Categories for Business Law

Trade Names

June 25, 2016

Can I register a trade name? Texas law does not provide for registration of a business’s trade name, whether that business is incorporated or unincorporated. Individuals and unincorporated entities that do business using an assumed name (often referred to as a “dba”) must file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk in each county in which business premises are maintained. If a Corporation, LLC,...

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LP Names

June 20, 2016

Can a corporate general partner of an LP have the same name as the limited partnership, except for the organizational identifier, i.e., “Co.,” “Corp.,” or “Inc.”? No. Filing entities cannot have names that are the same or deceptively similar, even if they are related companies or can obtain a letter of consent. Organizational identifiers, such as “Corporation,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “L.L.C.,” etc., do not distinguish names...

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In Texas, a “Series LLC” is a limited liability company that is organized under Texas law that permits it to have one or more separate series of members, managers, limited liability company interests or assets with separate rights, powers, or duties and with respect to which the debts, liabilities and obligations and expenses existing with respect to a particular series may be enforced only against...

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Under Texas law, a limited liability company can operate for “any lawful purpose or purposes not expressly prohibited under chapter 2 of title 1 or title 3 of the Business Organizations Code.” Thus, as the business grows, the company is able to operate for multiple purposes, provide multiple lines of goods, offer a variety of services and more. Many small business owners start with one...

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Non-Compete Agreements

May 20, 2016

Non-compete agreements are popular mechanisms to restrain competition of both current and former employees and can be effective documents to obtain an employee’s pledge of loyalty and commitment to the company. Employers wishing to prevent their employees from working for a direct competitor during and after the term of employment may draft these agreements in an overly broad manner to deter employees from taking competing...

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  You may think that having meeting minutes as a single member limited liability company seems arbitrary…but there are several reasons why you should formally document fundamental business transactions. Chapter 101 of the Texas Business Organizations Code, which governs limited liability companies, does not explicitly require formalities such as meeting minutes. So why would you want to voluntarily take on additional paperwork? The attractive feature...

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Your meeting with the bankruptcy trustee will occur approximately 30 to 45 days after you file your case. This meeting is called by many names, but is all the same meeting: the 341 Meeting (because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires the meeting); the Trustee’s Meeting (because an interim bankruptcy trustee conducts the meeting); and the Meeting of Creditors (because your creditors are invited...

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Your Basic Bankruptcy Forms

October 22, 2012

Section 521 of the United States Bankruptcy Code contains a laundry list of duties that the debtor is expected to perform when filing bankruptcy. Of course, many of these duties are performed with the assistance of your bankruptcy attorney. This list includes filing documents with the bankruptcy court, delivering records to the trustee or creditors, and various other duties. The list contained in 521 is...

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Robert Kiyosaki, author of the book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" filed for corporate bankruptcy for one of his companies, Rich Global LLC. Kiyosaki’s best selling book was the first in a profitable line of self-help financial books including "Retire Young, Retire Rich," and "Midas Touch," co-authored with real estate mogul Donald Trump (who has previously filed corporate bankruptcies). Rich Global, LLC’s largest creditor is Learning...

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In 2005, Congress passed sweeping changes to the federal Bankruptcy Code that placed heavy burdens and restrictions on debtors needing bankruptcy relief. The purpose of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCBA) was to make it more difficult for debtors to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 many debts are discharged. The BAPCBA forced debtors into Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, a three...

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The purpose of the bankruptcy means test is to determine whether the debtor has the ability to repay creditors during his or her bankruptcy case. After subtracting reasonable and necessary expenses (as determined by Congress using IRS guidelines), the means test calculates the disposable income of the debtor. If the debtor has disposable income of more than $182 each month, the debtor is presumed to...

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According to the 2011 Census, the average American will relocate 11.7 times during a lifetime. In many cases a person will move to another state and file bankruptcy as part of a fresh start. A federal statute, 28 USC 1408(1), specifies the proper venue where a bankruptcy case may be filed. This statute states that a bankruptcy case may be filed in which the domicile,...

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Olympic athletes and their families travel a long and difficult road to glory. There are many challenges along the way and tremendous obstacles to overcome. Staying on the path to success demands personal sacrifice. All parents know the personal and financial sacrifices they make for their children. However, recently the sacrifices made by some parents of Olympic athletes have become media fodder. Some news sources...

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For many people Chapter 11 bankruptcy conjures up thoughts of General Motors or Washington Mutual. Fortunately, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not just reserved for billion dollar corporations, but is a useful tool for many small companies suffering from financial distress that need to reorganize. Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code contains special provisions designed for small businesses. Generally, to qualify for these special bankruptcy procedures...

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Bankruptcy Exemptions

June 15, 2012

In the ancient Roman world, most commercial transactions took place in open market places. Moneylenders transacted business on benches in these markets. When a moneylender failed, his bench (bancus) was broken (ruptus) to signify publicly that he was no longer in business. In the ancient world, a debt could result in the creditor taking property, or even forcing the debtor into slavery until the debt...

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Bankruptcy is not just for the poor and down-trodden. Sometimes the rich find themselves upside-down, even with millions of dollars in the bank. Actors, politicians, and famous athletes have all filed for personal bankruptcy protection. As an example of how common bankruptcy is, even among the wealthy and famous, today’s article looks at eleven of the National Football League’s most famous offensive players who have...

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The bankruptcy debtor is required to disclose a great deal of information concerning financial and business affairs. Many of the questions in the bankruptcy forms are not applicable to the ordinary consumer debtor. One such question deals with material that is hazardous to the environment. Located in the Statement of Financial Affairs under the heading "Environmental Information," the question is meant to put the bankruptcy...

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Our elders always told us, “You get what you pay for,” but as we get older we learn that this advice isn’t always true. Sometimes you get more than you bargain for, and sometimes less. So how can you know if you are getting the best bankruptcy legal services for your money? The answer is actually simpler than you think. Below is a discussion of...

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Many bankruptcy questions are complicated and the right answer depends on the facts of the individual’s case. One challenging issue that frequently arises is how a debtor’s bankruptcy filing will impact a co-signer. Below is some general information on bankruptcy and co-signers: Basics A co-signed debt generally makes each signer 100% responsible. If a default occurs, the creditor can legally collect from one or all...

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Purpose of Bankruptcy

April 16, 2012

Bankruptcy is a federal legal process that can help you eliminate or restructure overwhelming financial obligations. The federal Bankruptcy Code is written by Congress and the bankruptcy laws are interpreted by the federal courts. The Supreme Court of the United States of America has interpreted various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code during the past 100+ years. So what does the Supreme Court have to say...

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Millions of Americans prepare their own income tax returns and are always on the lookout for clever ways to reduce their tax liabilities and increase their refunds. Your tax refund can be especially important when you are struggling financially or preparing to file bankruptcy. Here is the best legal advice to keep in mind when preparing your income tax return: DON’T CHEAT! First off, tax...

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This time of year millions of Americans receive healthy income tax refunds. This money is often welcomed relief for families struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the refund is sometimes not enough and bankruptcy relief is needed for a long term debt solution. If you need your income tax refund to help manage your family finances, but also need a permanent solution from the federal...

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Many common events trigger a decrease in monthly Social Security benefits, including a change in the number of people in your home, or an increase in income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you report changes within 10 days after the month the change occurred. If the SSA does not get your reported change in time, you may receive an overpayment. Over time these...

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Chapter 13 Wage Deduction

February 3, 2012

The Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee encourages debtors to make monthly plan payments using a wage deduction order. At the debtor’s request, the bankruptcy court will send an order to the employer to withhold money from the employee’s paycheck and send it to the trustee. Cases using wage deduction have fewer instances of default. Many debtors don’t use wage deduction because they want to avoid informing...

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Nuns in Bankruptcy Court

December 12, 2011

What an unusual headline: “More Nuns in Bankruptcy Court.” That was the news story on Senior Housing News, a website that reports on the senior housing industry. This story, which was also reported on by Business Week, concerns Clare Oaks, a retirement community in a Chicago suburb. Clare Oaks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure its debts. What makes the story newsworthy is...

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 On July 21, 2011, the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) quietly opened its doors for business. Most Americans do not know about this new agency; however the CFPB is a powerful ally for consumers and represents an important step in restoring balance between big business and the consumer. The CFPB is a federal agency tasked with the primary responsibility for regulating consumer protections...

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About half-way through your bankruptcy schedules you will discover "Schedule G – Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases." While the Bankruptcy Code does not have a specific definition of an executory contract, it is commonly understood as a contract between the bankruptcy debtor and another party in which the terms have not been completely performed. If one party fails to complete the unperformed terms, the contract...

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Many bankruptcy debtors need a credit card for work. Whether it is necessary for business purchases or travel, it is common for a debtor to ask, “Can I keep one of my credit cards?”   The answer to this question depends on a few circumstances. First, is there a balance on the card? If your card balance is zero on the day that you file...

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 During World War II American servicemen were cautioned against careless talk that might reveal information useful to the enemy. One popular saying was, “Loose lips sink ships.” Today, debt collectors are using a variety of information sources to locate income and assets. A similar warning may be applied to bankruptcy debtors: “Loose lips may sink your bankruptcy.” For some time debt collectors have used social...

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Preparing to file bankruptcy is about as fun as preparing for a tax audit. Fortunately, the preparation is the most difficulty part of the bankruptcy process, and the end result of your bankruptcy case is financial relief, rather than a potential tax bill. To get you started on the right track, here are four tips for preparing to file bankruptcy: Stop Using Credit Cards If...

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In theory debt settlement is simple: the debtor negotiates with the creditor to reduce a debt to an amount that is regarded as payment in full. It sounds honest enough: the debtor cannot afford to repay a debt, so the creditor agrees to accept a reduction. The creditor is paid something and the debtor avoids bankruptcy. In practice debt settlement is a nasty game of...

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 Call it poetic justice, or even karma. . . During the past few years Bank of America has been at the subject of harsh criticism for business practices that range from the mean-spirited (such as doubling credit card interest rates without notice, up to 28% for cardholders in good standing), to irresponsible (such as foreclosing on the wrong homes), to even fraudulent (such as the...

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Recently the State of Minnesota sued one of the largest collection agencies in the U.S. alleging the company used false and unreliable mass-produced affidavits as proof in consumer debts lawsuits. The suit was filed by the Minnesota Attorney General and states that Midland Funding, LLC and Midland Credit Management “aggressively filed thousands of lawsuits against individual citizens for collection of old, purchased debt, often supporting...

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In February we celebrate President’s Day, so now is a good time to reflect on some of the financial hardships a few of our Presidents endured and overcame. For many of these unfortunate Presidents, bankruptcy was not an available option. Fortunately, today’s federal bankruptcy laws make it easy to discharge honest debt and provide a fresh financial start. Thomas Jefferson Famous for founding the University...

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