Nashville Business Law Blog

Business law provides for equitable relief for breach of contract

It should not be unusual to rely on the parties to a contract to do what they say they will do. Unfortunately, many Nashville business owners run up against issues with other parties who fail to adhere to the obligations they agreed to in the contracts between them. In those cases, injured parties can rely on business law to seek restitution for their losses, but not all relief is monetary. Equitable relief is also available in a breach of contract dispute.

In certain instances, the injured party needs more than money to resolve the problem. Instead, a company may need the other party to fulfill the obligations under the contract. This is where equitable relief comes into play. The court can order the other party to deliver on the promises made in the contract.

Purchasing real estate as a business investment

Nashville businesses may decide to increase their revenues through investments. One type of investment that could be lucrative involves the purchase of real estate. Those new to this potential income stream may need more information about what it means before making the decision to add one or more pieces of property to their investment portfolios.

An investment property is not used as a business's primary location. Instead, it could be rented, provide dividends or some other form of passive income for the company. Choosing the right property could make the difference in whether it achieves the company's income goals. One of the first issues to look at is the zoning for a desired piece of property.

Entity structure: An important business formation decision

Starting a business here in Nashville or anywhere else requires the owner to make a variety of decisions. One that covers both business and legal considerations is the type of entity under which the business will operate. Three of the considerations in making this choice center on personal liability, industry and taxes.

Personal liability is a crucial issue when it comes to owning a business. Business owners want to make sure their personal assets remain protected from creditors, potential litigants and others. Limited liability companies and corporations offer the most protection from personal liability, but their legal requirements vary drastically. Many small business owners choose an LLC since the legal and paperwork requirements are not as stringent. Partnerships and sole proprietorships do not provide liability protection.

People can't sell your original art on eBay or Etsy

Whether you went to art school or spent many years honing your skills with practice, you have invested substantially into your skills as an artist, creator or designer. Maybe you created some unique designs for shirts, posters or kitchenware. You could also have some beautiful photographs or unique works of original art.

You may sell them locally or on your own website with enough success to make you happy. Then, someone sends you a link. It turns out that some unscrupulous business has copied your design and now there are many items almost identical to your own listed for sale on eBay or Etsy.

Guns N' Roses moves to protects its intellectual property

Tennessee lovers of 1980's music may remember the band Guns N' Roses. While it may not enjoy the same fame it did back then, the band's name remains out there. Recently, a brewery in another state apparently attempted to capitalize on the band's fame by using it to name one of its products, which could constitute a violation of intellectual property laws.

In 2018, the brewing company attempted to trademark the name, "Guns 'N' Rose" for one of its ales. When the band's manager got wind of the application, he contacted the brewing company, which subsequently withdrew the application. However, the brewery refused to stop using the name. The band is afraid consumers will assume a connection between the hard rock group and the brewery.

Does your intellectual property portfolio need patents?

If a Nashville business includes new inventions or improvements to existing ones, protecting that work needs to take priority. In this situation, a company's portfolio of intellectual property should more than likely need at least one patent. Before applying for one, it will be necessary to determine whether a particular product qualifies for this legal protection. 

A product could qualify under one of three different types of patents: A design patent, a utility patent or a plant patent. The most commonly applied for and granted fall under the utility patent category. Machines, methods or processes, and improvements to an existing invention are included in this type of patent, along with a composition of matter or article of manufacture. To receive a utility patent, the idea must not be obvious; rather, it must be useful and novel.

Doubling down on one piece of Nashville real estate

Developing enough residential housing to meet demands of the Nashville housing market may be easier said than done. Even so, it may be possible to take advantage of a zoning policy that allows a builder to double down on one piece of real estate. In fact, you may have already seen single-family homes being demolished in order to make room for something new.

That something new is the building of "skinny houses." Numerous neighborhoods here in Nashville are being transformed by this phenomenon. It falls under a zoning policy called the horizontal property regime. It allows two homes to be built on a lot previously meant for a single family home. Townhouses most commonly fit under this policy, and now, more of these types of homes are under construction. 

How environmental law applies to owning a nail salon

Owning a nail salon here in Nashville could provide a lucrative business opportunity. Making this type of business a success includes providing a safe environment for employees and customers alike. Due to the number of chemicals used in many salons, owners must adhere to numerous environmental law requirements to achieve that goal.

Customers often do not run the same risks as employees since they do not ordinarily spend hours each day in the salon. They are in and out on an occasional basis, but that does not negate the need to protect them. However, the focus is keeping the environment safe for employees. The Environmental Protection Agency even provides guidance for nail salon owners on this topic.

Do you know how to handle commercial zoning conflicts?

Opening a brick-and-mortar location for your Nashville business is always a complicated experience, whether it is your first time dealing with commercial real estate or your hundredth time. Maybe a commercial space offers almost everything that you need, or it seems perfect until you realize all the zoning restrictions that apply.

Zoning conflicts can turn a great business opportunity into a nightmare full of red tape and fine print. If you find yourself stuck with zoning restrictions that get in the way of operating your business effectively, you may have more options than you realize.

How does environmental law apply to your business?

Many Tennessee business owners need to ask themselves this question. In a time when federal, state and local governments are increasingly stressing the need to comply with environmental law, violating them could prove costly, especially to a small, new or growing business. Moreover, consumers and the public are demanding that companies provide and use more environmentally sustainable practices.

Most people expect certain businesses, such as mining operations, industrial plants, and oil and gas companies, to have a plethora of environmental laws and regulations to adhere to. It may surprise you to know that many other industries also have environmental issues. If you are not aware of the ones that apply to your Tennessee business, you could end up facing fines, cleanup costs or worse.

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