North Carolina law provides that “[u]nfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are declared unlawful.”  N.C.G.S. § 75-1.1(a).  Lawsuits under § 75-1.1 are commonly referred to as claims under the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, or “UDTPA.” To establish a UDTPA claim,…

What if you or your business entered a contract and the other party did not live up to its end of the bargain?  You may consider filing a lawsuit for a breach of contract.  While there are several questions to consider (did a valid contract exist, did the contract need to be in writing, did…

Many individuals and businesspeople ask if their contracts must be in writing to be legally enforceable.  The answer in North Carolina is that “it depends.”  It depends on the subject of the contract, the monetary value, and, in some cases, the length of time the contract is in existence.  Whether or not a contract must…

Also known as a “doing business as” (DBA) filing, North Carolina law requires businesses to file a Certificate of Assumed Name under certain circumstances.  The law requires that, with certain exceptions, any “person, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or corporation” that engages in business under an assumed name must file a Certificate of Assumed…

Here are 10 steps that North Carolina business owners may take to reduce the risk of personal liability in owning a business: Establish a legal entity. Sign contracts in the name of the legal entity. Follow corporate formalities, as required by law. Keep business bank accounts separate from personal bank accounts. Obtain all necessary business…

Employees who have signed, or have been asked to sign, a non-compete agreement (also known as a noncompetition agreement or covenant not to compete) want to know if those agreements are enforceable.  The answer in most cases is: “it depends.” In North Carolina, a “valid noncompetition agreement entered into in the employer-employee context must be…

In Copypro, Inc. v. Musgrove, No. COA13-297 (N.C. App. Feb. 4, 2014), an employer (Plaintiff) sued its former employee (Defendant) for allegedly breaching a noncompetition agreement, also known as a covenant not to compete. The facts of the case were that the Defendant worked as a salesperson for Plaintiff in the office equipment business.  When he…

Beginning on January 1, 2014, any business entity with an Employer Identification Number (EIN) must file IRS Form 8822-B to report the latest change to the entity’s “responsible party.”  The form must be filed within 60 days of the change.

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