Baton Rouge Business And Construction Law Blog

Louisiana court allows pipeline construction project to continue

An appellate court in Louisiana has permitted the construction of a pipeline through the state's wetlands to proceed. The lawsuit began in 2017 and claimed that the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources improperly granted a permit for the "Bayou Bridge Pipeline" project, claiming the project would affect protected wetlands and lacked a proper emergency evacuation route. The district court agreed with the plaintiffs, and halted work on the project until the appellate court issued a decision.

The appellate court deemed that the permit granted by the DNR had been sufficiently vetted. The judges determined that the DNR systematically considered all the necessary information regarding how the pipeline would be used and the impact of such usage, alongside any adverse impact the public might experience from the construction of the pipeline. The court also stated that it was the job of the local government, not the pipeline company, to ensure a plan for evacuating the area is in place and that the proposed pipeline project did not alter any evacuation routes currently in existence.

Construction law governs the process of subcontracting

Construction projects in Baton Rouge are often overseen by a general contractor. However, because the nature of these projects are so complex, general contractors often form agreements with subcontractors who will perform specific tasks. The subcontractor reports to the general contractor while the general contractor will still be ultimately responsible for seeing that the project is completed on time and in the manner agreed upon.

Subcontracting can be useful if a project involves tasks that are not within the primary abilities of the general contractor. Subcontracting can save money and mitigate any risks associated with the construction project. In addition, when basic but necessary tasks are undertaken by subcontractors, the general contractor has the time and resources to focus on other lucrative projects. And, subcontracting is often cheaper than hiring employees, as employers must not only pay an employee's wages, but also insurance benefits and Social Security taxes.

Mistakes new businesses need to avoid

Getting a business off the ground is an exhaustive endeavor. It can take years of meticulous planning and organizing to get your dream up and running.

The extensive process of creating a business makes it easy to miss details or make mistakes. If you’re not careful, these errors can end up costing you big:

What are some common types of construction defects?

In a perfect world, commercial construction projects would be completed exactly how the parties to the project envision them. However, when project owners, contractors and subcontractors in Louisiana combine efforts in a commercial construction project, things do not always run as smoothly as they might hope. There are a variety of construction defects that could arise in the course of completing a construction project.

One type of defect is a design deficiency. For example, an architect or engineer may design a building that does not meet state codes.

Pursuing a satisfactory resolution to construction defect claims

A construction project in Louisiana can involve many parties, including the project owner, designers, lenders, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and even government agencies, to name a few. All these parties must work together to make the project a success. Sometimes, however, a party does not competently fulfill their duties, leading to construction defects.

For example, poor design or craftsmanship on the part of a designer, contractor or subcontractor could lead to structural defects. Sometimes a builder does not conform to government regulations regarding the construction of the building. Or, a supplier could provide the builder with shoddy materials that lead to the growth of toxic mold or other defects.

Business law points to consider regarding incorporation

Deciding on a business structure is one of the major components of business formation. Some individuals in Louisiana may be interested in incorporation. Therefore, it is important to understand some of the pros and cons of incorporating a business.

One major advantage of incorporation is that the owners of the corporation are not personally liable for any of the activities or debts of the business. This is because, for legal purposes, the corporation is a separate entity. However, certain formalities must be followed for owners of a corporation to retain this limited liability.

Federal agencies oversee certain businesses in Louisiana

Businesses in Louisiana that are regulated by a federal agency generally must be licensed or obtain a permit to run their enterprise. The exact requirements necessary to obtain a license or permit depends on the agency at issue and the types of activities the business is undertaking. In general, there will also be fees involved when an agency issues a business license or permit.

For example, businesses involved in the manufacturing, wholesale, importation or sale of beer, wine, liquor or other alcohol beverages must obtain a permit from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, along with their Local Alcohol Beverage Control Board. In addition, businesses involved in radio and television broadcasting must be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

What types of contracts are there under construction law?

Construction projects in Louisiana are exciting, but they can also be complex. This is due in part to the fact that the project owner, builder and other parties will enter into various types of contracts with one another that will govern how the project will be completed and paid for. In general, there are four types of construction contracts that may play a part in any given contract.

First there is the lump sum contract, also called a fixed price contract. As the name implies, there is one total price in this contract that covers all activities related to the project. Incentives and penalties can be included in this type of contract. For example, there can be benefits for finishing the project early or penalties for finishing the project late.

What can be done about a construction defect?

When beginning a business, the first thing Louisiana residents are likely looking for is a good site to begin construction upon or a good building to start one's company up in. When a building that fits the description of what is being sought, it might seem too good to be true. However, if there are construction defects then it probably is too good to be true.

When a building fails to meet reasonable performance expectations that the building owner, user or building code created, it has a construction defect. While many people associate structural collapses with defects, those are not the only ones. More common are skewed door and window openings, leaking or sagging roofs, excessive floor vibrations, poor ventilation, leaning or cracking walls or sloping floors. While these problems may be hidden from plain sight initially, they do eventually become visible and adversely affect property values.

Five ways to finance your new business

Opening your own business is a dream for many Americans. It allows you to be your own boss, pursue a passion and create something you are proud of. However, getting a business started is a lot of work and can be quite expensive. Here are five ways to come up with start-up costs for your business.

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