Good Neighbors. Great Lawyers.

Blog - Business and Real Estate Law

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Verbal agreements: most are legally binding but open to interpretation

Technically, most verbal agreements are in fact legally binding. 

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"Fine print" musts for business websites

You may wonder if anyone actually reads those website terms and conditions found on most sites today.

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5 tips for choosing a great lawyer

Whether you need help with estate planning, a divorce or a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll want and need to have the right attorney in your corner.

501(c)(3) status: what it takes to become tax-exempt

The 7 Rivers Region has a rich tradition of philanthropy.


7 signs someone is embezzling from your company

It's an unfortunate reality that employers need to vigilantly safeguard their assets from those they must trust the most: their own employees.

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A New Year's resolution to keep: managing your business risks

A New Year is not just a good time to make personal resolutions like exercising more frequently and eating better.

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About email disclaimers

Many people know that sickening feeling that comes when they realize they just hit send on an email intended for someone else.

Accommodating customers with physical disabilities is smart business

Unless you’ve experienced a physical disability, it’s hard to understand the complexities of getting around independently in the world today.

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Alternative dispute resolution can save time and money

Considered cost-effective, fast, flexible and fair, ADR is the most popular method for resolving disputes in this region.

An employer's guide to unemployment tax

The economy may be improving but unemployment rates show no signs of declining.

Avoid common business insurance mistakes

Business owners work hard to grow their enterprises, investing countless hours, intense labor and careful attention to assure success.

Be mindful of the law when blogging for business

More and more businesses today are discovering the benefits of blogging. 


Beyond the here and now: Buy-sell agreements can protect your business interests for years to come

Buy-sell agreements are one of the most important tools for your long-term business success.

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Billing disputes: tips for businesses

The best way to prevent billing disputes is a written contract outlining costs, expectations and delivery date.

Bloggers beware: what you post may not be legal

When blogging was introduced to the masses around 1999, few people realized its potential to turn stay-at-home moms into bread winners or secretaries into best-selling authors.

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Business Lawsuits: By the Numbers

If you ever find your business faced with a lawsuit, these numbers may help you make some big-money decisions.

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Business partnerships: What you need to know about getting in, out

The many benefits that can come with a business partnership often entice people to begin working together before they have formalized all the details. 


Business structures: choosing the one that's right for your organization

When it comes to different business structures, one size does not fit all.

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Business valuation: half art, half science

Knowing you've gotten the most possible from your years of investment and hard work is as difficult as being certain you got highest possible dollar value for your home.

Business valuations have many uses

Many business owners work day in and day out to build value in their companies, but few know the actual value of their enterprise.

Business valuations important for many reasons

Many business owners work day in and day out to build value in their companies, but few know the actual value of their enterprise.

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Buying a home: what must the seller disclose?

Here's what you should include on your real estate condition report .

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Buying or selling a house: what you need to know

If there is anything buyers and sellers of homes have in common it is a need to know their local housing market. “If it’s been a while since you’ve sold a house or looked at houses, you need to be familiar with prices in your market,” said attorney Greg Bonney. That's especially important if you move to a new area.

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Buying vs leasing: understanding the pros and cons

Whether you're starting a new business or growing an existing one, you probably need equipment to get the job done.


Choosing an Attorney: Five Tips to Follow

Whether you need help with estate planning, a divorce or a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll want and need to have the right attorney in your corner.

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Commercial leases: what to look for

What should I look out for in a commercial lease?

Commonly missed tax deductions

The search for tax deductions is a year-round effort, and it's a search that often includes oversights.

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Concealed weapons in private businesses: What are the rules?

What are the rules about concealed weapons in a private business?

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Condos have their own rules

If you purchased a condominium lately, you likely had a stack of documents handed to you.


Conducting job interviews: questions to avoid

If you’ve ever conducted a job interview, you know firsthand how tempting it can be to ask as many questions as you can to get to know candidates both professionally and personally.

Containing cyber-slacking - establishing a reasonable email policy for your workplacde

The advent of the Internet and email in the workplace has been both a boon and a boondoggle to employers in the United States.

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Corporate integrity: maintaining separate corporate identity protects officers, owners

Maintaining a separate corporate identity is key to protecting officers and owners from personal liability for the acts or debts of the business. 

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Does your business need a valuation

As a business lawyer, Greg Bonney is periodically asked about business valuations. Business owners want to know when valuations, which can be costly and time-consuming, are warranted.

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Doing business as: three ways DBAs can help you grow your business

While many people know that in the business world DBA stands for “doing business as,” far fewer understand how and when to use a DBA.


Easements: what are my rights as landowner?

My local power company just requested an easement to erect some windmills on my farm property. What is an easement, and do I have to oblige?

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Eight most common business mistakes

Owning and operating your own business can be a satisfying and profitable venture. But it’s also one that can lead to personal financial ruin.

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Facebook information can help or hinder job prospects

On the surface, Facebook seems like the perfect tool for employers—it offers a glimpse into the private lives of prospective and current employees that you wouldn’t ordinarily have.

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Facebook: a word or two for employees...

Knowing prospective employers look at social media, consider Facebook—for good or for bad—an extension of your interview.  

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Federal investment rules: the basics

Equity and Crowdfunding Stats

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Five steps to take before starting your business

What makes one new business succeed and another fail? It all may come down to what is done long before you open your door, according to attorney Anthony Gingrasso.

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Five tips for choosing a lawyer

Chances are at some point in your life, you'll need a lawyer. It is the nature of the complex world we live in that sometimes we need the guidance of an attorney to protect our interests. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure you get the caliber of representation you deserve. 

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Five ways to get a landlord to make repairs

We’ve all heard the stories: cockroaches, mold, plumbing problems and the landlord who won’t fix them.


For sale by owner: avoid common legal problems

With today’s do-it-yourself approach to many things home-related, it’s not uncommon for home sellers to take the for-sale-by-owner route.

Four steps to buying or selling a business

Buying or selling a business may be one of the biggest career and personal decisions you'll ever make. 

Franchises: What to watch (out) for

When you consider that franchises annually generate two trillion dollars worldwide and account for 50 percent of all retail sales in the United States, it’s no wonder many entrepreneurs engage in this form of business ownership.

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Getting out of timeshare contracts

"My wife and I bought a timeshare a few years ago and it’s just not what we expected or want. We’ve been trying to sell it now for a few months and then hired a company to help us, but we’ve had no interest from anyone. How can we get out?"

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Heed embezzlement warning signs

 It's an unfortunate reality that employers need to vigilantly safeguard their assets from those they must trust the most: their own employees.

Hiring foreign workers often as easy as hiring citizens

Raids by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers illustrate the worst that can happen when employers ignore or knowingly disregard labor laws regulating the employment of non-citizen workers.

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Holiday checklist for business owners

Business owners face long holiday checklists. Not only do they have their personal gift and planning lists, but they also often have business-related lists for holiday cards, parties, client gifts or year-end bonuses.


Home buying: an extra set of eyes helps when buying a house

While it is common for real estate agents and loan officers to prepare and review with the buyer the relevant paperwork for the purchase of a home, only a lawyer can give legal advice.


How giving affects Medicaid eligibility

Tax rules surrounding gifting and Medicaid are separate, but gifting may affect eligibility. 

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Independent contractors: taxation and liability most common issues

With almost one in ten people still jobless in the U.S., many unemployed workers are turning to independent contractor work, bringing new opportunities — and challenges — to American workplaces.

Intellectual Property and the Internet: What to know before you post

When the Internet first began to shape popular culture more than a decade ago, few could have anticipated the astounding impact it would have on commerce, education and even social relationships. 

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Intellectual property: protecting your ideas with copyrights, trademarks and patents

Most businesses at some point will want to keep their ideas from being used by others.

International business: you need more than just a handshake

Business once was done with just a handshake, a symbol of trust. In the international market—and really any market—it is far better today to have a strong contract.

International markets offer opportunities ... and challenges

World markets may be at your fingertips, but buying and selling across the world is much more complicated than clicking the mouse a few times.

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Judge Judy versus small claims court: a battle for the real people's court

Our top six comparisons between Judge Judy and the real deal, better known to us as small claims court.

Landlord-Tenant Law Part 1: Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords

In a college town like La Crosse, Wis., it’s no surprise that one of every two residents lives in a rental property.

Landlord-Tenant Law Part 2: Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants

In a college town like La Crosse, Wis., it’s no surprise that one of every two residents lives in a rental property.

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Landlord-tenant law: Under what circumstances can a landlord keep a security deposit?

Knowing when you are entitled to keep a security deposit can be tricky without some advanced planning.


Lawsuit basics: what to do when your business gets sued

Few business owners begin operations expecting to be sued, but statistics from the United States Department of Justice suggest it’s a reality many will face at some point.

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Leasing: understand the risks when guaranteeing your child's lease

Landlords are looking for someone to guarantee their leases, and they’re looking to the parents of student renters.


Legal advice pays off when buying/selling a home

For most of us, a house is our most expensive and significant purchase in life. If ever there is a time to call in professional help, this would be it.

Libel and Slander: Do blogs count?

If you think blogs are out of control during elections, you are not alone.

Licensing agreements can hold keys to expansion

Most people have a basic understanding of franchises.

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My ex says she has tenancy rights to my home

She says I should be the one to move.


NBA Finals: Two legal maneuvers that changed the sport ... and made some people very rich

With the NBA Final just days away, basketball fans throughout the country are anxiously awaiting the match-up between the Cavaliers and the Warriors. To feed your basketball hunger in the meantime, we offer you two legal stories behind the NBA—one that made some older people very rich and another that’s earning some kids right out of high school more in one year than some of us will ever accrue in a lifetime.

New case law illustrates importance of reviewing nonprofit bylaws

Nonprofit corporations create bylaws when they are established, but two recent legal cases affirm that creating bylaws is not enough.

New Wisconsin law may necessitate change for business owners

Many business owners, especially those in equipment and service industries (e.g., health care, consulting, information technology, insurance, food service, etc.), have long relied on automatic renewal clauses to maintain uninterrupted operations with clients.  

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New Year resolutions for business: 6 steps to protect your entity

Whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re just starting up, now is a good time to make sure you’re getting all the personal protections afforded by your corporate structure. 

Noncompete agreements: a form of business insurance

It's ironic that one of your business's greatest assets can also be one of its greatest threats.

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Plan now for big estate recovery changes

The countdown to Aug. 1, 2014 is on, but few Wisconsinites recognize the importance of that date. 

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Protecting consumer data requires vigilance

A few months ago it was Target and Michael’s. Then it was Heartbleed and Michael’s (again).

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Q&A: As a nonprofit board member, can I be held liable?

As a board member, am I liable for the organization’s debts?

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Q&A: Do I really need a license for a simple raffle in Wisconsin?

I volunteer with the parent-teacher organization at my child’s school, and we’re planning a raffle-style fundraiser. One of the parents said we need a license from the state in order to conduct our raffle. Is that true? If it is, what steps do we need to take?

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Renting out your space via Airbnb? Consider these legal issues first. (Part 1 of 2)

The internet has made it easier than ever for people to rent out their property in whole or in part to traveler, but the issue can become sticky for both the property owner and the renter. (Part 1 of 2)

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Renting: what can I do about mold?

What rights do I have as a tenant living in a residence with black mold in the walls?


Scraping for new ideas: when is it considered plagiarism

Now that the dust has settled from the 2014 Wisconsin governor race, let’s talk about plagiarism.

Selling Your Business: Should You or Shouldn't You?

A time comes in every business life cycle when an owner considers selling his or her company.

Should you worry about online reviews?

A customer writes a negative online review about your restaurant. 

Simple steps to select a lawyer for your business

Whatever your status as a business owner — prospective, new or established — you’re better off having a relationship with a business lawyer.


Six things you need to know before buying a timeshare

Before you go out and buy into a timeshare, here are six things you need to know.

Small claims court a good solution for businesses

If you own a business, chances are you’ve encountered at least a couple disputes with customers or other businesses.


Social media: how can I protect my content?

With Pinterest, blogs and all the other social media out there, I want credit for my photos that are reposted. How can I protect my work?

Solid employee policy is key to tapping power of social media in workplace

Depending on your perspective, social media may be either the biggest productivity drain or the greatest promotional opportunity since the Internet found its way to the workplace a decade ago.

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Starting a business: what do I need to know about permits, licenses and sales tax?

I’m starting my own small business providing carpentry and drywall services.

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Statutory close corporations a great alternative for many businesses

For small business owners looking for the protection of a corporation and the simplicity of something less formal, a “statutory close corporation” may be just right.


Students face academic - and legal - consequences when plagiarizing

The electronic age has brought easy access to a wealth of information on topics as diverse as history, science, art, homemaking, crafts, medicine, parenting and, yes, the law.

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Succession planning: turning your company over to the next generation

Your business is going well and even includes two of your six kids in its management. What will happen when you decide to retire or die?

Taxes, Automobiles and Your Business: A Guide to Deductions

When it comes to paying taxes, it’s perfectly natural — even wise — to look for every possible deduction.

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Ten questions to determine whether and when to sell your business

Pundits have long discussed the life cycles of businesses, often reducing them to tidy four- or five-phase sequences. For business owners, however, the stages are not so clear and can be fogged by their own personal life cycles.


The Most Common Fines Assessed Against Small Businesses

When you own a small business, complying with regulations and laws is an essential part of your role. But the responsibility can be overwhelming.


The power of mediation: getting parties to settle out of court

When mediation lawyer Brent Smith negotiates a case, he moves from room to room, listening and sharing offers and counter offers. One goal of mediation is faster and less expensive resolutions to legal problems.

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The Pros and Cons of Going it Alone in Business

If you’re considering starting a business in 2017, here’s a look at the pros and cons of going solo.

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Tips for business owners facing divorce

Anyone contemplating a divorce has a lot at stake, and if you’re a business owner, you can add a whole new list of considerations.

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Top four reasons for landlord-tenant legal problems

Once people find a rental property that fits their needs and budget, few give further thought to the landlord-tenant relationship: sign here, initial there. But that initial transaction—for both the tenant and the landlord—paves the way for either a harmonious relationship or a tumultuous one.

Unmarried couples: consider challenges when buying property together

From young adults to seniors, unmarried people often buy property together.

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What's in a (business) name?

JFC attorneys are confident that if Susan McDonald named her hair salon “McDonald’s Salon,” she would not run into big tradename problems. 

When advertising, follow the golden rule

Many businesses and individuals rely on advertising to let the world know what they have to offer.


Why should I care about GDPR?

If GDPR is a European Union law, why am I hearing so much about it in Wisconsin?


Wisconsin Crowdfunding Law opens doors to equity and potential legal issues

If you’ve ever been tempted to use crowdfunding to build your business, Wisconsin has taken extra steps to make it friendlier than ever to do so in the state.