New court decision on Terms of Use agreements

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupA new decision in a New Jersey state court may soon affect your Terms of Use agreement.

Because everything is now online, many of our commercial and retail sales or services can be transactions happening in multiple states at once. So even if you are a California business, you can still be affected by new laws or court decisions in other states if you have an online presence or sales.

The California Definition of Exempt Employee

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupThe new CA minimum wage law changes the definition of “exempt employee”

Does your business employee salary workers who are exempt from overtime rules? Those workers are called exempt employees, and the definition of who is exempt is based on the minimum wage.

A worker must be making a yearly salary of at least twice the current minimum wage in order to qualify as an exempt employee. Because the minimum wage is changing, that will also affect the definition of which employees are exempt. This will be complicated and challenging for the next few years, because not only will the minimum wage change every year, but there will be a different minimum wage for smaller sized businesses (25 employees or fewer), than for larger businesses. So if you have any employees in the $40k to $50K range, you should make sure that they have not dropped below the exempt employee requirements. If your worker suddenly goes from exempt to non-exempt, you will have several new responsibilities and requirements to follow for the worker’s time and schedule.

California Minimum Wage Rate Increase

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupUnderstanding CA Minimum Wage Rate Increase

California small business owners, did you know that if you have 25 or fewer employees, you will get extra time to raise your minimum wage rates?

California’s new minimum wage gradually increases the minimum wage year by year; starting at $10.50 by Jan1, 2017 and capping at $15/hour by 2022.  However, smaller businesses get an extra year, so if you are a smaller business your first minimum wage increase doesn’t start until Jan 1, 2018 (same $10.50/ hour), and will not cap at $15/ hour until 2023.

After 2023, the new law also allows for some smaller yearly increases tied to inflation.

Under the new law, the California governor can also pause the minimum wage rate increase for a year, if there is an economic emergency. So be prepared to check in for regular updates on minimum wages.

Tips on Family Owned Businesses

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupFamily Owned Business Tip

Tip #1: Who’s in charge? Family run businesses still need titles and a decision-making tree. Don’t sign documents under your own name, use your business title. Even if you vote all decisions, decide who will break ties. Avoid easy legal problems by treating even a small family run business like a large corporation.

Buying Into a Practice or Business

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupBuying into a practice or business – tips

A number of new businesses start when a professional buys an existing business, or buys into a share of a practice. Chiropractors, doctors, architects, engineers are good examples of buying in as a way to start a new business.

This process is very different from buying into a franchise. But professionals can still benefit from a number of traditional resources, such as business brokers. New professionals are often first time business owners, and can benefit from a the expertise of professional business sources. Don’t forget to look into all the tools available for business owners if you are thinking of buying into a business.