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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

How strategic thinking can help business people forecast growth

Most entrepreneurs have some vision of what they want to accomplish when they set up new businesses. To realize these visions, they must learn to think strategically and solve problems effectively. Both skills can help them see the way toward their long-term goals and manage the resources that will move their businesses forward.

Thinking strategically allows the committed businessperson to develop five key skills: organizing, observing, seeing the business from different viewpoints, determining the business's driving forces and envisioning an ideal position.

Five ways to merge small businesses in Texas

Small businesses mergers in Texas are becoming more common business practices. Typically a company seeks a merger to gain access to new markets and to strengthen existing market position. Five common types of company mergers exist: product extension merger, vertical merger, market extension merger and conglomerate merger.

A product extension merger is conducted between two companies that manufacture related products. The main purpose of this kind of business merger is to gain access to a much larger customer base in order to increase profits substantially.

How crowdfunding can help Texas startups

Business owners everywhere, including in Texas, know that the toughest days for most businesses are in the first year. During this period, owners must successfully complete critical tasks that will set the pillars on which future successes will be built. Meeting legal requirements, formulating a business plan and acquiring required capital are three tough but essential tasks that are essential to success.

When it comes to raising capital, crowdfunding has recently emerged as one of the most popular methods around. It allows people from all backgrounds to invest in a business if they feel it has potential. There are no restrictions on investment, so a crowdfunded enterprise can take investments from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. The entrepreneur, however, must be sure to follow good accounting practices and follow all relevant federal and state regulations governing investments.

Jury in Texas frees Apple from patent infringement case

Every business in Texas has the right to protect its intellectual property in order to steer clear of unfair competition. Therefore, the state allows its businessmen and entrepreneurs to file a business litigation claim in the event of an intellectual property dispute. In 2012, a Canadian-based patent licensing firm sued Apple Inc. for allegedly using its patents in iPhones and iPads without its consent. However, recently, a federal jury in Texas has announced that Apple did not infringe on any patents owned by the firm.

When the license firm first filed the lawsuit, it claimed that Apple allegedly infringed more than twelve of its patents. However, some of the patents were eventually excluded from the business litigation in order to streamline the case. The trial focused on five core patents.

Business development programs for entrepreneurs in Houston

The city of Houston, Texas, offers several business development programs. The Bonding Education Program is one such program, which was initiated to help contractors improve their work capacity. The participants are offering various tips and tricks as to the best practices of the industry.

Contractors get to know the challenges and how to meet them. Small contractors also get to meet the bigger players and interact with them as a result of this business development program. These contractors can learn about the latest developments in the construction industry.

Texas landlord-tenant agreements help evade contract disputes

Business owners in Houston, Texas, know that for a new or expanding business, leasing a commercial space is a most cost-intensive task because contract disputes between landlords and tenants can have detrimental effects on a business's prospects. Therefore, it is important for business owners to have a foolproof landlord-tenant agreement, so that future disputes arising from tenancy agreements can be avoided.

The first and foremost point for negotiation is rent. Business owners must keep in mind that rent escalates with time. Therefore, the cost-increase factor must be considered before finalizing a lease agreement. To keep calculations simple, the Small Business Administration recommends that small businesses enter into one or two-year agreements with provisions for renewing the lease. One way of ensuring that a contract is failsafe is by engaging the services of a reputable real estate agent and lawyer, who can guide a business owner through the process.

Have you prepared a business exit plan for exigencies?

Business families of Houston, Harris, Texas often make plans for their businesses to expand and earn higher profits. They may have dreams such as going public, selling their businesses to the highest bidder, or preparing and training the next generation to take over the family business.

However, unfavorable or unforeseen conditions such as illnesses, business losses, debts, disabilities, or retirement or death may impact a business financially, causing the business owner to encounter difficulties running the business. To tackle the issue, one needs to have a business exit plan or strategy in mind. Sadly, many small business owners and family owned businesses do not have their business exit plan in place.

Austin among top cities for entrepreneurial growth

The state of Texas has always been known for its Texas-size hospitality to visitors. Likewise, Texas provides a supportive environment to help local entrepreneurs grow the state's small business sector. Small businesses seem to thrive due to the strong local economies of many cities, including Houston, the availability of well-educated workers and local community support from residents of the state.

According to a recent report, the entrepreneur-friendly environment in the state is being noticed because the state's capital city, Austin, was selected as one of the best cities in the United States to start an entrepreneurial venture. The other cities featured in the list are Arlington, Virginia, Denver, Colorado, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As the report suggests, several factors have allowed Austin inclusion on this list.

We help protect businesses' intellectual property rights

Establishing a business anywhere in the United States, including in Texas, requires that a person or company fulfill various legal requirements and then engage legal guidance to protect its ongoing interests.

Our law firm has been serving small and midsized businesses for the last 25 years. We protect the interests of our clients by helping them resolve their disputes through negotiation or by trial if necessary. We have helped various businesses achieve their goals across a wide category of business disputes, including contract disputes, business formations, mergers and acquisitions, contract and agreement drafting, intellectual property rights and more.

Texas policies and programs help small businesses grow

Many Texans believe that the real engines of the national and local economies are small businesses. In Texas, there are more than 2.2 million small businesses, and the number continues to grow. One reason is that the state's small-business policies offer advantages that are not available in some other states. In addition, some of the geographical conditions and the ready availability of workers are factors that seem to be helping new businesses to grow in the state.

Various state government programs and workshops help entrepreneurs get the tools and training they need to grow their businesses. Among them are the Historically Underutilized Business Certification Program, the Governor's Small Business Forums and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

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Manfred Sternberg & Associates, PC
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Houston, Texas 77027
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