Santa Ana Business Law Blog

What should I consider before investing in business real estate?

Real estate in California can be expensive. For many people, this is the first big road block they face when they decide to invest. Business real estate comes with an even higher price tag, even when you are just buying land. This stems from the obvious purpose of purchasing the property: to make an income.

According to Forbes, patience is one of the first important attributes of a dedicated investor. The sales cycle for these properties tend to be longer. Due diligence, for example, does not take mere days; it takes months. Finding new tenants and building out the office spaces also tend to take a much longer time. However, the longer leases tend to make up for this.

What licenses do you need to start a food truck?

If you are a California entrepreneur interested in starting a restaurant, you may want to consider operating a food truck. This alternative to a traditional restaurant offers a variety of unique benefits, including traveling to different locations and perfecting a small menu of excellent dishes. Starting a food truck business in California requires you to get several permits and licenses.

Based on the guidelines of the California Business Portal, a food truck operator is a mobile food vendor. You must get permission to operate from various federal, state and city authorities. For example, you must decide what type of legal entity you want your business to be, and you may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS. You may also need to apply for a business license in your city or county and obtain a health permit. If you plan to hire employees, you may need to get Worker's Compensation Insurance.

Brief updates on cannabis, wine and beer in California

All across America, states have been debating the possibility of legalizing marijuana use. Some cities and states already have local laws in place that make some provisions for marijuana use. Sometimes only medical use is allowed, while others have legislated for recreational use as well. Often touted as the free state out west, California nonetheless has some serious restrictions on cannabis use in public spaces.

According to Forbes, the official ruling on marijuana in California is that it does not mix with alcohol. Put simply, people cannot assume they have the right to sell marijuana or marijuana-infused beverages simply because they have a liquor license. In fact, California prohibits the sale and use of marijuana on premises licensed to sell alcohol. This may include restaurants and even private hotel rooms. It certainly includes wineries. Not even popular festivals may flout this law.

Ways to reduce your liability when starting a business

When starting a new business, it is important to understand liability—you may be at risk if something goes wrong with your business. Especially if you work in the food-service industry, where lawsuits are a common occurrence, your personal assets may be at risk. Here are some tips on how to minimize your risk.

1. Choose the right business structure

Does your bar or restaurant need an employment agreement?

When you are in the process of getting your Santa Ana bar or restaurant off the ground, you need to make hundreds of important decisions. The employees you hire are likely some of the most important decisions you will make, as everyone from your manager to your chef to your waiters, bartenders, bussers and more will contribute to the success of your new business.

However, in the midst of such a busy time, many California bar and restaurant owners can overlook an important part of the hiring process: the employment contract or agreement. An employment agreement benefits both the employer and the employee by laying out clear terms for the employment relationship. While hiring employees via an oral or handshake agreement may seem convenient, it can be difficult to enforce in a future conflict. What do you need to know about employment agreements?

Make sure you give employees proper breaks

The state of California outlines specific laws that govern what types of breaks employers must give their employees throughout a workday. Employers must follow these regulations or face certain consequences.

According to the Department of Labor, employees must take a 30-minute meal break for every five hours they work in a shift. An exception can occur if the shift is six hours or less and there is a mutual agreement to skip the meal period. There is also an exception for those who work in the broadcasting, motion picture and wholesale baking industries.

What do you need to start a restaurant in California?

If you want to open a restaurant in California, there are many decisions and steps you need to take to ensure you do things properly. Besides the typical things you need for any business, starting a restaurant requires a number of additional licenses before you can open the doors and begin operating. 

According to the California Secretary of State, before you do anything you should have a business plan. This can help you organize everything and map out details. A good plan should discuss:

  • Budgets
  • Number of employees needed
  • Potential investment sources
  • Marketing and advertising plans 
  • Location 
  • Management structure
  • Profit projections 

The California ABC license process

Selling alcoholic beverages in California is complicated. Locating the right business location can be expensive. Owning a bar or liquor store means you will put in long hours. It involves keeping your inventory resupplied regularly. And it includes hiring a staff who you can trust.

However, none of this is possible without the appropriate liquor license. Whether for on-sale or off-sale purchases, a license is difficult to obtain. The process for the granting of a license can be lengthy. And once obtained, a suspension of the license can occur for many reasons. Among other things, you could lose your license because of sales to underage individuals, employee misconduct, and crimes occurring on the premises.

Put the insight and integrity of Blake & Ayaz on your side today. We are ready to serve you. Call 714-667-7171 or send an email now.

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Blake & Ayaz, A Law Corporation

Blake & Ayaz, A Law Corporation
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Santa Ana, CA 92706

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