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Entrepreneurial banking dilemma- sole proprietorships

Read the entrepreneur's dilemma and the questions that follow. Identify the legal issue(s) and apply legal concepts and possible arguments for each question. Prepare a solution for each question using laws, cases, examples and/or other relevant materials. Identify potential ethical issues and propose a solution for each issue. Support your answers with information from the textbook and at least two outside scholarly sources. prepare a 6 to 9 page paper that identifies the legal issues and potential solutions and answers all questions presented, supported by relevant legal authority. Properly cite all sources using APA format.

The Dilemma

Lauren started a new business, Critter Sitters, a sole proprietorship, that includes walking, feeding, grooming, training and providing other services for pets while their owners are out of town or unable to care for them due to illness or long work hours. In addition to her business, Lauren currently attends college part time.

One of Lauren's new customers leaves her a check for $120, made payable to Lauren and signed by her customer. Lauren takes the check to the bank after she completed the services and found that the bank had issued a stop payment on the check. What are Lauren's options?

Lauren places an online order for $750 in training supplies from Pet Wholesale Warehouse (PWW). Lauren acknowledges the terms and conditions, provides her credit card information and selects FedEx to deliver the goods. She does not purchase any additional insurance. FedEx delivers one box containing a dog crate valued at $35, but does not deliver the remaining boxes.

Since Lauren is a student, she does not have much capital and seeks to save money where she can; therefore, she only uses one bank account for her personal and professional funds. Lauren frequently monitors her account using the online portal furnished by her bank. On Friday night, Lauren noticed that $451.43 had been withdrawn from her account on two separate occasions that day. Lauren knows that she did not spend that amount of money one time, much less two times in one day. She is afraid that someone has accessed her account. Assume that the following Monday is a holiday and banks will be closed; however, one branch will be open for four hours on Saturday. On Saturday morning, Lauren discovers a check for $93.52 cleared the bank. She is able to view a copy and sees that the check was written using another party's name and address, yet the bank account number belongs to her.


Based on the different situations described in the scenario, create a 6 to 9-page Microsoft Word document that includes the answers to the following questions:
1.What are Lauren's options for operating her business? Select the type of business organization you believe is best for Lauren and provide support for your choice.
2.What are Lauren's options related to the stop payment on the customer's check?
3.What are Lauren's options related to the undelivered goods?
4.What course of action would you advise Lauren to take on Friday night and/or Saturday morning? Will Lauren be liable for the moneys withdrawn from her account? Explain why or why not.
5.According to your text, what laws govern business and consumer banking transactions? Provide a short summary of how the law(s) affect Lauren.
6.Identify and explain any ethical concerns Lauren may face related to the topics covered.
7.Conclude your paper by providing suggestions for Lauren to help prevent future occurrences of these types of legal and ethical problems.

Support your answers with appropriate research, reasoning, cases, laws, and other relevant examples.

APA format and properly cite sources on a separate page using APA.

Solution Preview

As a small business owner, operating a pet service, Lauren has many serious dilemmas. One involves a recent contract which was not honored.

Contracts must have an offer, acceptance, capacity, legality (or enforceability), performance, and consideration. The Uniform Commercial Code defines contract to mean "the total legal obligation which results from teh parties' agreement as affected by (the UCC) and any other applicable rules of law." UCC 1-201(11) (Anderson, et al.,1993, p 182-185)

Ordinarily, a contract that has all of these components could not be unilaterally canceled by one party without the knowledge or consent of the other. Since Lauren's customer is new, it may be that without her knowing it, one of these components is not present.

These are possible options for this stop payment action. Since a check was used, Lauren may not know if the person who signed the check is actually the person who owns the checking account. The new customer may have signed the parent's name on the check from an account owned by the parent without their permission. If the customer is a minor, the Lauren should first try to come to an agreement with the parent about paying the bill incurred by the child. If that initially fails, Lauren could secure the services of a legal mediator, in order to avoid possibly losing a customer by bringing the issue to court. The small claims court would be the last result. If the customer is legitimate and just put a stop check on it, and then later claimed that the performance was somehow faulty, and they lost the case, they would have to pay the court costs in addition to the payment that was withheld. To prevent this from happening, Lauren should ask for a drivers license before accepting a check.

The performance part would not affect this case, since Lauren discharged her duties, which in this case would mean to deliver the pet to the home. By accepting the pet without complaint, the owner accepted the performance. A signed receipt should cover any claim to not accept the work done, and the receipt could have language on it that limits Lauren's liability in case something wrong was discovered, for instance, if the pet was spayed and the customer did not request it.

Lauren is in a bad situation that could be alleviated by making a change in the form of her business. Because Lauren is the only owner and employee of the business, her two choices are to be a sole proprietor, or a corporation. A sole proprietor business has many advantages. It is very simple to create, and most of the initial business paperwork can be completed in one day. It is the least expensive to start, only requiring license fees and other costs. An independent person does not have to worry about having a boss, and she could be motivated by the direct connection between the amount of work that she does and the amount of income that she generates. She does not have to worry about checking anyone to make decisions about her business, because she makes all of the decisions. There are the fewest legal restrictions with a sole proprietorship, and when she wants to, she could discontinue the business.

There are also disadvantages to this form of business. Probably the worst among these is that she has unlimited personal liability. That means if anything goes wrong, like unexpected debts, claims against the quality or safety of her work, or any other wrong thing, she has to make payments with her own ...

Solution Summary

The entrepreneurial banking dilemmas for sole proprietorships are examined. The relevant materials for examples are given.