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Wilkes-Barre Business Law Blog

Proper entity selection an important decision when starting a business

In starting a business, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, including financing, entity selection, and structuring the business. Selecting the specific form a business will take is important for a number of reasons.

Entity selection affects a number of aspects of business, including the costs of formation, ease of dissolution, distribution of profits, ownership and control, liability, taxation, and ability to generate capital. All of these things need to be given careful thought before selecting an entity, and an experienced attorney can help provide skillful guidance. 

Work with experienced legal counsel to address issues in real estate development

Previously, we looked briefly at ongoing efforts by the Wilkes-Barre school to secure a location for a new high school. As we noted, the school district has taken steps to obtain a plot of land owned by Pagnotti Enterprises, but the property presents environmental issues and has yet to be approved by the Department of Environment Protection. At this point, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be for the development project.

Environmental issues are, of course, important to thoroughly address in any real estate development project, but they are only one part of what needs to be done in terms of due diligence on a property. There is also the need to review issues related to zoning, utilities, assessments, ownership of development rights, occupancy issues, and licenses and permits. In other words, there needs to be a thorough understanding of the state of the property with respect to regulatory compliance. 

School district moves ahead with site for new high school project

Wilkes-Barre readers are probably aware that one of the ongoing issues the district has been discussing is where to build a new high school. In 2015, the school board approved a plan to combine Meyers and Coughlin high schools, but it has been a struggle to locate a site for the project since that time.

Initially, the consolidated school was going to be built on the site where Coughlin stood, but late last year, a hearing was held on proposed zoning changes for the project and the plan was rejected by the city zoning board. Some of the other sites that have come under consideration are a plot of land off State Route 115 and a Geisinger Health System site, both in Plains Township.

Addressing the issue of delays in construction contracts, disputes, P.3

We’ve been looking at the issue of delay in construction projects, particularly how delays are to be handled under a construction contracts. Picking up where we left off last time, concurrent delays are another issue that should be dealt with in construction contracts. Concurrent delays are those for which there are two or more potential explanations for the cause of the delays, including actions or omissions of both the property owner and the contractor.

Although the courts have established basic rules for handling concurrent delays, applying these rules is not always easy and requires careful attention to the facts of the case. Answering the question of who is responsible for concurrent delays is not always easy. Another important issue is float apportionment. 

Addressing the issue of delays in construction contracts, disputes, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the issue of construction delays and the potentially significant costs associated with them. As we noted, construction delays often do not come with drastic costs until they result in delays in the overall construction project.

One way of addressing the issue of delays is to build in extra time to the contract. Any well-drafted construction contract, especially contracts for projects involving multiple phases and subcontractors, will include a certain amount of float or slack time for different phases of the project. This gives the parties involved in each phase of the project extra time, if necessary, to handle issues that come up without causing delays in the overall project. 

Addressing the issue of delays in construction contracts, disputes, P.1

With the road construction season upon us, Pennsylvania readers are sure to soon experience the inconveniences associated with such projects. In particular, two Pennsylvania Department of Transportation construction projects, one on Route 147 in Point Township and another on Interstate 80 in Montour County, are expected to cause traffic delays.

In any large construction project, whether involving roadways, real estate, or otherwise, there is a great deal of coordination and planning that needs to be done to ensure that the project proceeds as smoothly and with as few complications and delays as possible. If the property owners or developers and the contractors involved in a project are willing to work out any issues that arise, challenges can be overcome, but it is also important for parties to understand their legal obligations and rights, especially when it comes to construction delays and defects. 

Selecting appropriate business form an important task for entrepreneurs, P.2

Last time, we mentioned several business forms available to entrepreneurs and some of the basic features of these types of business, from a liability, tax, ownership and formation/dissolution perspective. Aside from sole proprietorships and partnerships, entrepreneurs may also consider forming a limited liability company or a corporation to organize their business, depending on their needs and goals.

Both partnerships and sole proprietorships are typically relatively easy to form and dissolve compared to limited liability companies and corporations, but both LLCS and corporations allow entrepreneurs greater ability to generate capital. 

Selecting appropriate business form an important task for entrepreneurs

Selecting the appropriate business type is important to ensure a budding business gets off on the right foot, but how does an entrepreneur know what the best business form is for his or her needs? Looking at the question generally, there are four basic types of business forms available.

In a sole proprietorship, one owner has sole profit, control and liability for the business. Sole proprietorships involve less paperwork and fewer requirements than other business forms. On the other hand, the owner has sole responsibility for liabilities, and that liability is personal. In addition, sole proprietors have a limited ability to raise capital. In a sole proprietorship, taxes are filed as personal income tax.

Work with experienced attorney to effectively navigate natural gas permitting process

Wilkes-Barre readers may be aware that plans to build a natural gas pipeline across southern Pennsylvania have been in the works for some time. The project, known as the PA Pipeline Project/Mariner East 2, will transport natural gas liquids from the southwestern part of the state to Marcus Hook county in the southeast.

The pipeline plans recently received a critical boost when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved permit applications for Sunoco Pipeline LP, the company in charge of the project. The DEP permits address a variety of environmental concerns associated with the project, including water obstruction and encroachment, as well as erosion and sediment control.