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What To Consider When Purchasing A Business
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: January 1, 2021

You may have been considering purchasing a business and now are ready to make the move. There are benefits in buying an existing business, such as having an existing customer base, familiar brand, established vendor networks, team of employees, business licenses, and assets. Purchasing an established business, however, does come with other risk factors that you need to be aware of. Here are a few things to consider that can save you from complications, liability, and added costs. Identify which party will deal with accounts receivables Verify if you can assume the seller’s lease Be aware of prepaid expenses incurred by the business Obtain an indemnity from the seller Negotiate a “letter of intent” Review the company’s current contracts Be aware of the zoning or industry regulations that affect the business Understand if the company is involved in any ongoing lawsuits or have been involved… Read More

5 Advantages Of Trademarking Your Business
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: December 30, 2020

When you think of business assets, you may be thinking in terms of cash, accounts receivables, inventory, equipment, and PPE (property, plant, and equipment). If you have not considered your brand as an asset, it is time to change your mindset. A trademark is a valuable asset that helps your business grow through brand recognition and can significantly increase the value of your business in the event of a sale of the business. Here are 5 advantages of registering your trademark: Exclusivity – A federal trademark allows you to operate your business exclusively under that brand name nationally, preventing any other company from using that trademark, or anything confusingly similar to that mark, if they have began using it after you. It is a powerful tool that can protect your rights if another company is infringing on it. Creates brand identity & recognition – One… Read More

Year End Post Contract Reviews
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: November 30, 2020

2020 has been a unique year that has presented us with many challenges, and for many, has changed the way we do business today and going forward. As we approach the end of the year, it is a good time to consider reviewing your business contracts with vendors, employees, and government entities to name a few. Contracts are a key component in building a solid system for a business. When thorough, they delegate and manage obligations of the parties, forecast exposure to damages, mitigate risks, and provide remedies for relief in case of a breach. There are certain questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating your contracts. Is the original signatory still with the company? Are they in the same role or capacity? Have there been any changes in the law requiring addendums? During the pandemic, is it still feasible to carry out certain… Read More

Trademark Infringement Is Growing
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: October 30, 2020

You may not be aware, but trademark infringement is on the rise. A staggering 85% of brands experienced some form of trademark infringement within the last year. This is according to a recent report from CompuMark, which revealed this statistic has increased compared to 81% in 2018 and 74% in 2017. There are various forms of trademark infringements. The most common forms are those that involve a business name or web domains. Other violations include those involving social media and advertising campaigns. The effects of trademark infringement can have devastating consequences, not only to the brand, but the business as a whole. According to the report, the main consequences experienced by companies impacted by trademark infringement were customer confusion (45%), loss of revenue (38%), and damage to brand reputation (37%). Companies have responded by seeking remedies in courts, with 3/4 of the victims filing suit.… Read More

When To Hire A Business Attorney
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: September 1, 2020

As an entrepreneur launching a new venture or an owner running a business, you may wonder when it would be the best time to hire a business attorney. A business attorney can help start-ups from their inception and assist existing businesses with their growth and expansion. As a business owner it is crucial that you prioritize your time and energy on tasks directly related to your business, such as creating a business plan, hiring employees, identifying vendors, and running the day-to-day. Having the help of a business attorney to assist with the legal obligations of starting and running a business allows business owners the freedom to handle all that running a business entails, while also having the security that the legal obligations are being handled properly. No matter what your needs are, working with a business attorney can ensure you are operating efficiently and lawfully.… Read More

Lessons learned From Trademark Likelihood Of Confusion, “Patio” & “Palace”
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: August 1, 2020

When you think of trademark infringement, you may think of a service or product having the same name. But did you know that even a name that is similar can also be considered infringement? This is when the trademark concept of “likelihood of confusion” comes into play. Just in the earlier part of this year, Hialeah’s El Patio de los Jugos was found to be similar in name to the legendary South Florida chain El Palacio de los Jugos. Though El Patio de los Jugos’s owner claimed that the word “patio” was different than “palace,” the judge stated that the two names were, “similar in their appearance, phonetics, and meaning.” The restaurant even had a red-and-yellow awning on the outside, similar to that of Palacio de los Jugos. It is important to protect your trademark when you have invested in building a successful brand, especially… Read More

Can I Protect A Marijuana Brand With A Trademark?
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: July 1, 2020

As more states legalize adult-use and medical marijuana, more businesses are entering this market. Like any other business, protecting a brand is a priority; however, how can you file for a trademark if the product you are selling is legal in your state but illegal at the federal level? Federal trademark law prohibits the registration of any products that cannot be sold legally across state lines. Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana cannot be sold across state lines, thus preventing trademark registration with The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). At present time, it is the policy of the USPTO to reject all trademark applications for marijuana related goods and services as illegal under the CSA. There is a way for you protect your brand from a local level by registering a state-based trademark where marijuana is legal. It can prevent competitors to use… Read More

What Is The Difference Between A C Corporation And S Corporation?
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: June 1, 2020

If you have been contemplating creating a business entity as a corporation, an important decision will be deciding whether to set it up as a C-Corporation (C-Corp) or S-Corporation (S-Corp). This decision will affect how much taxes you and/or your business will pay, your ability to raise funds, and the potential to expand your business. An important thing to note is that an S-Corp is not an entity in itself but a tax election. One can register a business entity, such as a C-corporation or a limited liability company, and choose that either be taxed as an S-Corp. There are three main differences between a C Corp and S Corp: Process: One of the main differences is that the C-Corp is the default tax status the IRS assigns to corporations when you file for registration. If you decide to choose the S-Corp election, then you… Read More

Can Force Majeure Protect You From Non-Performance Due To COVID-19?
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: May 1, 2020

If you are a non-essential business forced to close, you may be wondering how you are going to be able to service your clients under your existing contracts. I have received numerous calls from businesses questioning their degree of liability because they are unable to perform services and provide goods based on the restrictions placed by the government-imposed closures. Though most clients will be understanding of the situation, they still can try to claim damages if you are unable to deliver under your contract. A reprieve that can assist companies to relieve themselves of liability if they are unable to perform duties under a contract is force majeure clause. Force majeure clauses justify the suspension of executing duties under contracts that cannot be performed for reasons outside of their control and for which could not be avoided. For it to be enforceable, it requires the… Read More

What Are A Company’s Legal Obligations Surrounding The Coronavirus?
  • By: Portalatin Law Firm
  • Published: April 1, 2020

The coronavirus (COVD-19) is top of mind, affecting not only our personal life but our professional life. Whether you are a business owner or employed by a company, understanding a company’s legal obligations surrounding the coronavirus is vital to abide by the laws and to ensure everyone’s safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) protects employees, so if an employee becomes infected with the coronavirus at work, the employer may face penalties if certain protections are not put into place. The general duty clause states companies, “shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Though OSHA has not addressed specific rules regarding the coronavirus, you can read their Guidance on Preparing Workplace for COVID-19. See link here:… Read More

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