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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

What are the different types of ADR methods?

Contract disputes refer to any and all disagreements that may arise in a company or partnership as a result of a breach in contract. In this situation, all parties have the right to go to court for resolution of the dispute. However, some methods of alternative dispute resolution are gaining popularity in Texas. Engaging in alternative dispute resolution is usually cheaper and less time-consuming than heading to court.

Voluntary participation in arbitration or mediation can occur in the case of a contract dispute. Arbitration provides a neutral third party, known as an "arbitrator," who meets with the disputing parties. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the arbitrator makes a decision, which is binding on the parties who have agreed to enter into arbitration.

Texas Attorney General and the Deceptive Trade Practices Act

Business owners often come across the mention of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act while operating their day to day business. The DTPA deals with false claims that many businesses make in order to further their business interests. The false claims can include supplying used products and claiming them to be new, making false accusations against a competing business, untrue or misleading advertisements and more.

In order to address these issues, the Texas Attorney General's Office files civil enforcement actions under the provisions of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in order to protect consumers and businesses from these unfair trade practices. In addition to the Attorney General's Office, a consumer or business can also file a complaint, which can form the basis of a state-conducted investigation. All products and services are in the Deceptive Trade Practices Act ambit except for professional advice.

Olive oil is now a favorite with Texas entrepreneurs

Texas is well-known for oil. However, now a different type of oil is setting many entrepreneurs' cash registers rolling. Olive oil. And this is news to many, as the owner of an olive orchard confirms, saying many people are surprised when she says that olive oil is growing in Texas.

The new business is slowly taking roots. Even as early as 15 years ago, the owner was the sole olive oil entrepreneur in Texas. Now it is believed that there are over 100 orchards in the state. The business concept has taken root due to droughts in Spain that have spelt the doom for olive oil in the regions. Exports have decreased dramatically, and the decreased supply in grocery stores in Texas has been the main trigger for native cultivation.

Don't let a landlord-tenant dispute harm your business in Houston

Many business owners in Houston operate from rented properties spread across the city. These business owners would likely agree that disputes with the landlord over rent, breach of the lease and other problems are not uncommon. Unfortunately, some of these disputes have the potential to severely affect the prospects of the business that operates out of the disputed property. Property owners are also affected during these disputes.

In such situations, a business or a property owner can consult a lawyer to understand the implications of a breach of contract. Disputes over commercial properties often arise from the lease agreement and its interpretation by both parties of the contract. Such contract disputes can often be resolved if both parties sit and discuss their issues and reach a mutual agreement over the lease. A lawyer can guide the business owner or property owner through the negotiation session.

A brief overview of statutory merger procedures in Texas

One of the many ways a Texas-based business can expand is through the acquisition of smaller, but potentially valuable, businesses. Business mergers and acquisitions are among the options available to entrepreneurs who want to diversify their businesses and move into new market sectors without having to create necessary infrastructure from scratch.

Whichever option is chosen, it is very important to note that the structure of this kind of transaction is critical to success since it will likely affect the new form and liabilities of the businesses as well as any tax implications for its owners. Therefore, these matters should be handled delicately and, ideally, by a legal professional.

Texas oil company locks horns with Russian competitor

Contracts are the heart of some of the most important deals struck by Texas businesses, whether they be big or small. These legally binding documents are used to outline the terms, conditions, duties, responsibilities and rewards for the parties involved.

However, in certain cases, one or more parties may fail to adhere to the terms laid out in the contract, which ultimately leads to a contract dispute. In some cases, the contract dispute cannot be resolved through arbitration, so the problem may be presented to a judge for a fair ruling. Such seems to be the current scenario as one of Russia's largest companies has now requested a U.S. judge to compel a Texas-based oil company to follow a mediation clause in an old contract, amid allegations that the Russian company divulged trade secrets worth billions.

Developing a succession plan for a family-owned business

A large number of businesses in Texas are small or family-owned. The success of such a business can depend on the relationships among the owners or family solidarity. Small businesses established through partnerships or family ties can fail if they do not have a well-planned succession strategy in place.

A succession plan is very important since it outlines the process by which the company's leadership deals with the loss of a principal to retirement, sudden incapacitation or death. It also identifies the individual or individuals who will assume responsibility if the former business head can no longer lead. Developing an effective succession plan for a family-owned business may be difficult, however, due to tensions or rivalries within the family. Even if it's difficult to accomplish, it is still a prudent idea to wade through the challenges and get a succession plan in place as early as possible.

What qualities do you need to be an entrepreneur?

The current state of the country's economy may not be particularly grim, but the rate of job growth can still seem tepid. The present rate of unemployment suggests a stagnating job market for many states, including Texas. Given such a scenario, starting a new business and pursuing your dreams of being an entrepreneur may seem like a viable alternative which can help you gain some control over your finances.

There are some basic questions which you will need to answer for yourself before you can consider becoming an entrepreneur, however. Being your own boss can have many advantages but occupying the position of an entrepreneur also means that you are responsible for making all the tough judgment calls. There is also an inherent element of uncertainty and risk in every business, and you need to decide if you are ready to take this on or not.

Understanding breach of contract and its possible remedies

In Texas and elsewhere throughout the United States, a contract is a legally binding document creating rights and obligations for parties of the contract. When a party fails to uphold his or her contractual duties, a breach of contract occurs, possibly giving rise to a contract dispute. A contractual breach can take place when a party fails to perform his or her obligations in a timely manner or does not perform according to the terms of the contract or even when there is an omission of performance of the contract.

In the event of a breach of contract, the aggrieved party may seek protection under law or may try to recover monetary damages resulting from such a breach. Commonly, in order to resolve a contract dispute and to enforce contracts, the recourse sought by many people is to file a lawsuit.

Dallas-based company acquires five Houston-area golf courses

Many business owners in Houston, Texas, would agree that a merger or acquisition is a common way to expand a business. When a business merges with another business or acquires another company, that business is able to diversify its offerings and, as a result, it can enjoy exciting growth. However, mergers and acquisitions offer a unique set of challenges and, therefore, addressing the issues effectively becomes extremely important.

Recently, ClubCorp, a Dallas-based owner and operator of private golf and country clubs, announced that it has acquired Atlanta-based Sequoia Golf, which currently runs, owns or operates as many as 50 private and public golf courses in Texas, Colorado and Georgia. The business acquisition is bound to have a significant impact on Houston-area golf clubs in and around Houston and Galveston Bay that were owned and operated by Sequoia Golf.

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