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COVID-19 Business Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Business Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is this legal?

I recently hired a small cleaning service to deep clean my home and paid a $213 deposit. No contract was signed. The Monday prior to my Thursday appointment my family tested positive for covid. I contacted the business immediately. The owner has said that since she can’t find another appointment... Read more »

Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
answered on Jan 6, 2022

Is it illegal as in the cleaning service can be charged with a crime? No. It's a dispute over the terms of a verbal contract. You say you were never told the deposit was non refundable. They say you were. With nothing in writing, this is a "he said, she said" situation with no... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Probate for Ohio on
Q: I lived with my fiancé for 17 years. We ran a business together out of the house for the last 11 years. She died.

She left the house to her sister. I knew that. However, they took the business name and accounts and took control of the business PO Box and all incoming checks and entered them into probate in Greene Co. Ohio. I subsequently had to file all necessary paperwork and obtain a new federal EIM and new... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jul 19, 2021

If there is an operating agreement or partnership agreement for the company, you could make a claim for your share of the ownership. If any of your personal property was removed from the house, you could make a claim for return of that. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to... Read more »

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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 »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Business Law and Real Estate Law for New Jersey on
Q: If you personally guarantee a business loan and file bankruptcy, can the bank go after your house/primary residence?

I opened the doors to my s-corp in 2020 and due to covid I may have to file for bankruptcy. I have a great opportunity to buy a house now and don't know if the bank will go after my house for collateral. Should I wait to see what the business does or is it safe to buy a house prior to a... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
answered on Apr 1, 2021

I would never advise any client, ever to set up a Sub-Chapter S corporation. It offers no benefit to anyone other than the accountant who probably set it up for you. You need to have a strategy session with an experienced Bankruptcy attorney. You are not going to be able to purchase a new house at... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: I sigmed a stipulation for a default judgment. Next month i am retired and i cannot pay anymore. Any solution?
Julie King
Julie King
answered on Mar 19, 2021

You have three choices: (1) you can call the company and see if they will restructure the debt, although they are not obligated to do so, since you already have a contract to repay; (2) do nothing and you will have a judgment entered on your credit records and will likely be subpoenaed to attend a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Illinois on
Q: How much would it cost for someone to review a lease agreement for me and help me understand my rights and conditions?

This is a lease agreement with a Landlord for a Small Business. It would be great if someone can do this for free. I am having a hard time understanding a few items in the contract.

T. J. Jesky
T. J. Jesky
answered on Nov 20, 2020

This is a good question, but the answer depends on a number of factors. For example, is this a residential or commercial lease? What is the length of the lease? How long is the lease period and what is the rent? A commercial lease is much more complex than a residential lease.

Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Alabama on
Q: Hi We cancelled our wedding due to covid. The wedding planner contract says she can keep all money paid to her.

My mother has paid 1500 of a 2000 contract. 500 of that was after we already expressed worries about the date. The wedding planner was contracted for day of services, photography, videography, flowers, photo booth, dj, invites, and some decorations. I never got anything that she was supposedly... Read more »

Mr. James Parrish Coleman
Mr. James Parrish Coleman
answered on Nov 18, 2020

If the contract is governed under Alabama law, you should look at the contract itself. ALabama is a very conservative state in terms of contract law. The terms of the contract will govern, and courts are very reluctant to decide that this is just unfair to you. You should hire a lawyer in the state... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law for Florida on
Q: Can I require my mini-storage customers to use auto-pay?

As a Mini-storage owner can I legally require my new and existing renters to be set up on auto-pay due to the imminent possibility of new lock-downs and Covid restrictions?

Keith Kanouse
Keith Kanouse
answered on Nov 13, 2020

You will have to revise your current agreement to add auto-pay for future customers. For current customer the terms of the current agreement will have to be reviewed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I sue my place of business if I contract covid?

A couple months ago, my place of business started a mask policy, but never enforced it. There were only a few people who wore a mask. Many higher-ups, who even started the policy, didn't wear the mask and considered the virus to be a joke. Today, somebody in the company has tested positive and... Read more »

Kent Petry
Kent Petry
answered on Oct 22, 2020

These are new questions facing the court, but depending upon your injuries or specific facts, one of two scenarios is likely. Either, (1) you can file a suit for something like negligence, personal injury, or wrongful death against the employer, or (2) you can file a workers' compensation... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: what is the law on Good Guy Clause on a commercial lease if staying beyond 09/30/2020 ,will i be personally liable

i have a store i am renting in Manhattan (footwear) i am there since 1991 i approach the landlord back in March stating that i cannot pay the rent due to COVID, we start negotiating with 2 months free rent , however in march we had the lock down, the told me that we will see what happen and they... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 18, 2020

It depends how your clause is written. As you defaulted before the PAUSE order in March, you do not get all of the COVID protections, including the voiding of guarantees like yours in NYC. You should continue to try to work something out. Once the courts start hearing cases again, my belief is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for California on
Q: Do I need an LLC for a homemade mask making business?

A friend convinced me that I needed an LLC to sell homemade masks to friends and family or on Etsy. He says there will be tons of lawsuits against mask makers if people get covid. Do you think this is a serious risk to my little homemade business, even if I have a disclaimer saying these masks are... Read more »

Shawn R. Jackson Esq.
Shawn R. Jackson Esq.
answered on Aug 19, 2020

Well ... as a general rule, you will want three "hurdles" between you and the litigation attorneys. [1] a legal entity like a corporation or LLC ... [2] good insurance and ... [3] good management/disclosure protocols. Most of the time, a litigation attorney can get over two of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Ohio on
Q: My dance students paid money to enter competitions but the events were cancelled due to COVID. How can I get refunds?

Competitions are only giving credit, but some of our dancers are not returning to classes. Parents want a cash refund which involves thousands. Basically the competitions are holding our money forcing us to return to their competition.

By law do I have to give these refunds if I have not... Read more »

Mark Martin Turner
Mark Martin Turner
answered on Aug 19, 2020


The answer is it depends. For the Competitions, the contract the studio/club signed with the Competition legal entity will control that. If the contract says that if the event is canceled or postponed you only get credit, not your money back, that controls. If it is silent about...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for New Jersey on
Q: Can I cancel my wedding in NJ in 11/2020 under the impossibility clause for a full refund due to COVID?

I signed a contract and have paid. My fiancé is being deployed next year so we cannot reschedule. The venue is making changes to what is in my contract due to COVID restrictions and I want to just cancel and be refunded.

Melissa Totaro
Melissa Totaro
answered on Aug 13, 2020

In addition to whatever the terms are in your contract, there are principals of general contract law regarding unforeseeable intervening events, impossibility and frustration of purpose that may apply to your situation. In addition, if the venue refuses to allow you to cancel and return your... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Business Law for California on
Q: vendor not releasing payments from past few months and what should I do?

We have been waiting from past few months for payments from vendor, they are asking ask for settlement but we are decided to file a petition in court? What steps need to be taken and how long will my petition will take?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
answered on Aug 7, 2020

It depends on how much is involved in this dispute.

If the amount in controversy is $10,000 or less you can proceed through small claims court and probably get a judgment in a matter of months, once the courts open back up.

If the amount is greater than $10.000 then you will have...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Business Law for Illinois on
Q: If I file Chapter 7 due to small business loss, could I lose my home?

I am a sole proprietary business owner and married. I started my home business in August of 2019 and I work another job. The business has taken a hit due to COVID because most of the income is generated in-person sales. I was thinking of filing a chapter 7 but I was unsure how that could impact... Read more »

Bryan R. Bagdady
Bryan R. Bagdady
answered on Aug 3, 2020

In Illinois a homeowner is entitled to an exemption for their home. The exemption amount is $15,000 per person - so $30,000 if a married couple (assuming both spouses file). Since you are married, if you have more than $30,000 in equity, then you may have issues. If you have less than $30,000 in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can a sales organization change a commission plan after the time period for that plan has passed?

I work in sales. We had a commission and payment plan we all agreed to for Q2 (April-June). The month after they changed the commission plan because "too many people were doing poorly" however I was doing very well and now they have taken away everything I did in Q2 during COVID after... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
answered on Jul 29, 2020

I had a case like this several years ago, but in that case, it was changed because the salesmen did so WELL! Sometimes these plans contain language saying that they can be unilaterally changed/discontinued at any time. That may not be an enforceable term of the contract. If you were paid the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Antitrust, Business Formation, Business Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Is it legal in CA to start a business that is competitive with a former employer?
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
answered on Jul 28, 2020

It depends on whether you signed any trade secret agreements in your former employment. They could use that to claim you were using confidential information to contact your former clients, whether it is true or not. There is no legal prohibition against competing against a former employer using... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California on
Q: Can a customer with a disability enter a store in Orange County CA without a mask?

The store has a face requirement sign outside, provides curbside pick up at no extra cost and delivery via instacart, and allows scarfs/face shields or thin cloth like scarfs.

Also, would not allowing entry (however still offering service through curbside pickup or delivery) be considered... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
answered on Jul 25, 2020

The store can require you to wear a mask if you want to shop inside the store. It is a state requirement that everyone must wear a mask if you want to go inside any store which remains open for business in California. Last I checked, Orange County was still part of California. The governor has... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: My attorneys are in possession of responsive documents to defendant RFPs and have not provided my production.

I am the plaintiff in a fraud case against a bank and other defendants. Defendants have justifiably submitted RFPs. Case began in 2017. My computers, phone and ipad were imaged to retain document integrity. My first law firm procrastinated providing any of my documents, emails, contracts and other... Read more »

Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
answered on Jul 20, 2020

If your documents are on a hard drive it is likely there are alot of documents. Your attorney has to review and possibly redact information from your documents which would take considerable time. I do not know if your attorney has filed an objection to any of the documents requested since there... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for North Carolina on
Q: If someone cancels a live event bc of COVID and makes it a virtual event, do you have the right to your deposit back?

They marketed it as a completely new event, changed the price, and refuse to offer deposits back. They have offered other options such as transferring it to next year, pay for the new event, or lose your deposit. It seems pretty reasonable that you should get your money back if they cancel an... Read more »

Jonathan Shbeeb
Jonathan Shbeeb
answered on Jul 15, 2020

This new world comes with new problems. Without knowing about the event, the terms and conditions related to the deposit, or any agreements you have with the event, it is very tough to give you an answer. An example may help. If you bought an airline ticket and your flight was canceled due to... Read more »

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