Frequently Asked Questions About Business Law and Real Estate

Business Law Questions:

What is the cost for General Counsel services?

General Counsel prices vary as it is tailored to the size and needs of the business. We provide general counsel services to companies that do not have an in-house legal team and provide overflow services to large companies whose legal department needs assistance efficiently addressing legal matters. The purpose of hiring an attorney for general counsel services is to help manage risk, navigate business transactions, and keep your business compliant. From drafting and negotiating documents and agreements, creating templates, to counseling, we are here to help your business succeed and grow while avoiding any legal inconveniences to your business. Give us a call to go over our general counsel services plans to determine your business needs.

How to Form an LLC in Florida

To start an LLC, you’ll need to:

  • File Articles of Organization
  • File a Certificate of Formation or some other formation document, with the state department in which you’re forming your LLC
  • Apply for an Employment Identification Number with the IRS
  • Open a business bank account and apply for a business credit card
  • You may need an operating agreement as well.

Even if an operating agreement is not required by law, all LLCs should have an operating agreement since this document can help you customize how you run your business and protects you against possible liabilities you may face as a business owner.

What is an operating agreement, and do I need one?

An operating agreement is a contract between the company and its members (i.e. owners). This contract is important because it states how a company is managed both in the day-to-day and under special circumstances, such as how to sell your interest (i.e. ownership) in the company to someone else. This contract also details your duties as a member and the role of the manager, if one is elected.

Whether an operating agreement is required depends on the state your register your company. However, it’s a good idea to have one even if it’s not required. An operating agreement allows you to customize how you want to run your business so you don’t have to rely on a state’s default laws which may not suit your needs. It also helps avoid conflict between members by clearly delineating the rights of members and what to do in case of a conflict.

Even if you are the only owner of an LLC, it’s still a good idea to have an operating agreement because sometimes it’s required for certain business transactions. Operating agreements also helps protect you from liability since it’s evidence that you are actually a company and not just an individual running a business, which could leave your personal assets very vulnerable in case of a lawsuit.

Why do I need a business attorney?

It’s important for you as a business owner to focus on your business and an attorney to focus on the laws for the benefit of your business. Having a business attorney will take the stress off of reading complex contracts, negotiating, service/vendor agreements, joint ventures and more. Hiring us as your dependable business attorney can save you thousands of dollars and reduce the cost of going through an unnecessary legal bind.

What are the steps for me to register a trademark?

Keep in mind, trademarks are an effective branding tool that allow clients/customers to identify your brand and business.

Although it is optional, its best practice to do a trademark search in order to avoid spending time, money, and unnecessary resources, and the possibility of it being denied.

  • After your search prepare to submit your trademark application for each good and/or service.
  • Once filed with the USPTO, it’s time to wait. The application process is a bit lengthy. However, there are ways to use your trademark during your wait.
  • Maintain your registration by submitting additional documents when needed.

It’s important to note that you can also register your trademark for international use!

What is a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

An NDA is a legal binding document that ensures confidentiality between parties. Other provisions in this type of agreement may include non-competition, non-circumvention and non-solicitation. Having an NDA is primarily used when entering a deal with a competitor, involves trade secrets and/or non-public business information.

Real Estate Law Questions:

What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?

Most conventional loan programs require a FICO score of 640 or better. Other types of mortgages, such as FHA or VA may consider a borrower with a credit score of 580. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the lender, resulting in a lower down payment and a better interest rate. Borrowers with lower credit scores may need a higher down payment to counteract the lender’s risk.

When purchasing a property is an owner’s policy necessary?

Although an owner’s policy is not mandatory, it is always wise to purchase an owner’s insurance policy. Owner’s title insurance provides protection to the homeowner if someone sues and says they have a claim against the property from before the homeowner purchased it (e.g., tax liens, mechanical liens, deed errors or omissions, forgery of deed and fraud). An owner’s policy stays with the homeowner for the entire time they own the property and will remain in effect, protecting you from old claims years after you have purchased your property.

How can I avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)?

PMI (private mortgage insurance) is a type of insurance you may be required to pay for when you take out a conventional home loan to protect the lender in case you end up in foreclosure. You can avoid PMI by putting a deposit of 20% or greater.

What is an escrow agent?

A person or entity holding documents and funds in a transfer of real property. Normally the agent is an attorney, escrow company or title company.

How much is title insurance for my property?

Title premiums are based on the price of the property and are governed by state law.

Click here to find out how much it would be: https://ratecalculator.fnf.com/

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a report made by a qualified person who develops an opinion or estimate of value, for real property. Lenders order an appraisal during the mortgage loan process so that there is a way to assess the home’s market value and ensure that the amount of money requested by the borrower is appropriate.

Who pays the Realtor commission and fees when buying a home?

Typically, the commission and fees are paid by the seller. The commission and fees are subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the home.