Business Plans

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

Strategic analyses and business plans

Many Florida entrepreneurs who are preparing to start a new venture are aware of the importance of a well-prepared business plan. Often required by potential lenders and equity investors, such a document can also be important for internal purposes as well.

There is a variety of tools that can be used in the preparation of a business plan. One such method is referred to as a “PEST” analysis. The acronym stands for the political, economic, social and technological factors and issues that may be applicable to the new venture that could have a bearing on the company’s success. A look at legal issues, such as the need to comply with domestic or foreign laws and regulations, may be a part of this analysis as well. A more focused approach is referred to by another acronym. A “SWOT” analysis will examine the strengths and weaknesses of a new venture or product, the opportunities to exploit those strengths and any threats that may be present. Leveraging the strengths and opportunities may help ensure a greater chance of success.

While those two methods are often used in a document that is presented to potential investors, another form of analysis can be appropriate for internal purposes as well. This will require a look at the company itself and its systems as well as the skills of its management and staff. A periodic review might help in spotting internal problems before they arise.

Business plans are not static, and they often are a valuable part in the operations of a company. An attorney who has experience in business formation and planning might be of assistance in the preparation and review of such a document.

Business Planning in Florida

Business Planning in Florida

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

The cons of long-term business planning in Florida

When creating a business plan, staying in the present may be better than trying to plan too far into the future. Today, there are a variety of tools and resources available that make it easier than ever for a competitor to completely disrupt an industry and make a long-term business plan obsolete. Instead of putting plans on a drawing board and allowing them to develop over time, the right strategy may be to develop products and services in real-time.

This can be done by working with clients to develop products and services that they need as they need them. In some cases, companies can start to make money from their ideas as soon as they first come to fruition. Implementing a plan quickly after it is made can allow businesses to start profiting from their ideas sooner.

Instead of talking about an idea, going to networking events and scribbling notes on a piece of paper, it is more important to take action before someone else acts on a similar idea. Modern technology allows business owners or anyone with an idea access to skilled workers around the globe who may be able to help create or get a product to market quickly. With social media and low-cost sales platforms, most people can assess their idea directly in the marketplace.

Talking to a business law attorney may be a good idea for those looking to start their own company. An attorney may be able to help with business formation issues such as how to split equity among partners and how and when to incorporate. Legal counsel may also be able to help a new company comply with regulatory requirements and other legal issues that may arise.

business from lawsuits in Florida

Protecting a business from lawsuits in Florida

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

Even though a small business owner who end up being sued do not expect to lose when their case goes to court, not getting sued in the is the best plan to avoid the costs associated with litigation. A lawsuit is not worth the expense involved and could be avoided with the implementation of a few preventive measures.

Business Attorney

A good start to avoiding lawsuits would be getting every business agreement in writing. A handshake is not enough anymore. A carefully written agreement is the best way to deal with any legal problems that might arise in business in the future. Ensuring that any business agreement stipulates exactly how any disputes that arise will be resolved is very important. Options like mediation or arbitration could be invaluable when it comes to the avoidance of an expensive legal battle. Having a business attorney look at an agreement prior to signing it should be another step for avoiding later legal issues.

Being proactive in preventing lawsuits is another step that should be taken by small business owners. Pinpointing any areas of the business that could leave the owner open to a lawsuit is the best way to be proactive. Customer complaints could possibly be the start of a legal problem so it is important to pay attention and stay on top of them at all times. Often, compromising and settling are in the best interest of the business and much cheaper than going to court.

Florida businesses

By | Business Attorney | No Comments

Florida businesses advised to focus on specific factors

As businesses try to keep up with the times, advisers say that they ought to devote their attentions to a few key areas. Some of these, like financial oversight, include implementing basic accounting practices and standards to improve cash flows, such as being more willing to accept varied payment forms from consumers and sticking to a stringent invoice processing schedule. Others, like the idea that businesses should concentrate on the revenue streams that bring in the most money, may involve a greater degree of planning and analysis.

Companies need to commit themselves to growth to attain success. For many, this may entail cutting back on time-wasting activities like social media usage and focusing on pursuing listings on search engines or hounding customers in order to increase sales. Other firms may find it useful to start attending trade shows or identify the niche they serve in order to concentrate their overall efforts.

It is recommended that companies make better use of cloud-based applications for storing, sharing and collaborating. Businesses should also patronize other small companies in order to foster a healthy economy all around.

Entrepreneurs are well-advised to engage in a bit of game planning before getting their companies off the ground, but these activities should also include business planning. Regardless what fields they specialize in, companies that want to grow may face hurdles like domestic or foreign regulatory compliance, tax obligations and jurisdictional laws concerning the way they enact and uphold contracts. It may be advisable to meet with business attorney to find out how these factors could have an impact.

Failure preparations for a more successful business plan

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

Aspiring Florida entrepreneurs might want to avoid negativity during their early days of commerce. However, it is important to realize that only one-third of new businesses survive beyond 10 years of operation. In fact, nearly one-third will fail within their first two years, and half will go out of business by the five-year point. Although a founder might want to focus primarily on the potential for the business to grow and succeed, there are many situations that can deter these goals. In creating a business plan, it might be wise to include strategies for addressing potential issues that could cause the company to sink.

A business plan traditionally focuses on a few major aspects of operation. The product or service at the center of the company should be clearly explained. Additionally, the market and strategies for distribution should be covered. There should be an explanation of company staffing and management, and financial projections should also be provided and explained. A failure plan can be included in the business plan to identify how potentially damaging situations will be addressed.

There are several common pitfalls that can sink a business. For example, a catastrophic incident could decimate a company’s inventory, especially if there isn’t a good business insurance policy in place. A staff change could be devastating if certain parts of the operation depend heavily on that party, making it important to consider good retention practices. Financial problems can put an entrepreneur out of business as well. Reliance on a single product or a key client can also be devastating if there are major changes.

It may be impossible to anticipate all possibilities during the business formation process, but legal advice could be helpful so that some protective measures are incorporated into one’s business plan. A lawyer might help with non-compete agreements for employees, intellectual property protection strategies and other areas in which a client’s business could face risks.

Business Lawyer in Miami

Florida entrepreneurs must plan startups carefully

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Corporate Lawyer Miami | No Comments

Research on what it takes to start a successful company reveals that enterprising Florida residents need more than mere ideas. Although startups are founded via various methods, such as incubation and investment searching, industry insiders say there are a few common steps that should precede applying to accelerators or outsourcing. To secure funding, entrepreneurs must define their ideas clearly and concisely, do the research to identify a target market and prove the idea fulfills a need. This begins once one builds a development team and create a viable pitch.

Different startup platforms and accelerators provide unique returns. For instance, while Y Combinator, TechStars and other accelerators offer large investments in the $100,000 range or higher, they demand higher equity than firms that provide lesser amounts. Application processes also vary, with some accelerators accepting applications biannually and others taking applicants quarterly or even more frequently.

Accelerators select a small number of companies from the thousands of applicants they receive; these pools are then narrowed down via interviews and screenings until only a few startups remain. Entrepreneurs do not necessarily have to adhere to the potentially tedious accelerator process, however; people can also save up money, pursue alternate loan sources and keep things in house to retain more control over the resultant startup.

The nature of a startup company impacts more than just the kind of funding opportunities its founders can access. Companies launched as specific kinds of corporations may have unique tax obligations or be subject to rules limiting when and how they can enact mergers and other agreements. Entrepreneurs often research business laws prior to actually implementing their ideas in order to minimize fiscal setbacks and anticipate potential legal roadblocks. A business law attorney might be able to assist throughout this process.

Alleged breach of contract leads to litigation

By | International Business Litigation | No Comments

According to a lawsuit recently filed by the commercial reseller MicroTech, Hewlett-Packard’s Autonomy unit, purchased by HP in October 2011, owes MicroTech either $16.5 million or the license keys to software it purchased from Autonomy. The transactions that are the basis of the breach of contract claim took place prior to HP’s acquisition of Autonomy. MicroTech is a federal systems integrator that distributes to several companies throughout the country, including Florida. The lawsuit against the Autonomy unit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

In its lawsuit, MicroTech is alleging breach of contract. The company claims that in March 2010, MicroTech paid $11 million for software for the Vatican Library, and in June 2011, it paid $7 million for software for HP. However, HP claims that Autonomy paid MicroTech $8.2 million for software that Autonomy neither requested nor received. HP also states that funds were transferred several ways during the Vatican Library deal.

HP is involved in commercial litigation of its own against Autonomy’s founder as well as its former CFO. The company claims that the two acted in such a way as to cause Autonomy to overstate its growth, revenue and profits. HP’s acquisition of Autonomy was valued at more than $10 billion. This lawsuit was filed in the High Court in London.

Breach of contract lawsuits can be highly technical, and a plaintiff may have a choice of several remedies to pursue. Many companies who are involved in these types of disputes find the advice and counsel of a business litigation attorney to be helpful.

Source: CRN, “MicroTech Fights Back In HP Autonomy Dispute With Breach Of Contract Suit”

Sources of capital for new business ventures

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

Entrepreneurs in Florida and other parts of the country often say that gaining access to start-up capital is one of the most difficult parts of getting a new business up and running. It can be difficult to qualify for traditional bank loans without established income streams or assets that can be collateralized, and venture capitalists interested in rapid returns may be unwilling to sit idly for years as a business goes through its nascent stages.
Opportunities are generally fleeting by nature, and entrepreneurs hoping to gain a march on their competitors sometimes choose to fund fund new business ventures with credit cards or other easily available sources of capital. They may feel that high interest rates are a decent exchange for quick access to needed cash, or they may plan to refinance their debt at lower rates once their business is established enough to qualify for a conventional bank loan.

Launching a businesses can also be financed with funds borrowed from friends or family members, and entrepreneurs sometimes take out home equity loans or second mortgages to get their commercial ventures off the ground. Professional investors are often hesitant to lend to entrepreneurs without a track record of business success, and it may be easier for business owners to qualify for government loans from the Small Business Administration. However, while SBA loans may have more flexible underwriting guidelines, they also require copious amounts of documentation and have strict reporting requirements.

Attorneys with start-up company experience may be able to help entrepreneurs to avoid poor financial decisions by reviewing financing documents and comparing their terms and conditions with those offered by other providers. Attorneys could also caution business owners about the risks of becoming financially obligated based on projected future income.

Keeping data safe during a Florida business transaction

By | International Business Attorney, International Business law, International Business Litigation | No Comments

During a merger or acquisition, a company may be so engrossed in completing the transaction that it loses sight of safety protocol. However, security breaches during the negotiations could compromise the safety of customer or employee information. This could cost one or both companies involved in the transaction a lot of time, money and goodwill. Therefore, it may be a good idea to create a data security protocol throughout the transaction.
The first step is to identify whether the data is internal data or external data such as customer information. After identifying what the data is, it is worthwhile to check any applicable laws surrounding how that information must be handled prior to sharing it with a third party. A nondisclosure agreement should then be entered into before sensitive or personal information is exchanged.
Employees need to sign consent forms that allow information about them to be disclosed to third parties. An attorney may be able to make sure that consent has been granted by all employees before the due diligence process commences. Having a lawyer as part of the transition team may also increase the odds that other industry specific best practices are being followed during the transaction.
When two companies merge or one is acquired, a lot of data has to be shared between the two parties. This puts a premium on data security and ensuring that privacy and other laws are followed at all times. Companies that are concerned about data security during such process may wish to obtain the counsel of an attorney who has experience with these types of corporate transactions in order to oversee the process and help to ensure that no one is taking any actions that may put personal or proprietary information in danger.

Planning for the loss of a signifiucant business leader

By | Business Attorney, Business Lawyer, Business Lawyer in Miami | No Comments

Many businesses in Florida and around the country owe much of their success to the drive and vision of their founders or a senior executive, and several of them would face an uncertain future if this person were to retire unexpectedly or pass away. While larger companies may be better equipped to to handle this kind of transition, even businesses that have become household names may struggle when an iconic figure is no longer at the helm.
Like many aspects of success in the marketplace, making plans and taking intelligent proactive steps are the keys to dealing with the loss of an important business leader. Proactive measures could include identifying the key people within the business and putting recruitment plans into place designed to fill the void that they would leave as quickly and efficiently as possible. Uncertainty and overreaction among shareholders or others who have contributed to the growth of the business could be prevented or minimized if they are made aware of these precautionary steps.
Many businesses could learn much about planning for the loss of key personnel by looking at how successful sports franchises cope with losing star players. Some teams never seem to recover after a marquee player resigns, but others seem to go from strength to strength. The difference between moving ahead and becoming mired in the past is often the willingness to accept painful inevitability combined with careful planning and decisive action.
Attorneys with business law experience will likely be familiar with seemingly strong companies that faltered after an important individual moved on or passed away. Business owners are often focused on growth and expansion, and they are sometimes prone to not looking inward until a problem has developed. An attorney could help entrepreneurs to see things in a more rounded way by pointing out vulnerabilities such as a heavy dependence on key personnel, and legal counsel may suggest that steps be taken in advance to address