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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Texas a top state for foreign investors in commercial real estate

According to a recent survey, roughly half of the members of the National Association of Realtors reported an increase in commercial real estate transactions involving investors from outside the U.S. in 2016. And Texas is one of the top three markets for foreign investors.

According to the survey, foreign buyers are snapping up specific types of commercial space in places like Texas and Florida, including relatively modest transactions valued at around $2.5 million.

Zoning laws land golf complex in the rough

Before you can open a business in a particular location, you must first ensure that the area is zoned appropriately. However, even if the city approves your plans and says you can move forward with your plans, objections can arise and threaten the future of your business.

This is the situation currently preventing a Dallas-based golf entertainment complex company from opening a location in another state. After receiving permission from the city to build a 65,000-square-foot complex, Topgolf learned that a district judge sided with a resident in a lawsuit asserting that the project had been miscategorized.

What is inappropriate behavior in the workplace?

As an employer in Houston, it’s important to ensure that your place of work is welcoming for everyone. In this case, certain inappropriate behavior in the workplace can be extremely problematic, especially when supervisory personnel fail to intervene. To this end, your business could be subject to a damaging lawsuit, which can have a wide range of harmful effects.

As stated by Business Insider, there are a range of behaviors that can be considered inappropriate in a working environment. While it’s considered a less common form of discrimination, continuously questioning a worker about his or her family’s health history can be problematic.  It’s not acceptable to inquire about a worker’s likelihood of contracting a serious illness based on family background, even when done in a joking manner.

4 elements of a breach of contract claim

Complying with the terms of a contract should be a top priority for any Texas entrepreneur. Failure to do so can lead to bitter legal disputes, loss of business and extensive financial penalties, which can threaten a company's bottom line and reputation.

In order to protect yourself in contract disputes citing breaches (or avoid them altogether), understand that the following four elements should be present in any case involving an alleged breach of contract.

You can resolve non-compete disputes without going to court

Non-compete agreements are essential to safeguarding privileged, confidential information about a specific company. Those who sign these agreements should be careful and make sure they understand what they are agreeing to, as a violation of this agreement could cost a person future job opportunities.

However, understand that if a dispute does arise involving alleged violations of a non-compete agreement, there may be ways for business owners and individuals to resolve the matter without having to go through costly litigation.

What to do if you suspect embezzlement in your business

Business owners across Houston depend on their employees. Some business owners are very close with their employees and interact with them on a daily basis. Others keep things strictly professional and may not have very much interaction with them.

Regardless of the relationship you have with your employees, it can be devastating to learn that one of them is stealing from you. In this post, we examine some warning signs of embezzlement, signs of who might be involved, and what you can do to protect your company from embezzlement.

Examining the elements of deceptive advertising

Every time we turn on the TV, visit a website, or open a newspaper, we are bombarded with advertisements. This environment of ubiquitous advertising forces companies to develop ads that attract attention and cause their products to stand out. However, these efforts must not run afoul of the law.

It is crucial that any advertisement your business runs is truthful and in compliance with truth-in-advertising laws. One such law provides that advertisements must not be deceptive. Below are the two elements of deceptive advertising that you should be aware of if your business engages in any type of advertising.

Consider these factors when searching for, and negotiating leases on, commercial space

Your office space is much more than just the address you put on your letterhead. The space dictates what your business is and what it can become. It also sends an important message to your current and prospective clients.

Therefore, it is crucial that business owners consider all available options when searching for, and negotiating a lease on, commercial space. Lease agreements can either prevent, or cause, serious disputes, so it important that they be executed only after thorough examination.

In the zone: Make sure commercial space is zoned properly

Zoning laws in Texas are strict, and strictly enforced. They control how properties are utilized, including whether property is appropriate for commercial use.

If you own a business, or are thinking of starting one, you will likely be looking at commercial property to conduct or expand your business. Problems can arise, though, if you lease space that is not zoned for commercial purposes, or if you do not comply with commercial zoning laws. Below, we examine how these problems can impact your business.

3 common myths about non-compete agreements

Working is unavoidable for just about everyone. Whether you work for nothing more than a paycheck, or you truly love the work you do, your job is crucial to your well-being and financial stability.

Unfortunately, your ability to make a living in your chosen field can be compromised if you are bound by the restrictions of a non-compete agreement. A non-compete can bar you from taking a job that offers more money, better benefits, or even more job satisfaction. With this in mind, we want to clear up some common misconceptions about non-compete agreements.

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