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Kern County Business & Commerical Law Blog

Know the zoning types when considering properties

When you purchase property, you have to consider the zoning of the property and the intended use. In some cases, the permitted uses are set by the law. There are a few primary types of zoning that you need to think about. Under each of these, there might be subtypes that you have to consider.

Commercial zoning is what you would need if you plan to open a business on the property. Once you find out if a property is zoned for commercial use, you have to figure out if the type of business that you are opening falls under the specific zoning type. For example, a parcel might be slated only for retail use, so you wouldn't be able to open a restaurant there.

Land use and zoning issues can often be handled in legal ways

When you find a place where you want to build your business, there are several things to consider. One of these is what the zoning for the property is. You might find that you are running up against zoning or land use issues at your perfect location. We are here to help you learn what options you have to address these serious issues.

We are sure you understand that you can't just go against the zoning laws and land use plans without running the risk of having some very serious legal troubles. This is why you need to look into these aspects of purchasing or leasing land prior to making your decision about the land.

Were you accused of breaching your fiduciary duty?

As a business owner or member of a company's board of directors, you owe a duty to the shareholders, partners or investors in the business. This fiduciary relationship results from the trust and confidence another party puts in you. This fiduciary relationship often arises out of federal and California laws or through the circumstances under which your relationship to the other party began.

Your duties as the fiduciary may come about either through a contract or by law. If you make a mistake or commit some act that breaches the duty you owe to the other party, you could face a civil claim for breach of fiduciary duty.

Take proper steps to choose a business form before opening

When you are ready to get your business off the ground, you have to think about what business form you are going to use. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it does take work and considerable thought to make this decision.

Here are a few things that you can do to work through the decision:

Plan all business transactions carefully

The transactions that you complete on behalf of your business can have a huge impact on your business' success. Everything from making sure that your trade secrets are safe to handling real estate matters must be done with your company's interests in mind.

We know that you need to focus on your business and not on all of the legalities of every transaction. We are here to help you protect your company so that you can focus on growing it instead of getting stuck in these details. From reviewing contracts to drawing them up, we are here to help you understand what you need to know.

Know about different types of trusts you might utilize

One way that you can work to care for your loved ones after you pass away is to establish and fund trusts for them. When you do this, you place assets in the trusts and a trustee cares for the assets with the purpose of using them for the benefit of the recipient. If you opt to do this, there are some special considerations that you need to think about from the start.

First, not all trusts are created equally. Trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable. An irrevocable trust can't be dismantled by you. Once you set it up, it is done. A revocable trust can be dismantled by you.

Know the purposes of various estate plan tools

Your estate plan can make life a lot easier for your loved ones when you are gone. You might not find this something that is easy to think about, but if you think about these points now, your family members will be able to focus more on grieving after they lose you.

We know that some people might not think that they need an estate plan. The truth of the matter is that all adults need an estate plan, regardless of the number or value of assets they hold. This is because the estate plan has more components than only the will.

Learn your options when laws impact your property usage

Certain lands are protected under federal and state statues. If these areas land on property that you own, you will be limited as to what you can do with them. In our previous blog post, we discussed the case of the farmer who is facing hefty fines because of mowing grass in his own field.

We understand that you probably want to be able to do what you want on the land that you paid for. When the land is subject to these laws, doing whatever you want isn't an option unless you are willing to pay a fine or fight.

Inheritances may be fair but not square

You probably have fond (or not-so-fond) memories of your children squabbling over something. Maybe from the time the first sibling arrived, the rivalry between them was apparent, and it was common to see them tussling over the last cookie, a favorite toy or the TV remote. They may have even rivaled for your affection, with one seeking approval by going on to become a great success while another sought your attention with charm.

If you saw these normal developments between your children, chances are, there are underlying emotions that have carried through from childhood. This possibility is something to keep in mind as you make decisions about who will inherit your estate.

A $2.8 million dollar fee for plowing your own field?

A California farmer will stand trial for what federal prosecutors claim was a $2.8 million plowing violation. Allegedly, the owner of a 450-acre wheat farm in Modesto plowed the soil on his land without proper permitting, which federal prosecutors say should result in him paying a fine of $2.8 million.

The issue largely relates to the fact that the land is categorized as a seasonal wetland with vernal pools and swales that provide a home for different plants and animals. The land falls into this category largely because it is a drainage zone for two creeks. The federal government considers seasonal wetlands like the one at issue in this case to be "waters of the United States."

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