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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
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I have a business and in my contract with my clients it explicitly

Resolved Question:

I have a business and in my contract with my clients it explicitly states that there is a late charge added to the current balance for every 30 days the payments are NOT made. It is also says if I take them to litigation to recoup the money, they are responsible for my legal fees.

Can I personally take care of this in small claims court and if so do I file in the County the person resides in or in the county of the business? What forms would I need?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 5 years ago.

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

J.Hazelbaker :

If your business is a registered legal entity (e.g. Corporation, LLC, or Partnership), then you would have to retain an attorney in order to represent the business in court, including small claims court.

J.Hazelbaker :

This is because a legal entity is considered a separate "person" from it's owners and only a licensed attorney can represent another party.

J.Hazelbaker :

Having said that, sometimes business owners do represent their entities in court. Unless the defendant objects, the court often will not raise the issue itself.

J.Hazelbaker :

So, it's possible to get away with it, though it is not technically allowed.

J.Hazelbaker :

As for where to sue, you can sue where the contract was formed.

J.Hazelbaker :

However, you should revised your contract to include a venue provision that states that such and such court or county will have jurisdiction and venue over disputes.

J.Hazelbaker :

That will avoid any dispute over where you file in the future where you get a defendant that tries everything to avoid your suit.

J.Hazelbaker :

Here is a link to a guide for using the small claims court in NY:

J.Hazelbaker :

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ithaca/city/webpageguidetosmallclaims.html

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

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