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Austin TX Business Law Blog

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Another Apple Employee Charged with Theft of Trade Secrets


How can I guard against theft of my company’s trade secrets?


Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a second Apple employee and accused the employee, who is a Chinese citizen, of attempted theft of trade secrets.  The allegedly stolen information concerned Apple’s autonomous car project.  This FBI investigation comes just months after similar charges were filed against another Apple employee for seeking to steal trade secrets concerning the same project.  Our Read more . . .


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Forbes Ranks Texas Health as Top Employer for Diversity


What are the benefits of diversity in the workplace?


Recently, Forbes magazine ranked Texas Health Resources number 140 on its list of the Best Employers for Diversity. The national list polled respondents with questions about employee gender, age, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, and other diversity indicators.  Texas Health is honored to have ranked top among the most inclusive employers in the country.  Texas Health issued a public release expressing pride over the award and stating that the workplace is comprised of more than 40 percent of employees who identify themselves as part of an ethnic population.  Our Austin, Texas business law employees applaud Texas Health for its recent ranking and discuss the many benefits of having a diverse workplace below.


Read more . . .


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Managing Office Romances


Should I use “love contracts” in the workplace?


Office romances are always a challenge for employers.  With the current #MeToo movement, employers today are all the more concerned about addressing and managing office romances in a way so as to avoid lawsuits.  Employers may attempt to institute a policy against office romances, while others allow relationships so long as they are declared.  Our Read more . . .


Monday, January 28, 2019

Your 2019 Outlook for Buying or Selling a Business


Will 2019 be a strong year for business buyers and sellers?

As the year 2019 churns off to a strong start, those in the business industry may be wondering what this new year will hold for buying or selling a business.  After all, the purchase or sale of a business is often heavily intertwined with economic, technological, and even political factors. Our Austin, Texas business law attorneys discuss some factors to consider in this coming new year if you will be purchasing a new business or selling your existing business.
Read more . . .


Monday, December 31, 2018

California Businesses Flock to Texas


Why is Texas an attractive place to start a new business?

The Dallas Business Journal is reporting that a record number of businesses are leaving California, and many are electing to relocate to Texas.  At least 1,800 California companies are leaving the state in hopes to find a more favorable business climate, which Texas promises. McKesson Corp, a massive pharmaceutical distributor, recently announced that it plans to join the exodus by relocating its San Francisco headquarters to Irving.  McKesson Corp. is ranked sixth on the Fortune 500 list, making its move to Texas an important one.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Employers Should Consider Updating Their Employee Handbook This New Year


What new laws have come into effect that should be reflected in my employee handbook?

The New Year is a time to make goals and set new standards.  For business owners, the New Year can represent a chance for a fresh start and a time to herald in needed changes.  If you are a business owner who does not have an employee handbook or have not updated your handbook in several years, now is the time to act.  With ever shifting business laws both federally and in Texas, Texas business owners should start to plan now for what updates should be made to their employee handbook come January 1.

Those Without a Handbook Need One

Any employer who has not yet developed an employee handbook should use this New Year as incentive to take the critical step of making one.
Read more . . .


Friday, November 30, 2018

Funding Your Startup Business

What are my funding options if I cannot secure a bank loan?

Your first challenge as a new business owner is often determining how to finance your venture.  Nearly every business will require some sort of capital to start off strong.  To launch your startup, you may need to hire new employees, rent a space, invest in new equipment, market your business, and the like.  With interest rates rising and banks more closely scrutinizing loan applicants, many new business owners are turning to alternative funding options.  Our Austin, Texas business startup attorneys explore your options when it comes to funding your new venture below.

Small Business Loans

Perhaps the first avenue that comes to mind for raising funds for your business is a small business loan. Banks offer small business loans, but it can be hard to qualify.  Most banks will require a stellar credit score, strong business model, and at times previous business success.  Many new business owners will find themselves denied by large banks.  Alternatively, there are several lending companies that may have looser criteria for a loan.  It is vital that you research these lending companies, as some will charge exorbitant interest and could use predatory methods.  Your business startup attorney can help by reviewing any potential lending agreement to uncover predatory lending schemes.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

FMLA and Key Employees


Can our company terminate a key employee who takes FMLA leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows qualifying employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year.  Generally, employees who take FMLA leave are entitled to have their job back at the end of their leave period.  While FMLA is important to the protection of employees with medical conditions new babies, and other urgent family matters, losing an employee for 12 weeks can be hard for the employer.  At times, a company cannot afford to lose a key employee for 12 weeks. Understanding that circumstances do arise in which a company cannot keep a position open for a key employee, certain exceptions will allow an employer to terminate a key employee who takes FMLA leave.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 29, 2018

Protecting Your Store’s “Look” With a Design Patent

What elements of a store’s design can be protected through a design patent?

The look and feel of your retail location are likely a driving factor behind your success.  Customers often come to a certain store, over competing options, because they know and appreciate the overall style of the store. Your “look” might include your arrangement of items for sale or services, a unique display, a signature floor design, and much more.  Retailers often miss out on protecting the design of their store because they are unaware intellectual property law could give them much needed legal protection.  A design patent can be the ideal tool for some retail owners to guard their unique design and prevent copycats.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 15, 2018

The Benefits of ADR for Business Disputes

Is alternative dispute resolution the right method to resolve my business dispute?

Business owners will often eventually find themselves involved in some form of dispute with a business partner, an employee, vendor, customer, contractor, or others.  Business disputes can be stressful and potentially involve high stakes.  For the busy small business owner, litigating a dispute at trial is rarely the ideal method of resolution.  Instead, most business disputes are resolved through some form of alternative to ligation, with the most popular options being mediation and arbitration.  At times, one method will be required per the contract governing the dispute.  Our Austin, Texas ADR business lawyers explore the basics of alternative dispute resolution and how you can find the ideal method to end your dispute below.


Read more . . .


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Austin Business Journal Recognizes the Fastest Growing Companies

What makes Austin an ideal city for startup businesses?

The Austin Business Journal recently released its list of the fastest growing companies in the city. Companies were divided into two categories, one for companies with annual revenues of less than $10 million and another for companies bringing in over $10 million a year.  These winners represent the high growth atmosphere of industries within Austin and the state of Texas.  Our Austin, Texas business startup attorneys explore some award winning companies in the area and discuss why Austin may be the perfect place for your new business.  


Read more . . .


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