We have outlined some of the most common questions we receive below. Please don’t hesitate to
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSTRUCTION LAW IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The following are answers to some questions we have received from owners of South Carolina construction companies:
Q: What are Some Basic Considerations for Construction Contract Preparation?
A: When preparing a construction contract, there are numerous important issues that need to be taken into consideration. Payment terms need to be clear and unambiguous, and appropriate service obligations and limitations of liability need to be in place to protect you in the event of a disagreement. Beyond these fundamental requirements, you will also want to address issues such as warranty pass-throughs, dispute resolution, and other basic legal requirements.
Q: How Can South Carolina Contractors Make Effective Use of Mechanics’ Liens?
A: A mechanic’s lien – also called a construction lien, supplier’s lien, or laborer’s lien – is an important legal tool that allows construction companies and other contractors to enforce their clients’ payment obligations through placement of a security interest on the real or personal property that is the subject of the parties’ contractual relationship. It is a common misconception that they apply only to automotive repairs. If you need to protect yourself from potential non-payment, call us about implementing mechanic’s liens in your business operations.
Q: What are my Options if a Zoning or Land Use Issue Gets in my Way?
A: When a zoning ordinance or land use restriction interferes with a development project, our attorneys can help you seek regulatory approval or file for a zoning variance. These are often complicated and time-consuming tasks involving complex requirements, so it is best to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
Q: What are Some Common Environmental Issues that Construction Companies Face in South Carolina?
A: Construction companies must be careful to comply with all applicable federal, state and local environmental regulations. Some common issues include: maintaining air and water quality standards, avoiding pollution of drinking water, and disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials.
Q: What are Some Common South Carolina OSHA Violations that Construction Companies Need to be Careful to Avoid?
A: South Carolina’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (South Carolina OSHA) requires covered employers to provide safe work environments for their employees. Due to the nature of the business, construction companies need to be particularly sensitive to the statute’s requirements. Dangerous and improperly maintained tools, vehicles, ladders, scaffolding, and hazardous materials containers can all lead to liability for violation of South Carolina OSHA.
To learn more about our construction lawyers and how they can help, please contact us today.
BUSINESS LAW FAQs – FORMING AN S CORP. VERSUS AN LLC
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about forming South Carolina S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs).
Basics of Starting a South Carolina S Corporation
Q: What are the primary benefits of forming a South Carolina S corporation?
A: One of the most important benefits of forming an S corporation is shielding the owners from personal liability for the debts and liabilities of the business. When a corporation is properly formed and its owners respect the requisite corporate formalities, in the event that the business goes into debt or loses a lawsuit its owners cannot be held personally responsible. S corporations also have the benefits of flexibility in apportioning voting rights and easy transfer of shares.
Q: How is an S corporation different from a C corporation?
A: The fundamental difference between an S corporation and a C corporation has to do with income tax liability. An S corporation is a pass-through entity for income tax purposes, meaning that the owners report the company’s income on their personal income tax returns. By contrast, with C corporations there are two levels of taxation—a tax on the corporation’s income, and subsequent a tax on individual owners’ distributions out of that income. Which one results in less overall tax liability depends on the nature of the business.
Q: What documents are needed to form an S corporation in South Carolina?
A: A South Carolina S corporation is formed by filing Articles of Incorporation with the South Carolina Division of Corporations. In addition, at a minimum the owners will need bylaws, share certificates, a stock ledger, and initial meeting minutes and resolutions. Depending on the circumstances, they may also want to prepare a shareholder agreement, buy-sell agreement, and various other forms of contracts.
Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in South Carolina
Q: What are the primary benefits of forming an LLC?
A: The primary benefits of forming an LLC in South Carolina are largely the same as those for forming an S corporation: limited liability, ease of governance, and free transferability of ownership interests. However, in many cases entrepreneurs consider LLCs to be preferable to S corporations because they involve less initial and ongoing legal formalities. Our attorneys can help you decide which entity is right for your business.
Q: What documents are needed when starting an LLC in South Carolina?
A: In South Carolina, a limited liability company is formed by filing Articles of Organization with the South Carolina Division of Corporations. The owner (or owners) will also need an Operating Agreement, and depending on the circumstances may need various other forms of agreements.
For more information about forming an S corporation or LLC in South Carolina, contact the experienced small business lawyers at Player Law Firm today.
FAQS ABOUT REAL ESTATE LITIGATION ISSUES
Q: What is a Mechanic’s Lien?
A: A mechanic’s lien is a security interest available to contractors, engineers, architects, and other entities and individuals that provide materials or services for work on real property.
Q: What Can I Do About an Unresolved Mechanic’s Lien in South Carolina?
A: As a construction company or other commercial entity, enforcing a mechanic’s lien requires foreclosure through the South Carolina court system. For mechanic’s liens on residential properties, along with filing a complaint the lienholder must make certain specific disclosures to the homeowner in order to preserve its rights.
Q: What Can I Do About an Encumbrance Unaccounted for in My Purchase Agreement?
A: This can be a tricky situation. With encumbrances such as mechanic’s liens, mortgages, easements, and rights of way, both you and the party benefitted by the encumbrance are going to feel equally entitled to the benefits of your respective bargains. Likewise, with encroachments and deed restrictions, it is unlikely that you will obtain a favorable resolution without a fight. Regardless of whether your goal is to keep the property or attempt to void the purchase agreement, the best way to approach this issue is to speak with a qualified real estate attorney who can assess your situation and carry out a plan to protect and enforce your rights.
Q: What Happens if a Contingency in a Real Estate Purchase Agreement Goes Unfulfilled?
A: Generally, if a contingency in a real estate purchase agreement goes unfulfilled, the buyer has the right to rescind the contract and back out of the purchase. However, both (i) what constitutes unfulfillment, and (ii) what rights the purchaser has if a contingency goes unfulfilled, must be determined with reference to the specific language in the purchase agreement.
Q: What Are the Legal Remedies for Failure to Disclose Property Defects?
A: Here too, the answer will depend in part on the terms of the purchase agreement. If a seller knowingly fails to disclose property defects and does not waive warranties on the property, the buyer may have a claim for fraudulent inducement and the right to void the contract.
Q: What Are the Legal Remedies for Violation of a Lease Agreement?
A: In the commercial lease environment, the remedy for breach of a lease is generally going to be to seek damages for the amount of the loss incurred. If a tenant has committed a significant breach (e.g., non-payment of rent or abandonment of the property), the landlord may also be able to commence eviction proceedings through the South Carolina court system. The same generally holds true with residential leases as well, though special laws provide certain protections for most residential tenants.
For more information about Real Estate Litigation in South Carolina, contact the experienced litigation lawyers at Player Law Firm today.