November 29

Medical marijuana Downriver Michigan

In 2008, voters in Michigan passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, which protects qualifying caregivers and patients from arrest and prosecution. Caregivers and patients have to go through a rigorous process to obtain a registry identification card proving they are eligible to administer or utilize marijuana for health improvement or medical reasons in our state. If you live in Downiver, Michigan and have been wrongly arrested for legitimate medical marijuana use, you need immediate representation from Downriver Lawyers. Our expert attorneys specialize in handling and winning medical marijuana rights cases. Just because you’ve been accused of such a charge, doesn’t mean it’s justifiable. Our government, police officers, and judges can make mistakes by illegally prosecuting qualified patients and caregivers that have every right to possess and consume medical marijuana. The law is on your side. There’s a reason Michigan voters decided to pass this law, as the majority felt in cases of health the use of medical marijuana is beneficial and advantageous. If you have a serious health issue such as chronic migraines or cancer, you cannot be denied the use of this herbal treatment to help alleviate your symptoms or pain. Downriver Lawyers can help you reverse your wrongful prosecution and potentially win a damage award for your inconvenience, tarnished reputation, as well as any emotional or financial distress you may have experienced.

Very few law firms in Downriver, Michigan have the skills, resources, and expertise it takes to successfully defend medical marijuana lawsuits. Downriver Lawyers has a team of legal professionals ready and waiting to represent you in a court of law and demonstrate why you’ve been wrongly accused. We have access to an adjunct team of legal advisors in many different specialty fields including healthcare, medicine, and pharmaceuticals. The legal team at Downriver Lawyers has successfully defended many medical marijuana cases.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act is very specific, as it outlines what the definition is for those who are in need, how they can qualify, and what their rights are. As you know, laws can change quickly, and our knowledgeable attorneys are always on top of the latest changes that may affect your case’s outcome. If you try to defend yourself, you are at a disadvantage. Since you are not licensed to practice law in the state of Michigan, you don’t have access to the latest news bulletins, case law, experts, and legal online databases. By calling our adept legal professionals, you are entrusting your faith in a firm that has more than 20 years of experience on its side. If you’re a business owner that has been granted permission to legal sell these substances, and have been threatened with closure, a lawsuit, fine, or penalty, we can help make things right. When you own a business, part of your profitability rests within your reputation, so if you are being accused of an illegal practice, this will likely cost you significant business in the future.  If you need legal business advice, we can help you obtain the proper approvals needed to ensure your business is totally legitimate and law abiding. In addition to providing representation regarding medical marijuana, we also specialize in offering legal guidance and protection in many other areas such as bankruptcy, contract law, Social Security benefits, real estate law, elder law, criminal law, healthcare law, personal injuries, corporate and business law, and mesothelioma. We handle virtually any kind of civil or criminal case you may have.  No case is too small or too complex for our exceptionally talented legal team. If you need immediate legal assistance, advice, or representation and you live in Downriver, Michigan, call us today at 1-734-619-1237 for your free consultation. To find out more about our wide range of legal services, visit our website at http://downriverlawyer.com. Be our friend on Facebook and follow us to Twitter to keep current with all the latest legal news in your city.

 

November 5

Business Contracts

 

Contracts are legally binding agreements, and they pervade almost every aspect of our personal and business lives.  Whether you own or manage a business, are an employee or ordinary everyday citizen, you contend with contracts all the time in your dealings with employees, employers, contractors, vendors, commercial and residential landlords, banks, utilities, insurance companies and, of course, customers and clients.

The contract is one of the most innovative and useful inventions in the history of jurisprudence, law, because it allows strangers to do business together with the assurance that their agreement will be enforced by civil authorities.  By the very nature of contracts, an experienced lawyer or attorney should be involved in preparing the actual document.  Contract law is one of the many business law services rendered by Downriver Lawyers located in Taylor, Michigan.   Michigan contract law is ultimately based on Old English common law and can be divided into four major areas:

  •   Formation
  •   Defenses
  •  Termination
  •  Damages

Formation

To be enforceable by a court, every contract must meet several general requirements.  The requirements include:

 

  •  Offer and Acceptance
  •   Consideration
  •  Legal Purpose
  •  Capable Parties
  •  Mutual Assent

 

Offer and acceptance – There must be a clear or definite offer to contract and an unqualified valid acceptance through words spoken, a written document or through circumstances or conduct.  For example, signing a purchase order or accepting delivery of goods knowing that the sender expects payment, is usually binding.

 

Consideration – Each party to a contract has to promise or provide something of value to the other. Thus, giving a gift by one person to another is not an enforceable contract, as value is given by one to another but no value is received by the giving party.

 

Legal purpose – The purpose of the contract must not violate the law.  For example, a promissory note that contains an interest rate that would violate usury law, or a service agreement to someone to rob a bank, have no legal purpose and, thus, would constitute a contract without a legal purpose.

 

Capable parties – To be “capable” of making a contract, the parties must understand what they are doing.  Thus, parties to a contract must be of sound mind and of a legal age.  Minors and persons deemed to be insane do not qualify.  Contracts they enter into would not be enforceable under most circumstances.

 

Mutual assent – This is often referred to as a “meeting of the minds”.  This means that the contracting parties must intend to be bound by their agreement and must agree to the terms.

 

In addition to these general rules, federal and state laws may impose more requirements on particular types of contracts.  In the State of Michigan, the three main requirements for contract formation are an offer, acceptance and consideration.  Consumer contracts must often meet additional requirements and some contracts must be in writing to be enforceable.  Attorneys and lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in the requirements of various types of contract law.  Thus, seeking advice of a lawyer is advised.

 

Defenses

It is possible to question the validity of a contract by raising legal defenses.  These defenses as alluded to earlier go further in this case to include duress, mutual mistake of fact and extreme unfairness as in the case of being unconscionable.

 

The Michigan Statute of Frauds prevents certain types of oral contracts from being enforced.  Contracts for the sale of real estate or goods worth more than $500, for example, must be in writing.

 

If one party successfully establishes a defense, the contract may be ruled either void or voidable.  A void contract is treated as if it never existed.  A voidable contract may be avoided by one party.  For example, in the can of a contract between an adult and a minor, the minor has the option of terminating the contract, but the adult does not.

 

Termination

There are several ways in which a contract may be terminated in Michigan.  The most common way is through expiration of the contract according to its terms.  The parties may also mutually agree to early termination of a contract such as in the case of an employment contract where both the employer and employee agree to terminate an employment contract before it expires.  A contract may also terminate if one party is in violation of the terms of the contract also known as breach of contract.  If there is a minor breach, the non-breaching party may receive damages, but does not justify terminating the contract.  A major breach entitles the non-breaching party to unilaterally terminate the contract.

 

Remedies

When one party breaches a contract causing losses to the other party, the non-breaching party is entitled to damages.  There are three main types of damages.

 

n  Money damages – Usually preferred when it is relatively easy to put a dollar amount on the plantiff’s losses

 

n   Specific performance – Court forces the defendant to comply with the terms of the contract

 

n  Liquidated damages – Contract specifies a certain amount of damages in the case of breach of contract.  Courts are reluctant to enforce liquidated damage clauses if they are unreasonably high in light of actual damages.

 

For practical advice on getting your agreement in sound and enforceable contract form, engage the attorneys at Downriver Lawyer. They are ready to handle all your contract law needs whether you are an individual or a business entity.  Contact Downriver Lawyer at www.downriverlawyer.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 30

Lawyers in Michigan for Entrepreneurs

Starting a business or just maintaining an existing one is an exciting but also an incredibly challenging undertaking. While there are many procedural and legal requirements at both the Federal and State level, it’s important to capture in words what, where, when and how you intend to make your ideas and activities become a viable business.  Traditional business law would say that a business plan must be created.  There are, however, no federally or state (including Michigan) mandated requirements regarding business plans. A business plan is, however, an essential roadmap for business success.  This is what an attorney would call a living document which usually projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route you intend to take to grow revenues.  This is one of the many services our business law attorneys at Downriver Lawyer in Taylor, Michigan can render for you and your business.

 

Engaging the services of a lawyer to write a business plan helps the owner(s) take an objective, critical, unemotional look at the business project in its entirety.  The written document assists the owner(s) in managing the business; clearly communicates the owner’s ideas to others; provides the basis for a financial proposal; provides insight into effective ways to approach prospective customers, and  a business plan is always required as part of an application for commercial financing.

 

The business plan generally includes the following information:

 

1)      Executive Summary

2)      Company Description

3)      Market Analysis

4)      Organization and Management

5)      Service or Product Line

6)      Marketing and Sales

7)      Funding Request

8)      Financial Projections

9)      Appendix

 

Executive Summary – The executive summary is a snapshot of the business plan as a whole and touches on the company’s profile and goals.  It is often considered to be the most important section of the business plan.  The executive summary should highlight the strengths of the overall plan.  Thus, while it usually appears first in the business plan document, it should be written last.  It is not until the business plan is completed that the details come to light.

 

Key points should be included based on the stage of the business.  If the business is established, the following should be included:

 

–        Mission statement

–        Company information such as owners and their roles, number of employees and business locations

–        Growth highlights i.e. charts and graphs can be helpful

–        Products/Services

–        Financial information

–        Summarize future plans

 

 

The Business Plan (continued)

 

 

If the business is a startup or new business, there will not be as much information as an established company.  Instead, the focus should be on experience and background as well as the decisions that led to starting the business.

 

It is important to demonstrate that thorough market analysis has been done.  If there are gaps or needs in the target market, address how you plan to fill the gap.  Upon reading this section, the reader should be convinced the company can succeed.  Lastly, future plans should be addressed.

 

Company Description – This section provides a high level review of many components of the business.  Describe the nature of the business and what needs in the marketplace it is trying to satisfy.  Describe how the company’s product/service will meet these needs.  List who or what group of consumers and/or businesses the company will serve.  Make a statement relative to the competitive advantages you believe will be made that will result in making the company successful such as business location, superior personnel, efficiency in operations or ability to bring value to customers.

 

Market Analysis – Before launching the business, research must be completed regarding the industry, market and competitors you will encounter.  Industry description and outlook; information about your target market; distinguishing characteristics; size of the primary target market; pricing and gross margin targets; potential for increasing market share;  competitive analysis i.e. market share strength and weaknesses and regulatory restrictions, if any, are considerations for this section.

 

Organization and Management – This section should include the company’s organizational structure, details about ownership of the company, profiles of the management team and qualifications of the Board of Directors.  It is important to list who does what and salary and benefit packages should also be in this section.  Reassure the reader that the people on staff are more than just names on a letterhead.

 

Inclusion of an organizational chart with a description is an effective way to portray the structure of the company.  This demonstrates that nothing has been left to chance.  Things have been well thought out for potential investors and employees.

 

Service or Product Line – The next part of your plan is where you describe your service or product with emphasis on the benefits to potential and current customers.  Always focus on why your service or product fills a need or is particularly desirable to your target customers.

 

Include details about your service or product’s life cycle; details regarding any existing or pending intellectual property associated with your offering such as patent filings or anticipated copyrights, trade secrets; research and development activities,  and disclose any information pertaining to existing legal agreements, such as nondisclosure or noncompete agreements.

 

Marketing and Sales – The proposed marketing and sales strategies are an important section of the business plan.  Marketing is the process of creating customers, the lifeblood of the business.  The business strategy needs to be well defined.  There is no single way to approach this, however, the strategy should be part of an ongoing business-evaluation process and unique to the company.  There

 

The Business Plan (continued)

 

 

are some common steps that can be followed which will help you think through the direction and tactics that can be used to drive sales and sustain customer loyalty.

 

An overall marketing strategy should include four different strategies; a market penetration strategy, a growth strategy, channels of distribution strategy and a communication strategy. The overall sales strategy should include two primary elements; a sales force strategy and the sales activities. The sales force strategy should include details of whether you are going to have an internal sales force or perhaps independent representatives. How many salespeople and recruitment and training activities are also important details.  An experienced business law attorney can give you all the detail you need to determine what marketing and sales strategy relative to your business should be included.

 

Funding/Financing – If there is a need for funding or financing, the following should be disclosed.  The current funding requirement, any future funding requirements expected within a five year period, how the company intends to use the funds i.e. for working capital, fixed asset, debt requirement, acquisitions…and any situational plans for the future such as a buyout, being acquired by someone else, debt repayment plan or selling the business.  These are all important for creditor’s making decision relative to funding/financing for the business.

 

Financial Projections – Both historical and prospective financial data are important in the business plan.

Both of these assist when seeking funding and financing.  The historical information include income statements and balance sheets, cash flow statements and capital expenditure budgets.  The prospective data include forecasts of future income, cash flow and expenditures.  These are all used in decision making at various levels by various users.

 

Appendix – The appendix is not required but a useful place to include resumes, permits, lease information as well as other information that may be useful by potential customers, investors, employees or other inquiries of your business.

 

The business plan is indeed a very detailed account of how you see your business and how you want others to see your business.  The business plan prepared by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney of business law can help you present your business as the unique and exceptional entity that it is now or that it will be in times to come.  At Downriver Lawyer, www.downriverlawyer.com, business plans are prepared for small as well as potentially large businesses.  Secure your investment today by having a business plan for your company.

 

 

 

 

 

October 15

BUSINESS LAW IN MICHIGAN

 

Having a business means more than just ownership.  Having your own business entails dealing with various amounts of paperwork and compliance at the Federal, State and possibly local levels.  Additionally, there will come a day when you as an owner hopes to expand your small business into something greater.

An important step is to set up a legal business structure.  Business structures commonly recognized are Corporations, Partnerships and Professional Corporations.  It is wise to have the services of an attorney or lawyer who specialize in business law. Downriver Lawyer is your answer to establishing your business structure from the start as it has a full service team of attorneys who have the knowledge and experience of applicable business law to help you organize your business using a business structure that will best suit your business.

Incorporation

Incorporation is the process of legally declaring a corporate entity as separate from its owners.  A Corporation is by definition an association of persons created by law and existing as an entity with powers and liabilities independent of those of its shareholders or in the case of nonprofits, its members.  Incorporated businesses can be identified as such because they have legal endings such as Inc., Ltd or Corp.  Downriver Lawyers can incorporate your business in the State of Michigan as well as possibly other states depending on where, when and how the business will be conducted.

There are many benefits to Incorporate.  They include protection of personal assets;  ease in transferability of ownership;  ease in setting up retirement and qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) plans;  lower tax rates;  profit sharing of corporate dividends and provisions have been established at the corporate level for raising capital from investors as needed.  While there are benefits, there are also potential downsides to incorporating your business.  Again, gaining the services of a knowledgeable attorney or lawyer can be instrumental in bringing all the relevant facts to the business owners attention to make the right decision.

Corporations can also be classified as Limited Liability Companys (LLC).   Creating an LLC is a good way to separate your personal assets from your company’s liabilities, offering protection for your personal assets in the event of a legal matter against your business.  Forming an LLC is often a better fit for many owners as it also has tax advantages.  The business itself is not responsible for taxes on its profits.  The LLC’s owners report their share of business profit and loss on their personal tax returns.  This is known as “pass through” taxation.

Partnerships

Partnerships,  referred to as general or limited liability, are created when two or more people agree to do business together for profit.  There are no formal filing or registration requirements in Michigan to create a Partnership.  Partnerships must comply with registration filing and tax requirements applicable to any business.  A Partnership is the simplest and least expensive co-owned business structure to create and maintain.

Partners are liable for all business debts and obligations including court judgements.  Exceptions include partners who have limited liability as setup in the partnership agreement at inception.  This means there are partners who run the business and are liable and those that are merely passive investors. Such partners can lose no more than their investment in the partnership.  Special rules apply from a tax standpoint as well.

Professional Corporations

A Michigan Professional Corporation is a corporation that is formed for the purpose of providing a professional service by a for profit or non-profit corporation that would otherwise be prohibited from rendering.  A professional service in Michigan is one in which a condition of that service is by obtaining a license in the state as in the case of attorneys, architect, accountants and doctors.  Again, the team of attorneys at Downriver Lawyer are well equipped to guide you in this direction should it be the best for your business activity.

Everyone needs guidance in this highly competitive, high tech business world we have become accustomed to.  Do not hesitate to contact us.  The size and location of your business is not relevant to us here at Downriver Lawyer.  Please contact us in Taylor, Michigan or by logging onto our website www.downriverlawyer.com.

 

 

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