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Business Lawyer

This category contains information related to the type of work performed by a business lawyer. This includes contract negotiations, preparation, and revisions. There’s also content about the type of legal advice a client will receive from a business attorney.

It’s important to distinguish between the business lawyer as legal advisor who handles transactional matters and civil litigators who handle lawsuits that may or may to be related to business.

Because this law firm focuses on lawsuit prevention through the right legal advice and documents, this category is weighted towards information about protection and commercial transactions, not litigation strategies and tactics.

 

Copywriting Agreement: Who Owns The Sales Copy?

By Business Lawyer
copywriting agreement contract example

One of the most common mistakes made on a copywriting project is to be unclear as to who owns the copy.

Too often, the client believes it owns exclusive rights to the copy. On the flip side, the copywriter plans to recycle the copy for other clients.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to resolve this issue by using clear and concise legal language within the contract between the parties.

Here are some possible scenarios…

1. The client owns the sales copy but pays the copywriter a premium (e.g., 3x the price) for exclusive rights.

2. The copywriter owns the copy but licenses it to the client for use. The copywriter can recycle the copy for other clients.

3. The client owns the copy but agrees to transfer ownership to the copywiter when the client ceases to use it.

4. The client owns the copy but licenses it back to the copywriter to repurpose for clients in noncompeting markets.

Of course, there are variations of these that can be implemented too.

Are you a copywriter? Do you need a new copywriting agreement to use for your business? Or to upgrade the contract you’re already using? Let’s talk. Schedule a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.

“I’ve had sales copy reviewed by Internet Marketing Attorney Mike Young. I’ve been doing business with him for years. In fact, he does all my legal disclaimers and agreements, for my websites, some up-coming offers I’m launching, my paid newsletter, and everything in between.” – Ben Settle

“As a copywriter and entrepreneur, I usually do whatever I can to avoid attorneys. Fact is, the overwhelming majority of attorneys don’t have a clue what entrepreneurs want and need. Michael Young is the exception. He understands internet marketing and what internet marketers need. Recently, I contacted Mike to get some legal advice and his knowledge and preparation really impressed me. So if you need to contact a lawyer, and you need somebody who understands the unique legal challenges facing today’s internet marketer, I recommend you contact Mike Young.” – Matt Marshall

Does Your Texas Gym Membership Cancelation Policy Violate State Law?

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer
texas gym membership contract

When you own a Texas gym, it’s important to make sure you comply with state law, particularly the Texas Health Spa Act.

For example, if you have a firm “no early termination” policy, and your gym is covered by the Act, then you’re probably breaking the law.

Why?

Because the Texas law makes it mandatory in some circumstances to let the member end the agreement early.

Not only that, there are certain disclosures you must make in the gym membership contract about membership cancelation rights.

What happens if you violate the Texas Health Spa Act? Every one of your gym contracts can be void.

How long would you stay in business if all your members could walk away today because their membership agreements are unenforceable?

And if there are enough member complaints, you risk a lawsuit from the Texas Attorney General’s Office too for violating the law. Can you afford that?

Now if you’re a Texas gym owner and you need help with your membership contract, it’s time to schedule a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young. Note that Attorney Young only represents Texas gyms and their owners (not gym members).

3 Mistakes Texas Martial Arts Dojo Owners Make

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer
texas martial arts dojo

When you own a Texas martial arts dojo, you want to make sure you comply with state law so you don’t lose everything in a lawsuit or government investigation.

Here are three common mistakes made by Texas dojo owners…

Mistake #1 – Violating The Texas Health Spa Act.

If you don’t comply with state’s Health Spa Act, every one of your members’ contracts could be void. And that’s in addition to other penalties you could face for violating the law.

How would you be able to stay in business if you couldn’t enforce your membership agreements?

Mistake #2 – Wrong Waivers & Releases

Most liability waivers Texas gyms and martial arts studios use are (a) at least partially unenforceable and (b) don’t cover everything you need as an owner for protection.

What this means is an increased risk of getting sued for personal injuries or intellectual property rights by a guest or member…and losing that lawsuit.

Mistake #3 – Treating Employees As Independent Contractors

Whether an instructor or someone working at the front desk, it’s a mistake to disguise an employee as an independent contractor in order to save time or money.

Because if you get caught, you can end up paying additional employee compensation, unemployment and worker’s compensation, plus penalties.

Do you need help protecting your Texas martial arts dojo by putting the right legal documents in place? If so, it’s time to schedule a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.

Personal Trainer Agreement: What Type Of Contract Should You Use?

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer
personal trainer agreement

Whether you’re a professional trainer or a gym owner that has trainers working at your facility, make sure you’re using the right type of personal trainer agreement.

Because the wrong contract can land you in legal hot water. For example, you can end up being liable for personal injuries that occur during training, extra taxes, and penalties.

As a general rule of thumb, if a client contracts with you to work directly as a trainer, that agreement will be structured so that you’re doing the work as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

Ideally, you’ll use a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation as an additional protection shield instead of contracting as an individual. That’s a key part of running a business long term.

What about personal training a gym’s members?

The contract between the gym owner and the trainer will either be structured as an employment agreement or as an independent contractor agreement. And the gym’s members aren’t parties to the contract between trainer and owner.

One of the big dangers is having this agreement between personal trainer and gym owner disguise an employment relationship by pretending it’s an independent contractor relationship instead. Because if you get caught by the government, that’s where issues like back taxes, penalties, workers and unemployment compensation contributions, etc. kick in.

Does this mean a personal trainer should never work as an employee? Of course not. There are times that it makes sense to get a steady paycheck from an employer instead of working as a freelance professional. This is particularly true when you don’t have a bunch of clients when starting out as a trainer.

Yet it does mean you don’t disguise one relationship as another (employee versue independent contractor) if you want to avoid liability dangers.

Whether you’re a gym owner or a personal trainer, if you need help putting the right liability waivers and training contracts, it’s probably time to schedule a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.

Are You Adjusting Your Business Contracts For Inflation?

By Business Contracts, Business Lawyer
business contracts and inflation

If inflation is eating away at your personal assets, it’s also taking a toll on your business. So, how do you handle that? Particularly when you rely upon ongoing business contracts with customers?

At the outset, never promise your customers lifetime flat fee pricing for any service. And if you do, include an explicit caveat that you reserve the right to adjust pricing to account for inflation.

In addition, you’ll want to build into your written contracts specific language that gives you the ability to raise pricing based on inflation. And tie it to a readily identifiable measure (e.g. the Consumer Price Index) so that both parties can quickly determine if a threshold has been met that justifies a price hike.

Now an old school method (common in the early 20th Century and before) was to price business leases and other ongoing contractual obligations in gold or silver rather than the U.S. Dollar itself. Payments were either made in the physical precious metal or in dollars based on the value of the precious metal at the time a payment was due.

Tying payments to precious metals hasn’t been popular recently for a variety of reasons, including trading manipulation of the pricing of gold and silver.

However, if inflation continues to be an issue and there’s an objective means to value physical precious metals (not the paper trades of nonexistent metals) that both parties will agree to, then this is an option. Or the parties agree at the outset that payments are to be made in physical gold or silver (or some other store of value) instead of the dollar. For example, an office space lease that provides for monthly rent to be two troy ounces of physical gold.

What about cryptocurrency as a means to protect against inflation? At the present (2022), cryptocurrency appears to be a volatile speculative bet rather than a store of value that could be used as an anti-inflationary tool to protect your business.

Some believe that central bank digital currency (e.g., a digital Euro) could serve as the solution. However, digital is even easier to “overprint” — and devalue in the process — than physical fiat currency.

So, for the time being, the easiest course of action would be to give yourself flexibility by simply acknowledging in your contracts that pricing can change based on inflation.

Tie that to some objective standard for measuring inflationary changes. And make it easy for both parties to know when and how pricing will change to account for monetary devaluation.

If you need help with your business contracts, it’s probably time to set up a phone consultation with Business Lawyer Mike Young.