilize the knowledge and assistance of mentors who can provide you with advice and support.
  • Analyze your competition and be aware of what they are doing so you can develop strategies that are unique and authentic.
  • Be creative and flexible when it comes to development and differentiation.
  • Do not try to be in too many places at once which could deplete valuable resources including time, money and talent.
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The Roberts Law Firm, P.C.

The Roberts Law Firm, P.C.
604 Green Street
Gainesville, GA 30501

Toll Free: 866-594-7535
Phone: 404-537-2796
Fax: 404-841-0775
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