How to Handle a Florida Business Dispute

Florida business disputeNo business wants to get sued or become a part of a lawsuit that could have been avoided. Florida business disputes are settled much more pleasantly when the proper actions are taken before, during, and after the incident arises. In addition to avoiding litigation, the following tips are business practices that all entrepreneurs should implement to ensure professionalism, consistency, and customer satisfaction in their business:

1. Establish and maintain good relationships with employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners. A dispute will be much easier to settle outside of court if you maintain a good relationship with the opposing party. Litigation often causes rifts in relationships, and the need to avoid these rifts could aid you in avoiding litigation.
2. Know who you are doing business with. Persons and businesses with a history of entering into litigation are much more likely to engage in litigation in the future when a Florida business dispute arises.
3. Put every agreement in writing and do not sign a contract or agreement unless you know what you are signing. This will ensure that both parties understand both their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the other party. Additionally, if the agreement is in writing, then the parties will be able to refer to the agreement if a Florida business dispute arise. It is usually a good idea to have an experienced Florida contract attorney draft or review the agreement before you sign the document.
4. Purchase orders and standard agreements are another form of contract, and it is equally important to ensure these documents reflect your current business practices and the most recent laws. A Florida contract attorney will be able to properly review and revise these documents for you and your company.
5. You should maintain written files and documentation of your business relationships. If the relationship is not properly documented, then a “he-said, she-said” situation can easily arise and cause confusion. If a Florida business dispute should arise that requires litigation, this document trail will be important evidence in the process.

When a dispute arises, it is important to address the issue immediately so that it does not escalate. Many cases that proceed to litigation could have been avoided or settled if properly handled from the onset. One of the best examples of this is when a customer complains. The manner in which you handle this complaint could not only keep your company out of litigation, but it offers an opportunity for your company to exemplify its customer service. If you are able to transform a disgruntled customer into a happy customer, then they are much more likely to use your business in the future.

Source: Business Journal

Florida Registered Agent

Florida Registered AgentWhether you are incorporating a Florida Corporation, forming a Florida Limited Liability Company, or registering to do business in the State of Florida, the State requires you to have a registered agent. If you fail to properly comply with the requirements for a Florida registered agent, then you may be subject to fines, or you company may be dissolved.

A registered agent acts as the company’s representative for “service of process.” This means that they will accept writs, summonses, or other legal papers to which your company is required to respond. Hiring an Attorney as your Florida registered agent adds a layer of protection for your company. In the event that your company is sued, you will only have twenty (20) days to respond. If you do not respond on time, a default may be entered against you or the cost of the litigation may be greatly increased.

The address of the registered agent must have a Florida address and be open to the public during regular business hours. The Florida Division of Corporations states “The registered agent must sign and state that he/she is familiar with and accepts the obligations of the position.”

Here at Boyer Law Firm, P.L., we offer our registered agent services to both already formed companies and those who need our assistance with formation. If you are thinking about starting a company or need to change your Florida registered agent, then contact our business law attorneys today.

US Subsidiaries and Branch Offices

US SubsidiaryBoth branch offices and subsidiaries are separate locations where business is conducted from the main office of the corporation. The major difference between these is that a subsidiary is a separate legal entity, while a branch office is the same entity as the parent, or larger, corporation.

Although branch offices are sometimes a good idea for domestic companies, it is usually a better idea for foreign corporations to setup US subsidiaries to conduct business in the US for both tax purposes and liability issues.

Subsidiaries can be formed by purchasing a controlling interest in an existing company or by creating the company itself. The most common forms of subsidiaries are corporations or LLCs. The parent company has a duty to the subsidiary to promote the subsidiary’s corporate interest, act in its best interest, and to maintain a separate corporate identity. If the parent company fails to meet these requirements, the courts will view the two entities as one for liability purposes.

**Remember, if you are not currently conducting business in Florida and you want to setup a branch office or subsidiary, you must register to do business in Florida.**

If you are interested in setting up US subsidiaries or registering to do business in Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today.

Gov. Scott in Paris to Encourage International Real Estate Buyers

Gov. Scott in Paris to encourage International Real Estate BuyersIn support of the Florida Real Estate Industry, Governor Rick Scott, Florida Realtor’s President Dean Asher, and Vice President of Public Policy John Sebree traveled to Paris on a trade mission that took place June 16-21 at the 50th annual International Paris Air Show.

The trio traveled to Paris to encourage French nationals to invest in business and encourage international real estate buyers in the US. Representatives from about 80 Florida-based aviation, aerospace and defense companies, educational institutes, and economic development agencies also participated in the event.

During the event, Ashe and Sebree met with members of the French national real estate federation (FNAIM) to discuss expanding ties between the two associations.

“Florida Realtors’ leadership and members always do an exceptional job promoting Florida, both home and abroad,” said Gov. Scott. “…the state Realtor association has continued to encourage job growth and business development in the Sunshine State. Florida’s housing market and economy are on the rise, and it is clear that the policies we are implementing to create opportunities for Florida families are working.”

According to Florida Realtors’ 2012 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida, French nationals made up five percent of the international real estate buyers purchasing homes in the Miami- Miami Beach area and the Orlando-Kissimmee area. French nationals made up 10 percent of international home buyers in the Palm Beach area.

Source: The Destin Log

Florida Small Business Then and Now

Florida Small Business then and nowOwning a Florida small business is drastically different than it was 25 years ago when Rhonda Abrams started her first company. Here are the differences that she has noticed betweeen Florida small business then and now:

–          Start-up costs are less expensive: Desktop publishing alone has decreased the need for small businesses to go to graphic designers to print simple things like stationary and letterheads. Although graphic designers can still be useful to small businesses, you can save a lot of money by learning to do part of the work yourself.

–          Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur: Twenty-five years ago, the goal of most business graduates was to work for a large corporation. Today, business graduates are striving to open their own businesses.

–          Start-up financing is easier to find: Angel Investors did not exist twenty-five years ago, and small business loans were only for larger, established businesses.

–          Small business diversity is respected more: Small business now encompasses every market you can imagine. Twenty-five years ago, a small business usually meant a dry cleaner or corner store.

–          Large corporations want small business customers: Today, corporations have entire divisions just to reach and serve small companies.

–          The internet: What a wonderful tool for small businesses! The internet allows small businesses to easily market their company, have the most up-to-date technology, and work from anywhere.

–          Speed: Everything is now instantaneous.

–          Global competition: The business world, including small businesses, has become globalized.

Whether you are a foreign national or U.S. resident, Boyer Law Firm can help you incorporate your Florida small business, help with business planning, and much more. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Source: Florida Today