Baton Rouge Business And Construction Law Blog

Why might some Louisianans be interested in franchising?

Some people in Louisiana may want to establish a business, but they may not want to have to build their enterprise from the ground up. After all, establishing a business as a sole proprietor is a large undertaking and there is no guarantee of success. However, one option that may be available to some is franchising. For those who don't want to start a business from scratch, franchising may be the right move for them.

Under business law, franchising is a legal relationship in which the franchisor-business gives the franchisee the privilege to use the franchisor's products or services and business model, along with trademarks, training and marketing in return for financial compensation in the form of royalties and fees. Fast food restaurants are a common type of franchise.

What are some common types of construction defects?

While a lot of work and planning may take place when a company erects a structure in Louisiana, that doesn't mean mistakes won't be made. Sometimes a construction defect takes place that compromises the safety, stability and ultimately the usability of the structure. Construction defects can be divided into four general categories: design defects, material defects, construction defects and subsurface defects.

Design defects are issues that stem from the design of the structure itself by architects or engineers. For example, a roof that has design defects could cause water to leak into the structure or could cause the structure to have poor support.

Many business law transactions fall under the umbrella of merger

Sometimes two businesses in Louisiana will decide that it would benefit them both financially to join forces and consolidate, in what is generally called a merger. While mergers often involve large companies, it is important to note that even small businesses can be parties to a merger. Moreover, there are numerous transactions that fall under the umbrella of a merger.

Mergers take place when, with the approval of each company's board of directors and shareholders, one company acquires another company, and the acquired company ceases to exist once the transaction is complete. In contrast, in an acquisition one business will obtain the majority stake in another business, but the acquired business will retain its name and legal structure.

What happens under construction law if a contractor is not paid?

A mechanic's lien is an important aspect of construction projects in Baton Rouge. Mechanic's liens serve as a guaranty that builders, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and construction firms will be paid for the work they do before any other claims are satisfied, should the property be foreclosed upon or repossessed.

A mechanic's lien remains effective until the construction project is complete, and all parties have been compensated for the work they did. If the parties to the lien are not paid and the project is foreclosed upon or repossessed, the parties to the mechanic's lien will have a higher priority when it comes to payment after liquidation than other debts the property owner may have.

Can Louisiana contractors withdraw bids on public projects?

Sometimes a contractor in Louisiana makes a bid on a public project, but subsequently determines that their bid is faulty in some way.

Fortunately, there are some circumstances under construction law in which a contractor bidding on a public project can withdraw their bid. First, the bid must have a mistake that is patently obvious, that was made unintentionally and consisted either of a substantial computation, clerical or mechanical error. Alternatively, the bid can be withdrawn if there is an unintended and substantial omission in how much work, labor, materials or services would be needed to complete the project.

Four questions to answer before signing a commercial lease

Signing a commercial lease is not something to be taken lightly. Finding a space that works for your business can help you prosper. You want to make sure you negotiate a fair lease agreement. Certain terms could hurt your ability to grow or hurt your business financially. Here are four questions you should consider before you sign your lease.

Tips for Louisiana businesses that have decided to dissolve

An entrepreneur in Louisiana may cultivate and grow a business for many years. However, for a variety of reasons, they may reach a point where they decide that it is best to close their doors. Having an exit strategy in such situations is imperative to ensuring that the process of closing your business runs smoothly and effectively, and that it complies with all applicable business laws.

First, while sole proprietors can decide to close their business whenever they want, if a business owner is in any type of partnership, all co-owners to the business must agree to close it, oftentimes in writing. In addition, depending on the business type at issue, the parties may need to follow their articles of organization when closing their business. In addition, if the business is a corporation or limited liability company, dissolution documents must be filed with the state. If the corporation or LLC fails to do this, they may continue owing taxes and they may still be subjected to filing requirements.

When is it necessary for contractors in Louisiana to be licensed?

In general, contractors for commercial construction projects in Louisiana will hire subcontractors to perform various tasks. This ensures that these tasks are completed by those with specialized training and knowledge. However, it is also important that contractors have the requisite licenses under Louisiana construction law before work on the project begins.

If a commercial project is worth $50,000 or higher, including the costs of labor and materials, then the general contractor is obligated to hire subcontractors with the appropriate license. In addition, if the total costs for plumbing, electrical or HVAC projects is $10,000 or greater, a contractor's license is necessary. Finally, a contractor's license is needed for projects worth $1 or more involving asbestos, lead paint removal, hazardous waste or underground storage tanks.

Executing a business plan can benefit Louisiana entrepreneurs

There are many legal aspects to starting a business in Louisiana. It is important that any applicable regulations are adhered to, that the right permits are obtained, that any necessary paperwork is filed with the appropriate entity and that any applicable fees are paid. It is a lot to undertake.

One aspect of starting a new business that should not be overlooked, though, is executing a business plan. This document can provide details on what each party's role and responsibilities will be in the new enterprise. It can serve as a roadmap for how the business will be structured and operated, as well as how the parties intend to expand the business down the road.

How long can one take to bring a breach of contract claim?

When a Louisiana property owner alleges that there was some defect in the construction of the property, he or she may want to pursue a lawsuit against the contractor. Contractors facing such actions should understand how patent versus latent defects affect how long a property owner has to bring a construction defect claim based on breach of contract.

A patent defect is one that can be found through an inspection of the property because it is open and obvious. A latent defect is one that cannot be found through a reasonable inspection, since it is hidden or concealed. Latent defects will transform into patent defects once the defect is uncovered or should have been uncovered.

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