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Michigan Business Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Can the previous franchise we owned legally force us to repaint our vehicles?

We owned a Servpro restoration franchise. 2 years ago we sold our license instead of renewing, and went on our own. We took all labeling off the vehicles. Servpro is now telling us that we have to have the vehicles repainted. They do not have the color trademarked. The vehicles were never... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 9, 2019

The franchisor can make you stop using their trademarks. You may be correct that the color is not a trademark, but did you agree in the franchise agreement to comply with this request? If repainting is not covered by the agreement or by trademark law or by state competition law (which might be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: I am a va for someone from another state. He sent me a check and it bounced. My bank accounts on hold now. What do i do?

He’s in TX, originally the first check he sent me i guess cancelled because of FedEx had a problem with delivery. (VA=virtual assistant)

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 21, 2019

Pardon my ignorance, but if you can tell me what a "va" is I might be able to give you some advice.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Contracts and Criminal Law for Michigan on
Q: Licensed contractor completed work now Customer making threats. Is it civil or criminal as they claim?

Licensed builder in the state of Michigan and fully insured. Recently completed a project for a developer who was building spec homes for resale. The developer had me submit several construction bid contracts which were accepted and payments issued for the work. I completed all work stated in the... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 30, 2019

Justia is a free online legal forum established to allow members of the general public to ask general legal questions to experienced lawyers who volunteer their valuable time to do so. Your important small business question should be directed to a business lawyer of your choosing. If you have not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law, Contracts and Juvenile Law for Michigan on
Q: Has the law been altered as of 2019?

I’m 15 and a tattoo artist told me that it’s the law that I have to be 16 to get a tattoo in Michigan.

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Apr 13, 2019

There isn’t an age minimum, but if you’re a minor you’ll need your parent to come with you to the tattoo shop and give permission.

Here is a link to Michigan’s law on tattooing minors....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Business Formation and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Use my personal address on a business bank account? Degree of risk of piercing the LLC veil?

Manager-Managed LLC in Michigan. I am the Manager (80%), my daughters are silent partners (5% and 5%). We are presently using a UPS Store Mailbox as the business address, but the bank will not allow it. The bank suggests using my personal address.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 10, 2019

There is nothing wrong in using a home or personal address as a business address.

2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: I have a full time job with 120 mile commute. If I say delivered fire wood daily. could I write same miles off?

If I established a legal and credible business which used the same route and daily miles as regular full time job could I some how write regular miles off or a weekly %?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Apr 2, 2019

Your question is more tax than law related. I can see where you're going with this, and it might work. I just think at the very least, you are opening yourself up to an audit, which very quickly will zap any money saved in fees to a CPA or tax attorney to work through it with you. You would have to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: What do you do if you are sold a new 2019 vehicle that is defected and it's not fixable? What should we expect next?

Out of curiosity after we bought it, I looked online to see if their photos had the defect before we bought it and I noticed it in their pictures, sadly, we were not notified of it and we did not notice it until later that same day. The defect is the drivers side sliding door that will not close... Read more »

Adam Alexander
Adam Alexander answered on Mar 16, 2019

Michigan's Lemon has strict requirements regarding the number of repairs required to qualify as a "Lemon":

It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of attempts have been undertaken to repair a defect or condition if 1 of the following occurs:

a) The same defect or condition...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on
Q: When a Permanent makeup artists is creating an LLC, does it need to be a Professional LLC?
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Feb 25, 2019

No. And unless the makeup artist is a qualified licensed professional under the Act, he or she cannot file for a PLLC. There is no distinction between an LLC and PLLC other than to be a PLLC, the owners (or "members") must all be licensed professionals. Very generally, a PLLC applies for lawyers,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Real Estate Law for Michigan on
Q: My apartment company called me saying they paid a utility bill from an electric company that I don't use. What do I do?

I use electric company A ever since I moved into the apartment and was required to get it in my name. Now, 4 months into living here I get contacted by the company saying they paid a bill from company B and want me to pay them back. I have never used company B, didn't sign up or anything. Why would... Read more »

David Soble
David Soble answered on Feb 11, 2019

Sounds strange. I would want to see the invoices first before paying for the alleged invoices. I am not sure how two different utility companies can service your one residence unless one provides the gas and the other provides electric. Trust but verify.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on
Q: If I buy a replica designer bracelet for about $20, then I resell it for the price of the real bracelet about 7,000

is it illegal?

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Feb 7, 2019

Not in the abstract, but look out for MCl 445.903.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Business Formation and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Want to start a Property Management Company in MI where I would purchase & rent the properties. What's required?
Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Jan 27, 2019

Business savvy and real estate management experience would be a good start. If you have those, you will be exposed to the various ownership entities real estate investors use to acquire and operate rental properties. You would have agreements and requirements for various independent contractors and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Banking, Business Formation and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: I am a minor in Michigan about to form an LLC. How can I enter into a contract on behalf of my company as a minor?

My parents are willing to sign for me on any legal documents.

I also have a few other questions:

What extra steps should I take when forming an LLC as a minor?

How do I open a business bank account for my LLC as a minor?

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jan 13, 2019

You will need your parents help with this. Other than that, you should be good-to-go.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Michigan on
Q: Can an owner of a real estate company notarize real estate documents as the notary public as well?

Notary had an employee sign my document in their absence for a real estate deal. 20,000 Loss as a result of notarys actions

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jan 2, 2019

A Notary essentially confirms that a person truly signed a document; they are not saying that the document is legal or proper. If what you're saying is that you never signed the document, and that someone else did without authorization, then it's possible you could file a lawsuit against the person... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Tax Law for Michigan on
Q: Question regarding business taxes, amount possibly owed, student loans, garnishment and payment plans

I filed taxes for my business and informed the IRS my business made 11k profit in 2016 and 13k in 2017. I informed them that the gross revenue for my business was 90k in 2016 and 138k in 2017. I dont have expenses to show them as I didnt keep receipts but I did a rough estimate of my expenses to be... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Dec 13, 2018

Estimates without documentation are not good enough for the IRS. You need to work with a tax accountant or CPA to reconstruct some sort of paper trail for your expenses. Otherwise, your eligibility for a student loan is going to be the least of your problems. If the IRS denies your deductions for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Municipal Law for Michigan on
Q: Starting a cannabis processing company in michigan and in search of answers regarding location, laws and licensing.
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Dec 10, 2018

Join the crowd! With passage of the new law, we are in the midst of a rush. Opening a new business regulated by new and untested laws can be a recipe for disaster. If you do not have experience in this industry, I would highly suggest you talk with operators in other states with similar laws (e.g.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Michigan on
Q: ex-employer shared files with me on my personal file sharing/ email account 15 months after I was fired. do I hv 2 gv b?

I was working for a pharmaceutical wholesale distributor in mi. I had a 1 year non compete agreement. I was fired 8-17-2017 and my non compete ended 8-17-2018. Two months after the non compete ended, I noticed that the owner of the company was sharing files with me via onedrive (a file sharing... Read more »

Trent Harris
Trent Harris answered on Oct 7, 2018

Although your noncompete has ended, it is likely that any confidentiality agreement that you had with the company, whether in writing or in a employee manual, still applies after termination of your employment. The information that you mentioned is recognized by Michigan law as trade secrets, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: I'm starting an in-home caregiver business and don't know to hire employees or independent contractors.

I would give the "hire" a schedule and work tasks that each senior client requests. I would be running this business in Michigan. The hire would keep track each client visit and turn in to me a completed "task sheet" at the end of each week. I think that is about the extent of control I would have... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Sep 12, 2018

Work for someone else until you learn the ropes. And don’t sign an agreement not to compete.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: LLC using a virtual address instead of using home address

I live in an apartment complex (Clinton Township, MI) and recently opened a LLC. I purchased a "virtual address" online - a Troy, MI address.

The Troy address is much more professional looking. It is not a location I can work from, it is just a location that can receive mail for me.... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Aug 8, 2018

The Michigan LLC Act requires that the company's books and records be maintained at the registered office or its principal place of business. MCL 450.4213. You could use the Troy address as the registered office even if it is not the principal place of business. Whether you should do so is not a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Michigan on
Q: My girlfriend was threatened with fraud for customers letting her load rewards on her account... can they do this?

The customers let her but the business threatened to fire her and get her for fraud

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on May 24, 2018

It sounds like a good reason for her employer to fire her. The next questions are: Whether this scheme results in monetary liability to the employer; and whether it might constitute a crime. I don't think that there is enough information for an attorney to definitively answer the question,... Read more »

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