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Washington Business Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Washington on

Q: Lawyer/Business owner lied to us when we sold a business, and is trying to con us. What should we do?

Spouse and I sold a business to a lawyer and his friend. They retained us as independent contractors, and told us we could re-integrate as owners, and, have profit sharing. Three years later, neither is true after we have brought it to his attention multiple times. Now he tell us to wait longer for... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 20, 2019

I am guessing that you and your spouse did not have a lawyer to advise you when selling your small business to a lawyer and his friend; am I right? If so, then take the money you saved by not hiring a lawyer when you should have, add several more thousands of dollars to it and then go hire a lawyer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Sexual Harassment for Washington on

Q: Could a business be sued for reckless endangerment or negligence for not banning a known sexual predator who reoffends?

The businesses are a social dancing venues, and the person in question has been accused of sexually assaulting at least four people, and has a history of consent violations and inappropriate behavior going back many years. The businesses continue to hire this person, knowing his history, and he... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Dec 26, 2018

That business might be sued for negligence by victims of the employee. If the employee has committed any crimes, such as assault, the victim can call the police to report this. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Washington on

Q: Is it illegal for a boss to have his family/friends on company payroll even if they don't work for the company?

Mr. Y, is a religious man and head of a seafood company branch owned by the church he attends. 5 years ago, he hired his friend, Reverend K, who "quit" the company after 6 months. Recently, upper management received an e-mail they were not suppose to get. It was HR asking Mr. Y who half the people... Read more »

Brent Bowden answered on Sep 12, 2018

It could be argued that he was sealing money and committing fraud, especially if he turned in timesheets/employment applications/etc that contained false information.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: I moved to Washington state &have rentals in Indiana state under an llc. Do i need to get a WA rental business license?

Looking for a local bank to open a checking account but they all require a WA business license. I currently have an big bank checking that didn't require it but it is difficult to utilize.

Benton R Patterson III answered on May 9, 2018

Each state requires business entities that conduct business above a minimum level to register to conduct business in the state. A Washington licensed business attorney can advise on what the specific requirements are in Washington. Based solely on the fact that no bank will permit you to open an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Real Estate Law for Washington on

Q: Our lawyer formed three separate LLCs for our three rental buildings, but never put the LLCs on the titles. Concerning?

For our three separate rental buildings, we paid a lawyer to form three separate LLCs. However, those LLCs were never put on the property titles. He never advised us to do so, nor did he advise us to update contracts with our tenants with the new LLC information, so our tenants still write us... Read more »

Brent Bowden answered on Mar 6, 2018

From the information provided, it does not seem like the LLCs are doing anything. Ideally, you would want the LLC to own the rental property, to be the landlord in the lease, and to be depositing the rent into the LLC account.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Washington on

Q: When do I need a business license in another state?

My business would involve hosting summer programs for teenagers in different states, at locations temporarily rented for that purpose (e.g. facilities at a college campus). Do I need to be licensed in a state I plan to hold a program in?

Benton R Patterson III answered on Jan 29, 2018

Probably so, but an attorney would need to review the business laws of that particular state to know for sure.

1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Personal Injury and Business Law for Washington on

Q: Can I the plaintiff request a settlement more than policy limit of the defendants insurance coverage for a car accident

I was rear ended by no fault of my own and my lawyer refuses to request what I am asking, but I am ignorant about my rights

David Alan Wolf answered on Jan 24, 2018

From a practical standpoint, demands are usually directed up to the policy limits. At times, a demand can be made for more but it may be impractical to do so. Sit down with your attorney and another attorney in your area to discuss the best and most sensible way to pursue your case.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Mergers & Acquisitions for Washington on

Q: A foreign company wants to purchase part of my LLC. Do I have to reform as a C-Corp?

As an LLC, we file as an S-Corp for federal taxes. We have an existing contract with the foreign company for services, resulting in expected revenue for 3 years. Can they purchase part of the LLC even though we file as an S-Corp? Or should we reform as a C-Corp. What then becomes of the existing... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 15, 2017

You would have to elect to be taxed as a partnership or as a C-Corp. A foreign entity cannot own part of an S-Corporation. However depending upon the purpose of the investment and the nature of how you want to operate there may be an alternative set of structures to accomplish your goal.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Copyright and Internet Law for Washington on

Q: I bought some sticker logos legally on line. If I apply these logos to hats, can I then sell the logoed hats on ebay?

Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 2, 2017

Do you intend to apply the actual logo stickers that you bought? In copyright, there is the First Sale Doctrine that provides that if a person buys an object having copyright protected material, the buyer can do what they want with the object. For example for a book, you could give it away or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Family Law and Education Law for Washington on

Q: is there a law that daycare centers MUST prorate for days the child misses it they are there full time?

My sons dad is trying to get out of paying for daycare unless they prorate cuz he misses 5 days. He is now 2 months behind in daycare.

Ryan Ford answered on Aug 3, 2017

There's no law that I'm aware of. You look at the terms of the contract you signed and agreed to. If the contract says prorate, you prorate. If the contract says it's a fixed rate regardless of days missed, you pay in full. If the contract is silent, there's a decent argument the fee should be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Internet Law, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Washington on

Q: Eat24 or an affiliate marketer made a site "stacias-pizza.com" that makes it look like my client's. Is this legal?

Will Blackton answered on Jul 7, 2017

Are you saying you're a web designer and you created a website for a pizza place, and someone copied and rebranded that website as Stacia's Gourmet Pizza?

If so, how much of your work was copied? What elements: images, text, html?

Or are you saying that Stacia's Gourmet Pizza is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Tax Law, Business Law and Divorce for Washington on

Q: Divorcing my spouse & we started a construction company about 25 years ago, suspect corp embezzlement by him & officers

My soon to be ex and his business partners have dissipated our business in violation of court orders, taken out and spent all the money ($300K in meals and entertainment in 2 years), casinos, trips, his secretary/girlfriend fixing her car buying her clothes, trips etc. The business is now out of... Read more »

Michelle D. Wynn answered on May 3, 2017

You are likely going to need a business attorney in your area to represent you in any dealings with these creditors who are hounding you. The business attorney should be able to advise you on any potential exposure to creditors claims and defend you if any creditors attempt to collect against you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: How can I shield myself from personal liability if my business ends up getting sued?

Brian Lehman answered on Mar 30, 2017

The common way is to set up a limited liability or a corporation and to maintain the legal requirement of that entity so that the corporate structure cannot be "pierced." Here is the IRS's guide on LLCs, which I see most often with startups:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Tax Law and Business Law for Washington on

Q: For a single-person LLC choosing to be taxed as an S-Corp, what if revenue isn't enough to pay a "reasonable salary?"

I understand salary must be "reasonable in industry standards" but who decides that, and what if there simply isn't enough revenue to sustain a "reasonable" salary for the owner? I'm a sole prop now (just me, pretty small income), and I'm trying to study the pros/cons of moving to... Read more »

Matthew M Montoya answered on Jan 26, 2017

To put things in perspective, it's important to remember that an S-Corporation is its own legal person, separate and distinct from its owners. When you, as a single person, elect to turn your LLC into an S-Corporation, you automatically wear two hats - that of a business owner and that of an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: Can a small business host online raffles/lottos?

I have an online based game for kids and young adults 13 and up. It's through an LLC registered in the state of Washington and I'd like to have many minigames including a monthly raffle for rare in game items and a weekly lotto. It would all be strictly a free in-game currency for virtual prizes.... Read more »

Marjorie Simmons answered on Jul 6, 2016

Maybe. Online prize law is not a well developed area of law yet, and involves not only the consumer protection act, but banking and sometimes securities laws as well. The state statute RCW 19.170 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=19.170&full=true) governs promotions, disclosures and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: Is our non-profit corporation writing group in the state of Washington required to have a vice president?

We are a local chapter of Romance Writers of America in Washington state. All chapters nationwide are required to redo their bylaws this year. National RWA says having a vice president is optional, but chapters must meet the requirements of the state they are incorporated in. RCW 24.03.125 in the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Oct 8, 2015

Frequently, corporations statutes require this, but also provide that certain offices may be shared by the same person. Thus, if the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act allows it, the offices of president and vice president, for example, could be held by the same person.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: Is it illegal for my partner to tell everyone that i am bought out if it is not true?

Is it illegal for my partner to tell everyone that i am bought out if it is not true? My partner has done so to our entire supply and contact list harming my credibility and it is not true, I am not bought out.

Adam Studnicki answered on Aug 29, 2015

More information about specifics is needed. A local lawyer can advise.

Please Take Notice: I am not your lawyer unless we enter into an engagement agreement in writing. This is general information that is given for legal education only. It is not legal advice, and it may not work for your...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: Our co-signer took our truck from work. We are not in default on payment

What are our rights?

Jared Hawkins answered on Oct 30, 2012

You asked this question some time ago so perhaps you've already found the answer. The answer to your question depends somewhat on whether the co-signer also had a property interest in the vehicle (i.e., was his name also on the title?). If he is a co-owner then he may have equal rights to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Washington on

Q: Where can I find the WA state code that defines the business type "Sole Proprietorship"?

Michael J. Laszlo answered on Apr 6, 2011

"'Sole proprietorship' means a legal form of organization owned by one person meeting the requirements of RCW 18.04.195." Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 18.04.025.

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