Business and Contractual Relations in Post Corona Virus World
It is no secret that the entrepreneur / small business owner world is always fraught with danger and exposure. Even in normal times and under relatively calm situations it takes a remarkable amount of skill, dedication, commitment, and sometimes luck to survive.
Currently we are not in normal times, and the risks have increased dramatically, even as many small businesses hold on by their thumbs and wait for the miracle of a governmental grant, commonly called the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Each small business owner must evaluate and re calculate his/her/it’s future.
Unfortunately, there are not the overriding protections and governmental laws/ policies that protect consumers, in dire straits. Commercial transactions are must more exposed, and the courts usually hesitate to interfere. There a body of statutes, UCC, and other individualized legal status precedents which may come to the aid of a small business person, but they are not easy to utilize and must be understood by a competent attorney before they can come to the aid of business entity in distress.
For the small business operator especially there is exposure dangers for these even before they exist even before funding or in some instances, improperly protected these funds can be sized, tied up, and denied to the business entity for the purpose they were intended rehabilitation and revival. A cunning landlord, an unpaid supplier, a judgment creditor / or a lien holder can deny a business entity these funds, and tie them up past the critical periods when they are most needed.
To husband these funds, and to protect them for the purpose intended the small business entity will need the advice and counsel of a competent professional.
Here are some generalized suggestions and ideas.
- READ AND RE READ ALL OF YOUR CURRENT AGREEMENTS / CONTRACTS AND INVOICES.
- If THERE ARE CLAUSES AND PARAGRAPHS THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND CALL AN ATTORNEY.
- If there is any question that these funds could be grabbed, consider your options.
Does your current lease allow the landlord for self-help closure? Can he lock you out without notice? Can that landlord seize your equipment / inventory / futures? Etc. Remember promises are nice/ relationships change but a written waiver/ or amendment is all that matters in most leases and in nearly all contracts.
Right now you are running up expenses that have no real value to you currently / Electric bills are that are out of line because there are no customers / advertising that is now ineffective / cleaning services / trash pickup also no longer needed under these circumstances / insurance premiums that were based upon risks that no longer exists . The list is endless.
Read your policy, do you have business interruption, due to danger of hurricanes in our area many business risk policies carry these clauses, if your does make sure that you call your agent before any expiration periods for claims.
Those entities who supply you material / goods / and in some instances services are being hurt just as much as you are, and they need your cash. Items purchased/ or items promised to be purchased may still be your liability. Make no mistake unless forgiveness is in an appropriately drawn agreements or modifications you are liable. Interestingly large corporate entities are more forgiving in such matters then small desperately starving small business providers. Make sure you have relief, adjustments, and re negotiate future terms and commitments.
Banks and other lending institutions:
This applies to past due commitment / ongoing commitments and future commitments. Watch and protect your credit lines/ make sure that current payments are being made if that is impossible seek waiver or deferral.
I Recommend You Seek Experienced Legal Advice.
Here comes the commercial…
If you are not being aided by a competent professional, who understands your limitations and needs or if your competent professional is not where you need him, hiding out / not answering your calls/ emails. You can call me instead.
Disclaimer: The above article/blog is NOT offered as legal advice, or as an offer to represent anyone. No reader should rely upon the information and opinion in this article as legal advice. Such advice must be offered only based upon each situation and each client’s differences. and each demands specialized legal advice based upon individualized circumstances. This blog is only being offered as general information and is based upon the individual opinions and beliefs of the author.
About the Author
- As an individual attorney, I have been helping my clients solve problems and resolve issues since 1987. Ireceived my Juries Doctor (J.D.) from South Texas Collage of Law in Houston in 1986. Then in 1987 I received my Master of Law in international law and taxation from McGeorge School of Law. Today I look forward working with my clients to provide them the best help and expertise I have to offer.