legal issues in business

write at least 450 words for both classmate answers based upon what you agree with and not agree with based upon the case study I will post.

(first classmate answer)
From the case study, Shania plans to start a coffee business. Shania is a seasoned Christian. She is pondering whether she should open it as a sole proprietorship, a partnership of some sort, a corporation of some sort, an LLC, or even a joint venture. While researching which business form would best accommodate Shania in this situation I automatically thought of a Limited Liability Partnership. In my opinion a Limited Liability Partnership will allow Shania to have partners, startup her business as well as protect her personal assets.
According to Free Advice Legal, An LLC is a business entity that combines aspects of a corporation with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It is like a corporation in that it provides its owners (also called members) with limited liability, as a corporation does for its shareholders. This means that by law, the owners of the LLC are usually not personally liable for any debts of the business, aside from the value of their investment in the business.
The case study mentioned several points that makes me argue that a Limited Liability Partnership is the best option. For one, Shania is starting up a coffee business and also has a family. With a Limited Liability Partnership if harm was to come over someone in her business, they cannot go after her personal assets; this is also good for Kelsey.
Another reason to point out is that a limited liability partnership will give Shania flexibility in the beginning of starting her business. There is no limit to the number of people who can join the Limited Liability Partnership therefore, with the number inquires of people wanting in on this business idea the limited liability partnership should cover it.
When deciding whether Shanias coffee shop should be a franchise or be an independent coffee house the true question to ask is does Shania want to build a brand or buy one. When you are a part of a franchise you take on that franchises culture, you also receive a faster return on investment. In Shanias case I believe it is in her best interest to open as an independent coffee house. Opening as in independent for Shania means that she can have full control over here business and the light of which she can create and share her brand. For Shania, this means, being able to be a full Christian coffee shop with a franchise telling her that she cannot.
Independent businesses are generally more expensive and time consuming to build from scratch when compared to the initial investment cost of licensing a franchise. That said, the independent business owner wont be on the hook for franchise and royalty fees, and theyll have full control over exactly when and how they will invest in the business. And if they get things right, the independent business could become successful enough to become a franchise itself. (Alkap 2016)
Shania has brainstormed many ideas, including the name of her soon to be coffee shop. She has decided on The Gathering Place. The Gathering Place name appears to be a good fit for her coffee shop. The name promotes openness so that people will feel welcomed as well as appears to have a spiritual backing.
One problem that I see with the name The Gathering Place is that it is common in the state of Colorado. There are over 10 other businesses with the same name. Though these names are not related to a coffee shop, I believe that Shania should have a more original name that will allow her coffee shop to stand out from the competition.
There were two people interested in the coffee business, Kelsey and Carlos. I believe that she can incorporate the both into her coffee business with minimum issues.
In regards to Carlos, he is not a Christian and is only interested because he feels as if it will be a good business move, he is in no way interested in the greater idea of Christianity in this situation. Regardless of this, I believe that he could be a great asset to the company. I am reminded of the company Sweet Frog; Sweet Frog is a chain of frozen yogurt franchises. Sweet Frog is a Christian Company, they even wear shirts with scripture printed on them, but not everyone whom works there is Christian or religious. I believe the same can be the case for Carlos. Shania would have to set rules for her coffee shop as well as boundaries. If this is done I feel as though they will have a fine business relationship.
Also, Shania could use this as a ministry opportunity to teach him about God and Christianity. With him being in the mist of Christians I am sure something will stick in his head. The Bible tell us not to turn our back on the nonbelievers, but to encourage them. It is great that Shania is a seasoned Christian therefore her ministry can be backed by her actions. I believe this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Kelsey is interested in the business, but her husband does not want her to work. Hed rather her continue to be a stay at home mother. Kelsey is religious, but is not as seasoned as Shania. In this situation I believe that Shania should instruct Kelsey to talk things over with her husband and God, Shania is not in their household, so therefore should not make any decisions for their marriage. In the biblical perspective, the Bible does teach women to be involved in their household and to put their family first, as mentioned in Proverbs chapter 31 verses 10 -31. But if the wife is able to still maintain her household properly there is nothing that should stop her from working.
Strategically thinking, I believe it would be great for Shania to allow Kelsey to work for her. She is family therefore they have ties and also Kelsey is interested in learning more about God, therefore a Christian coffee shop appears to be great placement.

(Second classmate answer)
Starting a business is not an easy task to take on. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and support. There are a lot of options for starting up a business, and it is not always easy to discern which option is right for you. This is the exact predicament Shania is in. She has a clear-cut goal of opening a Christian coffeehouse named The Gathering Place, and so many options to choose from. I will analyze each option she has to choose from to determine which one will get her closest to her goal.

Shanias first option is to go into business by herself and let Marvin, her husband, provide financial support. He plans to only support in the monetary aspect and wishes not to be involved in the everyday operations of the shop. The advantage of her accepting the capital from Marvin is that she would have free reign to set up shop where ever she wants and how she wants. Assuming he provides her with all the money for startup, she could focus on opening as opposed to generating enough money to pay back a creditor, such as a bank. Due to the fact that Marvin refuses to get involved with the operations, Shania will have to take a lot of matters into her own hands. She will have to find a place, buy it, set it up, buy supplies and equipment, staff the facility, advertise and much more all on her own. The process would be long and stressful. This stress could also put a strain on their marriage. Another downside to this option is the possibility of Shania and Marvin getting a divorce down the line. If in the event of this happening Shanias husband could take the coffeehouse from her.

Shania has the option is to go into business with her sister, Kelsey. Kelsey is looking to occupy time and is eager to get involved. Assuming that Marvin is still providing the money to start the business, Kelsey would be able to alleviate some of the stress of going into business by herself. With the help of her sister, she would be able to split her work load in half. With the help of another person she could possibly produce her goal faster. With the extra time she could focus on details she may not have been able to do on her own.

Going into business with her sister does pose some challenges. First, Kelsey is new in her journey with Christ. She may support the idea of the Christion coffeehouse, but she is not yet grounded enough to face the challenges attached to it. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. (1 Peter 2:2, NIV) Kelsey needs to focus on strengthening her faith. Secondly, Kelsey does not have the support of her husband, who is not a Christian and opposes her involvement. Her husband being a non- believer is a huge obstacle. Kelsey may lose faith and change her mind because her husband will not support her beliefs or encourage her faith when she gets home. Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives (1 Peter 3:1, NIV) By submitting to her husbands wishes she can save him as well. Thirdly, Kelseys husband expects her to stay home and take care of their two kids who are ages 13 and 15. Although her children are teenagers and do not require the same amount of attention as younger children, her absence from the home would put a strain on the household. If she focused on the business, she would have less time to do household duties and ensuring everything was in order. Also, if she focused more on her household obligations instead of helping Shania, she would not be much help at all.

Shania also has the option to go into business with her neighbor Carlos. Carlos wishes to supplement his income and is eager to help Shania. He sees the potential in her business plan with the large number of churches in the area and wants to get in on the deal. Unlike Kelsey, Carlos seemingly has the time to devote to helping Shania on her business venture.

Carlos does come with his own set of obstacles. Carlos is not a Christian and only sees the concept objectively. Although his outlook may be useful in some instances, it is a disadvantage here. Shania sees this business as subjective and not as just some Christian thing. He realizes that there is a strong church presence in the area but also includes of other religions such as Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses in the demographic. Although they cannot be prohibited from coming to the coffeehouse, they are not Shanias target audience. I believe Shania wants her coffeehouse to be a place of fellowship for like-minded people. The bible warns about dealing with non-believers. Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (Corinthians 6:14, NIV) The fact that Carlos is not on the same page with Shania in the beginning stages is a red flag.

In addition to the partnerships, Shania has explored a couple of franchise options. The first option is to adopt the franchise name and trade dress. The franchisee benefits form the franchisors strong trade name or trademark (Kubasek, Browne, Herron, Dhooge, Barkacs, 2013) This option would require her to conform to the franchise standards and the overall appearance of their shops. This option would help Shania keep start up cost low. Also, there would be less stress on her because the franchise would have a clear-cut plan.

The downside to this option is that Shanias vision of the name and type of atmosphere she wants to create would be taken away. She would no longer be able to call it The Gathering Place and the Christian environment would not be an option. This option does not give her what she wants.

The other franchise option would be to move into a turn key facility. This would mean that the facility would be ready to be moved into almost immediately. A turnkey package program can be a huge advantage to a new franchisee because of all the work and aggravation it can save. (Eglin, 2003) This option also requires that Shania agree to purchase a certain volume of product every month for a period of at least 10 years. This option would also result is a speedy opening of her coffeehouse. She would all ready have logistics set up with the product requirements. Not much else would have to be done other than staffing.

This option takes away some of the creative aspects Shania may want to implement in her coffee shop. She would have to adhere to the franchise guidelines. With the shop being ready to move into facility she would not have much say with the location. Also, the product agreement would restrict her choice in products. If she ever wanted to switch product suppliers within the shop she would have to wait ten years to do so. If the customers do not like the product she would be stuck with the one the franchise provides. Also, she would have to maintain a steady amount of business in order to keep up with the volume of product requirements. If she has a slow start, and has to purchase a large quantity per her agreement she would be losing money.

The franchise options overall are good for business starters that dont already have specific ideas in mind. Franchises, in fact, are a growing trend in the industry, says Doug Mast, an Instant Imprints area developer and franchisee in Littleton, Colo. (Musselman, 2006) They are easy to start up for those who seek a quick return on their investment. These franchise options also offer training for Shania and any potential employees she may hire. In many cases, you also get ongoing training and help with management and marketing. (Ward, 2016 ) For someone like Shania who is new to the business world this may allow her to gain knowledge and maintain structure for her employees.

The name for Shanias business The Gathering Place is available for trademark. Although there is a church named The Gathering Place Church this should not interfere with Shanias coffee shop. The church is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Shania plans to open her shop in Denver, Colorado.

As far as what Shania should do, I believe she should go into business as a sole proprietorship. Although this option will be longer and more challenging, it will produce the coffeeshop she envisions. She will be free to decorate to her desire, pick a prime location, pick the products she wants to use and more. The franchise options take away her creative image for the shop and come with too many strings attached. Instead of going into a partnership with Kelsey or Carlos, she could hire them as staff. Kelsey could work part-time around her domestic duties in order to get out the house as she desires. She could also nurture her new-found faith in the Christian environment. As for Carlos, having him work at the shop would be a perfect opportunity to introduce him to the Christian faith while he generates additional income as he desires.

Shania will be faced with hardships going into business by herself. Fortunately, she will not be alone. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV) It will be a true test of faith, but with prayer and the emotional support of those around her she will turn her vision into reality.

(Case Study and questions that classmates wrote responses from)
Shania Jackson is a mature Christian thinking of opening a Christian coffeehouse near Denver, Colorado. Her husband, Marvin, is open to making a contribution of capital to the business, but he has no interest in participating in its operation or management.
Shanias sister, Kelsey, is a new Christian who has told Shania that shes been looking for an excuse to get out of the house and would love to be a part of the business. Kelseys husband, a non-Christian, opposes his wifes involvement and has told her that he expects her to remain a stay-at-home mom to their 2 children, ages 13 and 15.
Shanias neighbor, Carlos, is a non-Christian who has also expressed an interest in participating in the business as a way to earn extra income. Carlos thinks the Christian thing has potential with all the big churches in the area, including a Mormon temple and a large Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses.
In researching the coffee business, Shania comes across a few franchise opportunities, some of which would require her to adopt the franchise name and trade dress, as well as others that would only require her to move into a turn-key facility and agree to purchase a certain volume of product every month for a period of at least 10 years. Both types of franchises offer training for her and any staff she might hire.
Shania has considered organizing her business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership of some sort, a corporation of some sort, an LLC, or even a joint venture. She is thinking of calling the business The Gathering Place.

1. Advise Shania on which of the business forms under consideration best accomplishes her business goals. Thoroughly explain the reasons for your recommendation.
2. Advise Shania on whether her company should become a franchise or should open as an independent coffeehouse. Explain your recommendation.
3. Perform a corporate name search at this website to determine if the name Shania is considering is available for use in the State of Colorado. Also assess whether the name is available as a trademark. Even if the name is available, advise Shania on whether it is a good choice. Explain why or why not.
4. Advise Shania on which of the interested persons she should include in her business, why, and in what role(s). If she chooses not to take in a particular party, what reasons should she give each person, if any? Your analysis must include biblical perspectives, such as biblical considerations of marriage and of business relationships with non-believers.

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