Category Archives: Business Law

Safety First – Call Before You Dig

 

PA One Call“The arrival of warmer spring weather often marks an increase in construction and home renovation across the state, making this a prime time to highlight the importance of safe digging practices,” noted Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr. during the Commission’s Public Meeting today. “Every year, there are approximately 6,000 hits on our underground infrastructure across the state, and each one of these poses a risk to contractors, utility workers and bystanders, along with the possibility of service In conjunction with National Safe Digging Month, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminded homeowners, businesses and contractors of the importance of dialing 8-1-1 before digging to help ensure the safety of their excavation projects.interruptions, environmental damage and costly repairs to damaged lines.”

State law requires contractors and residents to contact the PA One Call system at least three business days prior to excavation – triggering alerts to all utilities within an intended digging area and prompting them to mark where their facilities are located. Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 puc_sealto connect with the One Call system, while non-Pennsylvania residents can dial 1-800-242-1776.

“We urge everyone involved in excavation projects – whether it’s a small backyard improvement project or a large construction site – to ensure that utilities are marked before any digging begins,” Commission Coleman added. “A single call to 8-1-1 can go a long way toward preventing a potential tragedy or avoiding costly delays or repairs to underground utility lines.”

Governor Wolf and leaders from numerous counties across Pennsylvania have proclaimed April to be Pennsylvania One Call System Safe Digging Month, underscoring the invaluable nature of this service.

To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with real estate, construction, or PUC matters, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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A Comprehensive Revision of Pennsylvania Law on Partnerships and LLCs

On February 21, 2017, Act 2016-170 (commonly known as House Bill 1398) went into effect. The Act is a comprehensive revision of Pennsylvania law on partnerships and limited Pages from 2016 Act 170 - PA General Assemblyliability companies (LLCs). This Act amends Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations) and Title 54 (Names) to replace the law governing limited liability partnerships, general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies, as well as to make conforming changes regarding the names of business associations. The full text (115 pages) of 2016 Act 170 is available at http://www.legis.state. pa.us/cfdocs/legis/li/uconsCheck. cfm?yr=2016&sessInd=0&act=170 or short URL https://goo.gl/Fs4J07.

To read my full article see: https://www.pabar.org/pdf/Spring%202017.pdf

Desire more specific assistance regarding your business formation, agreements, intellectual property, trademarks, zoning, real estate law, cyber security, insurance, etc., contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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FCC Form 477 Report Every Six Months or Face Penalties -Except this March 1 – Filing Deadline Extended

FCC Form 477 must be filed by March 1 (reporting data collected as of December 31 of the previous year) except the March 1, 2017 filing deadline has been extended until further notice due to web site technical problems. Need more information or help filing Form 477? Contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) extended the March 1, 2017 filing deadline for the submission of Form 477 data as of December 31, 2016 in a February 27, 2017 Release DA 17-194.  The FCCRulingBureau will announce the new filing deadline by Public Notice once technical difficulties in the filing interface are resolved.

On February 22, 2017, the Form 477 filing interface experienced significant and unanticipated technical issues that have required the site to be inaccessible.  The Bureau is working to resolve these technical difficulties as quickly as possible.  In light of these technical issues, The Bureau has extended the deadline for the submission of Form 477 data as of December 31, 2016 beyond the original March 1, 2017 deadline.   Once the site reopens, the Bureau will release a Public Notice announcing that the system is accessible for filers and establishing the new filing deadline.

Additional information on the Form 477 data collection can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/form477. See my earlier blog post regarding FCC Form 477 for more specific Form 477 information.

October 7, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Enforcement Bureau reminded providers of voice and broadband Internet services of their continued duty to file timely, complete, and accurate FCC Form 477 reports.[1]  This Advisory is intended to highlight the Form 477 submission requirements and the importance of telephone and broadband subscription and deployment data to the Commission’s ongoing mission of increasing Internet availability.

The data reported on Form 477 is used by the Commission to assess and promote nationwide broadband deployment, to appropriately target universal service funds, to ensure access to emergency communications in disaster scenarios, and to help meet other public service goals.[2]  In rural and underserved areas, data from providers is especially helpful to the Commission’s ability to assess local competition and broadband availability.

Entities Required to File Form 477.[3]  The following entities are required to file Form 477 reports:

  • Common carriers and…

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PaPUC Approves Three Applications for Permanent Operating Authority as Transportation Network Companies

puc_sealOn February 9, 2017, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved two applications for authority to operate as a Transportation Network Company (TNC) – increasing the total number of approved TNCs in Pennsylvania to three companies.

The Commission voted 5-0 to grant licenses to transport persons via TNC services to Lyft, Inc., which had previously been issued an experimental two-year authorization from the PUC.

The Commission also voted 5-0 to approve a license application submitted by Freed Man Autonomous Vehicles, LLC.

Previously, on Jan. 26, 2017, the Commission approved a TNC license application submitted by Rasier-PA, a wholly-owned affiliate of Uber Technologies, Inc.

The Commission oversees transportation services operating throughout Pennsylvania – including taxis, limousines and TNCs – with the exception of Philadelphia, where those activities are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority. In December 2016 the Commission established an application process for new TNC licenses under Act 164 of 2016, which created the regulatory framework for TNCs to operate in Pennsylvania. Act 164 was signed into law by Governor Wolf in November 2016. Prior to that time, TNCs operated in most of Pennsylvania under experimental authority granted by the PUC.

In a joint statement issued at yesterday’s public meeting, PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown and Commissioner Robert F. Powelson took note of the growing number of TNCs now licensed to operate across Pennsylvania as the result of Act 164, emphasizing that innovative services are good for consumers, good for the transportation industry and good for business in the Commonwealth.

All of the TNCs approved by the Commission are required to maintain consumer protections and comply with all driver integrity, vehicle safety and insurance requirements set forth in the Public Utility Code or the Commission’s orders and regulations, along with all requirements established by Act 164. Additionally, to the extent that any autonomous vehicles or vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems and technologies are used, such vehicles shall be and shall remain in continuous compliance with all current and future vehicle safety rules and regulations issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with PUC matters, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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First Step to Starting Your Business

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Prince Law Offices, P.C. attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin will be presenting at “First Step to Starting Your Business” in cooperation with the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center.
First Step to Starting Your Business (Lancaster, PA)
Date:Fri, February 17, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Point of Contact: Kutztown SBDC (877) 472-7232
Fee: None
Location: 454 New Holland Ave Suite 300 Lancaster, PA 17602
This workshop covers a number of critical issues relevant to starting and operating a small business. Professional presenters include attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, financial specialists and zoning and codes staff. The workshop is designed for both entrepreneurs thinking about opening their first business and existing business owners looking for a “checkup”.
Desire more specific assistance regarding your business formation, agreements, intellectual property, trademarks, zoning, real estate law, cyber security, insurance, etc., contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Join Us at GlobalCon Energy Expo

gloabalcon_logo_white_2017

The GLOBALCON Expo will emphasize four critical areas of leading edge technology and related services:

  • Energy Management, HVAC and Smart Building Systems
  • Renewables, Alternative Energy and Onsite Generation
  • Lighting Efficiency and Integrated Energy Solutions
  • Plant and Facilities Management

GLOBALCON 2017, presented by the Association of Energy Engineers, is designed specifically to facilitate those seeking to expand their knowledge of fast-moving developments in the energy field, explore promising new technologies, compare energy supply options, and learn about innovative and cost-conscious project implementation strategies.  Get a Free Expo exhibits only pass for a limited time here: GLOBALCON Expo

March 22-23, 2017

Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Desire more specific assistance regarding CHP, Solar; renewable energy projects, energy law, or real estate law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business

ftcThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published an updated version of its Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business.

A sound data security plan is built on 5 key principles:

  1. TAKE STOCK. Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computers.
  2. SCALE DOWN. Keep only what you need for your business.
  3. LOCK IT. Protect the information that you keep.
  4. PITCH IT. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
  5. PLAN AHEAD. Create a plan to respond to security incidents.

Most companies keep sensitive personal information in their files—names, Social Security numbers, credit card, or other account data—that identifies customers or employees.

This information often is necessary to fill orders, meet payroll, or perform other necessary business functions. However, if sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to fraud, identity theft, or similar harms. Given the cost of a security breach—losing your customers’ trust and perhaps even defending yourself against a lawsuit—safeguarding personal information is just plain good business.

Some businesses may have the expertise in-house to implement an appropriate plan. Others may find it helpful to hire a contractor. Regardless of the size—or nature—of your business, the principles in this brochure will go a long way toward helping you keep data secure.

If you or your business have questions or concerns regarding fraud, computer law, privacy, or cybersecurity law matters, including assistance with policies, prevention or recovery from a ransomware attack and cybersecurity insurance or insurance claims, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices.

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