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Detroit & Chicago Business Organizations Legal Blog

Network and deceased singer's estate at odds

Individuals and businesses in Illinois know that the way a contract is worded can make a big difference in how it may be interpreted and, therefore, how much protection it may provide one of the parties if a dispute ever arises. People should also be aware that they should be careful to assume that the need to be vigilant about the terms of a contract can last for a very long time, even decades after the original agreement was entered into

An example of this can be seen in the ongoing dispute between a major cable television and entertainment network and the estate of a now-deceased pop star. Some 27 years ago, in 1992, the singer, who was still alive at the time, signed a contract with the network that allowed the company to use some of the video footage from a live concert video in which the singer performed in an eastern European country.

What is insurance fraud, and how can you recognize it?

Insurance fraud is an issue not only in Michigan and Illinois but around the country. It is not only insurance companies and their employees, like you, who pay the price but the general public as well. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the huge losses within the industry due to fraud get passed along to consumers in the form of higher costs. 

There are ways to commit fraud on essentially every type of insurance policy. Some of the most common instances of fraud involve health insurance, workers' compensation, vehicle or property policies. Because insurance fraud is often very subtle, it can be difficult for you to build a successful defense against it.

Is an oral contract valid?

If you have a business in Illinois, you may use many different types of contracts. One such type is an oral contract. This is simply an agreement you talk over with someone else where you both agree to terms and the exchange of something valuable. It is the same as a written contract except that you did not write anything down or sign anything. You may wonder just how binding this type of contract is.

According to the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code, an oral contract may be valid only in specific situations. In general, an oral contract works if the value of the goods or services is not over $500. Anything over that value requires a written contract if you wish to dispute or enforce it.

Joint venture vs. Business Merger: What you should know

Whether you have just started a new business or you are currently running a successful company, you may be looking at how you can take your venture to the next level. Both joint ventures and business mergers can help enhance the power of a company. Although these business methods sound similar, they differ in several ways. It is important to understand the difference and similarities of these business methods so that you can choose the one that fits best for your situation.

Joint ventures involve two companies combining their finances, resources and intelligence to increase revenue for both businesses. Despite this coming together, however, both entities keep their seperate status. The venture may be long-term or short-term and may work together for a common interest. Once the project is complete, the companies may return to their individual business methods or they may continue to work together.

Can you legally break an employment contract?

Whether you are an employer or employee, when you sign an employment contract, you make a legal agreement. Breaking such a contract is difficult regardless of whether you live in Detroit or Chicago or anywhere else. Contract laws are fairly specific and strong. However, there are some certain circumstances that could allow you to legally get out of an employment contract.

Career Trend explains that one of the easiest ways to end an employment contract is to prove the other person broke it first. Breaching a contract means not honoring the terms of the contract. If you can prove the other party violated it in some way, you should be able to get out of the contract.

What makes a trade practice deceptive?

It is a common marketing practice among business owners in Michigan and Illinois to emphasize the positive aspects of the products and services on offer, while paying as little attention as possible to the negative aspects. You may wonder if this represents a deceptive trade practice. According to FindLaw, it does not qualify as a deceptive trade practice in the eyes of the law. In order to categorize a trade practice as deceptive, you have to make a claim that is demonstrably false or deliberately misleading. 

Nevertheless, the definition of deceptive trade practices is far-reaching and includes the following:

  • Misrepresenting used, damaged, reclaimed or altered products as brand-new
  • Selling counterfeit goods while claiming that they are the genuine article
  • Making false claims about needed repairs, replacements or services
  • Intentionally keeping an insufficient amount of products in stock to meet expected demand

How can I avoid problematic clients?

When offering a professional service, clients help your business grow. While they’re an integral aspect of being successful, you also want to choose your clients wisely to prevent serious issues, such as contract disputes, from occurring down the line. Medium explains some common client red flags to look for so you can avoid problems.

Downplaying the amount of work

Business formation types that limit personal liability

When you own an Illinois or Michigan small business, you assume a certain amount of risk, but the amount of personal liability you take on will depend on the type of business structure you choose to create. At Pentiuk, Couvreur & Kobiljak, P.C., we understand that the business type you choose will have a direct impact on whether others can hold you personally liable, should someone sue or file a judgment against your company. We have helped many entrepreneurs with similar concerns select business formation types that meet their needs.

According to QuickBooks, all small business owners face some degree of risk, and this holds true regardless of whether they own companies facing obvious liabilities, such as transportation companies, or entities where the risks are less overt. There are, however, two key business structures worth considering if one of your primary goals involves reducing personal liability in your business.

What are the crucial elements of a contract?

As a Michigan or Illinois business owner, you and your company enter into numerous business contracts. Whether they represent purchase or sale agreements, employment agreements, partnership agreements or some other type of agreement, contracts form a major part of your business operations.

The Judicial Education Center explains that all contracts, no matter of what type, contain the following four elements

  1. Offer
  2. Consideration
  3. Acceptance
  4. Mutuality

Director seeks compensation for alleged breach

For companies and individuals in the media and entertainment industries, strong contracts are essential. Anyone in Illinois or Michigan who is involved in these industries knows this firsthand. In many cases, a contract between a large corporation and an individual may entail payments for work that could take a long time to produce or complete. In some situations, the work is never completed and this may well happen due to a dispute between the parties that results in the cancellation of the contract.

One example of this can be seen in a case involving a famous director and the online and content giant, Amazon. The two parties apparently worked together on one program and then entered into a contract for a new movie. Since the creation of that contract, however, renewed allegations relating to sexual misconduct against the director surfaced. In addition, some professionals indicated their refusal to work with the director.

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