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COVID-19 California Business Law Questions & Answers
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 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 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 »

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...
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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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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: Using an online form for contracts but I cannot export clients' answers directly; can I paste their signatures...

I am using an online form software to have customers sign COVID19 declarations (i.e. affirm they exhibit no symptoms). The form supports signatures, names, and other relevant information for a legally binding contract. The form the customers fill out has the contract outlined in it.... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 5, 2020

It would be unwise for you to do anything to manipulate a signature from someone else. Your problem is both a legal one and technical one. You need a better online document. There are currently several platforms available to create the contract with signatures, and I just had to sign several for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Does it matter if I “quit” or I am “terminated” after being furloughed due to corona virus? My company wants me to quit

I was laid off due to coronavirus in feb and got a better job during the time off. I was given my estimated start date but I am not going to Return to my original job. My employer is telling employees to resign/quit if they do not want to return. Is either in my best interest? I am enrolled in... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 23, 2020

If you have a new job lined up and do not have to worry about immediately qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits, then the main thing for you to consider is what you want future employers to know about how your employment ended. Quitting to move on to a better job is usually a good thing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: My business rental is infested with fleas. It is uninhabitable. Am I responsible to pay rent?

We have bombed the location 3 times, treated 5+ and still infested from rodents living under the floor. We're paying rent though still unable to do business because of COVID. But the space has been uninhabitable regardless. Are we still responsible for paying rent if the space is toxic with... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 12, 2020

So sorry to hear about this. The value of the rental directly corresponds to the quality of the Rental, and it sounds like the condition has seriously negatively affected the quality. A rental comes with a "Warranty of Habitability" and if the LANDLORD breaches that warranty, your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: Does Seller of Travel have deceptive business practice in my case? Should I take a legal action? What do I do?

I booked a full tour package for my family of 4 members in Jan 2020 for Jun 2020 (to 3 countries in Europe). I paid ~5700$ (50% of total cost) as deposit. The flights got cancelled in Apr 2020 due to COVID 19 by the airline. The Travel Agent withheld that info, didn't notified us about the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 11, 2020

Very sorry to hear your travel plans went poorly. No one can give you a definitive answer on how the case will be decided. Typical Attorney Answer: It depends.

First of all you have special protections and rights under the SELLER OF TRAVEL STATUTE, CALIFORNIA BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Business Law for California on
Q: Can I be penalized if I quit a job I never officially started due to Coronavirus and they still can’t operate

Can I be penalized if I quit a job I never officially started due to Coronavirus and they still can’t operate but they were paying me a small amount of hours for 6 weeks. I have a new job offer possibly and want to resign this position never worked but want to know if I will encounter problems... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on May 21, 2020

COVID presents a lot of unique problems. Who is it that is going to penalize you? The temp agency?

In California, you are an at-will employee. This means that you can quit at any time, you are not required to give notice, unless you have a contract that says otherwise. From what you...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Education Law for California on
Q: How should I request a university program in California to return my admit deposit since they have deferred starting?

I was selected in a program that has now deferred their start date due to CoVID. They requested a sizable deposit to secure my position in the program for their initial start date. The program no longer fits my timeline and they have refused to refund the deposit. What can I do in this situation?

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on May 20, 2020

I agree with Mr. Kaufman that you may need an attorney to sort this out. However, your question does not indicate whether you have contacted the university directly to find out what there policy is, and what writing is it based on. Some schools have a refund policy based upon a timeline that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is there a penalty for backing out of an agreement for an HVAC project that has not started?

I signed a "proposal and purchase agreement" for HVAC work for my home. I signed it on March 15, work is originally scheduled for March 30-April 3 but I had to postpone it until end of April. However, with the economic uncertainty due the pandemic, I might back out of this agreement... Read more »

John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson answered on Apr 4, 2020

Apparently you did not cancel the contract within 3 days, which, theoretically, locks you into it.

As you know these COVID-19 times are very uncertain, and we don't know how the courts are going to rule on the multitude of cases affected by the pandemic that are now before the court,...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for California on
Q: My company does not comply with the State of California's "Stay at Home" order and is not within the critical businesses

While many of my company's employees have began working from home, a few departments are being required to go into the facility to continue work.

The company is not within any of the critical business sectors outlined within... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Mar 21, 2020

First, you should comply with the state Stay at Home order as best you can. If you have a critical position within the company, you should discuss the issue with your immediate management or someone in Human Resources, if there is one in your company. Generally, use good common sense for yourself... Read more »

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