California Business Lawyer
While California is home to many large companies, small business is absolutely massive in The Golden State.
According to a fact sheet from the California government, more than 4 million small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses in the state. Small businesses in California also employ more than 7 million people, which comprises about 48% of the state’s workforce.
The term ‘California business law’ typically refers to business-related laws, regulations, and judicial precedents. However, California business law is often made at the ballot box, and corporations have been known to use statewide referendums as a way to push back against government actions they don’t like. For example, the state recently passed a law establishing a council that would set fair working conditions for California fast food workers, and in response, the state’s fast food industry successfully called for a 2024 referendum that would overturn that law.
California business law is also unique thanks to the state’s massive tech sector, largely based in Silicon Valley. California companies like Apple and Meta have a global impact, and the state has often seen itself as the first line of defense when it comes to regulating its homegrown tech giants. In 2002, California became the first state to mandate that companies notify their customers in the event of a data breach.
In 2013, California became the first state to make it easy for teens to delete the content they post online. In 2022, California passed major laws related to online hate speech, disinformation, and parental controls for social media. Given the size of California’s population and economy, its homegrown tech companies often find it easier to respond to these laws by making comprehensive changes to the services they provide, and many other US states tend to follow California’s lead regarding business laws for the tech sector.
With the large and influential tech sector as a backdrop, California has two particularly unique areas of business law: Antitrust and Unfair Competition laws. These areas of California law are designed to aggressively protect consumers and ensure fair competition in the marketplace.
Clearly, California is a unique and progressive state when it comes to business law. There’s never a dull moment for California business lawyers trying to navigate The Golden State’s ever-evolving set of rules and regulations.
How Can You Minimize Risks to Your Business?
Massive economic shocks to the global economy over the past few years have made it difficult for company leaders to protect their organizations. On top of that, there are ongoing structural shifts in digital transformation and regulatory evolution.
At times like these, it’s good to remember that risk is just a part of doing business. Organizations like yours simply need to align their risk tolerance with their values and objectives.
Naturally, it’s a good idea to regularly take stock of your organizational strengths and vulnerabilities with respect to risk. If you are doing business in The Golden State, California, business lawyers can help your organization take inventory of your current risk profile. This exercise should consider your business practices, relevant regulations, ethical concerns, environmental concerns, and current marketplace factors for your industry.
The number and array of business risks today are pushing California business lawyers to take a more ‘holistic’ strategy to risk management. This involves weighing each kind of risk differently. For example, potential damage to a company’s brand might carry less weight than potential fines. Your business may have certain priorities when it comes to minimizing risk, such as safeguarding its most valuable intellectual property. Taking a holistic approach helps mitigate risks and provide maximum liability protection. When you take a broad look at all the risks your organization faces, it makes it much easier to aggressively address the greatest risks.
Once you have established an up-to-date risk profile, you should review your policies and practices to identify areas of improvement. You should also look for any disconnect between corporate policies and current practices. These should be in close alignment to ensure compliance and support business activities. Maintaining a strong corporate culture is an effective way to prevent these disconnects from forming.
It’s also a good idea to regularly review all business contracts, as these can be a significant source of risk for any organization. All of the contracts in your organization should be reviewed. Even the simplest contract can include many moving parts. Some contracts may need to be changed as your business grows or economic conditions shift. Look for weak spots in your contracts that can be addressed and possibly renegotiated.
Your organization should keep regularly updated documents on its risk tolerance profile and assessment protocols. These can act as a foundation for standard operating procedures, ongoing discussions, and employee training. These documents should incorporate some degree of flexibility, as real-world scenarios can quickly change, and practices might need to be tailored to real-time circumstances.
Another best practice for business lawyers looking to minimize risk is maintaining lines of communication between the business and legal departments. Regular communications ensure that business lawyers are kept in the loop on the latest development and shifts in strategic focal points on the business side. Conversely, good communication helps business leaders avoid unnecessary risks or unknowingly shift the organization’s risk profile.
Maintaining proper insurance coverage is another effective way to minimize risk. If your industry involves high amounts of risks with respect to employees, customers, or business partners, it is extremely important to make sure your company is fully insured.
Finally, it is critical to remember that minimizing risk should be an ongoing process. While continuous improvement is ideal, the last thing you should want your organization to do is to unnecessarily increase its risk exposure.
Types of Business Law We Handle
At Fridman Law Firm, our team of experienced California business lawyers is ready to help your company minimize its risk exposure. We specialize in providing legal services in the following areas.
Startup law is quite different from standard corporate law, especially in California’s volatile tech industry. Attorneys working with startups and emerging companies should be familiar with issues like corporate structuring, capital raising, taxation, and intellectual property protection. Because most startups have a limited staff, partnering with a law firm like ours can help these companies address their legal concerns without all of the costs associated with in-house counsel.
In addition to working with startups and growing companies, we also empower established businesses with strategic legal solutions. Using an entrepreneurial background and deep knowledge of corporate law, our team of attorneys can provide services on everything from compliance to contract negotiations. We have significant experience in dealing with California’s unique business laws, and the challenges they present. Our corporate law services are focused on handling small legal details so our clients can focus on the big picture.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Through mergers and acquisitions, companies can take advantage of all kinds of opportunities. Our experienced team of business lawyers is well-versed and all of the strategies, contracts, negotiations, and financing issues related to mergers and acquisitions. We also have a deep understanding of how California’s antitrust and unfair competition laws might relate to potential mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys are capable of advising on every single detail so your company and its investors can enjoy the best possible deal.
The role of general counsel comes with great responsibility. For years, the role was primarily focused on being a legal watchdog for an organization. But now, the role of general counsel involves proactive strategies on issues like potential liability. From advising on corporate strategy to handling crisis situations, a general counsel must rely on legal acumen and years of experience. Game-changing companies have used our general counsel services to achieve their growth potential and protect assets from liability.
Given their connections to the entertainment and technology industries, Californians have a deep appreciation for the value of intellectual property. Our team of California business lawyers uses their knowledge of regulations and opportunities to help our clients get the most possible value out of their intellectual property.
Fridman Law Firm: Aligning Legal Excellence with Business Brilliance
Rules and regulations in the Golden State offer challenges but also opportunities. Organizations looking to make the most of this legal environment should seek the services of experienced California business lawyers. If your California-based organization is currently in the market for business law services, send us an email or call our office at 212-262-9823 to arrange for a consultation.