Restaurant Law

The ownership and operation of a restaurant require close compliance with many diverse areas of law: from contract to real estate to employment law to insurance law and immigration law! So many different practice areas, and each area has its own "land mines" to harm the unwary and unguided.  I focus much of my practice on laws affecting restaurant operation and ownership so I can guide you through the challenges you may face no matter what those challenges might be.

For example, you may have a foreign investor wishing to purchase or invest in a restaurant.  What type of entity should you choose?  Will the investor be approved by the New York State Liquor Authority?  How should you structure repayment to the investor?  What if the investor wants to sell the interest?  These are typical and fundamental questions that should be answered at the outset of the business transaction. 

Are you as the employer paying your employees the correct hourly wage?  The correct overtime wage?  Spread of hours pay?  Are there any credits available?  How are credits calculated?  Have you provided the yearly Wage Theft Prevention Notice?

I also represent my clients before many government administrative agencies, including the Environmental Control Board (with respect to violations) and the Department of Consumer Affairs (for outdoor cafe license applications, for example).

Another common event is one member desiring to transfer some or all of his or her ownership to heirs during lifetime or death. Should that be encouraged?  Discouraged? Prohibited?  What if the members can't get along (also known as a business divorce)?  What if a member gets divorced from his wife, and a court orders the company interest split between the two parties?  Without a well prepared agreement (operating, shareholders' or partnership), you may be in a difficult position to allow (or prohibit, as the case may be) a transfer or even value or arrange for the sale of your interest (or the purchase of someone else's interest)!  I can help to ensure that in the event of any of these occurrences, your legal rights remain well-protected and secure.

My services in this area include:

  • Preparing and negotiating contracts of sale and purchase (for both stock and asset transactions)
  • Preparing and negotiating operating, shareholders' and partnership agreements
  • Investigating the sales tax liability of any seller, if applicable
  • Negotiating leases and lease amendments
  • New York State Wage Theft Prevention Act compliance 
  • Form I-9 compliance
  • Advice to insure Fair Labor Standards Act compliance
  • Advice to prevent sexual harassment claims

 Click here to see some of the restaurants I represent:

Do you have any questions?

Would you like to make an appointment to meet with me?

Call 914 235-3626 or use my contact form.