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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.

What can stall a business purchase or sale?

Californian business owners like you understand exactly how complex laws can be when you are handling matters of business. Selling and purchasing agreements are certainly no exception, but we at Lawrence R. Jensen & Associates, are here to help you through.

There are many issues that can come along with selling and purchasing agreements. As much as we all wish every business transaction could run smoothly, unexpected issues can and do crop up. A few potential areas of concern can include:

  • Environmental claims
  • Commercial leases
  • Zoning ordinances
  • Title defects
  • Defect disclosures
  • Eminent domain claims
  • Breach of purchase agreement

Title insurance may save a commercial real estate venture

If you’ve closed on a home purchase, you know you’re confronted with a blizzard of approvals, waivers and fees. You can be forgiven for shrugging off at least a few of these as “mere technicalities.”

But in commercial real estate, title insurance definitely matters. Understanding it may help save a business considerable time and money in the long run.

What leads to boundary disputes?

It may seem that a boundary dispute between you and an adjacent property owner in California arises quickly. However, according to Point to Point Land Surveyors, boundary disputes can be years, and sometimes centuries, in the making. 

Sometimes a boundary dispute arises because of the carelessness of one of the landowners. Without checking the legal boundaries first, another property owner may mistakenly build on your land, thinking it is his or her own. If there is not a physical boundary marker between the two properties, this becomes an even easier mistake to make. Having a land survey done prior to any construction decreases the likelihood of this type of dispute arising. 

How do you choose between an S-corp and a C-corp?

Forming a corporation in California offers protection for your personal finances in the form of limited liability. Once formed, there are two different types of corporations for tax purposes: so called " S-corporations" and "C-corporations."

Though similar in some ways, each offers different advantages for your business, as well as potential downsides. The type you choose depends largely on your goals and objectives for the corporation. 

The government's power under eminent domain

Many residents in California may have heard reports over the years about government entities obtaining privately held land for public projects. One example of this is when older homes are purchased by the government to make way for a new freeway or other thoroughfare. The rights under which this is allowed to happen are referred to as eminent domain It is important for property owners to understand what is entailed in eminent domain and how they might protect themselves if approached by the government about a property they own.

One of the most basic parameters about the eminent domain law is that any land taken by the government must be intended to be used in a manner in which serves the public. There must also be a demonstrable need for whatever project is proposed for the land. Not all land is able to be obtained under eminent domain laws. Property that houses graveyards or factories, for example, may be exempt from the government's reach.

Is urban exploring against the law?

You may understandably have some concerns about trespassing if you own a vacant building. Depending on the location, age of the property and length of time that it has been unoccupied, it can be dangerous for those who enter without permission, not to mention damaging to your property. Even so, many people in California and elsewhere enjoy exploring empty properties that they deem abandoned, which can be problematic for property owners.

The act of creeping through empty structures is known as urban exploring. Most people who explore these properties do not mean any harm and do so simply to satisfy their curiosity, take some photographs and have some thrills. However, you might not want anyone entering an empty building you own and getting hurt, leaving garbage or causing damage. HowStuffWorks explains that you may discourage urban explorers and protect your legal interests by installing a fence around the property, putting up “no trespassing” signs and padlocking entrances. These precautions signal that someone owns the property and that it is not completely abandoned. Additionally, entering property that is locked and clearly marked as private can be considered breaking and entering, which is against the law.

Pros and cons of arbitration in business disputes

When your business faces a dispute, you may dread the anticipated time, energy and resources to spend on reaching a resolution. Fortunately, a contract dispute, partnership disagreement and more do not always have to resort to litigation.

Many California businesses prefer arbitration over litigation in resolving a conflict. An alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method, some contracts require mandatory arbitration to resolve future disputes. Whether the decision to attempt arbitration was previously determined or agreed upon by both parties, there are several benefits and drawbacks to consider.

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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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