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Greater Bay Business And Real Estate Blog

What's the best form for my business in California?

People who want to create a business face a lot of choices very quickly. And the early choices often end up mattering the most because they determine all the options that businesses and their owners will face next. A lot of possible forms of companies and corporations will achieve founders' needs, but which one has the most advantages?

  • What are my choices if I am creating a business alone?

A sole proprietorship is perhaps the simplest and most common type of business. This is usually one person using his or her own name, or possibly a fictitious title that sounds like a company name, and not sharing the rights and responsibilities of ownership.

  • How can multiple owners get the right amount of rights in a new business?

San Diego development deal held up by a lawsuit

As more and more people decide to live on the West Coast and businesses flock there to take advantage of the huge talent pool, California is seeing a boom in real estate prices. Land is a big part of new laws and lawsuit in the Golden State, as there will never be more of it and the people's demands on it are only intensifying.

Old agreements can leave a footprint on new real estate purchase agreements and the developments that often follow them. A piece of downtown San Diego that had slowly become a ghost town of businesses is now at the heart of legal motions as a new company seeks to develop it with retail options, homes and connections to local transit.

New code adds solar requirements to new buildings in California

The future is bright for homebuilders in California. The state is undergoing yet another housing boom, the largest in its history, as demand swells near its cities and the coast. As more buildings go up, there are also a lot of reasons to look for more efficient ways to power them.

The future is actually bright in this regard, as a new law from Sacramento requires several types of new construction to be ready for solar power. Single-family houses and buildings designed for multiple families up to three stories high must be equipped with solar photovoltaic systems, according to Title 24 of Green Buildings Standards Code issued by the California Energy Commission.

Don't put that fence there! Resolving boundary disputes

There's an old Irish saying that "Good fences make good neighbors." However, a fence erected in the wrong spot can be a nightmare for property owners -- and so can other boundary disputes. If your neighbor is encroaching on your property rights in some way, here's how to handle it.

1. Approach your neighbor early.

Learn more about mergers and how they work

Merging is a term that you may have heard, being in the business world. It means that you're combining two businesses into one. A merger is much like a marriage, and it can be a great way to grow your business.

Usually, mergers work by combining assets, staff members and other parts of the two businesses together. This creates a brand new legal entity. It's smart to speak with your attorney before you start this process, because there are many downsides (and positives) to consider.

What terms should be included in a commercial lease?

Creating a commercial lease is one of the most important things you must do when renting commercial property. Whether you want to rent space for your office, for storage or to open a store, a commercial lease is vital to the success of your business. So, what terms should be included in a commercial lease?

One of the most important terms that must be included is the rent. Rent isn't always locked in, which means you should be able to negotiate the price you pay per month for the space you are renting.

Why you need an attorney when starting a business

If you have been wrestling with the idea of starting your own business, it's important that you hire an experienced business law attorney to walk you through the process. You don't want to incorrectly file documents, register the wrong business name or create a partnership agreement that doesn't benefit you. Let's explore how an attorney helps you when starting a business.

An attorney will be able to recommend which type of business you should register as when you get off the ground and running. You have choices between sole proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, partnership and others.

What is "termination for convenience?"

Your business’ contracts serve as a sign of your stability, yet even within them, some may stand out. For example, having a contract with a government agency in San Jose can be a great benefit given the security that such agreements often provide. Such organizations have access to resources that ensure their existence, thus eliminating many of the concerns inherent with private companies. Yet with the advantages that come from working with a government partner also come some disadvantages. One of the most notable is their control over the viability of your business agreement.

In most cases, a contracted partner has to have cause to end its agreement with you. Not so with government entities. Per the Congressional Research Service, they are afforded the freedom to terminate contracts for their convenience. Thus, they can choose to end your formal business relationship prior to the terms of your contract expiring for reasons such as:

  • Your company not being willing to renegotiate your contract
  • Them finding another service provider (or gaining the ability to provide your services in-house)
  • An overall deterioration in your business relationship


Early in October of 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several bills that will have an impact on the residential landlord industry in California. One of those bills, The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482), is truly a "game changer."

AB 1482 has two main components - a rent control component and an eviction control component. The rent control component limits the amount a landlord can increase the rent on existing tenants to 5% per year plus the regional percentage change in the cost of living or 10% per year - whichever is less.

The eviction control component provides that landlords can only evict a tenant for the reasons specified in the ordinance - so called "just cause" eviction. Some of those reasons are based on the actions or omissions of the tenant, such as a tenant default in payment of rent or breach of the lease. The others apply when the tenant has done nothing wrong, but the landlord wishes to recover possession for reasons such as an intention to have a family member occupy the rental unit or to perform substantial remodeling. With respect to these "no fault" reasons, landlords must provide the tenant with a relocation payment or rent waiver in the amount specified in the statute.

How can you resolve an encroachment peacefully?

It is almost inevitable to have neighbors you do not particularly like now and then. However, some California residents run into neighbor problems that can result in years of animosity or, even worse, legal action. An encroachment is one of the most common ways you may have a misunderstanding or disagreement with one of your neighbors. There are numerous ways you can deal with an encroachment issue that can preserve the peace and hopefully avoid going to court.

First, you will want to understand what an encroachment entails. FindLaw describes encroachments as situations in which someone constructs or places a structure or landscaping feature that intrudes, or encroaches, upon someone else’s property. This may be a shed or home addition that partially sits on your property, a wall that crosses the boundary line or anything else meant to be a permanent or long-term addition to your neighbor’s property that is crossing over onto yours.

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Lawrence R. Jensen & Associates
95 S. Market St.
Ste. 550
San Jose, CA 95113

Phone: 408-465-0293
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