How a Business Lawyer Can Save You Time and Money

Whether you are just starting a business, or are well established, all of your hard work and dedication can be unraveled with a legal misstep. Working with a business lawyer will help you prevent making mistakes that can be very costly. 

Federal and state rules and regulations need to be followed when hiring and firing employees and independent contractors. Lease agreements can last for a long amount of time, and you need to ensure that you understand the complex rules that may be included in any agreements. 

Your business is important to you, so don’t risk your financial and personal livelihood on just any attorney. A business lawyer can protect your business from unfounded litigation and save you time and money across many parts of your business. 

Preventing Litigation

Getting sued is costly and can take a toll on the time you have to dedicate to your business. Prevent lawsuits before they happen by retaining a business lawyer. 

The right business lawyer should be well-versed in the local, state, and federal regulations to keep your company out of legal discord. Our attorneys will advise you on complicated business ventures, business partnerships, licenses, permits, and more. Prevention can protect the future of your business, rather than fighting back when something goes wrong. However, if something does go wrong, your lawyer should be well-versed in business litigation and ready to represent you in court

Business Formation and Structure

There are multiple financial structures you can choose for your business each with pros and cons. Legal advice will help you choose the structure that will best suit your professional goals. Your lawyer has the tools you need to determine what’s the best choice financially to structure your business and take the right steps toward forming your company.

For example, sole proprietorships may be quicker to set up but provide minimum liability protection. LLCs are more involved to set up, but protect the owner against assuming too much personal liability. Your business lawyer can guide you through your options when forming a business and help you make the right decisions first. 

Contracts and Permits

There are many documents that need to be completed and submitted before you are able to even start your business. 

If you are unfamiliar with these legal agreements, completing them without a legal representative can be frustrating and costly. We can help draft all required contracts and obtain the needed permits to make your business compliant with all requirements in your area. 

Let us Help You Protect Your Business

Whether starting or continuing to run a business, the cost of working with a business attorney is a value when you compare it to the amount you will save in the long run. By working with the Curry Law Firm, you will avoid the possible scars on your reputation and the large financial burden of adverse legal action. 

Why risk lawsuits and bad press? Let us worry about contracts, regulations, and negotiations while you dedicate your time to what you do best, running your business. Contact us today at 713-678-0013 or fill out the following online contact form.

How a Lawyer Can Help with a Commercial Real Estate Deal

If you’re past the planning stages and ready to start shopping for a commercial property, you might be worried about the negotiations. Add the fact that the transaction may involve loans and other major financial decisions, and you understand why having lawyers on board can make all the difference. 

But how can a lawyer make a difference in your commercial real estate deal? Here’s what every business owner should know when dealing with real estate. 

Identifying the Right Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is strictly regulated. For example, if you are looking for office space, many different types of offices and ordinance codes govern them. Making a mistake can be costly in these situations. 

While there are no zoning restrictions in Houston, it does still have codes and restrictions you’ll need to be familiar with. Your lawyer can help you determine whether a particular property is suitable for your business and what type of codes might apply.

Financing Aids

When buying or selling real estate of any kind, there are often hidden costs that aren’t included in the initial price. These costs may push what seems like the perfect property out of your budget. Lawyers can ensure these costs don’t come back to haunt you later as you continue through the sales process. 

For example, if you buy a building that requires renovation work before it can be used, we will make sure that this isn’t added to your final bill after completion.

Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

While the lack of zoning makes owning real estate in Houston different, clients still need to avoid expensive mistakes by ensuring they adhere to state laws and regulations. 

Our lawyers can also answer questions about protecting yourself against lawsuits from third parties who may have been injured by problems related to the real estate being purchased or sold. Some of these legal issues may include faulty wiring, damaged walkways or staircases, or plumbing in disrepair.

Helping with Negotiations

When buying or selling commercial real estate, it’s often necessary for both parties to negotiate terms like price or financing. You can seek out an attorney to help negotiate these terms on your behalf or review any contracts before signing them. You don’t want any surprises later in the process.

Lawyers can also ensure that everything is legally binding. They’ll make sure all parties have agreed upon the same thing and understand what it means for them moving forward. This is an important component of your real estate transaction because it ensures that every party is protected by their end of the deal, which means less chance for error down the road.

Seek Help with Your Commercial Real Estate Deal

When you’re buying or selling a commercial property, you may feel like you’re in over your head. It’s not just the legalities of the transaction that can be overwhelming, but also the real estate jargon and legalese that comes with it. 

Find out how a lawyer can help with a commercial real estate deal with a free consultation from The Curry Law Firm. We’re prepared to help your business find the perfect property and thrive there. To connect with us, fill out our online contact form below or give us a call at 713-678-0013.

Can A Real Estate Lawyer Help with a Property Lien?

Property owners desire to have their land “free and clear” of claims from anyone else. It will be impossible to complete a property deal if a title search uncovers an issue.

Likewise, buyers are wary of properties with liens on them. No one wants to purchase a house or piece of land only to discover that someone else has a financial or ownership interest in a portion of it.

What Is a Property Lien?

Liens are court-ordered claims against a specified set of assets that allow creditors to collect what they are owed. A lien must be filed by a creditor and approved by a county records office or state agency. Property liens are governed by specific laws in each jurisdiction.

Some property liens are good; some are not. The lienholder can gain access to the property in case of unpaid debts. If a car, boat, or house owner fails to pay a contractor for services provided, for example, a property lien may be granted. Property liens are typically the last resort of a creditor when they are unable to collect on a debt.

Real Estate Attorneys on Property Liens

Before signing any contracts that might consume your finances, it is best to seek legal advice first. Here are some of the ways our team of real estate attorneys at the Curry Law Firm can help you.

  • Supervise Legal Aspects – Present you with the most comprehensive legal information and the full range of options, to help you make well-founded decisions.
  • Prepare Related Documents – Guide you in preparing the required documents, both for application and legal countermeasures. It is in your best interest that you are always prepared.
  • Investigate Legal Documents – Discuss the pros and cons of a contract with you, as well as advise you on what is best for you.
  • Negotiate Terms – Review a contract and ensure that your interests are protected. We will not allow you to sign something disadvantageous to you. We will try, as much as possible, to place you on equal footing with the other party.

Get a Consultation with a Real Estate Lawyer

In a dispute over a property lien? The Curry Law Firm wants what is best for you. We have commercial and residential real estate lawyers with vast experience. We will keep the legal process as smooth as possible for you and help you devise a strategy to deal with any liens that apply to the property in question.

A real estate transaction is a major investment. It is important to make informed decisions. Let us help you. Contact one of our real estate lawyers now. Call us for a consultation at 713-678-0013.

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

Buying a house is often a momentous occasion, but it can feel like a terrifying ordeal, too, especially to first-time buyers. Buying a home is a legal transfer of property from one entity to another and can be a complex process.

It often makes sense to enlist the support of a real estate attorney to look out for your best interests and ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

While the thought of additional costs may be off-putting, a real estate lawyer may save you thousands through the advice and guidance you’d otherwise miss out on, so read on for more information on what we do and how we can help you.

When Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?

Real estate attorneys have the legal authority to assist you in preparing, reviewing, and authorizing documents and contracts related to the sale or purchase of a property. Both buyers and sellers are entitled to hire an attorney to oversee property sales and may also represent mortgage lenders on occasion.

Certain states may even require an attorney to draft and finalize contracts, amendments, and other closing documents when purchasing property, so it’s important you’re well informed on the laws that govern such investments.

A real estate attorney will likely prove extremely useful should your purchase or sale be more complex than typical transactions, such as deals including additional property or land. A good attorney will ensure that the contract you’re signing is fully inclusive of all details. An attorney will also provide peace of mind that you’re not agreeing to terms that may prove unfavorable to you in the long term. Their representation will guarantee that they’ll always have your best interests at heart should you need extensive assistance as matters unfold.

How Much Will a Real Estate Attorney Cost?

The potential legal costs of hiring a real estate attorney will likely feel daunting, given the significant cost of purchasing a house. How much you should expect to pay will largely depend on the services you require of them and for how long.

In situations requiring an attorney to be present, you may find a portion of their fee is included in the contract agreement. Elsewhere, their fees will likely vary depending on what assistance you need, with an hourly rate to be expected outside of certain flat-fee services. It’s always advisable to reach out to firms you’re considering to discuss what services you’ll need if you’re after the best cost approximation.

Choosing the Right Real Estate Lawyer in Houston, Texas

If you’re looking for the guidance of a reputable real estate attorney to support you through the purchase or sale of your property, contact the team at the Curry Law Firm. We’re happy to help you no matter what difficulties you encounter, so reach out to us today at 713-678-0013, or leave us a message via the contact form on our website. We have extensive experience in residential and commercial leasing and purchasing, so don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss.

Eviction Process in Texas: 5 Fast Facts

According to the law in Texas, a landlord has the right to evict a tenant under particular circumstances. However, there are procedures both the landlord and tenant must follow.

If you’re looking for information on the eviction process in Texas, here are five fast facts you should know. Many evictions happen under unique circumstances. It is in your best interests to consult a local real estate lawyer to better understand your tenant rights.

A Landlord Can Evict You for Several Reasons

Some of the common reasons a Texas landlord can evict their tenants include:

  • Failure to pay rent as agreed
  • The tenant engages in illegal activities within the building
  • Renting out space without consulting the landlord
  • Continuously disturbing neighbors with loud activity
  • Or other lease violations per the agreement you signed.

A Landlord Cannot Start the Eviction Suit without Serving a Notice

The eviction process cannot begin until the landlord issues the tenant a three-day notice to vacate. This period can, however, be longer or shorter depending on the lease. The notice must be in writing and contain pertinent information like the expected date of vacating.

It’s only after no action from the tenant, such as failure to pay or vacate, that the landlord can file an eviction or forcible detainer lawsuit.

You Have a Right to Appeal This Suit

If you feel the notice was served unfairly or with no grounds, you can appeal the eviction suit and get to keep your home if successful. The justice court will schedule a date for your hearing where you can present your defenses.

Some of the common defenses a real estate attorney can use are the landlord’s violation of the eviction procedure, unlawful discrimination, retaliation, among others.

A Landlord Cannot Evict You in Person

The only person with the legal mandate to physically remove you from the property is an authorized officer of the law. This happens if the landlord wins the lawsuit and obtains a writ of possession.

A Landlord Cannot Evict You as Retaliation

Finally, your landlord cannot send an eviction notice as retaliation.

Retaliation occurs when a landlord threatens to or punishes a tenant for complaining about issues on their premises or getting involved in tenant organizations. If you believe your eviction is a retaliation, consider reviewing the situation with an attorney to determine if your tenant rights have been violated.

Speak with a Real Estate Lawyer in Texas

Most tenants do not understand their rights when faced with an eviction notice and end up succumbing to their landlord’s demands. While a landlord has every right to evict you from their property, there’s a legal procedure to follow. Failure of the procedure could mean it’s an illegal eviction and your lawyer will remedy the situation.

Consult a real estate lawyer to determine if any violations have occurred, as well as chart a clear path for your current living situation. Call the Curry Law Firm at 713-678-0013 or simply leave a message through our contact form below, and we’ll reach you.

Estate Planning Documents: Here’s What You’ll Need

Planning your estate is one of the ways to protect your loved ones in case of incapacitation or unexpected death. It gives you a sense of peace because you’re certain that your attorney or any other person you appoint will execute your wishes to your dependents’ interests.

Before getting started, consider speaking with an estate attorney to understand the best practices and whether any laws might conflict with your estate planning. Having legal counsel will also reduce your workload because they can process your estate planning documents, so all you have to do is review and sign.

Durable Power of an Attorney

When you’re temporarily or permanently incapacitated, you’ll want your affairs, especially financial, to be in good hands. A power of attorney document allows you to appoint a person you trust, such as your spouse, relative, or friend, to make those decisions in case of the unexpected.

Without this, the court might have to appoint someone to take the place, which could be time-consuming and expensive.

A Last Will

This is one of the most crucial documents when planning your estate. A last will and testament serves as a legal declaration of how you’d like your estate to be distributed should you not be in a position to give your wishes, such as terminal illness or death.

Your estate includes all the shareable property you own, such as vehicles, real estate, and business shares. To help your loved ones avoid the lengthy probate process, consider a plan for the non-probate assets as well.

Medical Power of an Attorney

The medical power of an attorney allows someone of your choice to make your medical decisions in case of mental incapacity or unconsciousness.

When drafting your medical power of an attorney, remember to sign the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release form so your appointee has access to your medical records as well.

Advanced Directives to Physicians

Besides being able to choose who can make your health decisions, you can also leave a document directing your last medical wishes. An advanced directive is a document that instructs your doctors on what kind of treatment you’d want and do not want in case you’re not in a position to.

This might include directives like a do-not-resuscitate order, the use of artificial methods to keep you alive, organ donation, among others.

Get Help from an Estate Lawyer

If you’ve considered planning your estate, now might be the time to do so. And if you’re looking for where to get started and how to process your estate planning documents, the attorneys at The Curry Law Firm are ready to help.

Simply arrange a consultation with us by calling 713-678-0013 or completing the form below with your contact details.

For easier organization and access, we also have a client portal where all your estate planning documents, including important calendar dates, can be found.

Who Can Claim Adverse Possession in Texas?

Did you know that a trespasser, neighbor, or a stranger can legally own property that was not previously theirs after using it for a specified number of years? This might seem unreal and extreme, but Texas, and even other states, allow it under the law of adverse possession. 

However, such claims are rare, and the most common ones occur between neighbors, involving a small tract of land often found at the borders. Most importantly, they are nearly impossible to navigate without the help of a real estate lawyer, which implies that you must be sufficiently prepared as the potential possessor.  

What Is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is a statute that gives legal title ownership of land to a trespasser over the original property owner. Typically, a trespasser who has lived on a piece of property for the required period files a title action and notifies the owner. If the owner fails to respond, then the land ownership rights can be transferred to the trespasser. 

What Do I Need to Prove for Adverse Possession in Texas?

Anyone of legal age can claim adverse possession as long they can prove, among other things, that their possession is:  

  • Exclusive   You have solo possession of the property as opposed to shared possession with an owner or any other party.
  • Hostile – Your possession was done through appropriation and without the owner’s permission.
  • Continuous – You’ve continuously possessed the property for the established statutory period as opposed to taking breaks or sporadic ownership. However, the court might still allow you to file an action if there were successive possessors and privity of estate exists among them.
  • Visible – You’ve been openly using and possessed the land openly and without concealing your occupancy.
  • Actual – You  possess the property and have been exercising control.

Statutory Limitations for Adverse Possession

To level the playing ground, the court has outlined a minimum period by which the trespasser must have possessed the land, as well as other requirements, to qualify for an adverse possession claim in Texas. 

A trespasser can file this action after three years of using and occupying the property, as long as they have a color of title. This refers to a title or conveyance that might have been mistakenly but legally issued.

You can also claim adverse possession after five years of property possession if you have a color of title, have proof of land cultivation, and you’ve been paying taxes for the property.  

There’s also a ten-year statute that does not require any title or conveyance as long as you can prove all possession standards like exclusivity and visibility of occupancy. 

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer

Adverse possession suits can be difficult to handle, and only a few of them go through. At the same time, each case is unique and with different circumstances, which means that you should still try to file a claim if you feel that you qualify for adverse possession. 

Start by speaking with a real estate lawyer to understand the strength of your suit and how to proceed with the case. Call The Curry Law Firm at 713-678-0013 or send a message through our contact form for a free consultation

How to Start a Franchise

The good thing about starting a business is that there are several ways to do it. You can start a venture from scratch with an idea and capital, buy off an existing business, or set up a franchise. 

In a franchise, an individual or business (franchisee) pays an agreed fee to another already-established business (franchisor) for permission to use their name, brand, and model. Starting a franchise is likely to work because the franchisor provides you with resources like training, launching support, and marketing to get started. Some franchisors may even offer financial assistance. 

Thinking of setting up a franchise? Here are some of the most important things to get you started. A business lawyer can also help answer your questions.

Is a Franchise Right for You?

Before you start a franchise, consider both the pros and cons, as well as common challenges you’re likely to encounter. Are they worth it? Are you prepared to work with the franchisor or would you rather work alone?

Most importantly, evaluate the total cost you’ll need to get started, along with the legal requirements. Consider finding a business formation lawyer at this point because they understand this better and can guide you on the right path.

Choose Your Preferred Industry

The most popular industry for franchising is restauranteering with multinational companies like McDonald’s and Taco Bell. However, there are other numerous industries you can choose from, depending on your interests. 

Determine which industry matches your skills and passion, and then research available franchising opportunities. 

Review the Franchise Disclosure Document

A franchise disclosure document (FDD) is a legal document provided by a franchisor. It contains all the important information that a franchisee requires to make an informed decision. 

The most common items you can expect in an FDD include:

  • Initial fees
  • Bankruptcy information
  • Franchisee requirements and obligations, 
  • Territorial rights 
  • Proprietary information
  • Contracts, and so on. 

To safeguard your rights as a franchisee, review this document with your business lawyer so that you know whether to go ahead.

Establish a Corporation or LLC

Incorporating a business makes it a legal entity with liabilities and so on. This also protects your personal assets in case of litigation, and your corporation might even qualify for a tax relief that’s not available to businesses under sole proprietorship

Your business will also look more professional to prospective franchisors and customers.

Select the Right Location

Next, determine the most ideal location to set up your franchise. Some franchisors will advise you on the best locations and store size, depending on their existing models.

However, the franchisee is responsible for things like buying or leasing properties and getting into agreements with landlords or sellers. Here, you might be better off with a lawyer who’s knowledgeable on everything real estate. 

Talk to a Business Lawyer Early Enough

When you’ve decided to start a franchise, the next best thing you should do is get in touch with a franchise lawyer. Despite it being easier than other models, there still are numerous legal issues that you need to sort out before getting into an agreement and launching a franchise. Speak with a business lawyer from the beginning to protect your rights and ensure a smooth sail. 

Get professional legal representation at The Curry Law Firm when you call our offices at 713-678-0013 or submit the contact form below with your details. 

 

 

 

Texas Landlord FAQ

Landlords always write leases for their own benefit. Fortunately, because commercial leases differ vastly from the sort of cookie-cutter restrictions that residential landlords impose, there’s no reason to avoid pushing back on some of the less-agreeable clauses in your commercial lease. 

Not all terms on a lease may be favorable, but you can at least protect yourself and your business from being taken advantage of by engaging an experienced real estate attorney to review your commercial lease. 

Texas Commercial Leases and Landlords FAQ

Check out the below FAQs to get a sense of some of the main questions our clients have. Then, reach out to a commercial real estate attorney with The Curry Law Firm to get your questions answered. 

Is it possible to get out of a lease early?

It’s vital to always check the termination clause in your lease before considering ending your lease early. In most cases, you’ll likely be on the hook for the remaining balance of your lease. This means that if you try to vacate a twelve-month lease after just nine months, you could be stuck paying the difference. Negotiate for a shorter lease, or go over the language with an attorney if you foresee the need to end a lease ahead of time. 

Can you sign a commercial lease under your own name?

If your business has more than a sole proprietorship corporate structure—for example, an LLC—then you should sign the lease in the name of your business, and not your own name. Sole proprietors must sign the lease under their own names. 

Is it possible to negotiate for better terms in a commercial lease?

Yes. Although many folks used to signing residential leases aren’t aware or able to do this, commercial leases are fundamentally different. As such, they reflect an understanding between the tenant and landlord, and the tenant doesn’t have to accept terms they deem unfavorable. However, any changes must be agreed upon and detailed in writing to become enforceable and legally binding. 

What points are commonly negotiated in commercial leases?

Some of the most common changes that tenants request made to commercial contracts are:

  • Changes in the duration of the lease
  • Common area maintenance charges and other requirements
  • Deposits
  • The amount of rent
  • Facade features, such as sign allowance

What happens if I have a dispute with my landlord?

Review the terms of your lease to see how to proceed with the dispute. There could be consequences for disputes or noncompliance with the terms of the lease. For example, a landlord is able to lock you out of the property for nonpayment of rent. 

Commercial leases can be tricky, but an experienced attorney with our firm can help you and your business secure the best terms possible for your next commercial property—freeing you up to focus on growing your business. 

Let a Real Estate Attorney Review Your Lease

Want a second pair of eyes on your business’s lease? The Curry Law Firm can help you negotiate favorable terms. 

Call us at 713-678-0013 or fill out our contact form to learn more. 

What Can a Real Estate Lawyer Do for a Seller?

Unlike commercial real estate buyers, most sellers do not put much thought into hiring legal support for the sales process. They may believe that they don’t have much to lose, unlike their counterparts.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Commercial real estate transactions are riddled with risks for both the buyer and seller. Besides protecting your rights, an attorney can perform tasks that require the advanced legal knowledge and skills of a professional.

Why does a commercial seller need a Houston real estate lawyer?

Removing Judgment on a Lien

A lien judgment is an order placed on a property by the court, allowing a creditor or lender to repossess the real estate should the owner forfeit their debt obligations. This can spell disaster for your selling plans and even put off potential buyers.

If you cannot afford to pay off the debt right away, a real estate lawyer can work out a plan to get the lien removed or propose an arrangement that allows you to sell.

Listing Agreements

When you list your commercial property with a real estate broker, they’re likely to give you a listing agreement to sign. Most sellers sign this document without a second look, which is a mistake that can haunt you later.

Issues such as the commission percentage and when this should be paid are often a source of contention between brokers and sellers. To prevent disputes, have an attorney go through the contract before signing.

Overseeing the Paperwork

Besides the listing agreement, there are numerous other documents involved in a real estate sale. Some require drafting, others reviewing, and others filing with relevant authorities. 

An experienced lawyer will know what paperwork you need and what provisions to look out for while reviewing, as well as the deadlines to file official documents. 

Ensure That You Get a Good Deal from the Sale

When making a commercial real estate sale, it’s likely that the buyer will have strong legal counsel to support their best interests. You should have one, as well.

A real estate attorney can not only negotiate the sale amount for you but also various clauses in a contract so that you’re getting the best deal.

Get the Help of a Real Estate Lawyer

There’s a long list of other things that a real estate lawyer can do for you as a seller. Commercial real estate sales are not straightforward, and making a successful closing might depend on your legal representation. The Curry Law Firm has an offer for a free initial consultation to review your property and chart your best way forward. 

To speak with a real estate attorney for free, call our offices at 713-678-0013 or fill out our online contact form.