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California Business Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Business Law for California on
Q: I sell herbs online for ritual and ceremonial purposes. Can I be held liable if someone consumes or misuses product?

Some herbs are toxic and labeled not for human consumption, however, I’ve discovered that clients are actually consuming them. I’ve labeled them as deadly toxic. The herbs in question are belladonna and sacred datura.

Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer answered on Jul 31, 2021

You are really asking for trouble. You already know that people are misusing the poisons that you are selling. You even admit it!

It is highly likely that anyone injured from your product will sue you, even if they did not follow or read the warnings on your package. Suppose a child who...
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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Business Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: Should I include motion to serve statement of damages in my motion to serve summons and complaint by alternative method

I am a plaintiff in pro per in a civil lawsuit in California and defendants have being evading service of process.

I sued the corporations and its owners individually as I intend to lift the corporate veil to hold them personally liable.

First they dissolved the company in May 2019... Read more »

Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene answered on Jul 22, 2021

There are many reasons why you would need to serve a Statement of Damages. It's not easy to answer your question in this forum without more information but I suggest that if one is required then you might as well serve it without the complaint.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: At what point must I have a business license?

I am a website designer normally employed full time but since Covid I have been considering starting my own business. I would offers website design, graphic design, logo design and creation, marketing and social media management as well as ongoing site maintenance and management. Before I fully... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jul 12, 2021

Once you market yourself to the world, you are in business and should have a business license. Check the websites of your city and your county to learn the requirements that apply to your jurisdiction. If you are working out of your home, your city and/or county may require a home-based business... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: Does a car dealer have to put a lien on a car to repossess it? Will a judge likely grant the lien if the "deficiency"

is not paying for a "inspection" costing $1820 that the dealer slipped onto the contract without itemizing.

Yelena Gurevich
Yelena Gurevich answered on Jul 6, 2021

if the vehicle is financed, whoever the finance company is (and it could be the dealer) can repossess without a court order if there is reason to repossess

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law and Internet Law for California on
Q: Can the president of an HOA prevent a board member from engaging residents on social media? Which law supports this?

I found some protections for members of legislative bodies in the Gov code (Chapter 9. Meetings [54952.2], but those pertain to public entities and our HOA is a private nonprofit corporation.... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on May 27, 2021

The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the freedom of speech. It is also protected by the California Constitution in Article 1, section 2 which states: "SEC. 2. (a) Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for California on
Q: im choosing a buisness name but was unsure of a few things do to it being similar to another name..

the name im choosing is [farcries LLC] but theres also a farcries entertainment LLC. was wondering if there will be any problems or consequences with the name im choosing

Julie King
Julie King answered on May 26, 2021

That name should be OK because it is distinguishable from the other company's name. Just having the same word in a company's name (farcries) is normally not enough to cause the Secretary of State to reject someone's Articles. The name needs to be different enough that a person on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Business Law for California on
Q: is it legal for a storage company to change the locks on my storage uso they can access my storage at any time
Julie King
Julie King answered on May 17, 2021

I don't know of any specific law saying that is the case. However, the more likely scenario is that there is a term in the contract you signed when you rented the space. Read your contract or, if you need assistance doing so, hire an attorney in your area to read and interpret the contract for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Q: Do I need an entertainment lawyer or a business lawyer?

I have a lot of intellectual property claims I would like to file.

I have businesses I would like to create.

I would like to know the legalities of them.

I want to find someone who is willing to work for a percentage.

Julie King
Julie King answered on May 17, 2021

You would be best served hiring a law firm that has both intellectual property attorneys and business attorneys. If your business involves entertainment, then you may need an entertainment lawyer as well. But most business questions can be answered by a business attorney. Best wishes.

3 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: Do I have to pay the CA franchise and file annual income tax for a newly formed single member LLC with no income?

Hello

I created a new LLC last July and I'm the only member.

So far the LLC has not been operative and has generated no revenue.

Do I need to file an income Tax return or pay the $800 California Franchisee tax?

Thank you.

Julie King
Julie King answered on May 17, 2021

Unfortunately , yes, you have to pay that franchise tax regardless of whether your LLC is active or inactive. So long as the LLC is in existence, you must pay the annual tax. Some people make the mistake of only paying the tax when they earn an income, which causes the LLC to go into "FTB... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Business Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for California on
Q: If a business with legal product sell or delivers to customers who uses it for illegal activity, is that aiding & abedd?

Business and it's products are completely legal. The product I sell is firewood and water from a ground well that has water rights. Most customers use this on properties that are large MJ grows illegal by county ordinance but also used for housing among the same properties

John Karas
John Karas answered on May 10, 2021

It depends on the nature of the product, by whom it's used and for what purpose.

For example, you posted this question under several categories including Cannabis & MJ law. MJ is now legal for persons over the age of 18. However, if you sold/ delivered MJ to a minor (under 18)...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Copyright for California on
Q: How do I get my name secured on all social platforms when I own the main domain for the name and do business as it?

I would like to get my own name as a social media account on the 2 remaining platforms where someone has created ghost accounts to hold the name and I am unable to clame it for myself.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on May 7, 2021

Unfortunately it is a first come first served basis so you may be out of luck.

Consult with an attorney to see if you have some options.

Maybe if you have a trademark registration you could use it to get some of the names back, but may not be an easy or cheap proposition.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: Does a global non-compete from a Delaware LLC stand if I start a new company in California?
Shawn R. Jackson Esq.
Shawn R. Jackson Esq. answered on May 7, 2021

"Global Non-Compete" language is always open to suspicion ... As you might imagine, the answer is "it depends" and I would suggest that you schedule a video call or telephone call with at least two attorneys ... to have that initial free 30 minute consultation ...

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: What is the appropriate business structure in California that can provide PT, OT, ST services?
Julie King
Julie King answered on May 6, 2021

It likely needs to be a professional corporation, but it can still be taxed as either a C corporation or an S corporation.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Employment Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: CA franchise tax required just because I have an employee there?

We are a MA-based S corporation. If we have an employee who works remotely in CA, must we pay the franchise tax (minimum $800)?

RTC DIVISION 2 - PART 11 - CHAPTER 2 - ARTICLE 2 - Section 23153 says that this only applies to (1) corporations incorporated in CA (we're not), or (2)... Read more »

Kenneth Sisco
Kenneth Sisco answered on Apr 30, 2021

Employees have nothing to do with the California Minimum Tax. If you are an entity, LLC, Corp., LP, etc., that has applied for, and obtained qualification to do business in California, you are required to pay the Minimum tax of $800 per year, whether you have any employees or not, in California or... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Employment Law, Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: Hired as an independent contractor, but now owner claims that I was a partner after trying to receive payment. Legal?

I was hired by company to run Tournament events. The company wants to contract me to run tournamemt events. With work product created, I provided the company with this service. After creating an FBN and EIN for the sole purpose of getting paid for services I provided, I asked for payment by giving... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Apr 25, 2021

You are free to sue for your fees as an independent contractor, if that is what you were. Even as an independent contractor, if you created intellectual property during the course of those duties, that property would likely belong to the person who contracted with you to create it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: I cashed my stimulas check at Marin Check Cashing in San Rafael CA. They charged me $43.81 fee. IS this legal in CA?
Daniel Timothy LeBel
Daniel Timothy LeBel answered on Apr 24, 2021

The answer, as with most questions asked of lawyers online, is: "it depends" and "message boards are no substitute for legal advice." Here, there just aren't enough facts to provide a complete legal analysis. However, if your check was the standard $1,400 stimulus... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Business Law for California on
Q: We divorced but haven't settled our community property business. She has "locked me out" & i can't afford attorney. help

Help. I have hit a wall. My wife & i recently divorced, but left the issue of community property unresolved because it was going to be super expensive to value our community property business (forensic accountant, etc). She has locked me out and receives a sizable income from the business,... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Apr 23, 2021

I'm sorry about your situation. I am not a family attorney, but I do know there are self-help departments of most courthouses that can give you the documents you need to start a dissolution (divorce) case in family court. Some law schools, such as the Monterey College of Law, hold clinics to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: My friend is interested in donating a piece of land to my nonprofit organization. How would we go about this?

Would he receive any benefits from this, tax write offs etc? Also he owes taxes on the property, I am willing to pay those off to make this happen. I plan to use this as a nonprofit headquarters, Art/Yoga/Event Space. Its already zoned for 4 residential structures

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Apr 20, 2021

Real estate transfers and planning for the tax consequences are never do-it-yourself tasks. Tax benefits cannot be calculated without information about the property and the taxpayer. You say that you want a nonprofit HQ in a space zoned for residences. This by itself should be a red flag. If you do... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: How to obtain a brick-and-mortar physical address in California?

We need a brick-and-mortar address for a business set up by us in the US (there might be more businesses in the future), whose CEO is working from home (currently in Ohio but soon to be in California).

For the new company, we tried already tried to register But the Secretary of State’s... Read more »

Julie King
Julie King answered on Apr 20, 2021

You may be making this more complicated than it needs to be. Why can't you use your home address? Yes, it will be a public record, but it works. There are many solutions to this issue without you having to lease expensive office space that you will not be using. Best wishes!

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: I have a small solar business. My workers are on 1099, I am the only one on payroll.

One of my workers filed for unemployment last year. the unemployment office penalized me for total $1655 for unpaid tax for October - December 2018. again, clearly I had nobody on payroll on 2018. can they do that?

Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr answered on Apr 19, 2021

Assuming your business is operating in California, it is very likely you are violating the law by employing your workers as independent contractors. Look at AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) that went into effect 1/1/2020. If you’re not treating them as employees, and paying payroll taxes, WC insurance,... Read more »

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