CRISTOPHER A. HOGAN, ATTORNEY
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Western Michigan Business Law Attorneys

Hogan Law, P.C. has been helping West Michigan area residents with legal issues for decades. We have extensive legal experience and are committed to helping our clients succeed. Client focused, results driven.

Western Michigan Business Law Attorneys

We have extensive experience in drafting purchase agreements, negotiating deals, and handling disputes when they arise. We understand that starting a new business is not always easy, but with us on your side, you can feel confident knowing that everything has been taken care of legally.

Are you ready to form a business? Not sure what type of entity would be best for your situation? At Hogan Law, we provide comprehensive legal advice to help determine the best course of action for forming and running a successful business. 

Our experienced attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of business law and can help guide you through the complexities that go into setting up an LLC, corporation, or partnership. 

We have extensive experience in drafting purchase agreements, negotiating deals, and handling disputes when they arise. We understand that starting a new business is not always easy, but with us on your side, you can feel confident knowing that everything has been taken care of legally. Contact us today and let us help take the stress out of starting your next venture! 

At Hogan Law, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality legal services and advice. Our goal is to help protect your interests, so you can focus on growing your business. With our expertise in all areas of business law, we will provide you with the guidance and support needed to ensure a successful outcome. 

Let us help make your new business venture a success! Contact us today to learn more. Thank you for considering Hogan Law for all your business law needs. We look forward to hearing from you.


What are the steps involved in forming a business in Michigan?

Forming a business in the state of Michigan begins with selecting and registering a name for the business. The name must be distinguishable from other companies incorporated or registered in the state so that it is easily identifiable to customers and partners. 

Once you choose an appropriate name, it must then be registered with the Corporations Division of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). 

The next step is to select your corporate structure. This will determine how you are taxed, as well as hold implications for liability protection and management responsibilities. In Michigan, businesses can choose from LLCs (limited liability corporations), corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, nonprofits, and professional associations. 

Depending on the chosen structure, additional registration may need to be completed, such as filing Articles of Incorporation for a corporation or Articles of Organization for an LLC. 

After you have selected the structure and registered your business name and/or documents, you will need to obtain any necessary permits. Depending on the type of business being established, there may be certain specific requirements that must be met to start operations. 

For example, businesses involved in food service will need a food license from their county health department before they can open. Additionally, if employees are needed, then it is important to register with the Michigan Employment Security Commission (MESC) so that taxes can be withheld properly. 

Finally, businesses in Michigan must establish a system for managing their finances. This includes opening a business bank account, setting up an accounting system, and applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Once these steps are completed, a Michigan business is fully operational. 

By following these steps, entrepreneurs in Michigan can ensure that their businesses remain compliant with all state and federal regulations while they pursue their goals of success.


What are the different types of business structures available in Michigan?

In the state of Michigan, there are several business structures available to entrepreneurs planning on starting a business. These include Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and Corporation. 

A Sole Proprietorship is arguably the simplest form of business structure in Michigan. This type of business is owned and operated by only one person who has complete control over its operations and finances. It is not required to register with the state government or file any paperwork; however, it must follow relevant laws about taxes and other regulations. 

The main advantage of this structure is that all profits generated by the sole proprietorship belong solely to the owner without having to split them with partners or shareholders like in other business types. The downside is that the owner is personally liable for any debts and losses incurred by the business.

A General Partnership, on the other hand, is a type of business structure where two or more individuals agree to co-own and operate a company together. Each partner contributes money, assets, effort, or skills to the venture and has an equal share in both profits and losses. 

In Michigan, general partnerships are required to register with the state government by filing appropriate paperwork such as partnership agreements and employer identification numbers (EINs).

Another popular form of business structure in Michigan is Limited Partnerships. This type of business consists of both limited partners (who invest money) and general partners (who manage operations). 

A key feature of limited partnerships is that they provide limited liability to the limited partners while allowing them to maintain control over the business. Limited partners are only liable for any debts or losses up to their investment amount, which can be beneficial in the event of financial hardship. 

Michigan entrepreneurs may also choose to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This type of business structure combines the characteristics of both a partnership and corporation, offering its owners (or members) personal asset protection as well as favorable taxation benefits. LLCs must register with the state government by filing paperwork such as articles of organization and operating agreements. 

Lastly, forming a corporation is one-way entrepreneurs in Michigan can start a business. Corporations offer shareholders limited liability, flexible ownership structure, and numerous ownership benefits. Corporations must register with the state government by filing paperwork such as corporate articles of incorporation and employer identification numbers (EINs). 


How can I protect my personal assets from business liabilities?

One of the most important steps in protecting personal assets from business liabilities is to form a separate legal entity for your business. A separate legal entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), can help shield you from any potential lawsuits brought against your business and protect your assets from creditors. 

It's also important to keep your business finances separate from your finances. This includes having different bank accounts and credit cards for each and never commingling funds between them. Your business should also be responsible for paying its taxes, which means filing tax returns under its name instead of yours. 

If you have employees working for you, it's best to purchase workers' compensation insurance to protect yourself from any potential liabilities. This type of insurance covers the costs associated with a work-related accident or injury and helps to protect you in case of a lawsuit. 

Finally, it's important to stay up to date on business laws and regulations in your state. Depending on where you live, there may be additional steps you need to take to protect your assets from business liabilities. 

Consulting an attorney can help ensure that you're compliant with all relevant laws and regulations so that your assets remain protected. With proper planning and implementation, you can safeguard your assets while still running a successful business. 


What is a business contract, and how can I ensure that it is legally binding?

A business contract can be defined as an agreement between two or more parties that outlines specific terms and conditions of their respective obligations with the expectation that all parties will comply. 

It is important to ensure that all contracts are legally binding to protect the rights of both parties involved. In the state of Michigan, a contract must meet certain requirements to be considered legally binding. 

First, it must include an offer and acceptance from both sides - this means that each party must agree on the terms and conditions of the contract for it to be valid. 

Second, consideration should also take place within the contract - this means that one side pays money or agrees to provide something of value in exchange for something else from the other party. 

Third, the parties must have the legal capacity to enter a contract - this means that both sides need to be of legal age and mentally capable of understanding their obligations. 

Lastly, all contracts must include an element of intention - this means that both parties must intend for the agreement to create legally binding obligations. 

It is important to make sure that all these elements are included in any business contract you draft in Michigan. Additionally, it is wise to consult a lawyer before signing any documents and ensure that they are by local laws. 

This will help protect your rights and ensure the contract is enforceable should either party not comply with its terms. These steps can help provide peace of mind when entering a business contract in Michigan. 

Business Law
May 30, 2023
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What are my legal obligations as an employer in Michigan?

As an employer in the state of Michigan, you are legally required to provide workers' compensation insurance for your employees. 

This is intended to protect employees who suffer injuries on the job due to work-related activities or conditions. Employers must also adhere to minimum wage laws and pay their employees at least the minimum wage rate set by the state. 

Employers must also comply with anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination against employees based on race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, and disability. 

Employers must ensure that all employee records are kept up-to-date and accurate. These include documents such as timesheets and payroll records as well as medical information related to workplace injuries or illnesses. 

Employers in Michigan must also provide a safe working environment for all employees. This includes providing proper safety equipment and training, conducting regular safety inspections, and responding promptly to any safety concerns raised by employees.

Finally, employers in Michigan are required to give their employees access to unemployment benefits if they become unemployed through no fault of their own. Employers must also comply with the state's laws on parental leave, which allow eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year when needed to care for an ill family member or new child. 

By complying with these legal obligations, employers can ensure that they are treating their employees fairly and creating a safe and productive work environment. Ignoring these requirements could lead to serious legal consequences such as fines or other penalties. 

Employers in Michigan need to familiarize themselves with the state's laws and regulations to ensure that they are providing a safe, equitable, and compliant workplace. 


What are the tax implications of starting a business in Michigan?

When starting a business in the state of Michigan, several tax implications must be taken into consideration. First and foremost, it is important to understand which type of taxes apply to your business. 

Depending on the structure of your business—sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation—each will have different requirements for filing taxes. 

Michigan has a flat corporate income tax rate of 6%, and personal income tax rates ranging from 4.25-4.95%. Additionally, if you plan to sell products in Michigan, you must register with The Michigan Department of Treasury and pay sales and use tax on these transactions. 

All businesses with more than $500 worth of taxable purchases per year are required to report their monthly taxes electronically using the Michigan Business Tax System. 

If you are hiring employees, you will need to register with the State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency and pay a 6% tax on employee wages up to $9,000 per year. You must also withhold taxes from your employee's paychecks, which have varying rates depending on their income level and filing status. 

Additionally, you may be liable for additional taxes if any of your workers are independent contractors. It is important to consult with an experienced tax professional when determining whether a worker should be classified as an employee or contractor for taxation purposes. 

Finally, all businesses with property within Michigan must file an annual Property Return and pay taxes based on the assessed value of the property in question. Failure to do so may result in steep penalties. 

It is important to consider all applicable taxes when starting a business in the state of Michigan, as not only will this ensure that you remain compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations, but it can also help you ensure continued operation and financial stability for your business. 

Consulting with a qualified tax professional or accountant can help to make sure that you understand all your obligations under the law. 


What are the laws governing intellectual property rights in Michigan?

In Michigan, all intellectual property rights are governed by the U.S Constitution as well as state laws. The most significant piece of legislation governing intellectual property is the Michigan Uniform Trade Secrets Act (MUTSA), which protects trade secrets from being disclosed by a person or organization that has acquired knowledge of the secret through legal means. 

This includes any information with economic value that is not generally known and would provide a competitive advantage if it were made public. 

The Michigan Trademark Registration Act protects marks used in commerce and prevents others from using them without permission. To gain trademark protection, an application must be filed with the Secretary of State's Office, and the mark must be distinctive and unique to differentiate it from other marks used in the same industry. 

The Michigan Copyright Act protects original works of authorship, including books, music, photographs, and paintings. This act gives copyright holders exclusive rights to reproduce their work and to publicly perform or display it. They also have the right to license these works for use by others and can take legal action if someone infringes upon their copyright. 

Finally, patent protection is granted by the federal government through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under Michigan law, patents are issued for inventions that are novel and useful. 

A detailed description of the invention must be filed with the USPTO to obtain a valid patent. Once granted, patent holders have exclusive rights to make, use, or sell their invention for a limited time. 

Together, these laws protect intellectual property in Michigan and ensure that creators have the exclusive right to use, reproduce, and profit from their work. As such, businesses and individuals need to familiarize themselves with the specific laws governing intellectual property rights in the state. 

This will help them protect their valuable ideas and inventions while ensuring that they comply with all relevant regulations. 


How can I dissolve a business in Michigan, and what are the legal requirements?

Once a business owner in the state of Michigan decides to dissolve their business, they must take certain steps to ensure that all legal requirements are met. First and foremost, the business owner should contact their county's clerk office for information about local filing requirements and fees. 

In many cases, a Notice of Dissolution or Certificate of Dissolution must be filed with the Clerk's office before any other steps can be taken. 

The next step is to cancel any business licenses or permits issued by local municipalities or the state of Michigan. The process for canceling these documents varies depending on where they were obtained and which type of license or permit it is, so it's important to check with the relevant government department for specific instructions. 

The business owner must also notify any creditors, customers, and employees of the dissolution. This can be done through a written notice sent via mail or email. Additionally, all taxes must be paid up to date before dissolution proceedings can commence. 

Depending on the type of business structure, there may also be additional requirements such as filing documents with the state's Corporations Division, completing specific forms for limited liability companies (LLCs) and partnerships, or distributing assets to shareholders. 

Once all necessary steps have been taken and all legal requirements are met, the business owner can then officially dissolve their business in the state of Michigan. It is important to note that failure to comply with local and state regulations could result in hefty fines and penalties. 

Therefore, it is essential to ensure all legal requirements are met before dissolving a business in Michigan. 

The dissolution process can be complicated and time-consuming, so business owners need to get help from qualified professionals if needed. This can include seeking the advice of an experienced lawyer or accountant. 

They will be able to provide expert guidance on how to best handle the dissolution process and make sure that all legal requirements are met. Additionally, many entrepreneurs find it helpful to consult with their local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance navigating the dissolution process. 


What are the laws governing business disputes in Michigan, and how can I resolve them?

In Michigan, business disputes are governed by a variety of laws, including the Uniform Commercial Code and other state and federal statutes. In some cases, parties may resolve their dispute through mediation or arbitration. 

Mediation is a process in which an independent third party helps the parties negotiate to reach an agreement. The mediator does not render binding decisions and cannot force either party to accept any agreement. 

Arbitration is a process in which each side presents its case before an arbitrator who decides how the dispute should be resolved. This decision may be binding on all parties involved unless they agree otherwise. 

If either party wishes to take legal action, they must first file a lawsuit in court. This involves filing paperwork with the court detailing the facts of the dispute and outlining any claims or requests for relief. The court will then hear from both sides on the issue, weigh the evidence and arguments presented, and eventually issue a judgment in favor of one side or another.

It is generally advisable to seek professional legal advice when dealing with business disputes so that parties understand their rights and obligations under Michigan law. Attorneys can guide various options for resolving disputes, as well as how best to present a case in court if it comes to that. 

Additionally, attorneys often have relationships with mediators or arbitrators who may be able to facilitate an out-of-court resolution of the dispute without having to wait for a decision by a judge or jury. 

Ultimately, taking the proper steps to resolve business disputes can help parties move forward with their business without the expense and uncertainty of litigation. 

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"Sometimes family situations can be extremely sad and complicated which is why we are so blessed to have found Hogan Law. We are dealing with a Probate situation and my husband could not have found anyone better to represent him. Cris is professional and caring, a great litigator and gets the job done!! Not only does he represent my husband, but also our family since what he goes through effects us all so we are grateful!! We highly recommend Hogan Law!!"

KELLY DIAZ

Cris and his staff have always been professional, courteous, and knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

T. Edward Walker

Our family used them to settle my mom's trust after she died and they were very easy to understand and very informative.. They were always available to explain things and to help you move forward

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I Love Sue and Christopher is not too bad either

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"Hogan Law is the first firm I’ve ever had to work with and finding a great lawyer takes time. Cris Hogan was the best thing that could’ve have happened for me and the situation at hand. Hogan is caring and attentive and extremely detailed and helpful with any questions I may have. He is driven and Gets the job done. His employees are extremely helpful and go above and beyond to get the job done. I highly recommend Hogan Law!"

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