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Kurkin Forehand Brandes LLP

Auto Dealership And Commercial Litigation Law Blog

Consumer privacy laws important for auto dealers

The auto dealership business is subject to many regulations under Florida and federal law. Keeping in compliance with these laws and regulations is essential to running a healthy business.

One of the most important consumer protection laws affecting auto financing is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. A wide-ranging law for curbing perceived abuses within the financial services industry, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act comes up often in auto dealerships because of its rules about privacy.

Commercial leases are unpredictable, but highly adaptable

Compared to buying property, leasing has many advantages for business owners. First and foremost, it requires a lot less capital. However, this doesn't mean a commercial lease agreement is easy.

Commercial lease agreements are usually much more complicated than residential leases. While a host of laws regulations protect residential tenants, there are few such protection for commercial lease holders. Commercial leases can also have much more variety in their terms, compared to residential leases, making every new lease negotiation unpredictable.

Knowing when to buy and when to sell a business

For many Florida businesses, one key to growth is through smart, well-managed acquisitions. But sometimes it can be even more important to know when to sell parts of the business.

ADT, the Boca Raton-based security technology company, recently announced that it was selling its Canadian operations for an impressive $700 million in cash. The buyer is Telus Corp., based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Last year, ADT Canada had revenue of $229 million. The deal has yet to be approved by Canadian regulators.

Auto dealership group accused of false advertising

The auto dealership business can be tough in Florida. Overhead costs are high, profit margins can be slim, and there is a heavy burden of regulatory compliance issues. One area where auto dealers can run into trouble is with advertising.

Recently, a network of auto dealerships and its chief executive were sued by California's attorney general over alleged false advertising and other alleged fraud.

Professional help for zoning issues

Commercial real estate is a high-risk business, but the rewards can be very high, so long as things go well. One area where even a beautifully well-planned project can go wrong is with zoning. When zoning restrictions present a problem for new development proposals, the developers must go through a process of hearings, and possibly appeals. It can be time-consuming and frustrating, but with the help of a good attorney, developers can usually work out a solution.

In Miami-Dade County, the main authority overseeing zoning decisions is the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources. Under the department's umbrella are the Board of County Commissioners and 10 community councils, which represent different areas of the county.

Auto dealers need good counsel now more than ever

The automobile dealership business is going through some tough times. According to some analysts, it may be going through the toughest period since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Prices for new cars have gone up, driven by consumers' preferences for SUVs and technological features. Some of these high-tech offerings are mandated by government regulations, while others are just desirable features. Whatever the explanation, the average sale price of a new car in 2018 was $36,000, about $5,000 more than it was in 2012. Automakers and auto dealers have cut into their profit margins in order to keep prices from scaring off potential customers.

What are three important tips for choosing a successor?

Your hard work and long hours have led you to own a successful auto dealership in Florida. While you love your business, you may realize it’s time to hand over the keys to someone else.

You want to ensure the succession proceedings happen smoothly for your employees and your dealership's future. Finding the successor of the business you've built from the ground up can be a long, convoluted process, but there are steps you can take to ease the transition.

Hurricane Dorian may slam brakes on real estate closings

In addition to causing turmoil, Hurricane Dorian has placed many aspects of personal and business dealings on hold in Florida. It may also halt commercial real estate transactions because of changing insurance practices.

Insurance companies play a substantial role with a real estate closing involving mortgages. Without any insurance coverage in place, there may be no closing. Insurers, however, no longer rely on the "box method," in which they would not bind new policies in an area that fell within a geographic box until the storm passed and there were re-inspections of those properties. Insurers now rely on warnings and storm watches issued by the National Weather Service. Once these are issued, insurance policy binding may be stopped.

Assuring that business contracts work

Contracts and agreements are an essential part of conducting business for all companies, regardless of their size. Contracts are becoming more complex and proper drafting has become an essential part of Florida business law.

A contract that contains specific essential terms may be used to support a legal case in court over a disputed matter. When one party to an enforceable contract claims that the other party breached or broke its terms, that aggrieved party may file a lawsuit. Contracts and agreements are not the same. An agreement is a mutual understanding between parties about their respective rights and responsibilities. A contract, however, is an agreement between parties containing enforceable obligations.

Dealing with negative online reviews

Negative online reviews may be an unpleasant reality for businesses. But, there are business law restrictions governing how businesses can deal with negative reviews. The Federal Trade Commission approved final orders resolving complaints against five companies charged with violating the Consumer Review Fairness Act.

The five firms included a flooring company and two timeshare marketers. According to the FTC's complaints, these firms violated the CRFA by having customers agree to non-disparagement contracts that prevented customers from writing or posting online reviews or which imposed financial penalties for posting these reviews. The FTC announced the complaints in May and June. The FTC's settlement of these complaints prevents each business from placing non-disparagement terms in form contracts for goods and services. They must also notify consumers who signed contracts containing these terms that these agreements are unenforceable.

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Aventura Office
18851 NE 29th Avenue
Suite 303
Aventura, FL 33180

Phone: 305-929-8500
Fax: 305-675-0564
Aventura Law Office Map

Tallahassee Office
315 S. Calhoun Street
Suite 850
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Phone: 850-391-5060
Map & Directions