Business litigation involves the laws that arise out of business and commercial related transactions. Business litigation is litigation of a non-criminal nature. It may include the following types of issues:

  • Breach of contract;
  • Non-compete issues;
  • Fraud disputes;
  • Insurance coverage disputes;
  • Breach of fiduciary duty; and
  • Intellectual property disputes.

Business litigation commonly involves disputes that arise out of commercial and business relationships. This may include a company’s claims against another company, a governmental entity, or a group of individuals.

This type of litigation typically involves complex issues. It is important to be aware that lawsuits are public record. This may create potential public relations issues for companies. 

A company’s reputation may be one of its most important assets. A lawsuit may damage the company’s reputation as well as cause financial damages due to decreased sales and increased expenses. Having an attorney help a company effectively handle a dispute is essential for the company’s bottom line.

What are Some Common Areas of Business Law?

Business law is also known as commercial law. It is the generic term for the laws that govern commercial transactions and entities.

For example, if an individual wanted to open a shoe company, business law would dictate how they would organize and register their company, as well as how to pay their employees and how to legally ship their shoes to customers overseas.

Business laws apply to many aspects of a business. These laws vary based on the type of business, such as private or public, the business structure, such as a corporation or a general partnership, and by jurisdiction.

There are many different types of business laws that govern various aspects of any business. For example, if a business needed to determine how to pay its employees, provide employees with work benefits, or arrange employee work schedules, these issues would fall under the area of business law called employment law.

If a business owner was just starting their business and needed to register it as well as set it up, these tasks would be governed by business laws, including statutes regarding business formation and structure, state tax law, and the Federal Tax Code. Both state and federal laws would apply to these issues if the business owner needed to register intellectual property, such as trademarks or copyrights of the business.

A large portion of business law involves contract and commercial law. Contract and commercial laws govern business activities from sales transactions to employee non-disclosure agreements to business deals. 

Because of the numerous aspects of a business that contract law regulates, it is arguable the most important area of business law. Contract law also regulates:

  • Merging with another business;
  • Forming agreements with a distributor to sell products; and
  • Providing services to customers.

Business laws are made of local, state, and federal regulations. In business law, there are specialized subcategories which pertain to businesses. Common examples of subcategories of business law that may apply to individuals and entities include:

  • Business formation and dissolution;
  • Commercial law and contracts;
  • Investing and securities law;
  • Intellectual property law; 
  • Antitrust and white collar;
  • Corporate law;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Employment law;
  • International business; and
  • Tax law.

Each of these categories of business law contain smaller subcategories. Since such laws are so intricate, it is essential to consult with a local business attorney for further advice.

What is Business Formation and Why Does it Matter?

One of the first decisions that a business owner is required to make when forming their company is how they want to structure their business. There are numerous types of business formations an individual may choose from, such as a corporation, a limited liability company (LLC), or a general partnership.

The business structure that an individual selects can have a significant impact on the future of a company. This is because a business structure will dictate aspects of the business such as: 

  • The amount of funds that can be received from investors; 
  • How many individuals can sit on the board;
  • Who is held responsible for liabilities and debts incurred by the business; and
  • How the business will be taxed.

Certain types of business formations provide rules outlining how the company must operate. For example, in limited partnerships, at least one partner is required to serve as a general partner, or individual who manages the business, to the entire partnership as well as one limited partner.

What are Some Common Business Law Disputes in Montana?

There are numerous ways in which a dispute may arise in the course of running a business. However, certain types of business disputes are more common than others. These disputes are common in states across the United States, including Montana.

For example, business partners may disagree over how to manage the business. When the partners have a dispute, an issue as simple as what color product to sell may end up in a lawsuit.

Another common business dispute that may arise occurs when a third-party supplier and a business disagree over goods that were shipped or the price of the goods. These disputes are typically governed by contract or commercial law. In many cases, the parties may refer to their contract to settle any conflicts.

A business may also have a dispute with a customer. A customer may claim an item arrived damages and may request a refund under the business’s warranties or guaranties.

For example, if the customer purchased an item that had an express or implied warranty and the company breached this warranty, the customer may bring a lawsuit against that company for sending them a defective product. In this case, both commercial law and state product liability laws would apply.

Businesses may also have disputes regarding their intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. A common issue that arises involves stealing trade secrets. If another business or an employee gives away a company trade secret, the company may sue them for damages. These business disputes involve both intellectual property law and contract law.

Does Montana Have Any Unique Business Litigation Laws?

Every state has specific rules and regulations regarding business formation. Not every business in Montana is required to have a license. However, many businesses can or are required to get a license. 

Certain required licenses are issued locally. For example, the cities of Missoula and Billings require most businesses to obtain a business license. Certain businesses may be exempt from licensing under federal or state law. More information can be found on the website for the city in which an individual will be operating their business.

In addition to obtaining licenses or permits, certain businesses, such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) are required to file documents with the state. These types of businesses must register with the Montana Secretary of State.

If an individual is a member of certain professions or occupations, they must be licensed by the State of Montana. This includes:

  • Doctors;
  • Lawyers;
  • Dentists;
  • Accountants;
  • Architects;
  • Engineers;
  • Nurses; and
  • Pharmacists.

Should I Hire a Business Litigation Lawyer in Montana for Help?

Yes, it is essential to have the assistance of an experienced Montana business lawyer for any business litigation issue you may have in Montana. As noted above, business law contains many subcategories and the disputes may become extremely complex. 

There are many categories of business law and not every business related issue has a straight-forward resolution. It is important to have the help of an attorney for every aspect of your business.

Your attorney can help you determine the best way to structure your business as well as provide guidance on protecting your intellectual property rights. Your lawyer can help you navigate the requirements and procedures for starting or dissolving your business. 

If a dispute arises during the course of your business, your attorney will represent you during any court appearances. Having a lawyer involved in your business gives it the best chance of success.