Does Your Website Privacy Policy Protect You In Other States And Countries?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

website privacy policyIn the past, a U.S. business typically needed to be concerned about the laws of the state(s) where it did business (e.g. where the company was set up) and federal law. That’s not the case today if your business is online – with or without a website privacy policy.

For example, California and the European Union may attempt to apply their laws and regulations to your business…even if your company isn’t based in California or Europe. Both have strict privacy laws and regulations that may affect your website’s legal protection.

In fact, the EU adopted an 80+ page data protection regulation that went into effect in 2018. And California has enacted a new law that’s similarly complicated…and it goes into effect in 2020.

In other words, if your site has a website privacy policy that’s a couple years old, chances are you haven’t even addressed these potential threats to your business.

Now, you could ignore these risks. And maybe a government agency won’t come after you. And you won’t get sued by someone claiming you’ve violated their new legal rights.

Of course, the prudent thing to do is have a skilled Internet business attorney review your website for compliance issues and update your site’s privacy policy, terms of use, and other legal documents. As Benjamin Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Software Development Agreement – Scope of Work

By | Software Agreements, Software Lawyer | No Comments

Software Development Agreement - Scope of WorkWhether you’re the developer or the client, the scope of work in your software development agreement is essential to performance by the other party. If the deal falls apart during performance, an app development lawsuit is time-consuming, stressful, and expensive.

Also know as a “statement of work,” your app development contract’s scope of work should be as detailed as possible as to what specifically is being done as part of the development.

For example, does the project include beta testing and revisions to the application prior to release? Many app development projects fall apart when the parties start fighting over whether something omitted from the contract is included…and whether or not the developer should be paid more if that work is performed.

Related Article – The Ugly Truth About Software Development

In addition, the software development agreement scope of work should specifically exclude what is not part of the scope of work that the other party might mistakenly believe is included.

For instance, it’s common for software maintenance and support to be a separate issue from app development. And the developer expects to be paid for such maintenance and support because time and expertise are involved.

On the other hand, the client may expect at least an initial period of support and maintenance to be included (e.g. 90 days) post-release as part of the development deal.

Whether it’s included or excluded is part of the negotiations that should occur between the parties. But the issue should be resolved from the outset instead of getting into an argument about it after the app is released.

A good software lawyer can prepare an app development contract that’s right for your project. And if you’re a developer, a template contract can be created for you to use in multiple deals with different clients as part of your software development business.

Are You Collecting Biometrics From Your Texas Employees?

By | Business Contracts, Business Lawyer | No Comments

texas employee biometrics fingerprint scanIf you’re collecting Texas employee biometrics, be sure to comply with the state’s biometrics privacy law.

Types Of Texas Employee Biometrics Data Covered

  1. fingerprint;
  2. retina or iris scan;
  3. voiceprint; and
  4. record of hand or face geometry.

For now, the most common of these is fingerprint scans. Although as the price of biometric tech drops, you’ll see more of the other types of data collected too.

Fortunately, Texas’ biometric law isn’t as strict as the Illinois statute. For example, Facebook is being sued in a class action for $35 billion for allegedly violating Illinois’ biometric privacy law.

State Attorney General Enforcement

In contrast, Texas doesn’t allow employees to bring a civil suit against an employer for violating the state’s biometric privacy statute. Only the Texas Attorney General has the right to enforce the law against employers (and others).

However, if an enforcement action is brought by the state, there can be a pretty hefty penalty of $25,000 per violation. Arguably each employee’s data would constitute a separate violation. That can add up quickly.

Fix Your Employment Agreements

So, if you’re collecting employee biometrics (or workers based elsewhere who are covered by Texas law), you’ll want to make sure an experienced business contracts lawyer addresses the state’s biometrics law in your employment agreements and/or other employee-related documents.

Texas Health Spa Act Security Exemptions

By | Business Contracts, Business Lawyer | No Comments

texas health spa act security exemptionsMany gym owners in the Lone Star State have to post security with the Secretary of State because of the state’s Health Spa Act. It’s common to post a $20K to $50K surety bond to meet this security requirement. However, there are two Texas Health Spa Act security exemptions that could save you money.

1. Short-Term Contract & Small Payment Exemption

You may be eligible for this exemption if…

A. Your gym contracts are 31 days or less in length;
B. Members don’t sign a note or retail installment agreement;
C. Members don’t authorize you to repeatedly draw membership fees from their bank accounts;
D. You don’t require members to pay initiation fees; and
E. Members prepay for 31 days or less.

This exemption is rare because most Texas gym business models do not fit these criteria.

2. Financially Stable Gym Exemption

You may be eligible for this exemption if…

A. Your gym has $50,000 or more in assets;
B. Your gym has been in business for at least five years without changing ownership/management; and
C. A member hasn’t filed a complaint with the state government that alleges you closed a gym or failed to open a gym.

This exemption is common for Texas gyms that have been in business for five years or more.

Do You Qualify For Texas Health Spa Act Security Exemptions?

If you need help obtaining a security exemption or other compliance with the Texas Health Spa Act, set up a phone consultation with Texas Business Lawyer Mike Young.

Need A Texas Lawyer For A Business Startup?

By | Business Contracts, Business Lawyer | No Comments

lawyer for a business startupWhen you’re planning to set up a new venture in Texas, one of the first tasks is selecting the right lawyer for a business startup.

This begs the question: how do you choose the right business lawyer for your new company?

Eliminate Unqualified Lawyers

It’s fairly easy to get winnow the field of potential attorneys by eliminating from consideration any that practice areas of law unrelated to your venture.

For example, criminal defense attorneys and personal injury lawyers are not particularly suited for representing clients in business transactions.

Even worse is the attorney who claims to practice a half dozen unrelated areas of law because that “professional” is a jack of all trades and a master of none. At best, you’ll get mediocre representation.

You may also want to exclude novice attorneys. While a recent law school graduate may seem eager to help you, you’ll be paying for the lack of real-world knowledge and experience — in time, money, and the quality of advice you receive.

Additional Factors To Consider When Retaining Business Legal Counsel

Once you’ve eliminated the above prospects from consideration, it’s time to narrow the field further.

When looking at business attorneys, consider what type of commercial law they practice. For example, if you plan to spend a lot of time in lawsuits – as either a plaintiff or defendant – then a business litigator should be considered. Trial lawyers who understand business law will be invaluable in protecting your interests if your startup is in court frequently.

However, most Texas new ventures need an experienced transactional lawyer…an attorney who will set up the right type of entity to protect your interests, give you legal advice as-needed, and prepare the contracts you’ll need to conduct business with suppliers, customers, etc.

Related Article – 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

Of course, because of the importance of e-commerce, you should consider the attorney’s experience in representing companies both offline and online. A new attorney may be tech savvy but lack the legal knowledge. On the other hand, a business lawyer who has been practicing 50 years has a wealth of experience but probably knows very little about e-commerce law.

What’s The Next Step In Finding A Texas Lawyer For A Business Startup?

Take a look at Texas Business Lawyer Mike Young’s bio. Then, if you want to see if he’s a good fit for representing your company, click here to use our online booking system or call 214-546-4247 today to set up a phone consultation with him.