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Orlando Business & Commercial Law Blog

Make you mark (but be sure it's not the same as someone else's)

Brand and product recognition is extremely valuable to companies all across Florida. Whether it's a highly memorable tagline in a commercial or an identifiable logo, a symbol or phrase that allows consumers to almost immediately recognize a product can be worth much more than money.

For example, when we see an Apple product logo or BMW symbol on a vehicle, there are likely very specific connections you make and reactions you have. In the best case scenarios, these are favorable and increase the chances that a person will buy that product. Considering how powerful these identifying features can be, many companies want to trademark and protect them from being used by another entity.

Legal guidance crucial when it comes to business matters

Any employer knows that one of the primary keys to success is knowing a business inside and out. This can mean understanding the marketplace, being an expert on the product or service being sold, and researching the competition. All of this can take up a considerable portion of an employer's job duties.

Because of this, many employers do not have the time or resources to also familiarize themselves with the many legal issues that can come up in business and employment relationships. This is why it can be so crucial for business owners to have an attorney review things like contracts, employment policies and business transaction practices. Failure to do this could leave an employer vulnerable to expensive litigation.

How can I use a contract to avoid construction disputes?

Property owners across Orlando are looking to reconstruct, expand, renovate and otherwise change their homes or buildings on a regular basis. Sometimes these changes are necessary for a structure to be in compliance with certain codes; other times, the property owner is looking to make cosmetic changes in the hopes of increasing a property's value.

Whether you are looking to make a big change or more minor changes to a property, it can be crucial that you protect yourself, the project and your bottom line with a construction contract. These documents can be enormously valuable in helping people avoid disputes and clearly define expectations before going into a construction project. If you are about to break ground on a new project, there are some things you may want to consider regarding a construction contract.

Legal requirements can complicate zoning disputes

When it comes to real estate disputes, landlords, tenants and prospective buyers can find the process of seeking a resolution much more complicated than they expected. Florida laws regarding zoning, dispute resolution, leasing requirements and other common commercial real estate issues are quite complex and when a problem arises, it can be wise to have the support of an attorney.

For example, one man in Florida found himself in a difficult spot after his proposal to rezone land for use as a car wash was rejected. He has since requested that the dispute be resolved through mediation, but that may not be possible.

Deceptive, unfair practices can lead to serious penalties

Business owners across Florida go to great lengths to protect their company and its interests. In many cases, this means establishing trust with consumers and other partners. However, some companies break this trust -- intentionally or not -- by engaging in unlawful or questionable practices in an attempt to be successful or competitive.

If this happens, companies and individuals can find themselves in some serious trouble if they engage in acts that violate state or federal deceptive and unfair trade practice laws. 

Substandard materials could be hiding behind your walls

If you are building a home, you are typically relying on contractors and subcontractors to do much of the work. While you should be aware of everything that is happening throughout the course of a project, you may find that you aren't fully informed on the materials that contractors use.

In many cases, this may not be an issue: the materials should be safe and approved for the intended purposes. However, there are times when substandard products are used and by the time they fail or break down, it can be too late to prevent damage. This may be the case if your residential or commercial building was built using CPVC pipes in the plumbing.

Business owners: Consider alternative dispute options

Any time a business dispute arises, the parties involve typically want it resolved quickly and in their favor. However, not everyone can get everything they want in these situations. In some cases, one side wins and the other side loses after a lengthy court battle; in other cases, negotiations are made and resolutions are reached before the case heads to trial.

If you are currently facing a commercial or business dispute, you may expect that you will have to go through stressful civil litigation to resolve an issue. However, there are alternatives to litigation that you may want to consider. Doing so can save time and money, though you should be prepared for compromises and/or settlements that may be more or less than what you were expecting.

Considering how contract disputes affect consumers

Contracts can be the backbone of any business relationship. However, it is important to appreciate the fact that these contracts and the terms set therein can affect parties other than those directly linked by the contract.

For example, let's consider the frequent disputes between broadcasters and cable providers. For years, clashes have arisen between these two parties that typically end with channel blackouts and/or contract re-negotiations. While both sides in this matter have issues that need to be resolved thoughtfully and carefully, the impact of these situations on consumers should not be overlooked in how these negotiations proceed.

Helping businesses that have suffered trade secret infringement

There are many different things that could potentially give a company a leg up over the competition. Examples of such things include: superior products, strong marketing, a loyal customer base and a reputation for quality. Another such thing is the information the business has. A company's product information, client information, systems and ideas can play a big role in the company's competitive strength.

Some of a company's information may qualify as trade secrets. Many businesses put significant effort towards keeping their trade secrets carefully protected. One example of such a protection effort is having employees sign non-compete agreements.

Legal support necessary when it comes to construction disputes

Whether you are involved in the construction of a single home or a huge commercial building, you can find yourself dealing with a number of issues regarding construction law. From securing land to completing the construction, there are many different actions and agreements that will need to be in compliance with state, federal and local laws or else legal disputes can arise.

In best-case scenarios, construction projects are completed with few or no legal disruptions. However, if and when a disagreement does arise, it can be very complicated to resolve them.