Business Litigation

The Philadelphia Small Business Law Center Offers a Variety of Litigation Services for Business Owners.

Just the word “litigation” can be scary for a business owner. It typically conjures up thoughts of endless hours spent reviewing documents, phone calls and meetings with lawyers, missed days of work due to being in court, and worst of all, large unexpected legal bills. Nobody likes for there to be a dispute that requires litigation. At the Philadelphia Small Business Law Center, we try and make litigation a little more pleasant. Yes . . . we did just say “litigation” and “pleasant” together in the same sentence. We go about this by addressing many of the most common complaints that business owners have regarding their lawyers. For instance:

  • We strive to be available and responsive to all of your questions and concerns and promise to keep you apprised of your matter every step of the way.
  • We don’t engage in endless rounds of litigation simply to drive up legal bills. Our aim is always to offer you practical and cost-effective advice. While this usually results in a lower legal bill, we believe it is far more important to have happy and satisfied clients.
  • For certain types of litigation, we will offer flat fees to help you avoid the uncertainty of hourly billing and unexpected legal bills.
  • We understand what it is like to be a small business owner and how difficult it can be to have your business operating funds being held as a retainer by your lawyer. For most matters, we do not require the large retainers that are typically required by traditional law firms.

We Can Offer Assistance with the Following Business Litigation Matters:

Breach of Contract and other Contractual Disputes

Commercial Litigation

Partnership and Shareholder Disputes

Collections and Payment Disputes

Employee Disputes

Get In Touch

If you are interested in working with us or learning more about us, give us a call at 215-914-6880 or send us an email.

Contact Us!

Enforcing Trademark Rights

You’ve taken the necessary steps to properly register a trademark, but now someone is using it without your permission. This can have significant negative consequences for the success of your business and/or product. As a result, understanding the ways in which trademark rights can be protected is important to your business. What is a Trademark? Under federal law, a trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof used in commerce to identify or distinguish goods from those manufactured or sold by others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, but is used to distinguish services, as opposed to goods. Protecting Trademark The ability to stop someone from using a trademark, or one that is so similar that it is confusing, depends on the following factors: Whether the trademark is being used by the other person (or business) for competing goods or services; The likelihood that consumers will be confused by the dual use of the trademark; and Whether the trademark is being used in the same part of the country or is being used for related goods or services (goods or services that will likely be noticed by the same consumers). In order to prevent someone else from using the trademark, the trademark owner must be actively using the mark. In this context, “using” is defined as putting it to work in the marketplace to identify goods or services. However, this does not mean that the goods or services need to be actually sold.  Rather, they only need to be offered to the public. Under Pennsylvania law, the owner of a famous mark... read more

Use Caution When Firing an Employee

Unfortunately, if you own your own business, it is most likely inevitable that the time will come when you are faced with firing an employee. Deciding to terminate the employment relationship can be a difficult one, but also critical in helping your company be as successful as possible. When going through the process of firing an employee, there are several important considerations to be aware of. Restrictions on Firing Employee Under most private-sector employment relationships, the employment is considered at-will. This means that the employment relationship can end without any justification and at the will of either party. As a result, the employment relationship can end for any or no reason. For example, an employer could fire an employee because that employee stole something from the business. But, an employer could also fire an employee simply because he or she desires to end the relationship. However, if the employee agreed to an employment contract, that contract may have eliminated the at-will nature of the employment relationship.   Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee: Who serves on or testifies before a wage board; Refuses to submit to a polygraph test; For fulfilling a jury duty obligation; For union activity; For retaliation because the employee filed a wage complaint; For reporting wrongdoing by the employer; In a manner that violates the protections for veterans and reservists; or Who has had wages withheld to fulfill a child support obligation. Further, it is illegal to fire an employee for a discriminatory reason, such as because of the employee’s: Race; Ethnic background; Religion; Age; Sex; or Disability. If an... read more

Dissolving an LLC

For whatever reason, you may find yourself in the position of needing to end your limited liability company (LLC). It is important to realize that it is not as simple as just closing the door and walking away. Just as there was a formal process for forming the LLC, there are formal procedures that must be taken to end the LLC. Dissolution The process of ending a business is called dissolution, which officially ends the existence of the entity. It is important to complete this process because it takes the business out of the reach of creditors. While the focus here is voluntary dissolution, it is possible for a business to be involuntarily dissolved through a court order. In order to dissolve, the LLC must obtain clearance from the Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). Before this clearance is granted, all required state taxes must be paid. LLCs must file DOR Form REV-181 (Application for Tax Clearance Certificate) with both the DOR and DLI. For most LLCs, dissolution requires a vote of all members. Unless specifically prohibited by the formational documents, under the Pennsylvania LLC Act (Act), dissolution may be accomplished by a unanimous written agreement or consent of all LLC members. The decision to dissolve should be recorded in the official minutes of the dissolution meeting or on a written consent form. The LLC will continue even after receiving tax clearance and going through dissolution. This is because the LLC still has certain matters that need to be resolved. The process of winding up takes care of these final matters, which, under... read more