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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

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.

How to settle a small business dispute

To a small business owner in Texas, a business dispute can lead to massive costs. Every small business proprietor would agree that cost control is crucial for a business to be successful. Business litigation can take place between the owner and their suppliers, subcontractors, customers or other parties related to the business, entailing heavy costs if not dealt with appropriately. To thwart such ungainly circumstances from arising, there is a solution the small claims court has to offer.

In recent times, dollar limits have been increased by small claims courts, enabling owners to bring numerous routine business disputes into the courts. This will not only allow small business owners to save money that would have been spent in legal fees in ordinary courts, but also time.

Texas introduces new program to encourage veteran entrepreneurs

The Armed Forces of the United States have found continued engagements throughout the world since World War II. From Vietnam to Iraq, military men and women have served the country with their bravery and loyalty and with their ceaseless commitment to the ideal of democracy by making great personal sacrifices. Texas has had its fair share of military veterans and a recent government program aims to give back to state veterans by helping them become new business owners.

In 2013, the Texas Veterans Commission, in collaboration with legislators and the governor's office, successfully passed a Texas Senate bill the basis of which was funding a team of expert business consultants with skills available to help any veteran in Texas start a new business. Additionally, the service is free of charge for the veterans.

New business marketing approach in Texas

That fact that the state of Texas is welcoming to more business is evident from the number of new businesses that are flourishing throughout the state. For any business organization, marketing can make a big difference. Good marketing strategies are essential for product promotion and earning the loyalty of customers. The end result of brilliant marketing is always a huge improvement in all-round performance.

Any successful businessman would agree that along with good partners, correct marketing and innovative strategies go a long way when establishing and keeping a business healthy. Many Texas restaurant owners are coming up with inventive marketing plans so that they can reach out to every potential customer. One well-regarded restaurant owner in Houston, for example, has come up with the idea of using the U.S Postal Service to reach everyone in the locality.

Texas new business makes carrying a six-pack less canny

It is often said that invention is the child of crisis. Or so it may seem that way! When authorities prohibited drinking from cans while cruising a local waterway, a Texas-size student innovation created to meet the ban translated into a potential new business.

According to reports, faced with a ban on carrying beer cans while navigating the Comal River, a group of University of Texas student engineers spearheaded the unique innovation of an insulated beer chiller called the "PalmKeg", which is the size of a very small beverage keg. This new product will meet the requirements that precipitated the ban and will make carrying beer on Comal easier.

Soccer world cup fuels massive mergers

Texas was as much witness to the phenomenon of big business acquisition as the rest of the U.S. during the soccer World Cup this year. Announcements were made about two of the world's largest business acquisitions recently in the country. The proposed acquisitions involve four renowned U.S. telecommunications companies.

AT&T proposed a buyout of DirecTV on the condition that the latter renews its (American) football package for Sunday nights. Time Warner Cable is selling because it has lost customers due to rising cable bills; the cause of the rise in cable costs is partially due to the high cost involved in obtaining rights to televise sports. The recent announcements are important due to the sheer enormity of the total amount of money involved in the two acquisitions, which running in hundreds of billions of dollars.

Couple sues Harley-Davidson over product liability claim

Texans are aware that operating any business involves risks. It may be profitable one day; another day may provide huge financial losses. Also, business disputes seem to be unavoidable, mostly due to miscommunication, incorrect understanding of product specifications or a variety of other reasons, all of which may eventually lead to business litigation. Recently, Harley-Davidson was sued by customers claiming a product liability issue.

The complaint filed by a married duo states that the husband was driving the vehicle on a Texas highway in Mount Pleasant with his wife on the back when the driver applied the front and back brakes to avoid a car which had cut in front of the bike. The motorcycle's wheels locked and a fishtail resulted. The bike pitched in the opposite direction and the couple was thrown off, suffering injuries, including a skull fracture.

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