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Collier County Business And Real Estate Law Blog

'Snowbirds' are raising Florida property values in unlikely areas

South Florida has long been a winter destination for "snowbirds" from points north who prefer to bask in our sun and warmth rather than dodge snow drifts, icy sidewalks and sub-zero temperatures at home. According to a recently-released report by, that trend shows no signs of slowing down, and it's having a positive effect on real estate values.

Besides the beautiful weather, Florida offers lower tax rates than states like Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York. According to, "This upward pressure on luxury prices in certain parts of Florida appears to have started last November" -- shortly before the new tax plan was passed by Congress and signed into law.

Should Floridians worry about where their drywall came from?

You have finally signed the closing papers on your dream home and are looking forward to you and your family relaxing. The last thing you would want after purchasing your home is to find out substandard building materials are lowering your house’s value and possibly making your family sick. Unfortunately for many Florida residents, this has been the case after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons led to the damage and reconstruction of thousands of homes.

Domestic suppliers could not keep up with the massive influx of drywall demand, and contractors had to obtain drywall manufactured in China and other countries. You may be interested to learn that Chinese drywall contains hydrogen sulfide, which leaches into the air and is being blamed for numerous health and property issues.

Creative solutions to fill empty commercial space

If you are a commercial landlord, you need rent-paying tenants to thrive. So, naturally, you do not want vacant spaces. However, when your tenants are evicted, go out of business or relocate, some creative solutions can help breathe new life into your properties.

For instance, you could rent out your space for private events.

How many names does your business need?

You're starting your own business. Deciding on a name is one of the first crucial business decisions you'll make. However, you may have multiple names for your business for different purposes. It's essential to understand how these various types of names are used.

Legal name

What is 'adverse possession?'

The term "adverse possession" refers to the right of a person to be granted title to a piece of property after occupying and cultivating it for a specified period. If you're the person whose property is being occupied, you might consider that trespassing. However, if certain conditions are met, a "trespasser" may be able to file an adverse possession claim.

Florida law allows those who have occupied a property for a minimum of 7 years to stake a claim under our adverse possession statutes. Florida has four key requirements for a "trespasser" to file a valid claim:

  1. People must be physically present on the property and use it as their own. That's called "actual possession."
  2. Their presence on the property must be "open and notorious." They can't be hiding from the property owner.
  3. They must have been present on the land continuously for the designated period and not have shared it with anyone else.
  4. They must have been improving and protecting the land during their occupation of it.

Why entrepreneurs need to understand intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) laws provide essential protections for entrepreneurs and businesses owners. They help them protect their unique ideas from theft by others, and therefore, help them protect the value of their business and their work.

That's why it's essential for anyone with an idea for a new product, service or even technique to do their due diligence before moving to the production or marketing stage. If there's already a product similar to the one you're working on, you may have to change your product substantively. You may be able to get permission to license a patent that's already been registered.

Shared workspaces are consuming increasingly more office space

Floridians who build, sell and invest in corporate real estate likely couldn't foresee even at the beginning of the 21st century just how different the workplace landscape would become. One significant factor has been the rise of the sharing (or "gig") economy.

Increasingly, people are freelancing their skills rather than working as salaried employees. Many of them, however, still need a place to go where they can focus on their work. Staying at home, with constant interruptions by kids and animals, may not be an option. Sitting in a Starbucks with your laptop often isn't conducive to productivity either.

3 tips for evicting a commercial tenant in Florida

As a commercial landlord, it is inevitable for you to run into issues with your tenants. At some point, you will rent your commercial space to a tenant who does not pay rent on time or breaches other terms of the lease. When this happens, you may feel a lot of anger and frustration. 

However, before you rush into evicting an uncooperative tenant, you should make sure you do it correctly. Here are some tips for evicting a commercial tenant in Florida.

What are your options if a neighbor encroaches on your property?

There's nothing like a fence, wall, hedge, tree or structure that encroaches on someone's land to bring out the worst in people. An encroachment is defined as anything that intrudes on someone else's property.

Land has value. We want to be able to use every square inch we've paid for. If a neighbor puts up a fence that's on your side of the border between your properties, you may rightly feel that your quality of life is compromised.

Things to consider when choosing a domain name for your business

You have a new business. You decided on a name. You've run a trademark search to make sure that it isn't already claimed. Now you have to select a domain name for your website. Just because the name of your business hasn't already been trademarked doesn't mean that it's not being used as a domain name by someone.

When considering a domain name or a business name, remember that it doesn't have to be identical to another name to cause confusion and possibly be an infringement on someone else's trademark. For example, if your last name is Duncan and you start a donut business, calling it Duncan's Donuts would likely be considered an infringement on Dunkin' Donuts' trademark.

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