5 Items to Consider During Your Business’ Quarterly Review

The following five items should be on the top of every successful business’ mind at this point in the year. If you have not reviewed each of these actions yet, or are unsure where to start, please call our office today and let us help you get back on track!

  1. Annual Requirements: In the state of Florida, annual reports are typically due beginning January 1 and must be filed no later than May 1.  Additionally, depending on your business structure, your company may be required to conduct annual meetings for shareholders. This is to make sure that the company remains in good standing and is not waiting until the last minute to fulfill these critical duties.
  2. Trademarks: It’s time to think about whether you want to obtain a trademark for your business or ensure an existing trademark will remain active in the coming year. Stay on top of your trademark by reviewing it with your Cobbe Law team.
  3. Employee Contracts: If your employees are under contract, it is essential to review the contracts before year’s end. Ask yourself these key questions: Do you plan on renewing contracts or cancelling contracts? Have employees changed positions within your company or do your contracts have non-solicitation and non-compete provisions? Now is the time to review those contracts with your Cobbe Law team to ensure they are still enforceable.
  4. Expiring / Renewing Leases: The end of the year is a common time for leases to expire. It is essential to review documents and consider renewals or terminations in order to make sure you comply with any termination notice provisions.
  5. Website Policies: Most websites contain “Terms of Use” and/or “Privacy Policy” provisions to inform users of a company’s security measures and liabilities regarding data use and protections. The language in these policies may be outdated and/or no longer reflect reasonable security measures. Reduce your liability by revisiting these policies and keeping the language up-to-date and consistent with industry standards.

These tips are just a start but a great place for each of us to end the first quarter right!

Keeping Competitors Out of Your Retail Space

Most stores that lease space in a mall or other commercial area would like a guarantee that the landlord won’t also rent to a competing business.  This guarantee is known as “exclusive use,” and you can negotiate for it in a lease. If you’re negotiating a right to exclusive use, here are 5 main points to consider:

  1. What’s your use? What happens if you re-focus your business and your use changes? Can you still keep out competitors?
  1. What if you sublet some space or assign the lease – does the exclusive use still apply?
  1. If you temporarily fall behind on the rent, do you lose your right to exclusive use?
  1. What about pre-existing tenants?
  1. What’s your remedy? If the landlord violates the contract and leases space to a competitor, what can you do? Presumably you can sue in court to make the landlord stop, but can you also withhold rent, or terminate the lease? If so, do you first have to prove that you actually suffered financial harm?