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Saint Paul Estate Planning Law Blog

Are there any benefits to leasing commercial real estate?

Each day, entrepreneurs and business owners based in Minnesota must make many decisions. Some of these are routine and do not require deep consideration. Others are far more important with many thousands of dollars or more at stake. Acquiring commercial real estate is one such decision that can impact your bottom line.

Under the practiced guidance of a business law attorney, you can make decisions regarding the acquisition of commercial real estate with confidence. Your lawyer can offer sound advice about many aspects of the transaction including:

  • The potential return on your investment
  • City, state and federal regulations affecting the property
  • Zoning laws that may present obstacles

What are some good tips for terminating employees?

Those who live and work in the state of Minnesota know more about their employee rights than ever before. Such awareness is a great thing, but it can lead to employment disputes if business owners do not also understand the rights of workers. For example, even when you have a good reason to terminate an employee, you must be careful not to violate their rights when doing so.

If you have an attorney experienced with the state's business and commercial law, you can ask your lawyer for advice about firing workers. This protects you from litigation a fired worker may pursue such as a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit. The following tips can also help you terminate a worker legally and with respect.

  • Never terminate a worker based solely on his or her religion, gender, race, sexual orientation or disability status.
  • Avoid firing an employee on the spot. Instead, consider the situation carefully and then arrange to meet with the worker in private.
  • Make sure you bring documentation to your meeting that shows why the termination is necessary. Examples include employee evaluation reports and any warnings already given to a worker.
  • Avoid discussing the employee with or in front of other workers. This tip applies before, during and after the termination.
  • Keep the conversation honest, short and respectful when firing workers. This helps them maintain their dignity during a painful experience.
  • Before the worker leaves the premises, be sure to collect any company property from the employee.

Watch out for predatory mortgage lenders

Fortunately, there are many trustworthy mortgage lenders in Minnesota that are ready to help people make a home purchase. These lenders understand that most borrowers take a cautious approach to a new mortgage. They respect a borrower's caution and refrain from applying pressure to make an unwise purchase.

At the same time, there are also predatory lenders waiting to take advantage of eager borrowers. Those unfamiliar with the way a good mortgage works can fall prey to these predators. Choosing an attorney experienced with mortgage lending is a great method of protection from predators. However, you can also look into the lender on your own. Following are three warning signs of predatory lending practices.

Minimizing your risk during business formation

As soon as you start addressing the many tasks associated with business formation, you begin to take on risk. Examples typically include financial, human and legal risk. Unfortunately, it is impossible to start a new business without at least some risk. However, you can take steps to minimize potential problems.

The attorneys in our Minnesota law firm want to help you minimize your risk throughout the business planning and formation stages of your endeavor. With this in mind, here are three key points to address when starting a new business.

  1. Take advantage of the legal services an experienced attorney can offer. These services include performing risk assessments, limiting your personal liability and providing guidance when facing legal issues. Your lawyer can also help you acquire permits, draft documents and negotiate business-related purchases.
  2. Think carefully about how to structure your new business. The five major structures to choose from include limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, nonprofit, corporation and partnership.
  3. Make an effort to establish a solid infrastructure for your business. This means giving the physical systems -- communication, technological, electrical, etc. -- associated with your business a lot of planning. Make certain in advance that you can afford the costs of these systems to avoid settling for a substandard infrastructure.

Interrogate yourself when looking for commercial real estate

Investing in commercial real estate is a great way to enhance your business assets. Such investments are typically lucrative whether you plan to develop the real estate or hold onto it until its value increases. At the same time, buying commercial property is also a complex and long-lasting financial commitment. It makes good sense to learn as much as you can about purchasing commercial real estate before you take the plunge.

During our time serving residents of Ramsey, Minnesota, we have witnessed great success in the commercial real estate filed. Unfortunately, we have seen dismal failures as well. In most failures, the person buying commercial properties bit off a little more than they could chew because they did not know the industry or their own needs.

Real estate transactions: Tips for making a short sale purchase

When people who are shopping for a home see a short sale listing in Minnesota that they like, they may feel compelled to hurry and make the purchase. Short sale properties are typically more affordable than other listings and homeowners do not want to miss out on a good deal. However, as with all real estate transactions, it is wise to slow down a bit before making the deal.

A great first tip is to do your homework before entering into any agreement. This is especially important if you have never engaged in short sale real estate transactions before. These types of transactions are different from a regular real estate purchase, making it necessary to expand your knowledge.

Your intellectual property needs your protection

An often-overlooked but important area of business and commercial law involves protecting your company's intellectual property. For many businesses based in Minnesota, intellectual property adds a great deal of value to the company. Allowing other parties to steal and to use your intellectual property can have a debilitating effect on your business.

Largely intangible, intellectual property encompasses many things that you cannot necessarily put your hands on. For example, your company logo is a form of this property that appears on letterheads, legal documents, advertising campaigns and even across the front of your business.

Is a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage a good idea or a bad idea?

When you feel it is time to buy a home, you will face many new decisions revolving around your loan. For the uninitiated, these decisions can be overwhelming as well as confusing. Most Minnesota residents respond to these feelings of confusion in one of two ways. They freeze and decide not to buy a home, or they simply accept the first mortgage loan they encounter.

You may agree that both of the responses mentioned above are not very smart. Isn't it much better to learn about your loan options so that you can make an informed decision? One of the most common options for home buyers is the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. As with most financial matters, there are several upsides and downsides associated with this option for you to consider.

Construction defects may complicate real estate transactions

Regardless of what type of real estate transactions you are pursuing in Minnesota (buying a home, selling a property, building a home, etc.), you want everything to proceed as smoothly as possible. However, many new homeowners or those seeking to buy real estate fail to take the possibility of construction defects into account. A serious defect in the construction of a building can reduce the value of your property and may even pose safety hazards.

These defects typically plague people who are building a new home or business structure. They can range in severity from a simple crooked window to a serious fault in the structure's foundation. In the simplest terms possible, you can take one of two approaches when a defect complicates your real estate transactions. You can ignore the problem or you can seek a legal solution by speaking with an attorney.

What legal issues might new businesses face?

Becoming a business owner is the dream of many Minnesota residents. However, without proper business formation and planning practices, there is a real chance that entrepreneurs might fail in their efforts. Looking at the legal landscape is a large part of good business planning, but it is difficult for some to see past their dreams of entrepreneurial success.

Of course, it is not possible to foresee each legal hurdle that might have a negative effect on a new business. Every new venture is unique and will probably come with its own set of obstacles. When left unaddressed, these issues can slow the growth of a new business or put it to a complete stop.