Business Law and Civil Litigation

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any question below to view the answer to that question.

What is the difference between an LLC, corporation, and sole proprietorship?

Corporations are business entities that are separate from their owners. Owners of a corporation have limited liability in that they are not personally responsible for the corporation’s debts. Corporations may issue stocks, have a board of directors that oversee the activities of the corporation, and must pay corporate income taxes on its profits.

A partnership is the relationship between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business. Each partner does not pay income tax but includes their share of the partnership’s income or loss on their individual tax return. One major disadvantage is that partners are personally liable for all business debts and obligations, including court judgments. Therefore it is essential that you go into business with a partner(s) you completely trust given that the business-related acts of one partner legally bind all others.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that combines the personal liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership.

How do I get a judgment from someone who owes me money?

If the amount of debt is under $25,000, you can file a Warrant in Debt in General District Court. The Warrant in Debt is a form that lists the person who owes you the debt, the reason they owe the debt, and the amount of the debt. The debt collector bears the burden of proof that he or she is owed money and must abide to the statute of limitations.

Contact Marie Washington if you need an experienced collections attorney to work on your behalf and actively seek the compensation you have earned.

How do I collect on a judgment?
There are a variety of options to collect on a judgment: you can garnish wages, garnish bank accounts, place a lien against real property, or a writ of fieri facias (levy some of the debtor’s property or assets).
What is a statute of limitations?
Statutes of limitations set the maximum period of time in which a lawsuit or legal claim may be filed. They vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of case or claim involved. After the expiration of the statutory period, you are unable to file a civil lawsuit.
How do I evict a tenant that has failed to comply with the lease agreement?

You must abide to the terms of the lease agreement. You can send the tenant a Pay or Quit Notice, which is a letter notifying the tenant to pay the full rent amount by a given date or vacate the property. In the event the tenant neither pays nor vacates, a landlord can proceed with an eviction notice by filing an unlawful detainer in the general district court.

Remember that every tenant has the legal right to live in rental housing until the landlord follows the legal process for eviction. This process may sound simple but can be quite complicated, especially if the tenant disputes the landlord’s allegations and the matter goes to trial.

If you are a landlord facing litigation, you need a knowledgeable attorney that has successfully obtained judgment for damages, unpaid rent, and reasonable amount of attorneys’ fees in accordance with the lease agreement. Marie Washington can provide reliable representation to guide a landlord through the eviction process and help protect their best interests.

Is there a law in Virginia that addresses issues between landlord and tenants?
Yes, the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRLTA) establishes the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in the Commonwealth.

Helpful Links

Contact Our Office