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Frequently Asked Questions About Real Estate and Business Law

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Real Estate Law Questions:

What kind of credit score do I need to buy a home?

Most conventional loan programs require a FICO score of 640 or better. Other types of mortgages, such as FHA or VA may consider a borrower with a credit score of 580. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the lender, resulting in a lower down payment and a better interest rate. Borrowers with lower credit scores may need a higher down payment to counteract the lender’s risk.

When purchasing a property is an owner’s policy necessary?

Although an owner’s policy is not mandatory, it is always wise to purchase an owner’s insurance policy. Owner’s title insurance provides protection to the homeowner if someone sues and says they have a claim against the property from before the homeowner purchased it (e.g., tax liens, mechanical liens, deed errors or omissions, forgery of deed and fraud). An owner’s policy stays with the homeowner for the entire time they own the property and will remain in effect, protecting you from old claims years after you have purchased your property.

How can I avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)?

PMI (private mortgage insurance) is a type of insurance you may be required to pay for when you take out a conventional home loan to protect the lender in case you end up in foreclosure. You can avoid PMI by putting a deposit of 20% or greater.

What is an escrow agent?

A person or entity holding documents and funds in a transfer of real property. Normally the agent is an attorney, escrow company or title company.

How much is title insurance for my property?

Title premiums are based on the price of the property and are governed by state law.

Click here to find out how much it would be:

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a report made by a qualified person who develops an opinion or estimate of value, for real property. Lenders order an appraisal during the mortgage loan process so that there is a way to assess the home’s market value and ensure that the amount of money requested by the borrower is appropriate.

Who pays the Realtor commission and fees when buying a home?

Typically, the commission and fees are paid by the seller. The commission and fees are subtracted from the proceeds of the sale of the home.

Business Law Questions:

What is the cost for General Counsel services?

General Counsel prices vary as it is tailored to the size and needs of the business. We provide general counsel services to companies that do not have an in-house legal team and provide overflow services to large companies whose legal department needs assistance efficiently addressing legal matters. The purpose of hiring an attorney for general counsel services is to help manage risk, navigate business transactions, and keep your business compliant. From drafting and negotiating documents and agreements, creating templates, to counseling, we are here to help your business succeed and grow while avoiding any legal inconveniences to your business. Give us a call to go over our general counsel services plans to determine your business needs.

How to Form an LLC in Florida

To start an LLC, you’ll need to:

  • File Articles of Organization
  • File a Certificate of Formation or some other formation document, with the state department in which you’re forming your LLC
  • Apply for an Employment Identification Number with the IRS
  • Open a business bank account and apply for a business credit card
  • You may need an operating agreement as well.

Even if an operating agreement is not required by law, all LLCs should have an operating agreement since this document can help you customize how you run your business and protects you against possible liabilities you may face as a business owner.

What is an operating agreement, and do I need one?

An operating agreement is a contract between the company and its members (i.e. owners). This contract is important because it states how a company is managed both in the day-to-day and under special circumstances, such as how to sell your interest (i.e. ownership) in the company to someone else. This contract also details your duties as a member and the role of the manager, if one is elected.

Whether an operating agreement is required depends on the state your register your company. However, it’s a good idea to have one even if it’s not required. An operating agreement allows you to customize how you want to run your business so you don’t have to rely on a state’s default laws which may not suit your needs. It also helps avoid conflict between members by clearly delineating the rights of members and what to do in case of a conflict.

Even if you are the only owner of an LLC, it’s still a good idea to have an operating agreement because sometimes it’s required for certain business transactions. Operating agreements also helps protect you from liability since it’s evidence that you are actually a company and not just an individual running a business, which could leave your personal assets very vulnerable in case of a lawsuit.

Why do I need a business attorney?

It’s important for you as a business owner to focus on your business and an attorney to focus on the laws for the benefit of your business. Having a business attorney will take the stress off of reading complex contracts, negotiating, service/vendor agreements, joint ventures and more. Hiring us as your dependable business attorney can save you thousands of dollars and reduce the cost of going through an unnecessary legal bind.

What are the steps for me to register a trademark?

Keep in mind, trademarks are an effective branding tool that allow clients/customers to identify your brand and business.

Although it is optional, its best practice to do a trademark search in order to avoid spending time, money, and unnecessary resources, and the possibility of it being denied.

  • After your search prepare to submit your trademark application for each good and/or service.
  • Once filed with the USPTO, it’s time to wait. The application process is a bit lengthy. However, there are ways to use your trademark during your wait.
  • Maintain your registration by submitting additional documents when needed.

It’s important to note that you can also register your trademark for international use!

What is a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?

An NDA is a legal binding document that ensures confidentiality between parties. Other provisions in this type of agreement may include non-competition, non-circumvention and non-solicitation. Having an NDA is primarily used when entering a deal with a competitor, involves trade secrets and/or non-public business information.

Sale or Purchase of a Business

Miami Business Lawyers Helping You Make Informed Decisions

Selling or purchasing a business in Florida is complex. The attorneys at KEW Legal® can help you achieve the best terms through this complicated process. Any experienced Miami business law attorney at KEW Legal® will negotiate, structure, and close the best deal possible for you. Contact us today — we serve Miami-Dade, Broward, and all of South Florida.

When buying or selling a business our lawyers will:

  • Coordinate the review of business documents
  • Help clients conduct a cost-benefit analysis
  • Identify potential red flags and areas of liability
  • Strive to negotiate the most favorable terms and scope of involvement for our client
  • Streamline the transition of existing contracts to the new owner
  • Assist with application for required licenses and permits

Buying an Existing Business? Complete an Investigation.

Purchasing an existing business may be less risky and more profitable than starting your own business. If you are considering it might be in your best interest to conduct an investigation beforehand.

Before purchasing, make sure to:

  1. Audit financial statements, tax returns, accounts receivable and accounts payable from the last 3 – 5 years with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
  2. Know who the essential employees are and whether or not they will be staying. If they or the owner themselves are critical to the operation, you may need to add non-competition clauses or other protections in your final agreement.
  3. Discuss the overall status of the company: whether or not current customers will remain, outstanding loans, what the competitors are doing, how the company is perceived in the community, etc.
  4. Other factors to consider are the leases, intellectual property rights, insurance, and more.

For more advice on buying an existing business in Miami, reach out to the business attorneys at KEW Legal® .

Contact a Miami Business Law Lawyer at (305) 990-2300

If you are purchasing or selling a business in Florida, our lawyers are ready to help. We have years of experience and are ready to discuss your options during a consultation. Reach out today.

Contract Drafting & Negotiation

Business Contract Attorneys

Drafting & Negotiating Agreements in Miami-Dade, Broward, and all of South Florida

Part of running a business in Florida also means ensuring that you have the right legal documents in place to protect it. Let KEW Legal® tailor each agreement to meet your needs and protect your business to the fullest extent possible! Whether the document relates to outside vendors, internal employees, or business operations in general, it should be written carefully with your best interests in mind.

Six Tips on How to Write a Business Contract

Creating an enforceable business contract is difficult. To ensure that your interests and business objectives are fully protected, consider reaching out to the contract lawyers at KEW Legal®! Learn more about our business counsel services here!

To Get Started:

Put it in Writing
  • Oral agreements exist, but they are difficult to enforce because people’s memories are faulty and it is easy to misinterpret what was said in a conversation. With written proof, you can reference it when needed!
Be Specific and Detailed
  • To ensure that the rights and obligations of each party are covered, specifically state what these are. Be sure to update the contract if you and your partners change the terms.
Use Understandable Language
  • It is not necessary to use complex legal terms in your contract. Create a contract that is specific and easy to understand for all parties.
Consider Adding a Confidentiality Agreement
  • When doing business with another party, they may gain access to your business practices or trade secrets. If you do not want them sharing this information, a confidentiality agreement is essential.
Consider Adding Clauses for Disputes
    • Not all partnerships are perfect. In case, it may be in your best interest to add clauses. In the event of a business dispute, add a clause if either parties decide to enter mediation, arbitration, or both. In addition, if the other party is located out of state, make sure to consider which state’s laws will govern if there is a dispute. Also consider including a clause that awards legal fees to a winning party. Without this, each party must pay for fees.
Include Language on How to Terminate the Contract
    • Describe what it means to terminate the contract. For example, if a party violates part of the contract, misses payments or does not perform their obligations, any of these can be grounds for terminating the contract
      How Kew Legal® Can Help Your Business

We draft and negotiate business documents such as:

Call a Business Attorney in Miami, FL (305) 990-2300

If you need to draft or negotiate an agreement, ensure that your business is protected with the help of a business lawyer in Miami from KEW Legal® . We have years of experience helping businesses in Florida and provide cost-effective services. Reach out to our firm today.

Commercial Litigation

Serving Businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward, & All of South Florida

Commercial litigation is an all-encompassing term for legal disputes involving businesses or companies, which typically center around one or more extensive contracts. These complex disputes may be brought in many forums and can apply state and/or federal law. As such, you will need a team of attorneys who will fight tenaciously for your rights and your business’ success.

Cases We Handle

At KEW Legal®we can help protect your company against allegations or help you hold other parties accountable for failing to fulfill their contractual or legal obligations. We have achieved positive resolutions for innumerable commercial clients, and we are prepared to work tirelessly toward those results for your case. Our commercial litigation lawyers handle a broad range of disputes between businesses.

Retain our attorneys for assistance with:

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Partnership/joint enterprise disputes
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Business torts
  • Intellectual property disputes
  • Employer/employee disputes
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Fraud
Company Conversions

Business Entity Conversion Services in Miami-Dade, Broward, & All of South Florida

Every type of business structure has advantages and drawbacks. As your company develops and changes, a structure that made sense at the beginning of your business venture might no longer feel appropriate. Fortunately, you don’t need to dissolve your current entity and reform it as a new structure. Our team at KEW Legal® can help you successfully complete a business entity conversion.

Also called a statutory conversion or simply a change of business entity, a business entity conversion allows you to legally change your business from one structure to another without having to dissolve it. Generally, your ownership interests and liabilities will transfer to the newly converted entity. A business entity conversion is not the only way to change your business structure, but it is arguably the simplest and most affordable.

Would you like to learn more about company conversions ? Call (305) 990-2300 or contact us online today.

How to Convert Your Company in Florida

The company conversion process differs by state, the type of company being converted, and the type of structure it will become.

Generally, however, the process requires three basic documents:

  1. A Plan of Conversion: a set of terms and conditions, rights and responsibilities, and other organizational information (usually includes a statement of continuing existence and a statement of conversion approval)
  2. Articles of Incorporation: business formation documentation, dependent on the type of entity your company will become
  3. A Certificate of Conversion: a document that puts the conversion into effect (typically includes tax information, details of the conversion process, and plan approval statement); also called the Articles of Statement of Conversion

The company conversion process begins with a basic set of forms, but you will need the support of our team at KEW Legal®  to ensure you include all necessary documentation.

Let Us Help You Accomplish Your Business Goals

You may be considering an entity conversion for a wide variety of reasons. Tax considerations, public shares and investment, business formality requirements, and decision-making flexibility are just a handful of the factors that may lead you to change your business structure. At KEW Legal® we won’t just guide you through this process—we can assess your situation and ensure the conversion process puts you in the best possible position to accomplish your long-term goals.

Learn more from our company conversion attorneys by calling (305) 990-2300 today. We can begin with an initial case evaluation. Serving clients in Miami-Dade, Broward, and other areas throughout South Florida.


Trademark Registration and Intellectual Property Lawyer

Protect Your Intellectual Property with a Miami Business Attorney

A company’s brand is one of its most important assets. The Miami business lawyers at KEW Legal® are here to help you develop and protect your brand by registering your trademarks and service marks. Our attorneys have helped clients in a wide variety of industries register their valuable trademarks and service marks in the United States and abroad.

Our lawyers can help you register your trademark by:

Confirming availability of your trademark: If a trademark already exists or is already in use, you will not be able to register it. We conduct thorough searches to make sure the mark you want to protect is available.

Completing all the necessary paperwork: We will meet with you to get all the answers we need to make sure that your trademark application is as strong as possible.

Submitting the application: The trademark application process can be long and tricky. Our team will take care of all the paperwork necessary until your trademark is registered.

Types of Intellectual Property

There are typically four types of intellectual property. Each of them have their own requirements and costs.

Below are the 4 types:

  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Copyrights
  • Trade Secrets

What Are Trademarks Used For?

Also known as a service mark, trademarks refer to brand names. It includes any words, phrases, names, symbols, devices, or any combination of these used to identify or distinguish goods or services of business from another business. It even includes color schemes.

Call a Miami Trademark Lawyer in Miami Today! (305) 990-2300.

It is imperative to protect your business’s intellectual property in order to develop your brand. Get in touch with an experienced intellectual property attorney from KEW Legal® . Let us take care of the application while you focus on the growth of your business. Schedule a consultation today.

We serve Miami-Dade, Broward, and South Florida.