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Tempe Arizona Business Law Blog

How to dissolve a business partnership

A business partnership is not unlike a marriage – the partners are emotionally connected and bound together legally. Ending a business partnership is the equivalent of a divorce and can be as easy or difficult as the end of a marriage.

While the steps are similar, there are different paths involved in dissolving a partnership and limited partnership as opposed to dissolving a corporation.

What needs to go into a 'terms of service' agreement?

Most freelancers -- of any profession -- learn the hard way that they have to spell out the limits on any agreement with their clients. A terms of service agreement is the easiest way to set expectations -- and limitations -- with your customers.

However, crafting a good agreement takes considerable care and effort. Here are some essentials you need to have in any terms of service agreement in order for it to be effective:

Arizona State University is sued over real estate projects

Land owned by the Arizona State University, like many other institutions of higher learning, enjoys an exemption from property taxes. That makes landing a spot to develop on university-owned property a prime deal for investors.

The attorney general of Arizona would like to change that. In fact, he says that what the University is doing is actually illegal. Allowing it to continue is like allowing the University to "rent" its tax-exempt status to whatever businesses it favors.

Eminent domain and inverse condemnation: What's the difference?

Even if you're the rightful owner of a piece of property, there are times when the government has the ability to take that property from you for some "greater good."

Let's look at two common situations involving property that's taken by the government for use, known as eminent domain and inverse condemnation cases.

If you own a small business, this is why you need a lawyer

When you own a small business, there are always a lot of expenses that you have to balance -- and not always a lot of money to spread around. You might easily be tempted to put off obtaining help from an attorney until you have an actual legal dispute looming.

That's a mistake.

There are Fair Housing mistakes you don't want to make

When you decide to become a landlord, what you do with your property isn't entirely all up to you -- there are laws that apply to your actions, including the Fair Housing Act.

A lot of small investors who rent out homes that they once lived in or inherited from a relative aren't familiar with the rules -- and that causes them to run afoul of the law. Here are some of the top mistakes landlords tend to make:

  1. They don't read up on the Fair Housing Act. It's smart to have a passing understanding of the law that makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on one of seven protected classes, including national origin, race, color, religion, familial status, disability and sex.
  2. Not following their own rules. You need to have clearly defined (and clearly legal) rules regarding your tenants. You also have to follow them. In other words, if you have a credit score requirement for your tenants, you can't bend the rules for that one nice lady with the kids who just went through a divorce -- unless you want to be sued by the next hard-luck case that comes along.
  3. Asking questions about their family. If you're the sort of person who will ask about someone's marital status and kids when you meet them in the grocery store line, this rule is tough to remember.
  4. Using "code" in your rental ads. This confused landlords a lot because it can be hard to tell if "near the church" is a way to discourage non-Christians or just a selling point.
  5. Not making exceptions for disabled tenants. Even if you think it's a bad idea for a tenant with a limp to rent your apartment, it's not your call. You also make reasonable accommodations (like allowing a tenant to remodel the shower for ease of access at his or her own cost). You also need to permit service animals, even if you have a no-pet policy.

It's time for the year-end preparations for your business

Small business owners everywhere are breathing sighs of relief now that the holiday season -- and all its craziness -- has passed.

If you're among them, you get just a day or two to breathe easy. Then, it's time to get the year-end reports ready and gather everything you need to make sure that you finish the year without a hitch. (This is also the only way to start the new year off right.) Good record-keeping is the heart and soul of avoiding legal conflicts that can drain your energy and your wallet.

How to resolve common business partnership disputes

Having a business partner allows you experience many of the benefits of business ownership without all the risks. You can bounce ideas off someone else, and you can each use your strengths in the management of the business. However, you and your partner will likely disagree about how the company is being run at some point. Here are three common disputes, and how to resolve these issues.

Arizona is ripe for real estate investors: Where you should look

"Location, location, location" has long been a mantra in business -- and that's perhaps especially true when you're talking about investing in real estate.

Thanks to the cooling market for home sales and the booming market for rentals, experts think that it might be a great time to invest in real estate. They generally anticipate home sales to continue to wane and prices to continue to fall, which means that investors looking to pick up rental properties may have an advantage.

Anti-discrimination laws and your Arizona business

If you're a small business owner in Tempe -- or many other places in Arizona -- you need to be conscious of the local laws in place designed to stop discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

Tempe has had an anti-discrimination ordinance in place since 2014 that provides such protections. Ordinances like the one in Tempe have been challenged in numerous states, including Arizona, by some business owners.

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