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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.

A residential landlord's guide to security deposits in California

Renting a residential property you own to other people can be a lucrative source of mostly passive income. Unfortunately, it can also be a big source of liability, expense and hard work. If you wind up with the wrong tenants in your building, they could cause extreme levels of damage to both the cosmetic appearance of the unit and also the structural safety of the building, in some cases.

To reduce the amount of risk you take on when you accept a new tenant, you have the right to charge a security deposit. This deposit is an amount that you as the landlord hold in escrow until the tenant leaves the property. The security deposit protects you against defaults that result from unpaid rent or damages to the property.

Pros and cons of different business entities

The type of business entity that you choose to form in California could mean the difference between success and failure. We at Lawrence R. Jensen and Associates have put together a guide to help explain the pros and cons of a few of the most common types. 

There is no one entity that is inherently superior; the one you should choose depends on your individual circumstances.

How do you form an LLC?

As a California business owner, you may have decided that organizing your company as an LLC is the best option for you. But what happens next? How do you actually form an LLC once you have made your decision?

According to FindLaw, most states require you to follow a four step plan in order to form an LLC. In some states, it’s even fewer steps. First, you must choose a business name. This name cannot already be in use by another business. The California state government will be able to let you know if your chosen name does or doesn't fit the standards.

Questions to ask before signing a commercial lease

A commercial tenant’s responsibilities often differ considerably from those of a residential tenant, so if you are looking to rent a California commercial property, you would be wise to read the fine print before signing anything. At Lawrence R. Jensen & Associates, we recognize that, in many cases, commercial lease agreements tend to favor the landlord, rather than the renter, and we have helped many clients who are seeking commercial properties make sure their leases appropriately address their needs.

According to, commercial tenants typically have more responsibilities than residential tenants, so it is essential that you determine what your landlord expects of you before you sign on the dotted line. The more you understand about your commercial lease agreement from the outset, the better the chance of you abiding by all of its terms and avoiding running afoul of the law.

Is forming an LLC the best option for you?

As a Californian business owner just starting your venture, you have to ask yourself what sort of business formation suits you best. Consider your purpose, size, and intention in order to make your decision. Today, we will take a look at Limited Liability Corporations.

FindLaw takes a look at two of the most common reasons to organize your business as a corporation or an LLC. The first reason is if you have a large amount of personal assets. When you run a business, your own personal assets could potentially be put at risk due to liabilities associated with the business itself. By organizing your business as an LLC, you can separate and protect those assets.

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

Phone: 408-465-0293
Fax: 408-899-2403
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