Business Formation – FormTheBiz.com

Balmer Black is happy to announce that we are now offering a self-service, business formation service directly through our firm’s website or FormtheBiz.com.  This service offers, Business Formations, Registered Agent Services, and Annual Report filings.

If you are starting a new business, or looking to from an entity for your existing business, then our service can help.  As business owners and entrepreneurs we understand that you are a busy and this service will allow you to streamline forming your business entity and then making sure you remain compliant with a registered agent and filing annual reports service.

FormTheBiz.com was created to be user friendly so if you feel comfortable you can create and register your business with our step-by-step system.

Still not comfortable? We get it and that is why FormTheBiz.com is attorney supported and one of our attorneys can guide you though the formation process.

If you have been putting off forming your business now is the time to visit FormTheBiz.com!

I Think That A Business Has Taken Advantage of Me, Is There Anything I Can Do? – New York’s Consumer Protection Laws – N.Y. GBL § 349 & N.Y. GBL § 350

INTRO

If you believe that business has taken advantage of you then you may have a cause of action against that business! New York State, like many others, has enacted laws to protect consumers against predatory and/or deceptive business practices.  In New York, businesses are held to a high standard when dealing with consumers.

THE LAWS

N.Y. GBL § 349

New York General Business Law § 349 aka N.Y. GBL § 349: protects consumers against a business’s deceptive acts and unlawful practices. Section (a) of GBL § 349 states that “Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful.” Although, the law seems to be pretty straight forward there have been many cases and court opinions defining GBL § 349.

According to Stutman v. Chemical Bank, 95 N.Y.2d 24, 29 (N.Y. 2000), In order to prevail on a claim for a Violation of N.Y. G.B.L. § 349, a Plaintiff must establish: (a) that the Defendant’s act was consumer oriented; (b) that the Defendant’s act was misleading, and (c) that the Plaintiff was injured as a result.

N.Y. GBL § 350

New York General Business Law § 350 aka N.Y. GBL § 350 prevents business from using false advertising. GBL § 350 states that: “False advertising in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state is hereby declared unlawful.” According to GBL § 350  “The term ‘false advertising’ means advertising, including labeling, of a commodity, or of the kind, character terms or conditions of any employment opportunity if such advertising is misleading in a material respect.”

In order to prevail on a claim for a Violation of N.Y. G.B.L. § 350, a Plaintiff must establish: (a) that the Defendant’s advertisement was consumer oriented; (b) that the Defendant’s advertisement was misleading in a material respect; (c) Plaintiff was injured, and; (d) Plaintiff relied on the misleading advertisement.

What Does This Mean For You?

As discussed above New York’s consumer protection laws were enacted to protect consumers and deceitful business practices and false advertising. If you believe that you have fallen victim to such unlawful business practices you could be entitled to damages and attorney’s fees.

Under GBL § 349 the Court may increase the damages if a defendant/business willfully or knowingly violated GBL § 349. Additionally, the Court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to prevailing plaintiff under GBL  § 349(h).

Under GBL § 350 Court may increase the award of damages to an amount up to three times the actual damages up to $10,000, if the defendant/business willfully or knowingly violated the this section. Additionally, the Court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to prevailing plaintiff according to N.Y. GBL § 350(e).

CONCLUSION

New York State takes consumer protection very seriously and if you think that a business has taken advantage of you there are remedies available to you and an experienced attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a cause of action under New York General Business Law § 349 and/or New York General Business Law § 349.

So you have a great idea for business, but now what?

First off, congratulations! Starting a new business is extremely exciting; although, the excitement of starting a new business is often coupled with feelings of fear and instability. Don’t worry, that is completely normal. In most cases, by the time a potential business client contacts our firm they already have a pretty solid idea as to how they want their business to operate and what their goals are for their business. At this juncture, there are many factors, both non-legal and legal, that we discuss with our client to determine the best course of action for them and their new business venture. What are some of those factors?

General Considerations

As described above, when a new business client contacts our office they generally have a pretty firm grip on what their business plan is, but sometimes they need guidance as to how to properly, and effectively, achieve their goals.  As many business clients know the first, and often the most important, consideration is financial. How much money will it cost to get the business up and running? Does the business have investors, or are they getting a business loan? Do the owners have enough saved to pay their living expenses in the event the business takes time to generate income?

In my opinion, it is usually better for a business to start with a lean budget. Well, what does that mean? Often times new business think big; which is great in terms of ideas and goals, but not in terms of first-year budgets. New business clients are, usually, excited and want nothing but the best for their new company. I agree that you want the best, but do so within your budget. Remember the more overhead a business has; the more difficult it will be for you to begin generating income from your new business. Please keep in mind that there are just general principles and can vary from client to client.

Basic Legal Considerations

Although the details of the conversation vary depending on the type of business that our client is starting, the most common legal issues that we discuss with new business clients include:

1). How properly form the business and what entity works best for their business; i.e. should they form a LLC, S-Crop, or another entity;

2). If there are several partners involved, what are each of their roles and responsibilities, what percentage of the business does each partner own, etc.;

3). What other legal documents will the business require? For example, do they need employment agreements, non-disclosures or non-competes? Does the business need Service Agreements? and;

4). Will the business have an ongoing need for legal counsel?

Again, the above legal considerations are just a basic overview and legal services should be tailored to the individual client’s situation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are a lot of factors to consider when starting a new business, but starting off on the right foot is imperative to your success. Do your homework, work hard, and your business can be successful!