Legal Services

Get answers to a variety of legal questions in general business law, immigration law, intellectual property law and labor and employment law.  View articles and news pertaining to small business law or even get a free fact-based answer to your legal quandary directly from Bodman Law Firm.


Bodman Law Firm Legal Services

 

Legal ServicesEver have a legal question pop up?
Not everyone has the training or knowledge to grapple with complex legal issues. Bodman Law Firm will provide you with a free, fact-based answer to your legal question. 

 

EasyDNNNews

Small business owners support recommendations to cut environmental red tape

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) supports the Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) recommendations released today that update environmental regulations in order to make Michigan a more competitive place to do business. 

“These recommendations are the result of a productive dialogue that has taken place between the Snyder administration and the state’s job providers,” says Rob Fowler, President and CEO of SBAM. “Historically there have been two major factors contributing to making it expensive to do business in Michigan: the system by which we tax businesses and an overly stringent regulatory structure. In 2011, Gov. Snyder took a huge first step on his promise to restructure business taxation. The administration’s comprehensive review of regulation stands to be the next major milestone in making Michigan once again a good place in which to do business.”

SBAM supports a more efficient, customer service-oriented licensing process that services private sector business needs, with a particular emphasis placed on cost containment and timetable efficiency; and predictability in regulatory applications to allow businesses to plan for future liabilities (particularly important for small businesses as they typically do not have the resources to navigate a complex regime of regulation.) “Many of the recommendations on environmental regulation that ORR has announced today are targeted toward these objectives and SBAM looks forward to the future release of reforms in other areas of state government,” says Fowler. “SBAM applauds the ORR efforts and is eager to partner with the administration and legislative leaders to make the necessary statutory changes recommended in the package.”

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/rumn8tr/

NSBA Registers Opposition to New EEOC Policy

From SBAM's national affiliate, NSBA:

As NSBA reported last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has come out with a new policy that any employer requiring high school diplomas would be unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act unless the employer can demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity. This new policy was informally discussed starting in November 2011, but more recently was adopted in January 2012 under the radar and with little- to no notification to employers.

NSBA has submitted a detailed letter opposing this move as it will lead to needless, expensive and damaging litigation, have an adverse impact on small businesses and employment levels as well as discourage young people from pursing educational attainment. In the letter, NSBA questions the evidence prompting the policy change and states the policy would stymie job growth and employment.

Please click here to view the full letter.

Get training to help your small business comply with environmental requirements

Registration is now open for the 2012 Michigan Environmental Compliance Conferences, conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The conferences will be held April 26 at the Treetops Resort, Gaylord; May 1 at the Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids; and May 10 at the Laurel Manor, Livonia. The cost is $115 per person.

Three concurrent tracks with over 15 sessions will cover waste management, water quality requirements, air quality requirements, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and more. All conference attendees will receive the brand new 7th Edition of the Michigan Guide to Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulations.

Click here to get more information on the agenda, continuing education credits, and registration.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelehen/

The 3 R’s of Handling Customer Complaints

Guest article by business consultant Tom Borg

Every organization receives complaints. The key is turning a complaint into win-win situation. Too often employees and managers take the customer’s complaint personally and get defensive. It would be better if they took the complaint professionally and look at the complaint as an opportunity to fix what went wrong and if possible keep the customer. The second reason is to take an action that would prevent that sort of problem from reoccurring in the future with other customers.

The first R in my formula stands for the word RESPECT. It is critical that you show respect to the customer. You can do this by listening and letting the customer vent their feelings and frustration. The longer you are able to listen, the better. Use cushion statements to ease the frustration level of the customer. A cushion statement is anything you say or do that shows the customer you empathize with their concern. Some examples would be: “You are right to feel concerned” or “That must be frustrating”.

The next R stands for the word RAPPORT. You can develop rapport with the person by sincerely apologizing for any trouble that was caused by the person who experienced the problem. One way you could say this is: “Mr. Jones, I want apologize for any trouble this has caused you”. Then thank them for bringing this concern to their attention.

The third R stands for RESOLVE. Here is where you resolve the situation to the best of your ability. One question you could ask is: “What action would you like us to take?” Many times the complaining person’s idea of a resolution is much less than you would think. The key here is to take action and if possible, resolve the problem. 

By following this three step process you will be able to use your customer’s complaints to strengthen and grow your business.

Tom Borg owns Tom Borg Consulting LLC.

(How do you handle customer complaints? Leave a comment below.)

Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund public hearing on Feb. 8 in Lansing

The Michigan Strategic Fund and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced a public hearing to accept questions and comments regarding the new Pure Michigan Venture Match (MVM) Fund. The hearing is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 8 at the MEDC, 300 N. Washington Sq., Lansing. 

“Innovative early-stage companies often need venture capital to help finance critical stages of their development and commercialization,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We are aiming to bridge this capital gap and help entrepreneurs to develop promising technologies to grow into new innovation companies, while we diversify Michigan’s economy and create new wealth in our state.” 

The Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund will match early stage investments from eligible venture funds in Michigan-based technology businesses. The minimum venture investment that will be considered is $700,000 and the maximum is no more than $3,000,000. The match from the MSF will be no less than $350,000 and no more than $500,000, with similar investment terms as the venture investment. 

Companies will only be allowed to apply for MSF funding once they have secured a qualified venture investment, making this a market driven application process. There will be a peer review of the company business plan and investors as required under the 21st Century Jobs Fund legislation. 

The program is intended to attract venture funds, within and outside of Michigan, to consider investments in early stage and pre-revenue Michigan-based technology companies and to mitigate some risk for venture fund investments at this stage by participating with MSF funds in early rounds. 

After consideration of the comments and information received at the public hearing, the final MVM Fund program guidelines will be presented to the MSF Board for approval and implementation. The program is anticipated to launch on March 1, 2012 if approved by the MSF board at the February board meeting.
Relevant documents regarding the Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund can be downloaded here.

What do you think of the Pure Michigan Venture Match Fund? Leave a comment below.
RSS
First71727374757677787980