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California Business, Insurance And Environmental Law Blog

These 3 factors play a role in insurance disputes

The last thing any business owner wants to deal with is a dispute with an insurance company. You chose your insurance company carefully because you thought that it would cover you when you needed it most. Now, you're dealing with a denial of your insurance claim and losses from your situation.

There are a few common reasons for commercial insurance disputes, including:

Forming a new business in California

When California entrepreneurs are thinking about starting a business, the formation process can be particularly important for its future success. For example, you could create a corporation, a partnership, or a limited liability company, depending on the particular needs of your business and the structure that will be put in place. It can be critical to understand exactly what each of these choices can mean for your business and its operations.

You can choose the type of business entity that best fits your management style, available capital and susceptibility to risk. Once you make that choice, the process will include creating necessary documents and filing with the state in order to properly register the entity and receive the protections conferred by the status that you have selected. The charter documents will also make clear the obligations of the business owners as well as their rights.

Television deal may be scuttled

California residents may be interested to learn that the head of the Federal Communications Commission has voiced concern about the planned $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company by the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. This has resulted in the possibility of the acquisition being cancelled.

The FCC chief stated that there is proof that if specific television stations were to be divested, Sinclair would have illegal control of those stations. Sinclair, which is touted as the leading television broadcast group in the United States, has yet to respond to the comments issued by the FCC chief. The proposed transaction has also received staunch criticism from several politicians. They are concerned that the deal would result in the significant consolidation of television stations.

Using social media to raise venture capital

For determined entrepreneurs in California searching for business startup funding, the traditional ways of securing venture capital have proven difficult to say the least. Fortunately, social media platforms have emerged as a viable solution to those looking for funding and those looking to invest. However, finding money to support the next big idea in business is not as simple as making a post every now and then. Based on a study by the Wharton School of Business, there is a science to using social media to attract the right investor for a business opportunity.

Thanks to advances in the world of technology, the emergence of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending have become more common in the area of business formation and planning. Social media seems to be the driving force of these innovative online platforms, which have proven to be a successful method of a meet-and-greet between investors and entrepreneurs. The Wharton study found that activity on social media had a positive correlation with the ability to obtain funding by giving a startup the ability to share information about their plan to a large and diverse audience; it helped to eliminate many of the hardships of traditional methods.

Stronger frozen food sales motivate Conagra and Pinnacle merger

Grocery shoppers in California routinely see food products from Conagra Brand and Pinnacle Foods on the shelves. Food industry analysts view the merger of the two companies as a sign that Conagra wanted to expand its presence in the frozen foods segment. Pinnacle recently generated half of its revenue from brands like Gardein vegetarian meals, Van de Kamp's and Birds Eye. The latest quarterly results from Conagra indicate that the company experienced sales growth in its refrigerated and frozen food brands.

The uptick in sales of frozen foods appears to be reversing many years of declining sales. Consumers, particularly Millennials, have turned to convenient frozen meals as an alternative to more expensive takeout food. Business analysts expect the merger to strengthen the food company's position in this market segment.

Why some cloud startup founders are competing against tech giants

Anyone in California looking to carve their own niche among businesses based on remote storage capabilities in the cloud is going to find a lot of competition from some big and well-established names. However, some enterprising startup founders, like those who were in attendance at an annual cloud tech gathering, are convinced there is room for newcomers in this crowded space. In fact, three of the speakers at this event shared stories about their own successes with cloud-based enterprises.

While sharing their business formation and planning experiences, the three entrepreneurs talked about using what they learned from working for established tech giants to make smart investment and hiring decisions with their own ventures. As for why they chose to leave cozy jobs, one reason given was the "lure of a new challenge." Others saw unexplored opportunities with cloud technology.

Differences between startups and small businesses

Entrepreneurs and business owners in California might use the terms small business and startup interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the two. Startups differ from traditional businesses in how they think about growth, how they are funded and how they plan to exit the business. According to a co-founder of business seed accelerator Y Combinator, the difference between small business ventures and startups is that startups are designed to scale.

An important part of the definition of startup is rapid growth. Those who are launching startups should plan to expand to a very large market over a short period of time. According to the Small Business Association, the term startup usually refers to a business that has high growth potential and is technology oriented.

Fujifilm seeks more than $1 billion in damages from Xerox

Two major companies with California operations are engaged in a legal dispute following the failure of their planned corporate merger. Fujifilm filed suit on June 18 seeking more than $1 billion plus punitive damages from Xerox. Fujifilm alleges that Xerox abandoned the companies' planned $6.1 billion merger due to pressure from activist investors Darwin Deason and Carl Icahn.

Specifically, court documents indicate that Fujifilm has accused Xerox of egregious and intentional conduct in walking away from the deal after Xerox settled a case with Deason and Icahn. As part of the settlement, control of Xerox passed to new management. Fujifilm is also seeking a ruling that Xerox is liable to pay a $183 million fee for failing to follow through with the transaction.

Insurance companies who don't act in good faith must be stopped

Businesses that purchase insurance expect that they will reap these benefits when they need them, as long as those are in line with the policy. Unfortunately, this isn't always the way that the situation will work out. There are times when insurance companies won't operate in good faith, which means that the businesses might not reap the policy benefits when they should.

When you are dealing with an insurance company for a claim, you have every right to expect that the claim will be handled fairly, in an appropriate manner, and in a timely fashion. When this doesn't happen, your company might have a case for making a bad faith insurance claim.

How to learn from failure as a business owner

Failing at one startup venture does not necessarily mean that a California entrepreneur will never succeed. In fact, research has shown that those who have failed once are actually more likely to succeed the second time around. The odds of success increase further for those who with their first companies for a longer period of time. To maximize the chances of building a successful company, startup owners need to create a product that they love and believe in.

If business owners are behind their products, their investors may be more willing to stand behind the entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should also be willing to get creative when it comes to finding solutions to problems facing their companies. For instance, it may be possible to use funds from one business to finance another. If a business has trouble finding civilian customers, it may be worthwhile to seek government contracts.

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