Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Essential Steps For Starting And Maintaining Your Business

If you own a business or would like to create one, it is essential for you to seek the expert advice of an attorney.  Counsel will be able to answer your questions regarding what type of business you may form as well as the dealings you may engage in.  He or she will also delineate any limitations in managing your company and will advise you as to the chronological steps that need to be taken to ensure your success.   

For instance, you may require certain licenses to carry out business as usual.

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Jobs Created in South Carolina Despite the Sluggish Economy

What types of new jobs have become available in South Carolina?

It is not secret that the economy has been unstable for some time now. This probably makes most think twice about setting up a new business or expanding a current business into a new area. South Carolina is home to working class people and business owners alike and has no doubt been affected by the economic downturn. But, luckily for South Carolina one man has been able to convince a number of Chinese companies that the State is a great place to set up shop.

Read more . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Breach of Employment Contracts

Finding out that several of your most trusted employees have been jointly planning to steal your clients and usurp your business opportunities, all while using corporate assets, is every employer's worst nightmare.  This story hits close to home for one law firm where four partners devised an arrangement over the span of eighteen months to leave and begin a new firm with their current employer's clients.  

While these employees continued to collect their robust paychecks, they demonstrated no shame in utilizing the firm's resources and confidential information to benefit themselves financially.  A forensic exam exposed a trail of emails which confirmed the appropriation of client lists and other confidential information by.

Read more . . .

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Local Businesswoman Honored During Small Business Week

Small Business Week is always a big deal at our firm for two reasons. First, even though we have been in business for over 100 years, our firm is technically a small business. Second, many of our customers are small business owners. So, we were delighted when we saw that during this year’s Small Business Week a local businesswoman had been named the 2016 South Carolina Female Business Person of the Year by the U.S.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lawmakers Pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act

How can my business protect its trade secrets?

Certain forms of intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and copyrights have long enjoyed protection under Federal law. Until recently, this has not been the case for trade secrets. Now that Congressional lawmakers have passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), however, owners of trade secrets will have a Federal private cause of action for the misappropriation of this highly sensitive information.

What are Trade Secrets?

Information such as formulas, designs, practices, processes or patterns that are not widely known outside of a business are considered to be trade secrets. These can include things like the formula for Coca-Cola or any of Google's search algorithms.

Read more . . .

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Florence attorney and history buff with Willcox, Buyck & Williams tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

Local Counsel with Mark W. Buyck Jr.  Published in 2016 South Carolina Super Lawyers — May 2016

BEST PLACE TO TAKE A NEW CLIENT  -  Victors restaurant in Hotel Florence, which is just a block away from my office. 

FAVORITE HISTORICAL SITE  -  The Confederate Stockade. When the Yankees were approaching and Andersonville was evacuated, they put the prisoners on trains, brought them to Florence and quickly put up a stockade in September 1864.
Read more . . .

Thursday, May 5, 2016

You’re more likely to get audited as IRS adds 700 employees to chase tax cheats

The Internal Revenue Service is hiring up to 700 new employees to do audits and go after delinquent taxpayers in an effort to turn around years of what the agency has acknowledged is lax enforcement.

“When you look at the IRS overall, every dollar invested in us returns at least $4 to the Treasury,” Commissioner John Koskinen told his employees in a memo Tuesday. “The numbers are even higher when it involves enforcement.”

See full article here: https://www.washingtonpost.

Read more . . .

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wage & Hour Lawsuits Plague Businesses

Over the past few years, one of the areas in which we have seen business clients out of both our Florence and Myrtle Beach offices run into trouble is with wage and hour lawsuits. A quick scan of the headlines suggests our clients are not alone in facing a growing number of these suits. In fact, the Washington Post reports that wage and hour lawsuits are the fastest growing category of lawsuits filed in federal courts.

What are wage and hour lawsuits?

Wage and hour lawsuits are claims brought by current and/or former employees against employers under state labor laws or under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

All of the following are claims that fall under the wage and hour suit umbrella:

  • Misclassification -- exempt/hourly, employee/independent contractor
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Off-the-clock work
  • Failure to pay minimum wage
  • Improper calculation of the regular rate
  • Meal and/or rest break disputes

Just how many of these lawsuits are being filed?

A recent investigation by the Washington Post found, “The number of wage and hour cases filed in federal court rose to 8,871 for the year ending Sept.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Corporate Law Tax Updates

As a small business owner, compliance with business and tax laws are likely at the forefront of your to-do list each month. Most notably, compliance with state and federal tax laws is one of the simplest ways to avoid fines and penalties – as well as insulate the business from unnecessary auditing and records inspection.

As the current quarter nears a close, the following corporate law tax changes me be of assistance to your business as you prepare your filings.
Read more . . .

Friday, April 1, 2016

Uber Subsidiary in South Carolina Seeks Protection of Trade Secrets

Can Uber use the South Carolina Trade Secrets Act to keep certain information confidential?

Information relating to business operations is often referred to as trade secrets. This information gives a company an advantage in the market is valuable and therefore, companies -must ensure that it remains confidential. Every state has laws regarding trade secrets and protecting this  this information can often become the basis of contested lawsuit.  That seems to be the case developing in South Carolina between Read more . . .

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Perils of Litigation for a Small Business

How Can I protect my small business from litigation?

Small business owners typically focus their attention on achieving success in the marketplace without giving much thought to the possibility of being hit with a lawsuit. However, by failing to prepare for the potential of litigation, entrepreneurs jeopardize their businesses, and possibly their personal assets.

The best defense is to avoid litigation by not being negligent and exposing your business to a personal injury or other civil lawsuit. In order to minimize the risk of litigation, small business owners should start by choosing the right business organization, obtain liability insurance, and retain an attorney.

Creating a Limited Liability Corporation

By creating a Limited Liability Corporation, a small business owner can separate his or her personal assets from the business. In this arrangement, the business exists on its own and is responsible for any legal liabilities or debts it acquires. In some cases, however, an aggrieved client or customer can pierce the corporate veil and sue the business and the owner individually. In particular, a business owner who personally guarantees a loan will be liable for the debt.

Liability Insurance

Business owners typically need to obtain an array of insurance policies, such as workers' compensation insurance and errors and omissions coverage. However, in order to protect a small business from the financial damage of a lawsuit, it is essential to have liability insurance that provides a source of funds in the event that a successful lawsuit is brought against the business.

Hire an Attorney

In spite of all the preventive steps a business owner can take, lawsuits and business disputes are sometimes unavoidable. These may include: a breach of contract, infringement of intellectual property, trade secret theft, or various employment claims such as discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination. It is also possible that a class action will be brought by customers, or that conflicts among the owners and minority investors may arise. In order to ensure business continuity, a business owner must be prepared to handle any of these disputes.

Often it is possible to settle disputes through negotiation and avoid going to court. If negotiation is not successful, there are other methods to resolve conflicts including mediation and arbitration. In any event, the best way to minimize the potential damage that can result from litigation is to hire an attorney who specializes in commercial litigation and has knowledge of local customs and laws.

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