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Creenan & Baczkowski, PC Law Blog

Monday, July 26, 2021

4 Steps to Ensure the Enforceability of E-Signatures


More and more, transactions between small businesses and their customers, vendors, and service providers occur online rather than on paper. Yet some feel uneasy about the enforceability of these electronically-signed documents. Is an electronic signature as valid as a conventional handwritten signature? 

Under state and federal law, e-signatures are recognized as valid and enforceable: Most states have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, and at the federal level, the E-Sign Act, which grants electronic signatures the same legal status as conventional handwritten signatures for most transactions. Although the statutes do not require a specific type of technology or process to be followed, there are several steps necessary to ensure that your e-signatures are enforceable in the event a dispute arises.

What Is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature is defined as an electronic sound (for example, the tone from pressing a number on a telephone), symbol (such as an alphanumeric code), or process (like typing the sender’s name at the end of an email message or using a mouse to click an “I agree” button) that is attached to or logically associated with an electronic contract or record.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 19, 2021

Business License and Permit Requirements


If you are starting a new business, it is important not to overlook federal, state, and local business license and permit requirements. Almost every business, even one that is home-based, is required to obtain some form of license or permit in order to operate legally. Failure to do so can lead to fines, and in some cases, the closure of your business.

Why Are They Necessary?

The government has two main purposes for requiring licenses and permits: keeping track of a business’s revenue for taxation purposes and safeguarding the public.

For example, in the context of taxation, a state sales tax permit allows the state to oversee the collection, reporting, and payment of sales taxes: A business that sells goods or services collects the sales tax on behalf of the state and is responsible for remitting it to the state.
Read more . . .


Monday, July 12, 2021

7 Key Elements Prospective Funders Look for in a Business Plan


As the economy improves, more and more entrepreneurs are considering starting or expanding their small businesses. However, most small business owners do not have the financial resources to do this without obtaining outside funding. If you are looking for funding for your business, you will need to provide prospective funders with a well-thought-out and professional business plan, regardless of the type of financing you seek to obtain. Sources of financing will expect to see the following key elements in your plan.

  1. Executive summary and company description.
    Read more . . .


Monday, July 5, 2021

Dealing with Negative Online Reviews of Your Business


You’ve worked hard to build your small business. Nothing is more frustrating than negative online reviews, particularly if you feel they are unjustified or have been posted in bad faith. There are several steps that you can take to prevent your business’s reputation from being damaged by unfavorable reviews.

Respond promptly and professionally. More and more potential customers are turning to internet review sites like Yelp or Google My Business when they are making decisions about which businesses to patronize.


Read more . . .


Monday, June 28, 2021

What You Need to Know about Family and Medical Leave


Federal law has required certain businesses to offer family and medical leave for decades. An increasing number of states have also enacted or considered passing laws requiring businesses to offer family and medical leave. For small businesses, these laws have distinct pros and cons. This article discusses some of the most important factors small business owners should keep in mind about family and medical leave.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates that employers having 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the worksite allow them to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks to address their own medical issues, care for a sick family member, and upon the birth or adoption of a child.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 21, 2021

What is the Difference Between an LLC and an LLP?


If you are starting a new business, the type of business entity you decide to establish will have an impact on the extent of personal liability, how the business is taxed, its management, the level of formality required, and many other factors. There are a wide variety of options, which can make this decision quite overwhelming. Limited liability companies (LLCs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are two business forms that share some characteristics, but  also have some important distinctions.

Similarities

  1. Liability

    LLCs protect members and managers from personal liability for the LLC’s debts and obligations, as well as for any wrongdoing or negligence committed by the other owners or the employees of the LLC. However, it will not protect members from their own negligence or wrongdoing committed in relation to the business.
    Read more . . .


Monday, June 14, 2021

The Personal Guarantee: 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Reduce Their Liability


Small businesses make a huge contribution to the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, starting a new business is risky. Lenders view loans to small businesses, particularly start-ups, as among the riskiest they make, particularly when there is little or no credit history or business revenue on which to base their decision.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 7, 2021

What Counts as “Hours Worked” Under the Fair Labor Standards Act?


If your small business has non-exempt employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you are required to pay those employees in accordance with its minimum wage and overtime requirements for all “hours worked.” This may seem like a simple requirement, but figuring out what is considered “hours worked” may be more complicated than it seems at first glance. There are several activities that the U.S. Department of Labor has determined should be considered as work (and therefore compensable as hours worked) that may surprise you.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

PA Ends Pandemic Restrictions, Mostly (June 1, 2021)


 

 

Wolf Administration: Pennsylvania Businesses, Events, Venues Return to 100% Capacity on Memorial Day; Masking Order Remains Until 70% of Adults Fully Vaccinated or June 28

  • The current order requiring masks for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals will remain in place until June 28 or when 70 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older get their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, whichever comes first. Additionally, individuals are still being required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.
    Read more . . .


Monday, May 31, 2021

Business Insurance: Protecting Your Business from Unexpected Losses


As a small business owner, you have invested large amounts of time and money to make your business a success. Business insurance protects this investment in the event of unexpected damage to property or lawsuits, which could otherwise be devastating to your business. There are many types of insurance available depending upon the nature of your business.

Worker’s compensation insurance is required by state law for most employers. It covers the medical expenses and part of the wages of employees who suffer a work-related injury.
Read more . . .


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Liability Protection from COVID Suits? Here's an update


The short answer is no.  Businesses face potential lawsuits for business invitees, employees (WC or family) and others due the risk of transmission arising from business activities.  

Pennsylvania has not advanced legislation to protect business from liability suits.  The only measure has been Governor Wolf's executive order comment, which effectiveness remains uncertain.   

The National Council of State Legislators tracks the legislative efforts of each state.
Read more . . .


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