What Should I Consider When Selling My Business?

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If You Are Selling Your Business, Contact the Knowledgeable Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green .

Business owners put l time, energy, and hard work into establishing and growing their businesses. Whether your business is successful or not, there may come a time when you decide to sell your business. Even if the time is not now, you should always have a plan and strategy for when the situation to sell arises.

Preparation is Key to Success

Selling your business will probably be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. You get one chance to price your business accordingly to reflect your effort and success. You should also determine your priorities, evaluate the timing of the sale, and assemble an expert team to help you with the sales process. You also need to understand the ethical and legal duties you face as you exit your business.

Before you start the sales process to sell your business, you must understand the steps involved. Read on to understand some factors to consider to ensure a successful sale.

  • Determine what you want from the sale
  • Define your priorities
  • Gather professional advice
  • Negotiate a good price
  • Establish acceptable terms

Finally, you must go into the sale knowing what you want to achieve: what are your non-negotiable items? What items are negotiable? If you do not firmly believe in your end result, you are less likely to end up in the best possible position.

Five Factors to Know Before Selling Your Business

Business sales plans differ based on business size, complexity, and financial standing. Learn about the top five factors every business owner should consider before selling.

  1. Business Structure and Ownership

Your business structure and the individuals who claim ownership will affect the sale of your business.

Are you the sole proprietor/owner of your business? The decisions around the sale are solely up to you and require fewer formalities.

If your business is set up as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, all members or shareholders must agree on the sale. This agreement can even be a corporate resolution, usually dictated by the operating agreement or bylaws of the company.

  1. Due Diligence

When selling a business, due diligence matters. You will be better off if you are more prepared, organized, and thorough with all business dealings and asking for the total value of your business.

You should always protect yourself and your business information when trying to sell your business. Before disclosing private information about your business, protect yourself by asking the potential buyer to sign a confidentiality agreement. Be prepared that most buyers will want to see the company’s financial records.

  1. Employees

Employees make up an essential part of your business. Each individual needs to be evaluated with care when considering the sale of your business. The sale of your business should never be a surprise. You should discuss the deal with employees beforehand and talk to potential buyers about your employees.

  1. Value

Pinpointing the exact value of a business can be complex. You have likely put years of work into it. You are probably full of emotions, but you should be realistic when setting a price for your business.

It would help if you researched or sought help to determine the realistic value of your business. You can consult with a CPA or lawyers or hire a business evaluator to determine what value the marketplace has for your business and structure your sale appropriately.

  1. Financials

The sale of your business depends on your finances and the buyer’s finances. The buyer is responsible for securing the agreed-upon purchase price of a business. If the buyer is low on cash, financial companies help finance the transaction. Sometimes, a buyer may not have enough cash to pay the entire price. Then, a financial business will step in to provide guidance and loans to finance the sale.

Selling your business is a big step. The process will be much easier if you plan and consider the many factors that go into this big decision. The final sale should be a success with a good strategy, sound advice, and a thorough plan.

If You Are Selling Your Business, Contact the Knowledgeable Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green

 

The experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green can provide the guidance and expertise you need when you decide to sell your business. We represent clients throughout South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. You can call 215-574-0600 to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office.

How to Fight a Racist Work Environment?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Represent Clients Experiencing Racial Discrimination and Equality at Work.

Racial discrimination is an ongoing global issue affecting every area of life, including the workplace. The problem of workplace racism can be addressed if corporate leaders commit to identifying and correcting racial discrimination within the policies, processes, leadership, and staff, among other avenues. As organizations are making conscious efforts to improve diversity, equality, and inclusion, eliminating racism is a crucial starting point.

What Does Racism Look Like in the Workplace?

Racism in any environment can take many forms, including in the workplace, but some overall examples of workplace racism include:

  • Direct: Racial discrimination directly at one individual specifically due to their race, resulting in unfair treatment, demoted or denied promotions, not being allowed to interface directly with clients, and more.
  • Indirect: Racial discrimination through the employer’s policies or decisions that put individuals of a particular race at a disadvantage, specifically due to their race. Discrimination in those form could be policies such as a ban on certain types of headwear or hairstyles that directly affect employees of certain races.
  • Harassment: Derogatory comments, insults, threats of physical harm or employment consequences, and any other comments and behavior directed at a worker due to their race, creating a hostile work environment. This can be on behalf of the employer, supervisors, managers, coworkers or clients and frequently disrupts the targeted employee’s ability to successfully complete their work tasks.
  • Retaliation: Unfair or hostile treatment, demotion or denial of promotion, or unlawful termination in retaliation for submitting a race-related complaint or violation against an employer, coworkers, supervisors, or others.
  • Discipline: Non-white races of workers receiving more rules or more frequent or increased disciplinary actions, and scrutiny or criticism than their white counterparts.

What Are Some Ways to Combat Racism in the Workplace?

Excellence in leadership cannot be accomplished without proactively addressing racism in the workplace. Addressing diversity, equality, and inclusion can be complex and challenging, but must be handled properly and swiftly.

Tackling racism in the workplace benefits not only workers of any race, but business owners and businesses in general. Institutionalized racism is intertwined into organizations, processes, and systems that today that require ethical businesses to scrutinize and ultimately make true and positive changes. Actions toward eliminating racism in the workplace include:

  • Analyze and gather data: To begin making changes, businesses first need to investigate, analyze, and understand the forms of racism prevalent in the workplace and to the ethnicities disproportionally affected. Such diversity data should include the ethnicity of disciplined workers, ethnic make-up of teams at every level of seniority, and the pay gaps of different ethnicities and genders.
  • Be accountable: Approach racism with a commitment toward making positive change, which includes business owners and leaders holding themselves accountable and transparent, and conveying that to staff.
  • Examine processes: Revisit policies and processes regularly, and especially following a racist incident and what aspects of the culture permitted the incident. For many businesses, recruitment and line management tend to have discrimination and bias aspects, conscious or unconscious, that can be corrected, along with management education on unconscious bias.
  • Educate and train: Educating and training all staff members to understand and recognize racism is crucial to the success of removing it from the workplace and processes. Management teams must understand and apply equality, diversity, and inclusion in their everyday experiences and be able to educate and tackle racism within their teams.
  • Study systemic racism: Racist incidents at work often fall on the shoulders of the employee blamed. However, culpability typically falls on others within the business or the business itself, such as what policies or processes allowed the incident to happen in the first place. Racism in the workplace should be viewed as a symptom of the systems in place, and therefore change the systems.
  • Query the staff: One of the best methods of understanding what forms of racism exist in the workplace is to listen to the groups who are experiencing discrimination, do not disregard complaints, and ask employees how they can be better supported.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Represent Clients Experiencing Racial Discrimination and Equality at Work

If you are experiencing racial discrimination in your place of employment, our knowledgeable and experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. will help you fight for the equality you deserve and hold your employer accountable for the incidents of racism. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Can An Employer Force Me To Take A Drug Test To Apply for A Job?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Applicants and Employees Who are Treated Unjustly.

Applying and interviewing for a job can be a harrowing process, but before you are hired you may be asked to complete another task: taking a drug test. While an applicant may accept the possibility that employers may choose to do this, but is the process actually legal?

Are There Federal and State Drug Testing Laws?

When it comes to federal laws, there are few limits for employer drug testing. Unless the company works in a safety-centric industry like commercial truck and transport drivers, the Department of Defense, aviation, NASA contractors or transportation, federal laws do not require or prohibit drug tests. This is the province of state and local laws, and many do have ones that regulate or restrict employers’ rights to require the testing.

Pennsylvania does not have any laws that apply to drug testing for private employers unless it violates other laws. Drug testing is not usually illegal, whether it is done pre-employment, if there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence, for other mitigating circumstances, or when it is done at random. The testing may be done through blood, hair, or urine samples, and there are no regulations as to the kinds of substances that can be tested for.

In Philadelphia, a new city ordinance prohibiting pre-employment marijuana drug testing took effect earlier this year. Under the ordinance, employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, or related agents can no longer legally require prospective employees to submit to pre-employment marijuana-screening as a condition of employment. The same does not apply to current employees, however, nor prohibits the employer from disciplinary actions for employees in the possession, or under the influence, of marijuana during work hours.

Employment positions that have a direct impact on the health and safety of others are exempt from Philadelphia’s ban on pre-employment marijuana screening, including:

  • Law enforcement officers and positions
  • Employment positions requiring commercial driver’s licenses
  • Job positions requiring supervision of medical patients, disabled, children, or other vulnerable individuals

The city ordinance further states that employers must continue pre-employment marijuana screening if required by a federal or state regulation, statute, or order, a federal contract requirement, or if specified as part of a valid collective bargaining agreement.

What if My Drug Test Was Illegal?

Even though the state does not limit workplace drug testing, employees may still have recourse if they feel that a test was illegal. One reason to support this theory could be disability discrimination. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA), applicants and employees who are taking medications for disabilities may be exempt from positive results: some drugs that are illegal when not legitimately prescribed by a physician may be necessary for disabled individuals. If an applicant’s medication was legally prescribed for their disability and the employer turned them down for a positive drug test, that company might be held liable. This does not apply if the drug in question is marijuana.

Another reason to claim that an employer carried out illegal drug testing is defamation. This could occur if the result was a false positive and the employer acted in bad faith, and was aware/should have been aware that the test results were wrong. Invasion of privacy another possible claim; this can happen when employers violate an applicant’s or employee’s privacy by conducting the test in inappropriate or embarrassing circumstances, like having to provide a sample in front of other workers.

Applicants and employees who believe they were singled out for drug testing can also challenge potential and current employers for discrimination. Companies cannot single out specific groups of employees (by gender, race, religion, age, and other protected categories) for drug testing, and doing so could lead to a discrimination claim.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Applicants and Employees Who are Treated Unjustly

If you think that an employer has treated you unfairly with a drug test, our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. may be able to help. For a confidential consultation, complete our online form or call us at 215-574-0600. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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How To Recognize Same-Sex Sexual Harassment?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Uphold Worker Rights.

Many people think of sexual harassment as occurring between a man and a woman. HR departments most frequently hear reports of sexual harassment caused by males.

Many instances of same-sex sexual harassment also occur. The instances generally are less frequent, but are just as harmful as opposite-sex sexual harassment. Job providers also are just as liable when it occurs.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws against workplace sexual harassment. Victims of workplace sexual harassment could file complaints that the EEOC will review. When harassment is confirmed, the victim can file a federal lawsuit against the employer and anyone involved in the harassment.

Common Reasons for Same-Sex Harassment

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome behaviors or actions that are sexual in nature and create a hostile work environment. It also is illegal to demand sexual favors in exchange for employment or job assignments.

Sexual harassment is not necessarily done to obtain sexual favors. Harassers often do it to intimidate the target and cause that person to be distressed. Same-sex harassment is no different.

Many times, the harassment is done to:

  • Coerce and threaten an individual
  • Degrade and demean someone
  • Make the target quit a job

A single incident does not automatically qualify as sexual harassment. An offensive comment or general teasing does not amount to sexual harassment, but it likely would violate workplace rules.

The activity rises to the level of sexual harassment when it is done to obtain sexual favors or creates a hostile work environment. Seeking sexual favors is a fairly simple concept, but a hostile work environment is more complicated.

A harasser could create a hostile work environment in many ways.

The individual might tell offensive jokes of a sexual nature or make generally offensive comments about your appearance. The harasser might circulate pornographic content or partially or fully nude photos.

Even ridiculing a person for not conforming to an expected standard of behavior could qualify as sexual harassment. For example, a male coworker might continually refer to another male as a “girl” or use degrading terms based on that person’s perceived sexual preferences.

No matter the reason, when sexual harassment occurs, your employer is responsible for putting an end to it.

Reporting Same-Sex Sexual Harassment and Other Offenses

If you are subject to sexual harassment from the same sex or anyone else, your employer is responsible for correcting the matter. You should be able to report the problem to your supervisor and investigate the matter.

If your supervisor is the cause of the harassment, someone with authority over that individual should correct the problem. That person might be the owner or another highly placed individual.

At all times, your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. When sexual harassment of any sort creates a hostile work environment, ignoring it or retaliating against a worker for reporting the problem is against the law.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Uphold Worker Rights

Victims of sexual harassment from the same sex or anyone else can get help from our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients in South Jersey and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Do I Need to Provide a Doctor’s Note to an Employer?

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Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green.

Calling in sick is a common occurrence, and employers often have requirements for doing so. Workers might get sick and suffer injuries while away from work that are unpredictable, but your employer may still have requirements for you to fulfill after your sick leave.

Your employer might require you to call in at least an hour prior to your shift to notify your supervisor. That gives your employer the opportunity to call in another worker to cover your shift. Exceptions to call-in procedures often include a car accident or similar emergency that makes it impossible to work or even provide notice right away.

Whenever possible, it is a good idea to support your sick call or emergency with a doctor’s note. Your employer should not require one or even ask for one due to one or even two consecutive shifts missed due to illness or injury.

When you miss three or more days, your employer usually has the right to require a doctor’s note, though this may vary based on location and sector of work. The doctor’s note should briefly describe your illness or injury.

Importance of a Doctor’s Note

A doctor’s note does more than confirm that you suffered from a medical condition that required you to miss one or more days of work: it also helps to protect your coworkers, managers, and visitors at your place of work.

If you were sick with a potentially dangerous and highly contagious illness, like COVID-19 and were to return to work while still sick, that could spread the illness. Likewise, returning too soon from an injury that reduces your ability to perform your work could be dangerous to yourself or others. A doctor’s note that says you are fully recovered and capable of working safely could protect the general workplace.

Your Work Contract Might Detail Requirements for a Doctor’s Note

Your employment contract may detail the exact process for calling in sick and providing a doctor’s note. If you have union membership, collective bargaining likely details procedures for calling in sick. Those procedures should say when a doctor’s note would be required.

You also might have an individual work contract that details how to call in sick and when a doctor’s note is needed. Whenever a work contract says how to call in sick and when a doctor’s note is needed, you must abide by the contract.

Philadelphia’s Sick Time Law and Doctor’s Note Requirements

If you work in Philadelphia, the city’s paid sick time law provides you with up to 40 hours of sick leave. The law covers full-time and part-time workers who do not already have up to 40 hours of paid sick leave available.

Anyone who has worked at least 40 hours with an employer in Philadelphia qualifies for sick leave. The law will not add more hours to already existing paid sick leave that you might have accrued.

If a job provider has 10 or more employees, the sick worker gets paid for up to 40 hours of leave time per year. If the employer has less than 10 workers, there is no pay for the time off, but the worker has the right to return to work.

Philadelphia’s sick leave law says that you do not have to provide a doctor’s note for missing work for up to two consecutive days. It does require one when you miss three or more days, though.

Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green

You can obtain legal help to uphold your workplace rights from our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green. You can call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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What Are the Benefits of Entering a Business Partnership?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Business Owners Who Need Help with Business Contracts or Disputes.

Entering a business partnership could be the best or worst decision you have ever made. Much depends on the size of your business, your financial situation, who your partner is, and much more. Therefore, before you take the plunge, you should weigh out the possible advantages and disadvantages of what a business partnership could mean to you and your business.

What Are the Advantages of a Business Partnership?

It is time to expand your business, but you have neither the cash nor the borrowing power to take your business to the next level. By entering into a business partnership, you could accomplish what you envision.

Adding a partner could give you more cash and credit to expand. It also gives you someone with whom you can share the financial burden. Of course, adding more knowledge and expertise to the business is always a plus, and adding to your list of contacts can help you as well.

A partnership brings with it another perspective, not to mention a support system that might otherwise not exist. Perhaps the best advantage of a partnership is the tax advantages. Although a partnership will have to file income, gains, losses, and deductions, it allows the taxes to move through the business and onto the individual partners. The partners, in turn, will claim the profits and losses on their personal tax forms.

Although a business partnership can help you expand, there are disadvantages to consider. In a general partnership, your decision making is no longer your own. Although a partner shares the financial burden with you, profits are also shared. Moreover, you are responsible for your partner’s debts and bad decision-making.

A possible conflict of interest is especially important to consider. Having different opinions about how the company will operate going forward is often a problem and could create unwanted tension. The idea of expanding or selling the business, for instance, could become an inextricable web of complications.

What Types of Business Partnerships Should I Consider?

There are different types of business partnerships. The most basic is a general business partnership. The owners, according to each percentage owned, most commonly 50 percent, share profits and losses, as well as any debts, liabilities, etc.

A limited partnership is best for businesses with one main owner, having co-owners with a smaller stake and/or say. A limited liability company partnership (LLC) helps to protect owners’ personal assets in case of a lawsuit. A limited liability partnership (LLP) is designed to exempt individual owners from the business debts and irresponsible actions of co-owners.

What Is Good Advice to Consider Before Entering into a Business Partnership?

Carefully consider whether or not you really need a partner. Think critically about the most obvious issues. You will not only be giving up full ownership, but you will also have to include a partner in every decision, one way or another. In other words, despite the type of partnership it is, you will have to answer to someone in some way about the operations of the business.

If you decide adding a partner is a must, carefully choose your partner, and do not be in a hurry to do so. Be certain that you are both on the same page in regard to every aspect of the business, from operations to expansion.

Another important element to consider is adding someone who can complement you. For instance, choose someone who has a different skill set. Most importantly, take the time to have a detailed partnership agreement made up.

An exit agreement, for instance, is critical. You should also determine how to allocate profits, share losses, and resolve disputes. Remember that without a carefully-constructed agreement, your business will have to follow the default rules of your state in the case of a dispute between you and your partner[s].

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Business Owners Who Need Help with Business Contracts or Disputes.

If you need help with a business contract or any issue regarding your business, having a competent lawyer will make all the difference. To help you in any business matter, speak with our experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania   and New Jersey.

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Can An Employer Ask for My Date of Birth on a Job Application?

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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Help to Enforce Your Rights.

Age discrimination is a real issue with many workers. You might be young and just starting out on the career path, or nearing retirement age when searching for a job. Unfortunately, age sometimes is the primary reason a qualified job candidate does not get hired.

Federal and (virtually all) state laws prohibit age discrimination, which raises the question regarding the lawfulness of asking for dates of birth on employment applications. The potential for age discrimination makes it important to know your rights when asked for your date of birth by a prospective employer.

Pennsylvania Law Bans Asking for Dates of Birth

If your prospective employer is based in Pennsylvania, state law prohibits asking for an applicant’s date of birth. The Pennsylvania Human Resources Commission (PHRC) clearly says: “Inquiries regarding the applicant’s date of birth or age are unlawful.”

The PHRC says that it is reasonable to assume that any answers given on a pre-employment application or pre-screening form are used to make a hiring decision. So it would be reasonable to assume that asking for your date of birth on a job application is to obtain information that would be used in the hiring decision.

Since it is unlawful to discriminate based on age, the state does not allow employers to ask for birthdates on employment applications. The job provider’s human resources department might ask for other reasons on a separate form, though.

Employment Background Checks Often Require Birthdates

Many employers conduct background checks that do more than look at your work and education history. The background checks often include criminal records and credit reports.

The background checks typically require your date of birth and a social security number. That helps to ensure your records are the correct ones and not those of another person who happens to have the same name.

A human resources department can obtain the necessary information with your permission and after explaining why the information is needed. The process is separate from the job application and subsequent interviews that might occur.

The human resources department does not share your date of birth with those making the hiring decisions and obtained your permission to conduct background checks. That makes it legal at the state and federal levels.

How to Report Employer Violations?

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal employment laws. Pennsylvania’s PHRC likewise enforces state employment laws.

If you think you were discriminated against based on age or for any other reason, you can file a complaint with the EEOC and the PHRC. The EEOC complaint would have to be for violations of federal employment laws, which would not include asking for your date of birth on a job application.

The PHRC complaint would have to be for violations of Pennsylvania employment laws, which could include asking for your date of birth on a job application.

When you complain to the EEOC, it will investigate and determine whether or not your complaint has merit. If the EEOC says it does, you could proceed with a federal lawsuit for age discrimination and other causes of action.

The PHRC also might determine that your rights were violated. If so, you could proceed with a state-level lawsuit against the offending employer.

You would have to show that you were qualified for the position. You also would have to show that the position went to someone much less qualified and who is much younger than you.

An experienced employment attorney can help you to gather the evidence needed to file a successful complaint for violations of state or federal employment laws.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Help to Enforce Your Rights

Our experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green can help you to uphold your rights. You can call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients in South Jersey and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How Do Non-Disclosure Agreements Work?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist Clients Regarding Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are legally binding confidentiality contracts regarding the sharing of sensitive business, financial, or proprietary information with others outside the agreement. NDAs are common when businesses negotiate with other businesses, firms, or individuals requiring confidentiality of the information and data shared among the parties during the process.

In business dealings non-disclosure agreements are common, especially when entering partnerships, hiring employees, or obtaining investors that require sharing sensitive information. An NDA provides confidentiality and security over the. Situations requiring an NDA may include:

  • Mergers and acquisitions: When companies combine, purchase, or sell, sensitive financial and operational information must be shared among all parties involved, including brokers and intermediaries. Organizations choose to enter into NDAs in order to protect their information and ensure confidentiality.
  • Products: NDAs are crucial when licensing or selling new products or technology to protect the spreading of proprietary, technical, and financial information outside the entities involved in the sale or licensing.
  • Partnerships: When entering into new partnerships or securing investors, NDAs are essential to protect information shared during negotiations.
  • Employees: It is also crucial for some organizations to require confidentiality among the employees regarding the sharing of sensitive data, financial or proprietary information, and business practices.
  • Clients: An NDA protects organizations from the spread of sensitive information when acquiring new clients to prevent accidental exposure that could result in legal liabilities.

What Information Should Be Included in an NDA?

Though each NDA is unique based on an organization’s needs, there are essential elements typically included in confidentiality agreements, such as:

  • Identification: Identify and detail the parties included in the agreement, which parties are disclosing and receiving, business partners, accountants, attorneys, and any others associated with the NDA, including names and contact information for all.
  • Definitions: Detail what information is to be held confidential and protected by the NDA, and rules regarding the use of said information.
  • Scope: One of the more crucial parts of an NDA, the scope clearly defines how the NDA will be enforced and specifically details on what information is protected under the agreement.
  • Obligations: This section details what is expected of those who sign the contract and the consequences if the participants violate the agreement.
  • Time limit: NDAs are generally not permanent and should specify the length of time participants are bound to uphold the terms of the agreement, as well as specify when that period will end.
  • Information return: Depending on the scope of business and what information is covered under the NDA, some agreements include a section requiring the parties to confirm that the information they were privy to has been returned or destroyed.
  • Remedies: This section details what actions will take place for breaches of the agreement. Typical consequences involve restraining orders, monetary fines, with additional actions for breaching fiduciary, copyright, patent, or trademark infringements.
  • Exclusions: As with any business contract, there can be exclusions to NDAs as well, typically information that does not require confidentiality. These may include previously disclosed information, prior knowledge of business or financial information among the parties, or information that is public knowledge.

When entering an NDA, review if carefully and understand what is expected of you. Ask questions, voice concerns, and request clarifications if you uncomfortable or disagree with the terms. Never sign a contract that you do not agree with or fully understand.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Assist Clients Regarding Non-Disclosure Agreements

If your business is planning to merge or acquire another business, entering a partnership, or recruiting investors, you are likely going to need to develop non-disclosure agreements to protect your sensitive and proprietary information. Our experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can assist in developing the agreement. Contact us online or call 215-574-0600 for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we also serve clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Can Executives Negotiate Their Severance Packages?

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Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Clients to Get Severance.

Parting ways with your longtime employer does not necessarily mean your income from that employer ends with your employment. A severance package often makes it possible for a valued worker to part ways with no animosity.

A severance agreement usually includes specific legal agreements that stipulate that, in exchange for accepting the severance package, the former employee cannot make negative comments about their former employer. Accepting the severance also usually means giving up any right to sue the former employer for any reason.

A severance package could bridge the income gap between jobs. If you find one right away, you still get to collect your severance pay.

How that severance is paid, the amount, and its duration all are important to take into consideration when accepting a severance package. These various factors can affect your life for the foreseeable future, so it is important to negotiate a severance package prior to parting ways with an employer.

Factors to Consider During Severance Negotiations

It helps to consider what you need versus what you are offered for severance. Overlooking important needs could create an unintended hardship.

For most people, the most important factors to consider when negotiating a severance agreement could include:

  • Extending benefits through the severance period
  • Handling retirement packages and incentives
  • Mutual non-disclosure agreements
  • Whether you need to return or laptop computer or other work items

You likely will want to maintain your health insurance benefits and have the employer continue deducting any pay for health care benefits. If you have a 401k or another retirement package, rolling it over or accepting a payout is very important.

If you were issued a laptop or other equipment to keep at home so that you could do your job, you might be able to keep it. Non-disclosure agreements could ensure that neither you nor the soon-to-be-former employer make disparaging remarks about the other party or file any lawsuits.

When Severance Negotiations Could Start?

Severance negotiations usually begin when your job is about to end. Most people have a good idea whether or not their jobs might end soon. In such cases, notification that the job is ending and severance is offered is not surprising, but it still could be upsetting.

The potentially emotional nature of exiting a job might encourage you to accept a severance upon receiving the offer. That would be the first severance negotiations mistake that you could make.

Instead of accepting right away, you should tell the employer that you need to review the offer. No law requires employers to offer severance packages, and you are not obligated to accept one.

Standard practice is to allow you up to 21 days to review the document and accept or reject it. If you accept it and change your mind, you usually have seven days to revoke the acceptance. You can make a counteroffer and negotiate the severance regarding payment and any other items of importance to you.

How Severance Affects Unemployment Benefits?

If you accept severance pay, you cannot file for unemployment until the severance pay expires. The state views severance as an extension of employment.

Your first true day of unemployment is when the severance agreement expires, and no more money is due to you from your former employer. Once that final date specified by your severance package arrives, you can apply for unemployment benefits the next day. Filing sooner than that would violate state law.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Help Clients to Get Severance

If you are facing employment termination and want to negotiate a severance agreement, the experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help. You can call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Should I Start an LLC or a Corporation?

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Learn More from Experienced Business Lawyers in Philadelphia at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green.

Whether you provide consumers with goods, or clients with services, liability is an ever-present issue in businesses of all sizes. You might start a business, but have not made it a separate legal entity. If so, you could be liable for damages arising from any harm caused by the goods or services that you provide.

There are two effective ways to handle potential liability from your business activities. One is to create a limited liability corporation (LLC), and the other is to create a corporation. An LLC and a corporation have their own advantages. The following could help you to choose which would be best for your business ambitions.

Pros for Creating a Business Entity

An LLC and a corporation are similar in that they create legal entities. Those legal entities enable you to protect your personal assets by making them wholly separate from your business activities.

A medical doctor or an attorney who enters into private practice are good examples of people who provide services that could raise liability issues. Creating an LLC or a corporation for a private practice helps to limit liability to only those entities.

You could appoint yourself as the president and CEO of your LLC or corporation, paying yourself a regular salary and annual bonuses. Once that money is in your account, it is separated from your business activities.

Sole Proprietorship Makes You Vulnerable to Business Liability

Without an LLC or a corporation, you are operating what is called a “sole proprietorship,” which is one way to say that you work for yourself while providing goods or services to others.

A sole proprietorship does not protect your personal assets against liability that might arise from business practices. You could lose your life savings, home, and other assets if a customer or a client were to sue you and win a large settlement in court.

If you have an LLC or a corporate structure, the liability would not extend to your personal assets: instead, you could obtain business insurance that helps to cover the costs of liability if any issues were to arise.

Advantages of an LLC

An LLC is a simple and affordable way to create a legal business entity. An LLC might have more than one owner, but the ownership structure is small and reduces the amount of paperwork that you would have to file each year.

An LLC enables greater flexibility for management. You can change the management structure without enduring complicated legal filings or extensive paperwork.

An LLC also has a tax advantage over corporations. That is because the federal government does not tax the profits of LLCs like it does corporations. The profits from LLC entities go straight to the owners. And those owners pay taxes on their respective incomes.

An LLC does not have to endure complicated tax filings like a corporation does. It also does not require the kind of specialized accounting assistance and legal help that a corporation often requires to file and pay its annual taxes.

Disadvantages of an LLC

An LLC needs to turn a profit for its owners to make money. If a bad year results in no profits, then there is no pay for the owners.

An LLC requires its owners to have other sources of income. Or the owners need to be very frugal with the profits that they obtain during profitable years.

A strong business model and quality goods or services can help to overcome the potential for business losses. But you never know with something unexpected might occur – like a global pandemic that triggers statewide lockdowns.

An LLC also leaves its owners vulnerable to criminal allegations arising from potentially unlawful business dealings. Just as the profits flow straight to the owners, so does accountability for any criminal acts that might occur.

How to Create a Pennsylvania LLC?

It is relatively simple and affordable to create an LLC in Pennsylvania. You just need to file a Certificate of Organization and a docketing statement with the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

You could complete the paperwork yourself and pay the requisite fees to make your LLC a reality. But it can help to have experienced business lawyers in Philadelphia assist with the filing and its subtle legal matters.

Advantages of a Corporation

A corporation can control excess profits and use them to reinvest in the goods or services provided to customers or clients. The corporation also can use the excess profits to reward its shareholders. If a loss occurs, that also could be passed on to shareholders, though the president, CEO, and other executives and managers still can be paid salaries during years when losses occur. Forming a corporation helps to ensure some level of income even during bad years.

A corporation also provides your business entity the opportunity to eventually go public. You could list shares on a stock exchange and raise capital to fund your business ventures.

Disadvantages of a Corporation

You already know that a corporation has a more complicated creation process than an LLC, with the added irritation of dealing with annual corporate taxes. It is beneficial in many ways to enlist the help of experienced business attorneys and accountants.

Even if you are just a shareholder in a corporation, you could suffer financial losses during a bad year: if the corporation goes bankrupt, the shares become worthless. That partly is why the federal government has bailed out corporations in the past to help prevent them from filing for bankruptcy.

How to Create a Pennsylvania Corporation?

It takes more legwork and effort to incorporate in Pennsylvania and other states. You need to choose a corporate name that is unique, and readily identifiable when compared to other corporations.

The corporation must have an address and a registered agent. The registered agent could be an individual, such as a business attorney, who has a legal address in Pennsylvania. The agent also could be a business entity that can do business in Pennsylvania.

You will need to create corporate bylaws and appoint directors. After doing that, you can hold your first board meeting to officially name directors and adopt the bylaws.

You can file the articles of incorporation at the Pennsylvania Department of State. Afterward, you need to issue shares to your shareholders. Then you are a true corporation that might go public in the future.

Learn More from Experienced Business Lawyers in Philadelphia at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green

The experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green can help you choose and organize an LLC or a corporation in Pennsylvania. You can call 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.