What are Unfair Business Practices in Utah?

what are unfair business practices in utah

If you are a business owner, knowing the ins and outs of fair and unfair business practices are important. If you are careful about being aware of what is unfair, you are much more likely to avoid disputes and lawsuits, which, for obvious reasons, is good for your business.

The Unfair Practices Act

If you own a business in Utah, you ought to be very aware of the Unfair Practices Act that Utah has in place. This act is designed to protect consumers from being discriminated against, taken advantage of, and from unfair competition.

The details of this act may be found here but the main points of unfair practices that this act protects against are:

● Discrimination in price between different purchasers of commodities of like grade and quality

● Paying or accepting anything of value as compensation, or any allowance or discount in lieu thereof, except for and not exceeding the actual cost of such services rendered in connection with the sale or purchase of goods

● Discrimination in favor of one purchaser against another purchaser

● Advertising goods you are not prepared to supply

Avoiding Unfair Business Practices

It is, of course, natural to want to have a successful business that accrues plenty of profit. Some unfair practices may even seem like a logical way to boost your revenue. Nevertheless, these practices should be avoided at all costs, otherwise your business may be subject to legal consequences.

Additionally, it is also important to be familiar with the laws so you do not inadvertently infringe upon them. Knowing what you can and cannot do when advertising, the types of things that you must disclose to your customers, and other such guidelines can save you from having to deal with lawsuits over unfair business practices.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when advertising and selling products to your customers:

● Ensure information about price, value, and quality is not misleading.

● Ensure that any disclaimers are prominent and visible, not obscured by images, graphics or text, and do not undermine or contradict the main offer.

● Ensure that any promises, opinions, or predictions are true or have reasonable grounds to be true.

● Ensure that you give consumers enough information to make an informed choice. Do not remain silent about important facts regarding your goods or services.

● Ensure that your advertisements are not offensive.

● Ensure that you do not make false or misleading claims about the characteristics of your goods or services.

● Ensure that you provide any gifts, rebates or prizes that you offer. They must match their advertised description.

● Ensure that you keep a reasonable supply of any sale items you advertise.

● Ensure that you never take advantage of a vulnerable person.

● Ensure that you always act in good conscience.

● Ensure that you do not use undue pressure, influence or unfair tactics to force a consumer into an unreasonable contract.

For more information on unfair business practices, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 676-5506 today.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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Salt Lake City Business Litigation Attorney

As lawyers who fight court battles for our business clients, we’ve come to realize over the years that if the businesses we represent can sign some documents before the fights begin — maybe when the company is first established — then, if contract disputes or other disagreements arrive, we have a better chance at resolving the case without going to trial.

Don’t misunderstand us — we love going to court and battling it out in litigation. We enjoy that – it is our job. However, with that same enjoyment in the courtroom, we realize that out clients are better served when they can avoid the courtroom.

Trial Lawyers in Utah

As litigation attorneys, one of the skills that we must have is the ability to convey a story to the jury or judge. Judges don’t need a story as much as a jury. Jurors can get bored during a trial. We have polled jurors after verdicts and we find that legal concepts can evade them. When it comes to business trial work, we prefer to have judges rule on every decision possible. A judge who has prior business litigation experience is extremely helpful because that judge will understand the legal concepts and arguments advanced. When a trial is necessary in your business, please call us to discuss our availability to represent your business. We have all types of business litigation from trademark infringement, collection matters, breach of contract, non-compete agreements, and buy-sell agreements to name a few.

Business Owners Should Have a Buy-Sell Agreement

If you own a business with someone, you may have heard the term “buy-sell agreement” or a “buyout agreement.” This is a common legal document that serves as a fail-safe for many owners and it may be pertinent for you to have use draft one for you. Understanding buy-sell agreements in more detail may help you decide if creating one it right for you and your business.

What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?

A buy–sell agreement is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that determines what should be done if a co-owner leaves the business because of death or any other external circumstance. Essentially, it’s like an estate plan for businesses.

There are three common types of buy-sell agreements: cross-purchase, redemption, and hybrid. Each form has different functions, and it is important to understand the differences so you know what sort of buy-sell agreement you will need.

A cross-purchase agreement is a type of buy-sell agreement where the co-owners agree that in the event of departure of a co-owner, they will buy out that co-owner’s share of the business at a specified price.

A redemption agreement is a type of buy-sell agreement where the company buys the departed owner’s share of the business. Typically, the business will have a life insurance policy for each owner and in the event of death, will use the resulting money to purchase the deceased owner’s share.

A hybrid agreement is a type of buy-sell agreement which combines the other forms of buy-sell agreements, requiring the remaining owners and business to purchase the interest of the departing owner. If the owners won’t buy the departing owner’s interest, the business is then obligated to do so.

However, all buy-sell agreements are unique to each business, so it is important to consult with a lawyer about the right buy-sell agreement for you and your business.

Why Should I Get a Buy-Sell Agreement?

If you co-own a business, or want to start a co-owned business the long and short of the matter is that you need a buy-sell agreement as soon as possible. These agreements protect your interests and the interests of the business when a co-owner wants to leave or is forced to by extenuating circumstances. Without a buy-sell agreement to protect your interests and the interests of the other owners of your business, you put yourself at significant financial risk.

Sometimes, we forget to do what is important in business. This is why you should make sure you have a business litigation attorney on your side. When things go wrong, you will need the top Salt Lake City Business Litigation Attorney on your side and you will find them at Ascent Law, LLC.

Conclusion

In the absence of a buy-sell agreements, situations like sudden death or mental or physical illness can have a major detrimental effect on your business. If there is no agreement, your co-owners may be unable or unwilling to buy your share of the business, forcing you or people you care about to sell your share to a third party at an amount far less than the actual worth of your share because of the desperate situation. We could tell you horror story after horror story of situations that went wrong. Don’t let that be you. Buy-sell agreements prevent such situations from occurring and ensure that all parties maintain financial security in the business in the event of an unavoidable departure.

For more information on buy-sell agreements, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (801) 676-5506 today.

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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Business Lawyer for Buying a Business in Utah

mergers and acquisistions lawyer in utah

Business Lawyer in Salt Lake City Utah

Generally speaking, buying a business is less risky than starting your own, largely because the business you’re buying already has incoming profits. However, there are still drawbacks, and it is important to buy a business in a field you are already very familiar with. Finding such a business can be difficult though, and there are people to help you.

Do You Need a Business Broker in Utah to Buy a Business?

A business broker can be an efficient way to find a business that would be good for you to buy. Brokers are well-versed in the business market and know effective strategies for pre-screening businesses, helping you pinpoint your interests, negotiating, and assisting with paperwork.

Do You Need a Business Attorney When Buying a Business in Utah?

Regardless of whether or not you hire a broker to find a business, it is always smart to put together an acquisition team consisting of at least you accountant, and a business attorney in Utah. If you already have found a business to buy, you don’t need a broker to help you.

You really do need a business attorney on your side to make sure that you engage in due diligence. You also need to make sure that you have the right type of business purchase and sale agreement. This contract can save you from making huge mistakes. One of the provisions that you ought to have in your contract is a due diligence period. This period of time to evaluate the business is essential to avoid making a huge mistake. Look over the actual bank statements with your accountant and attorney. This step alone can save you hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in the long run.

Your attorney and accountant need to be your team. This team of trusted advisers functions as your transition team and will help you make the best decisions in regards to the purchasing of the business you want to own and perhaps even help operate.

What is Due Diligence in Buying a Business in Utah?

We also talk about due diligence on this website here. You should read that article too.

Before you decide to buy, however, make sure you and your accountant and business lawyer evaluate the value of the business and engage in due diligence. We have a practice of reviewing all bank account statements as well as financial reports to make sure that there is no fraud or cooking of the books. Cooking the books means that the business owner or his book keeper falsified information to get you to pay a higher price for the business. To determine whether this has happened, we need to go through these items and review their current and potential effects on the business:

● Inventory
● Furniture, fixtures, equipment and building
● Copies of all contracts and legal documents
● Incorporation
● Tax returns for the past five years
● Financial statements for the past five years
● Sales records
● Complete list of liabilities
● All accounts receivable
● All accounts payable
● Debt disclosure
● Merchandise returns
● Customer patterns
● Marketing strategies
● Advertising costs
● Price checks
● Industry and market history
● Location and market area
● Reputation of the business
● Seller-customer ties
● Inflated salaries
● List of current employees and organizational chart
● OSHA requirements
● Insurance
● Product liability

Once you have determined the credibility and value of the business to be favorable, a sale price and terms of sale must be negotiated with the seller. This is another situation where your acquisition team is invaluable. Price is a very hard element to pin down and, therefore, it is for the buyer to assess. You and your acquisition team can come to a fair price using various methods, some of which include multipliers, book values, EBITA, and returns on investment.

EBITA means Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization. This is a way to value a business’ earnings before the deduction of interest, taxes and amortization expenses. It is a financial indicator used widely as a measure of efficiency and profitability. We like to use this value, but there are other values to use when negotiaing a price. The seller obviously wants the highest price possible and the buyer wants the lowest.

Highest Price or Best Terms?

When we represent buyers, we negotiate the lowest price and terms based on our client’s best interests and when we represent the seller, we work to secure the seller’s interest and get the highest amount possible depending on the seller’s goals.

You need to figure out what you are trying to accomplish when purchasing a business. What is your end game or end plan? Do you want to have it as a passive investment where you are hands off or do you want to operate the business and manage it? This will also go into the calculation of a business.

Besides price, do not forget the important element of terms. Some business can be partially or wholly financed through the company itself. This is an option that we, as you business lawyers, can help you with.

Negotiating the actual sale can be difficult because both you and the seller are often coming from very different points of view. It is important to make sure the deal is structured well so the effects of these differences can be minimized. You should always have an attorney review any arrangements for legality and liability issues. Your attorney and acquisition team can also help you negotiate the best method for the deal to proceed.

Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer in Utah

You should always have a lawyer help you in doing a merger or acquisition. Your business lawyer will have some horror stories to tell you about how things can go wrong. We can tell you that you really need to get an attorney on your side to avoid costly mistakes and a lawsuit later. We could tell you many stories because not only do we close business deals, but we also draft contract and go to court and litigate when someone doesn’t do what they are required to do pursuant to the terms of the contract.

Being careful and taking time for things to settle and work smoothly will assist the process of the business changing hands. Do not be too anxious. Your team will help you, and with patience, thoroughness, and diligence you can buy a business with minimal issue and stress. Above all, as your business attorneys we will make sure that you are protected and you know what you are getting into. When your eyes are opened and you seek both the risks and the rewards and you decide go for it – you’re in the best position possible.

Conclusion

For more information on getting a Utah business lawyer on your side to help you buy a business, sell a company, close a deal, do a merger or an acquisition, please give us a call for your free initial consultation. We have represented both buyers and sellers of corporations both fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses in every sector. So whether you have a new start up to sell or you’re looking to franchise, the information and legal answers you need are on the other end of the line. Calling the Utah Business Lawyer that is right for you is the next step.

Call (801) 676-5506 today for your free initial consultation.

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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