Don’t get handcuffed to a bad deal

How to create a non-compete you can live with It’s all warm fuzzies when an employer and employee come to terms on a new relationship but as anybody who’s ever had a job can tell you even the best job relationships can go bad. What then? You can consider your non-compete clause to be a pre-nuptial between employer and employee which determines in advance what happens in the case the relationship – for any reason – ends. No matter which side of that desk you sit on, you’re going to want to be prepared for all possibilities. It’s a question you need to ask yourself right up front. Why? Because when you sign a non-compete clause in Michigan it’s likely, at least for a certain amount time, and in a certain geographic area, you may not be able work in that particular field. What’s more, it may apply whether you quit or get fired. Too often employees sign over their rights to continue working after a job ends without really understanding the magnitude of the agreement. Things to consider before signing a non compete agreement: How long will the non-compete clause last after you’ve left the particular company? What is the geographic area covered by the clause; will you be able to take a similar job any place close to where you live? Does the clause apply if you’ve been fired? Does the clause include any kind of buy out? As an employer a non-compete clause can be even more important. You might have trade secrets to protect, processes and procedures you’ve created individual to your company. Maybe you’re working to capture a certain market and have made investments in your employees to make that happen. Maybe you’ve invested a great deal in training for your employees and would rather not have some other business reap the benefits of your investment. What if one of those employees quits or gets approached by head hunters? You’re going to want to know you’ve done something to protect your most important assets. Things for business owners to keep in mind: Make sure the agreement is clear cut and to the point Make sure the geographic area covered is large enough to protect your company but not so large as to make the agreement unreasonable Make sure the length to the agreement is also reasonable Make sure you are consistent with the non-complete...
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Starting a new company? Better get your business in order.

Starting a new company? Better get your business in order. With $10 and a trip to your County Registrar of Deeds you can hang a shingle and officially call yourself a business owner. Becoming a successful business owner and growing your business however will require more work. The better planning you do in the beginning and the stronger your business plan, the better the chance for success. According to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division within the Department of Labor, only 44% of all new business survive four years. That means more than half of all news startups fail within four years. Got your attention? Do you have the kind of business plan that puts you on the positive side of that equation? Some of the things you you’ll want to consider: You’ll want to make sure you have a reliable accountant You’ll want to determine the legal structure of your business; are you going to be a sole proprietor, a partnership, as S Corp or an Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) If setting up a corporation you’ll need to filed your Articles of Corporation in whichever state your company will be based in If you’re going to have a partner you’ll want to make sure you have an Operating Agreement that spells out each member’s duties, rights and responsibilities. Some of these things, especially the ones that come with a price tag – like hiring an accountant – may seem too daunting or expensive at first, but consider the options. Do you want your company to succeed or not? If it sounds complicated, well, you’re right. It can be. But that’s what we’re here for. The Cortese Law Firm has extensive experience in preparing the necessary corporate forms and drafting Operating Agreements for a variety of businesses to ensure that your objectives and needs are met. It’s our job to make sure all the “I’s” are dotted and the “T’s” are crossed so you can focus on making your business everything you ever wanted it to be. Any business advisor will tell you, before you have a business, you need a business plan. Getting these documents and forms in place from day one creates the successful foundation for that...
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The most important book on the shelf

It might sit on a shelf or in a drawer gathering dust but when the day comes that you actually need it, you might find it’s the most important job-related book you own. It’s your Employee Handbook. For Businesses Owners For a lot of small to mid-size businesses an employee handbook can be an afterthought, or at best, something borrowed from another company or built off a template. But would you buy a car without a repair manual? Or would you ever consider using the manual from somebody else’s car? No too businesses are the same. Even if you make the same product or sell the same service is your company an exact clone of the others? No. And neither should your employee handbook. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel but you do want it to speak directly to the policies and procedures of your company and you want to know it speaks directly to the people who work for you. In addition to addressing the legal requirements and processes of your state or industry you’ll want to make sure your handbook cover: Personnel policies An at-will statement making the employer-employee relationship clear up front Work rules and expectations specific to your company Benefit plans as offered by your company Overall organizational philosophy There’s more. In today’s communication age a few things come businesses might miss include: Internet use Cell phone use Email policies Use of Social Media while on the job So do you have one? And if you already do when was the last time you reviewed it? Is it consistent with current policies, processes and technologies? If you need an employee handbook or would like yours reviewed to make sure it’s up-to-date we can help. For Employees It’s almost always one of the first things you get when you start a new job and inevitably it’s the last thing you look at – if you look at all. That could be a costly mistake. Whether or not your employer uses their handbook frequently or not at all, when the rubber hits the road be assured it will the standard by which decisions are base on. A well written employee handbook will cover policies including Health coverage Sick days or time off Vacation time How to report concerns Workers compensation Medical leave Company expectations Disciplinary polices Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policies Employee Benefits Promotion guidelines Too...
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