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Denver Business and Commercial Law Blog

Growing a business may mean understanding and using contracts

Starting a business comes with numerous details to consider. Of course, growing a business also comes with concerns, and in many cases, bringing in outside help and creating business relationships presents the need for contracts. If Colorado entrepreneurs have not utilized contracts before, they may need some basic information to help them get started.

Contracts must include certain elements in order for them to be legally binding. For instance, the purpose of the contract must be legal and enforceable under applicable laws. If a contract is created for an unlawful purpose, it offers no protection in the event that the other party does not follow through. Additionally, the parties entering into the contract must be competent, meaning of legal age, sound mind and not impaired at the time of the agreement. Plus the agreement must be made freely, which means no one was coerced into signing and that no fraudulent actions were taken to get a party to sign.

What type of discrimination are you facing at work?

When you go to work, you should be able to do your job without experiencing unfair or discriminatory treatment of any kind. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many in Colorado. You may be an employee who had to deal with various types of discrimination at your place of work. You may feel angry, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. 

Workplace discrimination can come in many different forms, from the hiring process to decisions on whom to terminate when downsizing. You may also experience discrimination in conversations, through the denial of benefits, from receiving negative comments and in other more subtle ways. No matter the type of discriminatory treatment you experience, you have the right to report it and take steps to hold liable parties accountable.

McDonald's facing claims of discrimination, contract disputes

Most large corporations know that legal claims can come against them for almost any reason. In fact, most businesses, whether big or small, will face a lawsuit at some point during the course of their operations. Claims of discrimination and contract disputes are among the most common, and they continue to affect businesses.

Colorado readers may be interested in a lawsuit recently filed against McDonald's involving 52 former franchisees. According to reports, the claims stem from Black former franchisees who believe that McDonald's carried out discriminatory actions and breached their contracts. In particular, they believe that they were not given the same opportunities as white franchisees and that their restaurant locations were in low-income neighborhoods that typically had a lower volume of sales and required higher insurance and security costs.

Lawsuit over trademarks come against Fortnite

Intellectual property is important to businesses for a variety of reasons. If another company starts using a copyrighted image or trademarked name without permission, it could cause confusion among consumers as well as potentially cause damages for the holders of those trademarks or copyrights. As a result, litigation over that infringement could occur.

Colorado readers may be interested in a trademark lawsuit recently filed in another state. According to reports, the owners of Coral Castle, a sculpture garden tourist attraction, has filed a lawsuit against the developer of the popular online game Fortnite. Apparently, Coral Castle appears in Fortnite Battle Royale, but the developer apparently did not obtain permission to use the name. The owners indicate that they have registered and common-law trademarks for the name.

Selling a business is a multifaceted endeavor

Building a business can take years, and achieving success with that business can sometimes take decades. Even though Colorado entrepreneurs put in the work necessary to create a successful venture, they also know that a time may come to step away from the effort and pursue other endeavors. As a result, selling a business may be of interest to some who are ready to move forward.

One of the first matters to consider when deciding to sell is the reason behind the decision. This type of transaction is a major undertaking, so deciding to sell on a whim is not always the best avenue to take. However, many entrepreneurs can find themselves feeling burnt out from running the business, feeling that financial issues are becoming too overwhelming or simply not feeling as if the company can move forward in new and innovative ways.

High-risk business ventures can be difficult to fund

Starting a company always comes with certain risks. However, some Colorado entrepreneurs may have more high-risk business ventures in mind. While taking risks can certainly lead to rewards in some cases, doing so can make it more difficult for prospective businesses to obtain needed capital.

A company may fall into the high-risk category for various reasons. One issue that could make potential investors consider the venture risky is if the company is in an industry with a high turnover rate. When a business owner wants to start a venture in a highly-saturated industry, like the restaurant business, it is important that the owner can set his or her company apart from the others. If not, the company faces a high risk of getting lost among the competition, which could lead to a lack of success.

Did your happy news of pregnancy lead to discrimination at work?

When many people think of discrimination, they often think of racist acts against people of color. However, discrimination can come in many forms and affect people from all walks of life. As a woman, you may have anticipated some sexist talk in your place of employment or expected to have to work harder to prove yourself to your male colleagues. You may not have anticipated, however, facing mistreatment after announcing your pregnancy.

You undoubtedly wanted the news of your pregnancy to go over with joyous reactions from those you told. As a result, you may have felt more than a little put out when the smile slid off your employer's face and you received an underwhelming reaction. At first, you may not have thought it would go much further than that, but now, you wonder if your pregnancy has affected how your employer treats you.

Starting a company can begin with a self-assessment

Owning one's own business can seem somewhat glamorous to many Colorado residents. However, starting a company also takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. As a result, individuals interested in following this route may want to do a realistic assessment of their interest, drive and comfort level when it comes to risk.

Some people have the mistaken idea that starting a business will be a way to immediately make money. In reality, it takes spending money (sometimes a lot) to get the company off the ground, and in some cases, that money is not made back immediately. This means that individuals need to determine how much money they are willing and able to risk and how comfortable they are actually taking the risk.

Litigation against Google could turn into class action suit

When a company learns that it is facing a lawsuit, taking action is necessary. Gaining information on the claims, the type of lawsuit, the individuals or entities involved and other important details could help Colorado companies and those elsewhere effectively handle lawsuits. While any type of claim can be a challenge to address, class action litigation can put even more on the line.

According to recent reports, Google could be facing this type of ordeal. Legal claims were filed against the technology giant in 2017 after four former employees filed suit claiming that they were paid less because they were women. Recently, the plaintiffs requested that the case be given class action status in order to include approximately 10,800 more female workers at Google. The claims indicate that female workers were paid almost $16,800 less than their male counterparts.

Venture capital, in cash or physical assets, help businesses

Running a business takes money. Most Colorado entrepreneurs learn this lesson quickly, and even if they have enough funds to get their startups running, they will likely need additional funds for growth and new projects in the future. Fortunately, business owners do not necessarily have to rely on their own revenue for funding as they could seek out venture capital from investors.

When outside parties make capital investments, those investments can benefit a company in various ways. For example, the company could obtain cash that could help it advance its operations or continue operating as usual until it starts turning a profit. It could also result in a company obtaining permanent assets like equipment, property or workspace that allows it to continue or grow its operations in a more effective and efficient manner.

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