Why “Hire” Is A Four-Letter Word

By | Business Contracts, Business Lawyer | No Comments

hire independent contractorWhen you search for individual freelancers to do work for your business, wash out your mouth with soap every time you say the dirty word “hire.” Because you should never hire an independent contractor.

What’s the problem?

The term means “employment.” When you “hire” an individual, you’re getting an employee, not an independent contractor.

Why is that important?

  • Are you registered to do business in the state where the freelancer lives?
  • Are you paying into the government worker’s and unemployment compensation funds?
  • Are you doing payroll tax withholdings? And making employer FICA contributions for Social Security and Medicare?
  • Does the freelancer live overseas? If so, are you setting yourself up to pay an extra month of salary each year. Because many countries require 13-month pay.

Avoid using “hire,” “employ,” or other dirty words unless you want an employee.

Instead, use “contract with,” “select,” “retain the services of,” etc. to procure the services of an individual freelancer.

Experienced business lawyers prepare independent contractor agreements to prevent employment. Yet business owners should stop referring to those workers using employment terms like “hire.”

How To Extend A Contract Deadline

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contract deadline extensionSometimes it makes sense to extend a contract deadline, i.e. a delay in one or both parties’ performance.

If an extension makes sense, how do you do it?

After negotiating the terms of the extension, get the details in writing signed by the parties. Ideally, it’s a simple written amendment to the contract that leaves other provisions untouched and enforceable.

Unfortunately, many business owners try to modify a contract informally by a verbal “handshake agreement” or exchanging some emails that don’t adequately describe what’s being agreed to.

This leads to confusion and often anger. And if one party feels screwed by the informal changes made, it’s a recipe for breach of contract and a lawsuit.

Instead, you’ll have an experienced business lawyer prepare the amendment for you to sign. That reduces the legal dangers while giving you what you want when you extend a contract deadline.

What if there are many issues that need to be changed in addition to the deadline extension?

In those types of situations, it often makes sense to have an amended and restated agreement. This will be the original agreement with the changes made in the document itself. The parties will sign the amended and restated agreement showing the terms and conditions you want now.

In rare instances, it makes sense to terminate the original agreement and sign a new contract that’s prepared from scratch. Your business attorney can advise you on the best way to paper the modified deal, including deadline extensions.

Note that extending a contract deadline is not the same as contract renewal. A renewal keeps the agreement in place for an additional term beyond the current term. For example, at the end of a one-year contract, there may be a provision in the agreement where it can renew for an additional year.

How To Set Up A Texas Boxing Gym

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texas boxing gymWhen you want to set up a Texas boxing gym, there are certain things that you need to do. Because the first rule of a Texas fight club is to obey the law so you can stay in business.

To begin, it makes sense to form a business entity as a personal liability shield.  The most common are a Texas limited liability company (LLC) or a Texas corporation.

In addition, for your Texas boxing club, you will want to be sure that you have adequate liability insurance. This serves as an additional shield beyond that provided by your corporation or LLC.

Of course, consult with a Texas business lawyer, because you’ll want to make sure that you meet  the requirements of the Texas Health Spa Act. Yes, that’s right. Most Texas boxing gyms must comply with the state’s Health Spa Act to protect gym members.

In addition, you may have to comply with the Texas biometrics law as well if you’re collecting biometric data from your gym visitors or members.

Of course, an experienced business attorney could help make sure you’ve taken the right steps as you set up your Texas boxing gym.

Are underpants-stealing gnomes running your website?

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

online business gnomes conceptIn a classic South Park episode, gnomes would steal people’s underwear.

Why?

One of the little thieves explained their business model.

  • Phase 1 – Steal underpants
  • Phase 2 – ?
  • Phase 3 – Profit

Does this seem absurd? Yet most website owners are no different than these imaginary gnomes.

Here’s the top 3 signs you’ve got a hobby disguised as an online business.

1. There’s no realistic plan to earn income now or in the future. Profits are non-monetary. For example, social media “buzz” expressed by the number of “likes” received, retweets, comments, etc.

2. There is a plan to profit but that plan changes every three months based on the hottest new fad pitched by some Internet guru.

3. The website isn’t run like a business. There’s no liability shield in place, no contracts, and no website legal protections. No Internet business attorney or accountant to make sure whatever is earned is protected.

So, do you have an online hobby or a business? Don’t mistake one for the other.

How to Avoid King Charles’ Fishy Mistake in Your Business Deals

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old business contract in scroll formOnce upon a time, a Prince Charles lived in exile while the Cromwells ruled England. Having enjoyed his time in Belgium, Charles repaid the country for their help when he took the throne.

Perhaps the king had a moron for a lawyer. Or his legal counsel was too afraid to question the king’s decisions.

Because King Charles II signed an agreement in 1666 that gave Belgium the right to have 50 fishermen use English waters “for eternity.”

Let’s just say that “eternity” is not something you typically want to include in your business contracts.

Because 300 years later, the Belgian government demanded England honor the contract. And the British gave in because it was a binding agreement.

In fact, there’s a Belgian politician going on TV these days to show the agreement. He’s taunting the British with it.

Of course, you might wonder how this applies to your business.

Here’s what’s important to know…

Part of running a company (or a country for that matter) is having systems in place that serve your interests.

And one of the first places to start is to get an experienced business lawyer to prepare contracts that help you succeed.

Because even if the term isn’t for eternity, it can seem like forever if you’re stuck in a bad agreement that’s costing you time and money.

And with the holidays about to kick in, now is the perfect time to get your business set up to start 2021 on the right foot. If you need a new contract prepared or an existing agreement improved, let’s talk.