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What Is Business Law?

business law contract signing

Merill, Arnone & Jones has served Sonoma County businesses, and more for over 40 years. Our attorneys provide expert legal advice and services in a variety of areas, including business law.

Business law deals with everything from the creation of new business to any issues that can arise while operating, such as tax law, intellectual property, real estate, sales, employment, bankruptcy, contracts, and more.

As businesses and business owners interact with the public, other companies, or the government, legal assistance is always beneficial.

Through Northern California, businesses have to operate under strict laws and work with the legal system. Business law graduates are able to work in a wide array of different industries that can help manage risk and provide solutions to commercial businesses.

If you are looking for local, business lawyers, please contact us here.

What can you do with a law degree in business?

A law degree specializing in business allows graduates flexibility in their career choices. Business law degree holders can use their knowledge to become business lawyers, financial analysts, compliance officers, politicians, journalists, and more.

The skills developed in law school can easily extend to a wide array of industries.

What are the features of business law?

Business law functions to establish legal standards, resolve disputes, and protect rights.

Features of business law include all the ways that an experienced attorney can protect your business such as intellectual property (IP) law for trademarks, copyrights, and patents to help protect your ideas and employment law that provides advice on handling employee rights and responsibilities.

Each business, large or small, is its own legal entity that must comply with government and state legal regulations.

Our attorneys can assist with a variety of services when working with commercial businesses which include contracts.

What is a contract in business law?

As part of their operations, businesses must often prepare and negotiate legally-enforceable contracts. At MAJ Law, our attorneys skillfully assist in contract law ranging from lease agreements to complex litigation.

It is vital to your business’ success to utilize contracts to protect the interests of all involved parties.

Contracts outline obligations and expectations between two or more parties and include four elements: offer, acceptance, intent, and consideration. Well-drafted contracts can help your business avoid unfair agreements and loopholes.

In complication transactions, it is essential to have an attorney identify potential issues. Our attorneys using a well-drafted contract can help protect your business needs if a dispute arises or if there is a breach of contract.

If you have any questions about business law, contracts, and other areas of practice, our local attorneys are ready to help. Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of legal issues involving businesses in California and how to protect them effectively.

We’re happy to answer your simple or complex questions over the phone as well, call us at (707) 528-2882 today.

New California Laws affecting Small Business

new california laws affecting small businesses in 2021

To prepare for the year ahead, it is important to be aware of the latest labor and employment laws that can impact your business.

California companies large and small may find significant changes in the new laws for 2021. Some of these new laws pertain to paid family leave, COVID-19, and reporting.

We encourage our community and local businesses to learn more about the new 2020 business laws and call Merrill, Arnone & Jones with any questions at (707) 528 -2882.

2021 California Laws affecting Small Business

Senate Bill 1159: Workers’ Compensation Presumption

This law provides a rebuttable presumption of a work-related illness and expands workers’ compensation coverage for employees who contract COVID-19 within 14 days after working at their place of employment. This law expires on January 1, 2023.

Assembly Bill 685: COVID-19 Hazard, Exposure, and Violations

This bill creates new notice and reporting requirements for employers and employees regarding COVID-19. It enhances infection prevention requirements by allowing hazard related shutdowns and citations for serious violations.

Senate Bill 1383: California Family Leave Rights Act (CFRA) Expansion

Employers with 5 or more employees (previously 50 employees) are now required to provide unpaid protected family leave for up to 12 weeks for employees to care for themselves, a child, parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, or partner, as specified.

Senate Bill 973 – Annual Pay Reporting

Beginning March 31, 2021, a private employer that has 100 or more employees is required to file an annual Employer Information Report to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that contains information about race, gender, and wages. This law will help determine whether minorities are being discriminated against in pay.

Assembly Bill 1512: Security Officer Rest Periods

This law requires certain unionized private security officers to remain on the premises and on-call during rest periods. Additionally, if the rest period is interrupted, the employer must allow the security officer to restart a rest period as soon as practicable.

Assembly Bill 2017: Kin Care

With this new law, employees now have the power to use their sick leave at their sole discretion for whatever reason they deem necessary of sick leave.

Assembly Bill 1731: Unemployment Insurance and Work Share

In exchange for avoiding layoffs, AB 1731 allows employers the option of providing partial unemployment insurance payments while reducing hours and cutting costs during an economic downturn. An application plan must be submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) for the Work Share Program.

Assembly Bill 1947: Complaint Reporting

This bill doubles the period of time from 6 months to a year for individuals to file violation complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Assembly Bill 2992: Protections for Crime Victims

Expanding prohibition on discrimination against employees who are victims of crime or abuse to take time off to handle judicial proceedings without repercussions.

Minimum Wage Increase

On January 1st, 2021 minimum wage for employers with 25 employees or less will increase to $13.00 per hour, and for employers with 26 or more employees, the minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour. However, some local minimum wages may be higher depending on the city.

To stay up-to-date on small business laws affecting local businesses, bookmark this page.

Want to learn more about new laws affecting your county in California? Find your county below to visit their local website, or message them on their official Facebook page.


County Name

Alameda County

Alpine County

Amador County

Butte County

Calaveras County

Colusa County

Contra Costa County

Del Norte County

El Dorado County

Fresno County

Glenn County

Humboldt County

Imperial County

Inyo County

Kern County

Kings County

Lake County

Lassen County

Los Angeles County

Madera County

Marin County

Mariposa County

Mendocino County

Merced County

Modoc County

Mono County

Monterey County

Napa County

Nevada County

Orange County

Placer County

Plumas County

Riverside County

Sacramento County

San Benito County

San Bernardino County

San Diego County

San Francisco County

San Joaquin County

San Luis Obispo County

San Mateo County

Santa Barbara County

Santa Clara County

Santa Cruz County

Shasta County

Sierra County

Siskiyou County

Solano County

Sonoma County

Stanislaus County

Sutter County

Tehama County

Trinity County

Tulare County

Tuolumne County

Ventura County

Yolo County

Yuba County


California Business Law – Where do I start with my business?

Business Law TipsIf you are considering becoming an entrepreneur, you need to understand California business law before you start working on your winning business plan.

After all, failing to comply with business and tax laws is a common reason that promising businesses fail.

You need to get off on the right foot by understanding the business law basics that apply to any fledgling company or venture.

5 Key California Business Law Tips

The following are five key California business law tips that should get you off to a good start on your new business.

  1. Start with a business plan. Just a good idea is not enough to make a business successful. You need to have a detailed business plan that accounts for your finances, as well as the regulatory issues you may encounter. Far too many people wait too long to look up California laws that affect their business until they’ve already made costly mistakes. A business plan that includes a well-defined game plan for regulatory compliance avoids major and costly pitfalls.
  2. Incorporate early and choose your business entity carefully. Before you sign a lease or a contract, you need to incorporate your business. In California, corporations, LLCs, and partnerships all provide business owners good ways to limit their personal liability and provide structure to business operations. Just choose your business entity carefully. These can be difficult to change later, so you need to carefully consider which formation best meets your current needs and allows for future growth. An experienced incorporation lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.
  3. Get the right California business permits. Unless you have the right permits, your business has no right to operate in California. Make sure to carefully research all the permits that may be needed in your business model, and discuss any questions with an expert. You need to apply for the permits before you open or risk big fines.
  4. Plan carefully for your federal and California taxes. Taxes remain a huge hurdle for small businesses, but a strategic tax plan can limit your tax responsibility and protect you against audits. A California tax attorney can help you figure out what you owe and how to stay compliant.
  5. Find a California business lawyer you trust. As you can see, every small business needs legal expertise to succeed, even from the earliest stages. Find an experienced California business lawyer you trust early, so you don’t miss any legal risks or waste opportunities for growth. Not only will you be able to protect your business and set it up for success, but you’ll also have a trusted partner ready to fight for you when legal issues crop up in the future. A little prevention goes a long way– and saves you money.

With these five tips in mind, you’re a long way towards making your new business a success.

Still looking for a lawyer you trust? Talk to the attorneys at MAJ Law.

Our California business lawyers have years of diverse experience in the business world, which means we bring a level of expertise to our advice that sets you up for success on day one.

To learn more, please call Merrill, Arnone & Jones (MAJ Law) at (707) 528-2882 today.