When May a Landlord Withhold a Tenant’s Security Deposit?
A security deposit is a refundable fee a landlord takes from a tenant at the start of a lease term. Landlords collect security deposits for several reasons, such as protection against damage to the premises, to cover a loss due to non-payment of rent, or to cover unpaid utilities once the tenant has vacated the premises. Oftentimes, security deposits cause disagreements between landlords and tenants.
What is the Florida Construction Defect Statute (FCDS)?
Due to the frequency of issues arising out of faulty construction, the Florida legislature has created an alternative method to resolve such disputes that would reduce the need for litigation while protecting the rights of property owners. Under the Florida Construction Defect Statute, a property owner or a condominium/homeowner’s association is required to send a written notice of claim to contractors, design professionals and/or developers to resolve alleged defects before resorting to further legal process.
What are issues that might arise for a Florida Entrepreneur?
After a long thought process and extensive research, you have finally decided to put on your entrepreneurial hat and create your own side business. But in the scheme of all this excitement, you forgot to inquire about all the legal implications involved in creating a side business. In Florida, employees must often abide by several federal and state laws and regulations that can include restrictions about conflict of interests such as creating your own side business.
Can you cancel your wedding during COVID-19?
The Wedding Industry is a 70+ billion-dollar industry. In light of COVID-19, the hospitality industry is suffering and facing uncertainty. Venues, vendors, and hotels are struggling to carry on or cancel the events. Meanwhile, engaged couples are unsure if their families will be able to travel safely or if there might be a way to host their events safely despite the circumstances.
What is the franchise disclosure document?
The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is a legal disclosure document which is provided to franchisee applicants interested in purchasing a franchise. The document is required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and contains important information about the franchisor and the franchise system of which potential buyers should be aware prior to making the financial investment. It is intended to help prospective franchisees assess the potential risks and benefits involved in the relevant franchise.
What is the difference between negligence and gross negligence?
When determining if someone has been negligent, it is important to distinguish between negligence and gross negligence. Certainly, they are similar, but are different in the degree of carelessness. A Florida Business Law attorney can help you spot the difference in your particular case.
Usury Laws: Maryland vs. Florida
Creditors often times procure loan agreements with outrageous amounts of interest so that they can ultimately take advantage of those individuals who are in need of funds. More often than not, the individual becomes indebted to the creditor for far more than the amount they agreed upon initially. These high interest rates are known as usury and are both a civil and criminal offense.
Basic Medicaid Eligibility in Florida
In order to be eligible for Medicaid in Florida, the applicant must meet the basic eligibility requirements, the medical requirements, the asset requirements as well as income requirements.
How to Foreclose on Homestead and Non-Homestead Properties?
In Florida, the homestead exemption does not have a property value limit. Having a homestead in Florida conveys numerous tax benefits on their owners. Therefore, many move to Florida from other states in order to receive those tax benefits as well as to protect their homestead property from forced sales.
What to Know if you Want to Invest in U.S. Real Estate as a Foreigner?
The simple answer is yes. Anyone can buy property in the United States. However, foreigners are best suited to buy U.S. property with one-time payment instead of financing it. This is because if a foreigner wants to get a U.S. mortgage or a loan – it is often nearly impossible to get approved due to the lack of U.S. credit history.
How Does Asset Protection Work in an LLC?
A limited liability company offers limited liability asset protection. This type of asset protection means that the liability is limited to whatever assets the owner has invested in the LLC, essentially, only all business assets. These business assets can include, but are not limited to, initial, investment, or retained earnings.
What can I do if my employee is not taking sufficient efforts to be re-tested after having Coronavirus?
Five months into the Coronavirus pandemic, it is unfortunately common for one of your employees to test positive for the virus. What do you do? You give them time to recover at home, ensure that they sufficiently isolate themselves, and then request 2 negative test results in accordance with CDC guidelines. Eventually, it will be time for your employee to return to the office—but what do you do if they refuse to be tested?
Why is Lady Antebellum Suing Lady A?
Country group, Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, has filed suit against Seattle blues singer Anita White, also known as Lady A. The feud started when Lady Antebellum decided to change their stage name to Lady A, because of the term Antebellum and its ties to slavery periods.
Enforcement of Arbitration Clauses in Franchise Agreements
Arbitration is a proceeding that takes place outside of the court room. It essentially allows both the franchisor and franchisee the ability to take their legal disputes to an arbitrator who will, after hearing all the facts and evidence presented by both sides, come to a decision that is binding and enforceable by the courts.
How can my artwork steer clear of copyright infringement?
Painters and artists in Miami oftentimes copy images presented to them, without first checking to see if the artwork is copyrighted. This can unfortunately lead to a case of copyright infringement—something every artist seeks to avoid.
Understanding Florida Reemployment Assistance
The Florida Reemployment Assistance Program has several eligibility criteria it imposes on individuals who apply.
Unilateral Attorney’s Fees in Florida
In most contracts, there is a provision for attorney’s fees, sometimes called a prevailing party clause. This provision states that if legal action must be taken to enforce the contract, the prevailing party will get its attorney’s fees and costs paid by the losing party. Under Florida law, attorney’s fees are contractual or statutory, meaning that this provision must be included in contracts or statutes to be enforced. Because of this, it is important to include an attorney’s fees clause in any contract in Florida.
Increased Jurisdictional Amounts in Florida
On May 24, 2019, House Bill 337 was approved by Governor Ron DeSantis which would effectively amend Section 34.01 of the Florida Statutes, by increasing the jurisdictional amounts of our court actions.
Investing in or Lending Money to Your New Florida Business: What’s Better?
Investing in your new business is a financial risk that many business owners take in order to grow their company. By taking that risk, individuals are forecasting positive return in the near future. Like anybody in the economic market, business owners want to ensure that their companies reach success in the long run.
Corporate Change of Control with the IRS
A change in control is a change in the ownership structure of a company. Such change of ownership typically involves another entity or individual acquiring more than 50% of the company’s shares. When such a change in corporate structure occurs, the company must file an “Information Return for Acquisition of Control or Substantial Change in Capital Structure” Form 8806 with the Internal Revenue Service.
Damages for Copyright Infringement
Common law copyright protections have historically provided judicial recognition to creators of artistic and scientific works.
What is the IRS Form 5472 in Florida?
If you are a U.S. company and have a foreign owner or foreign shareholders, then your company likely needs to file Form 5472.
January 1st, 2020 Changes to the Florida Corporate Statute
The changes to the Florida Corporate Statute have gone into effect on January 1st, 2020. These changes are centered around the Revised Model Business Corporation Act.
What are the Advantages vs. Disadvantages of a Florida LLC?
Registering your business with the State of Florida is a crucial part of your company’s creation process. Often times, many individuals who are new to the business world opt for a limited liability company (“LLC”) when they intend to register their new business. Mainly because they desire something simple and less complicated, especially during the beginning stages. An LLC offers just that, not only is it easy to form, but it is also easy to manage.
What is a Common Law Trademark?
A common law trademark is a right at common law to certain names, sentences or logos that you very often use in connection with your product. You can have common law trademarks rights without having your trademark federally registered. A common law trademark, however, can only be enforced within a certain area, where it is used.
What Is an Agricultural Tax Exemption in Florida?
The Agricultural Tax Exemption is a property tax exemption that landowners may receive, if they can show that their land is being put to agricultural use. Different states define “agricultural use” in different ways. For example, Florida requires agricultural use to be bona fide. Fl. Stat. § 193.461. “Bona fide agricultural purpose” is defined as a “good faith commercial agricultural use of the land.” Fla. Stat. § 193.461(1)(b) (2009). Some states require the agricultural use to be for commercial purposes, and for some profits to be gained from the land.
What is the Penalty for Wrongly Using the (R) Symbol?
This symbol serves to signify that a particular brand is registered with the federal USPTO office. A simple application to have your trademark registered with the USPTO does not give you the right to use the ® symbol until the trademark has been officially registered.
How do Non-Florida Residents Establish Residency in Florida?
If you reside in another state but wish to convert your domicile to the state of Florida, there are many ways you can make a showing that would reflect Florida residency, especially for purposes of homestead exemption or paying in-state tuition at a Florida university. Many individuals, including investors, choose to make Florida their state of domicile, mainly because Florida has no state income tax, as opposed to states like New York, Georgia or California.
Why You Need A Federal SBA Certification Post Coronavirus Pandemic.
Small Business Association 8(a) Certification The Small Business Association (SBA) received significant media coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you may be aware, the SBA was responsible for providing millions of dollars’ worth of loans to small businesses suffering as a result of the pandemic. However, what you may not know is the SBA… + Read More…
How do I Sell or Transfer my Corporate Shares in Florida?
Can a Minority Shareholder Resign His Shares in a Private Corporation? If you’re a minority shareholder of a private corporation looking to get out of the corporation, your best option would be to sell your shares. It is important to note that your ability to sell shares is contingent on the terms of the shareholders’… + Read More…
What is a California Release in Florida?
Under California law, a “general release” of claims releases the parties from all mutual obligations and all known claims. The language of § 1542 notably states that a general release does not extend to unknown or suspected claims. This means that if one party violated an agreement, but the other party does not find out about the violation until after the agreement has been dissolved, the injured party can still bring a claim and file a lawsuit.
Can I Force my Ex-Spouse to Change Their name?
A divorce is a trying experience in and of itself—an ex-spouse keeping your last name can add another emotional dimension. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to legally change someone else’s name.
What Kind of Licenses do you need to Sell Jewelry in Miami?
Do you have to have a license to sell jewelry in Florida? To sell jewelry from home in Miami, you first need to create a business structure and register for a Florida Business Tax License. For a single member LLC, you need to provide the owner’s Social Security Number (SSN) and the business’s employer identification… + Read More…
What to Negotiate when Purchasing a Franchise?
It is important to understand that a franchise agreement is typically drafted in favor of the franchisor. That is because the franchisee will be granted the rights to use the franchisor’s name, brand, intellectual property, confidential information, services and products, such as, for example, custom recipes, manuals, services and products, system information, production knowhow, and/or other trade secrets of the franchisor.
Can my Ex-Spouse Reimburse me for Attorney fees?
Upon pursuing a divorce, it is common to wonder if your ex-spouse can reimburse you for your attorney fees and other significant costs incurred throughout the process. Luckily, an answer can be found in statutes and case law.
What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?
A buy-sell agreement, buy-out agreement or a business prenup, is typically a contract that specifies how a partner’s share of an enterprise will be reassigned if he or she happens to pass away or dispense themselves from the company. Buy-sell agreements are commonly used for closed corporations and partnerships but may be used for other types of companies as well.
When can my Unemployment Claim be Denied?
In Florida, to obtain reemployment assistance benefits, an individual must file a claim with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Once the claim is filed, the claim undergoes an adjudication process where the claim is reviewed for potential issues which may disqualify an individual from receiving reemployment benefits such as: reason for termination, individual’s availability, and individual’s ability to work.
What are the Minimum Performance Requirements in Franchise Agreements?
A minimum performance requirement is typically a provision in a franchise agreement that creates a certain minimum standard of performance that is necessary for a Franchisee to maintain in order not to be in default on the franchise agreement. Every franchise agreement will impose different standards on their franchise locations – some covering more areas of the franchise’s operations and some covering less.
Why Are Employment Contracts So Important?
An employment contract is an agreement between two parties – an employee and an employer, that involves terms and conditions of employment. Some employment contracts may be oral, whereas others are written and contain many descriptive provisions. Oral employment contracts are enforceable but could be much more difficult to prove in court.
What Registrations and Licenses does a Landlord need to rent a Property in DC?
To rent a property in Washington, D.C., a landlord needs a Basic Business License (BBL). The landlord must first obtain the category that their BBL falls into, such as beauty services, health services, or rental housing.
Substantial Presence Test During COVID-19
During the coronavirus pandemic, many foreign nationals have been left unable to leave the United States and have, therefore, been involuntarily stranded in the country for longer than they anticipated. Does this extended presence in the United States carry with it any tax implications for these foreign nationals?
Small Business and Minority Businesses in Miami Dade County (Part 2)
Not many people know this but it is important to know that once a business or disadvantaged individual has participated in the program, neither the business nor that individual will be eligible again. The SBA will automatically decline those applications.
Where Do Online Businesses Source Their Income? Part Two: Income Tax
Just as e-commerce has presented challenges for sourcing sales tax, e-commerce also presents issues for sourcing income taxes. This blog will discuss the income tax implications for online businesses.
Where Do Online Businesses Source Their Income? Part One: Sales Tax
E-commerce has created several tax-related issues for corporations conducting business across states without a physical footprint. This blog will discuss the sales tax implications for online businesses.
Foreign Ownership of U.S. Financial Assets
Foreign ownership of U.S. assets has grown significantly over the past 20 years as a result of more globalized financial markets.
How do S-Corp owners pay Themselves and what is Deductible?
Small business owners pay themselves differently depending on their business structure. Sole proprietorships, S-corps, C-corps, and partnerships all have different IRS rules governing how the business can pay its owners and how those earnings are taxed.
What is the Doctrine of Frustration in Contract Law?
Frustration of purpose is a doctrine in contract law that provides a defense to the enforcement of a contract. The doctrine of frustration is usually invoked when either party has been substantially inconvenienced by an unforeseeable event, whereby that inconvenience has caused the contract to become impossible to perform or has undermined the initial justification of entering into the contract in the first place.
What is a Force Majeure Clause in a Contract?
What is a Force Majeure Clause in a Contract? A force majeure clause is a provision typically added to contracts that help to shield the parties from liability in the event of a catastrophe or a natural event that prevents the parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. Examples of a force majeure include… + Read More…
Who Does the SEC Oversee?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is an independent government agency created to regulate corporate securities while maintaining fair market practices. The SEC is commanded by a five-member commission who act cooperatively to enforce the rules and regulations that make up the securities market. Their authority is derived from the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
What is the Purpose of the SEC?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a governmental agency that serves the purpose of protecting investors from fraud and maintaining fairness and efficiency of the U.S. market. One of the main goals of the SEC is to mandate disclosures about all kinds of investments to both small and big businesses.
What Is HIPAA?
The HIPAA stands for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This federal Act protects the privacy of patient information from third parties. Therefore, most healthcare providers such as healthcare insurance companies, hospitals, etc. can only disclose patient information in cases when the HIPAA allows the disclosure. Under the HIPAA, apart from disclosing the patient’s information for treatment purposes, only “the minimum necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure” can be revealed.
Rehiring Furloughed Employees Post-Covid-19
A furlough is a temporary, unpaid leave of absence, with an expectation that an employee will return to his or her job at a specific time. A furlough could also include reduced hours of work or work weeks. Ultimately, a furloughed employee remains an employee.
Securities Class Action Lawsuits
A securities class action lawsuit is filed by investors who have bought or sold a company’s publicly traded securities within a class period and have suffered economic injury as a result of violations of securities laws.
What are Accredited Investors and what is a Private Placement Memorandum?
The reason for such disclosures is to protect the company in the event things fall apart and the investors try to sue the company for securities fraud for example. Such disclosures will be used as the company’s defense. One of the best ways to provide such disclosures is through a document called a Private Placement Memorandum (aka PPM).
What if I’m a Small Business Owner and I’m Looking to Protect my Life-long Legacy?
While it can be emotional to imagine the state of a business after your passing, it can prove crucial in the protection of your legacy. The reality is that your sudden passing can lead to thousands or millions of dollars in losses for your business, and even starker consequences for your family.
Consumer Class Action Lawsuits
In a class action lawsuit, only one lawsuit is filed on behalf of an entire group of injured parties. Very often, for example, such lawsuits unite many individuals and go after a large company that has produced defective products that have causes injury or loss to every individual member of the class action lawsuit. The settlement that such a lawsuit results in is typically divided between all of the individual plaintiffs.
Enforcement Against a Personal Guarantor (Part 1)
A personal guarantee is an individual or business entity that guarantees responsibility for another’s financial obligation, should they ever fail to repay their lender. Personal guarantee’s usually come in when securing a debt for a loan such as a car finance or mortgage, but the guarantor is not contractually liable for any part of the loan unless the debtor fails to make a payment.
Enforcement Against a Personal Guarantor (Part 2)
If a personal guarantor does not respond to the lender’s demand, the lender has two options to choose from in order to collect the debt. First, the lender can file suit against the personal guarantor and second – he can petition a court for the personal guarantor’s bankruptcy.
A Vendor Has Wrongfully Filed an Item With Your Credit Rating Agency: What to Do
Oftentimes, a creditor or vendor wrongfully files something with your credit rating agency. All of a sudden, you find your credit lowered by hundreds of points, with collection agencies knocking at your door. Black marks on your credit can have detrimental consequences for future financial transactions, like opening a credit card.
Can you Delete a Photo of You From the Internet?
Deleting all the information about yourself on the Internet can be a long and tedious task. This would in large depend on the level of popularity the person wanting to erase himself online enjoys as well as his level of activity on the Internet.
Are Credit Card Surcharges Legal in Florida?
Florida law currently prohibits a seller from imposing a surcharge on any buyer who elects to use a credit card. However, a federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals case in 2015, decided on the merits that Florida law prohibiting a merchant from imposing surcharge fees was unconstitutional because it regulated commercial free-speech rights. Similarly, in a U.S Supreme Court case in 2017, the court struck down a New York law that did the same. As our state law continues to stand, federal case law has since overruled the prohibition of seller surcharges.
What IRS Troubles Are Occuring Due to COVID-19?
IRS Troubles During COVID-19 Due to the ongoing pandemic, the IRS had to cut its working staff, close its offices around the country, severely limit live telephone assistance and completely stop processing filing sent by mail. All of these measures, along with the current tax season and having to send out the government’s stimulus payments,… + Read More…
“Unpopular Opinion: Why Probate is Actually a Good Thing”
Avoiding probate is usually something most (if not all) estate planning attorneys advocate for several reasons: privacy to you and your family, saving your loved one’s time and money on a slow court process, and a quicker route for beneficiaries to access their inheritance. However, sometimes having your estate go through probate might actually be… + Read More…
Landlord Remedies in Florida: Distress Writs
A landlord in a commercial or residential landlord-tenant relationship may enforce remedial acts against a tenant and the leased premises, in the event of default or breach. Upon a landlord deciding to evict his or her tenant, a distress writ may be obtained to substantially protect the landlords needs. Among this remedial measure, a landlord has the ability to receive a distress writ issued by the Clerk of Court, which authorizes the landlord to essentially put a lien on the tenant’s assets at the rental premises when he or she owes rent.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Federal Tax Liens?
What is a Federal Tax Lien? A federal tax lien is the government’s legal claim against your property when you neglect or fail to pay a tax debt. When the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) puts your unpaid balance due on their books, your liability to pay that balance is then assessed. Neglect or failure to… + Read More…
How Do I Become Legal Guardian of My Parent?
What is Considered a Legal Guardian? A legal guardian is an individual who has been appointed by a court to represent and make decisions on behalf of another other person. A legal guardian is appointed in accordance with state guardianship laws. The person over whom the guardianship extends is called a “Ward.” Guardianships can be… + Read More…
Does Florida Have Small Business Certifications?
Miami-Dade County Small Business Programs In addition to the Federal and Florida government certifications, small businesses in Miami-Dade County can apply for a local certification called the Miami-Dade County Small Business Enterprise (SBE). What is the Miami-Dade County Small Business Enterprise? Within the Miami-Dade Internal Services Department, the Small Business Development (SBD) serves the County’s… + Read More…
What Miami-Dade Certifications Are Available For Small Businesses?
Florida Minority Business Government Programs Like the federal Small Business Association, the state of Florida enacted certification programs to provide more opportunities for small businesses. What is the Florida Certified Business Enterprise? The Florida Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) is a certification program run by the Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD), a specialized team within the… + Read More…
Who is a Borrower’s Representative?
Borrower’s Representative means an individual or an organization that is designated by the Borrower to act on behalf of the Borrower by a written certificate and complying with the requirements of the applicable state. The borrower’s representative always requires some written proof of authority before being able to act on behalf of the borrower.
How to Protect your Business Against Trademark Bullying?
Trademark bullying is the process of large worldwide famous companies aggressively asserting their trademark rights over smaller businesses. Even though it is a common practice in the trademark world for trademark owners to “police” the use of their trademarks in the market, sometimes big companies take this “policing” a step further, counting on the inability of small businesses to finance prolonged court litigation over their trademark rights.
District of Columbia: Consumer Protection & Unfair Trade Practice Laws
In order to protect commercial trade practices and deter improper use of such practices within its state, The District of Columbia has implemented their own regulation for effective enforcement of fair trade and business practices.
Can Foreign Non-Resident Investors Claim Florida Homestead Exemption?
The traditional rule is all individuals living in Florida with temporary visas may not be eligible to claim the Florida homestead exemption because their residency is based on a durational, temporary period. However, in 2012, the Florida Supreme Court put this constitutional issue before them in Garcia v. Andonie
How to Prevent Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting or domain sharking is the act of registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name that is identical to, or confusingly similar to a registered trademark, with the bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. By doing this, cyber squatters prevent anybody from buying the domain.
Commercial Impracticability: Is COVID-19 an Excuse for Nonperformance?
As many of our questions are still left in the unknown, there may come some ease knowing that the law offers consideration during times like this. More recently, government intervention and closures have created shortages in staff and labor workers, while a shortfall in supplies have deviated businesses from performing their contractual duties.
How to Ensure You’re Utilizing Your PPP Loan the Proper Way
The most significant aspect of this loan is that it is completely forgivable so long as the funds are used for at least 75% of payroll costs. The loan may also be used for mortgage, rent, and utilities for the business.
How Can I Cancel a Power of Attorney?
Powers of attorney vary in the extent of powers granted. A special power of attorney may specify certain powers that would be granted to the agent.
What to Do If My Client Owes Me Money?
If your client fails to make a payment, often times, you as a business owner are consequently left with an unpaid balance. This can result in repetitive and tedious attempts to collect the unpaid invoices and may impose a strain on your client relationship.
Financing a Vehicle – Liens & Auto Equity Loans
When a vehicle is financed through a bank, the bank becomes a “secured party” in relations to the vehicle. This means that the bank now owns a financial interest in the vehicle, secured by the vehicle itself. Therefore, the information about the bank’s interest in the vehicle has to be put on the certificate of title, along with the borrower’s information.
How Do I File for Bankruptcy?
What Happens If I Declare Bankruptcy? Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are aimed at relieving an individual debtor of his accumulated debt and giving him a so-called “fresh start”. The goal of the bankruptcy proceeding is to have the most important and secured creditors paid out of the liquidated assets of… + Read More…
Creditor Bankruptcy Collection Process
Will Filing for Bankruptcy Stop Collections? Once the debtor files for bankruptcy and the court accepts the petition, the court places an automatic stay on all of the debtor’s property. Automatic stay means that the property becomes safe from creditors, and all collection attempts must cease. This includes telephone calls, letters, legal actions, etc. The… + Read More…
F@ck the Big Banks: Every Business Owner Should be with a Community bank (and have Their Banker’s cell Phone Number)
Now that the United States Government has implemented the CARES Act, a historic stimulus bill, there might be recovery yet for the extreme slow down in business one may experience. However, too many people are having difficulties with banks granting them the loans this stimulus was intended to provide.
Is there a Grace Period for Rental Payments during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
A grace period is a predetermined period of time immediately following a payment due date during which a late fee or other is waived provided that the obligation is satisfied during the grace period. Your grace period, if any, will be stated within your lease agreement, and will typically be limited to three to five… + Read More…
CARES ACT §1102 Paycheck Protection Program §1106 Loan Forgiveness
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The CARES ACT passed by the U.S. Congress on Friday, March 27, 2020 and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on the same day is a massive coronavirus relief bill that in part provides tremendous relief for small businesses currently in flux. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may be eligible for an… + Read More…
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae Protect Renters From Eviction During Coronavirus
Last week Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suspended evictions and foreclosures for families living in houses financed through one of their loans. This policy was now extended by the two banks to include renters as well, in the event when they are not able to pay rent due to the coronavirus outbreak.
What Economic Assistance is Available to Small Businesses During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
The federal and state governments have offered a variety of aid or relief to individuals and small business owners related to the coronavirus pandemic and the COVID-19 disease. Our attorneys at EPGD have been closely monitoring all legal developments and changes in administrative policy to make sure we can guide you through this difficult time… + Read More…
What Happens if my City Passes an Emergency Ordinance in Response to COVID -19 that is More Restrictive than My State’s Emergency Order? Which Law do I Follow?
When conflict between laws or orders issued from different levels of government exists, the law at the higher level will typically govern unless that law or declaration is found to be unconstitutional. For instance, when federal and state law is in conflict, the federal law will supersede, or preempt, the state law and take precedence due to the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution.
Should you Lease Property to a Business?
Saving money on taxes is a great incentive to consider leasing your assets to a corporation. It is common for shareholders of corporations to lease real estate, equipment, and other property, such as vehicles, to the corporation, either directly or indirectly.
What is an Operating Agreement?
The operating agreement for an LLC is imperative because it can outline all the company’s procedural and financial decisions. Although an operating agreement is not required in many states, most limited liability owners create an operating agreement as soon as they create their company. The operating agreement protects owners and sets out anything that has been orally agreed on.
What is a Third-Party Purchaser?
When most people think of foreclosures, the two parties instantly discussed are the owner that is being foreclosed upon and the bank that is doing the foreclosing. However, when the property is headed to the auction block there is another party that comes into the picture: third party purchasers. When the bank lists the property at the foreclosure auction, a third-party purchaser often decides to buy the property if he or she believes it is a good deal. Third-party purchaser can take strategic risks and make money through legal loopholes.
Can you file for Bankruptcy if your House is in Foreclosure?
If you believe foreclosure is imminent and need assistance moving forward, please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys at EPGD Business Law.
Can an Employer Inquire into Whether its Employees have been Exposed to Coronavirus?
The COVID-19 Virus (“Coronavirus”) is presenting challenges for businesses in a multitude of areas. One particularly concerning prospect is an employee being exposed to the virus and in turn contaminating the rest of the business. While employers may want to ask their employees questions about their health to evaluate the risk of exposure, employers need to be aware of the various laws surrounding this sensitive topic.
What is the IRS Trust Fund Recovery Penalty?
Every month your employer has to hold back a certain percentage from your paycheck. They have to withhold 6.2% for social security and 1.45% for Medicare. The IRS calls the withholding of income tax, Medicare, and social security the trust fund taxes. An employer is supposed to send the trust fund taxes amount to the IRS every quarter using Form 941.
Does my Employer Have to pay me if I am Quarantined due to the Coronavirus?
With the current state of the world, you may be thinking about what you can expect if you are unable to go to work due to the Coronavirus. Employment and Labor laws can vary by state, and by county. Additionally, you may have a contract or collective bargaining agreement with your employer that determines what happens when you cannot show up to work due to a public health emergency. While your employer will most likely not require you to come to work if you are under quarantine, your employer may not be required to pay you for the time you are out.
Attacking the Validity of the Mortgage
One of the ways to win a foreclosure fight is by attacking the validity of the mortgage. There are multiple ways to do this, including but not limited to, using defenses such as fraud, standing to sue, and proving the statute of limitations.
What to Think About when Starting a Small Business
Starting a new business can be scary with all of the legal issues that arise, the taxes one may incur, the fear of losing money invested, etc. To deal with these issues, it is best you consult an attorney to ensure all of your questions are answered and there are no hidden surprises.
Why do I need a PPM?
Even companies engaging in private placements frequently have to meet certain disclosure requirements. Such requirements are met through the creation of a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM)
What Happens when a Business is part of a Divorce?
Divorces can be stressful, emotionally and financially draining, and sometimes even confusing. Some people do not understand how assets are divided in a divorce.
Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment occurs far more often than one would expect. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees in any capacity, whether it is a private workplace or a government agency.
Updating your FDD in Response to Change of fees
The FDD must be given to the potential Franchisee 14 days before the Franchisee is able to sign the Franchise Agreement. The purpose of such disclosure to a potential Franchisee has historically been to allow the Franchisee to make an informed decision. An FDD typically includes a fees chart, the franchise’s legal and financial history, along with other terms and conditions of the operation of the franchise.
How to Properly Dissolve a Florida Nonprofit Organization
When a nonprofit corporation decides to close its doors, there are steps that the organization must follow to legally terminate its operations or dissolve. Similarly, to for-profit corporations, nonprofit corporations must file Articles of Dissolution with the Florida Department of State. But that is not the final step.
Can a Dissolved Company sue?
Voluntary dissolution is an action taken by shareholders or incorporators to dissolve a corporation. This process is typically initiated by a vote of the corporation’s stockholders. Under a voluntary dissolution, the company will stop to exist as a legal entity.
Is it Legal to take Clients away from your Employer?
Client lists are usually labeled as “confidential” and within the company access to them is limited. Other companies divide their client lists by sales/business geographical territory to minimize access of employees to the lists even more.
What is an ADA Compliant Website?
Businesses, places of employment, and governments serving the general public are required to accommodate those with disabilities of various sorts.
Bullying in the Workplace
Workplace bullying is generally known as the repeated mistreatment of a person by one or more employees that takes the form of verbal abuse or conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating.
Can a Florida Law Firm Operate as an LLC? Can I convert my PLLC to a PA?
“Lawyers may practice law in the form of professional service corporations, professional limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, general partnerships, or limited liability partnerships organized or qualified under applicable law.”
Sales Tax Decrease on Commercial Property
Since 2018, the sales tax on commercial rent in Florida has consistently gone down, decreasing from 6% to 5.7% to 5.5% in 2020.
Taxes Upon Conversion
Corporations are often today converted into “disregarded entities” for tax purposes, such as avoiding “double taxation”. A disregarded entity is a business that is not separated from the owner for tax purposes.
Are ADA Compliant Website Lawsuits a Scam?
There are no clear regulations defining website accessibility. Typically, courts conduct a flexible, case-by-case analysis, to ensure that the Act requirements are not unduly burdensome to businesses.
What is an Integration Clause in a Legal Contract?
Often times, contracts that have integration clauses are referred to as integration contracts. The purpose of an integrated contract is to assure that any material, terms or agreements that are fully intended to be in the contract are included.
How do I Apply for Homestead Exemption in Florida?
In Miami-Dade County, the 2020 Homestead Exemption applications and Portability applications are due on March 2nd. Read our blog below to find out how to apply!
Can a Franchisee Sue a Franchisor for Item 19 Misrepresentations?
Item 19 disclosures are the disclosures that potential franchisees rely on the most when deciding whether to open a franchise. Thus, a franchisor needs to be careful to not make any overly robust financial presentations or promises. To begin with, a franchisor is not required to provide an answer to the most important question, “how much money can I make?”.
Can my Homestead Assessment Savings be Transferred from my old Property to my new Property?
Imagine being a homeowner in Florida, selling your home and not buying a new home until three years later. Did you know that you were most likely receiving property tax savings at your old property? And better yet, you could have transferred some or all of those savings to your new property if you had just filed a homestead portability application within two years.
How can I Report an Amazon Vendor if I am a Seller or Buyer?
Recently, stories have surfaced about consumers purchasing expired goods, broken products, and even counterfeit items. Additionally, some sellers are losing business to other sellers who market these fraudulent or defective items. Whether you are an Amazon buyer or seller, here’s how you can protect yourself.
Can a U.S Non-Profit Organization lose its Tax-Exempt Status by Sending Funds to Foreign Organizations?
There are several ways that funds from U.S. non-profits can be sent to foreign organizations. However, U.S non-profit organization may be exposing themselves to risks and possible dangers of losing their tax-exemption status.
What Happens when you get Served?
Currently, there are two worlds operating at the same time and for some people they never overlap. I am talking about the legal world and the non-legal/real world. In the legal world courts are operating every day and most people are blissfully unaware of it. However, the legal world and the real-world intersect at the moment that individual walks up to you and says, “you’ve been served!”
Are Officers and Directors of U.S Non-Profit Organizations Required to be U.S Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents?
Board members are responsible for making strategic goals and decisions for the charitable organization. Officers are generally the “responsible party” of the entity and oversee all financial compliance and funding while working under the board of directors’ control. Generally, there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of a company formed in the United States. Further,… + Read More…
How to form a Trust Company in Florida
Simply put, trust companies are businesses that have the legal authority to hold and manage other people’s money for compensation.
Financial Performance Representation AKA Item 19
Item 19 is an item on a Franchise Disclosure Document known as a “Financial Performance Representation.”
Trademark Registration With U.S Customs and Border Protection
With a validly registered trademark with the USPTO, the United States Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) offers further protections with the ability to record that trademark through them as well.
Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors
An Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, commonly referred to as ABC, is an alternative to bankruptcy in which the business turns over its assets to creditors.
How do I know if I am Being Misclassified as an Independent Contractor?
If your employer controls how long your lunch is, how many hours a day you have to come into the office, how many sick days or vacations you have, how the work is done, when the work is done, and where the work is done then you are being misclassified as an independent contractor.
Do you have to file Form 5471?
Form 5471, is an informational return that reports activity of foreign corporations in which certain U.S. citizens or residents, who are officers, directors, or shareholders of a certain foreign corporation are required to file. The term “certain” leaves room for interpretation, which is why it is important to consult a tax attorney who understand the different categories of fillers the IRS provides.
S-Corporations with Disproportionate Distribution
The general rule is that distributions from S-Corporations to shareholders should be proportional to each shareholder’s ownership interest.
What is the Nice Agreement?
With a total of 45 individual classes, the Nice Agreement establishes international classifications of trademarking goods and services.
Are There Advertising Restrictions for Dental Practices?
The American Dental Association and Florida Statute § 466.019 mandate laws for advertising by dentists.
Can I Self File with the USPTO If I Am a Foreign Applicant?
New trademark laws state that any trademark filer that is domiciled abroad must appoint and be represented before the USPTO by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States.
Can You Trademark a Sound?
An individual may apply to register a sound with the USPTO, but the federal courts have held that the sound must be “so inherently different or distinctive that it attaches to the subliminal mind of the listener, to be awakened when heard, and to be associated with the source or event.”
What is Tax Form 1120?
When an individual or group of individuals decide to incorporate their domestic business, it is then a requirement to annually file IRS Form 1120, the U.S. Corporate Income Tax Return.
Is There Self-Employment Tax for a LLC with Passive Income?
If a LLC member is not personally liable for the LLC’s debts, has no authority to contract for the LLC, or does not participate in the LLC’s business for more than 500 hours per year, their income is considered passive, and therefore, not subject to self-employment tax.
What are the Setbacks Required on my Property?
A Setback is the distance from the Base Building Line (the officially mapped street line) to the point where a building may be constructed. The City of Miami provides setback requirements for property owners in the Miami 21 Zoning Code.
Should You Use a S-Corporation or a LLC for Rental Properties?
After deciding whether to invest in rental properties, it is important to make an informed decision regarding the kind of business entity your company should become.
Don’t be Fooled by “Attorneys…”
Many states have tried providing education to the public to be careful in who they hire to help with their legal problems. Additionally, many states, such as Florida, have established programs to protect the public against harm caused by individuals pretending to be attorneys.
What to Know About the British Virgin Island Economic Substance Act
The Act came into effect on January 1, 2019 and was amended on January 30, 2019. The Act was established based on concerns rising from the EU (European Union) Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation and OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidance around the economic substance of entities in jurisdictions a very low to zero percent corporate tax.
Dissolving a Delaware Corporation
Corporations lean on Delaware’s favorable business laws when it is time to incorporate their business. However, what happens when you want to dissolve your Delaware corporation?
Business Tax Planning Opportunities Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
As with any tax act, there are a number of areas for devious planners to take advantage. Following is a list of strategies you can take to ensure your business benefits from the new business tax landscape.
What’s the Deal with GILTI?
Introduced in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, GILTI, or “Global Intangible Low Tax Income,” is an outbound provision that broadens the scope of foreign earnings subject to U.S. taxation with the goal of reducing the incentive to shift corporate profits out of the U.S. into low or zero-tax jurisdictions. Applicable to large multinational companies and to U.S. shareholders of certain foreign corporations, GILTI is fundamentally an anti-deferral provision that limits the amount of foreign income a U.S. shareholder can defer from U.S. tax.
How to Remove Public Online Information
The list of digital assets you may have online are endless, thus it is important that you either (1) set up a password manager kit, (2) include your digital assets in your estate plan, or (3) check if the website you are using allows you to add a recipient to your account once you pass away.
What Happens If A W-2 Employee Finds Out The Employer Wasn’t Withholding Employment Taxes?
Employers are responsible for sending the W-2 form to the IRS and to the employee each year, which reports the employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld from his or her paychecks.
“AS IS” Clause in a Property Contract & Home Inspection Company
Issue 1: Does an “As Is” Clause in a Contract under Florida law Include Termites? Yes. An “as is” clause in a contract under Florida law does not waive the duty a seller has to disclose to buyer facts materially affecting the value of the property and are not readily observable to the buyer. Levy… + Read More…
Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds
The first Opportunity Zones were designated on April 9, 2018. To date, the Treasury Department has certified more than 8,700 Opportunity Zones spanning 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories qualifying for the aforementioned tax benefits.
What is a Corporate Monitor in Florida?
Monitors are usually appointed to perform a specific set of duties, and often only have a single-purpose duty. Corporate monitors only supervise rather than manage. Specifically, the Department of Justice has stated that the scope of the monitor ship should be tailored to address the specific issues and concerns that created the need for a monitor.
The Ultimate Guide to Financial Securities for 2020 Part 2
Typically, a security that is exempt from registration is restricted in some way. See the first post on Restricted Securities, but keep in mind that some exemptions provide for other restrictions.
What Can a Landlord do if a Tenant Leaves Behind Property?
One of the most tension fraught relationships is that of a landlord-tenant. Landlords are subject to a variety of laws including regulation of rent, termination, and eviction. One such law is the Disposition of Personal Property Landlord and Tenant Act, which prescribes rules by which landlords are allowed to dispose of tenant property which remains on the premises after a tenancy is terminated.
What are the Requirements for a Valid Will & what is a Self-Proving Will?
In Florida, for a will to be valid it must be in writing, signed by the party seeking to create the will (the testator), the testator must have the mental competence to sign the will, and it must be signed by two witnesses to the execution of the will.
What is a Tax Clearance Letter & what is the Purpose?
A potential buyer should obtain a businesses’ tax clearance letter. If a buyer fails to conduct its due diligence on the tax side of the business, he or she could be on the hook for any taxes owed by the seller.
The Ultimate Guide to Financial Securities for 2020 Part 1
In finance, a security is a negotiable financial instrument that holds some type of monetary value. A security can represent a number of positions. Typically, securities represent ownership in a publicly-traded corporation, known as equity securities, or represent a creditor-debtor relationship, known as debt securities.
What is a Florida Construction Lien? What are the Preliminary Concerns?
Most contractors, subcontractors, laborers, material-men, or professionals hired to improve, or make improvements to, a property which cost more than $2,500 can file a construction lien.
Do You Need a Trademark to Sell Your Product on Amazon?
While Amazon offers a variety of ways to sell on its website, one of the most popular and advantageous to sellers is the Amazon Brand Registry.
Is My Cryptocurrency Protected?
There’s a number of ways an individual can protect their cryptocurrency, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be safe. The arising issue with digital exchange is the fact that it can be a popular target for hackers.
What is Defamation?
Defamation is a false statement about a person, portrayed as a fact, that is intended to harm the person’s reputation. All the elements of defamation must be present, meaning that mere gossip may not always be considered defamation.
What you Should Know About CBD Infused Products
In Florida, Governor Ron De Santis signed legislation that legalizes state-licensed hemp farming and sales in Florida. On the other hand, the federal government still considers CBD to be in the same class as marijuana.
Can my Employer Force me to show them my Social Media Account?
It seems rather absurd that any employer would dive into their employee’s privacy rights in such a way, nevertheless, what they are doing is completely legal (in about half of the United States).
How can Foreigners Start a Business in the United States?
Starting a new business in the US can be intimidating, especially for those that are not US residents. However, starting a business in the US is not as complicated as you may think. In any case though, it is best to contact a business attorney to ensure everything goes smoothly and there are no future… + Read More…
What are the Florida Bar Rules on Attorney Referral Fees?
Referral fees from attorney to attorney may be allowed when an attorney passes a case or a client to another attorney. The Florida Rules of Professional Responsibility do not authorize a lawyer to give anything of value to a non-lawyer in return for recommending that attorney’s legal services.
Everything You Should Know About Maryland Security Deposits
There are general landlord/tenant rules that can be modified differently in each state. Below is what you need to know about the laws in Maryland.
Why Should I Federally Register My Trademark?
A Federal trademark registration will greatly enhance your rights. U.S. trademark rights are created through the use of your mark in commerce, however these use-based rights are just common law rights and only apply to a specific geographic area.
What is Florida’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act?
Florida, among 48 states, has adopted its version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act known as FUTSA. The purpose of the Act is to ultimately protect one’s intellectual property, ideas and certain types of confidential information.
What are the Penalties for Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor?
Sometimes people opt into hiring unlicensed contractors, which is a very bad idea. Unlicensed contractors may lead a person to pay penalties and possibly even jail time.
What Happens if you Hire an Unlicensed Contractor?
Conducting business as an unlicensed contractor is a crime in Florida. Therefore, as a homeowner you have special civil remedies in regard to the harm that you have endured by hiring an unlicensed contractor.
Discrimination in the Workplace
Identical to federal statute, Florida law forbids workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Moreover, other types of discrimination that are not particularly immutable, for example, pregnancy, disability, or marital status are also protected classes under both federal and state law.
Can United States Companies Export Goods to Venezuela?
For the most part U.S. companies should be okay when exporting to Venezuela, but there are a few executive orders to be aware of prior to engaging in exportation.
How to Avoid Probate
Preparing for what happens after one’s passing can be difficult. Most people do not like thinking of the reality that they are not going to be around one day. However, proper preparation allows you to have a say even after you pass.
What Are the Most Famous Franchises?
When you think of popular franchises you most likely think of fast food restaurants. Some of the most profitable and longest standing franchises in the United States are fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and KFC.
What to Consider When Hiring
Do you hire someone as an employee or as a contractor? What is the difference between an employee and an independent contractor? How do you know if someone is legally able to work in the United States?
What is the Difference Between Franchise Agreements and Franchise Disclosure Documents?
Joining the world of franchising can be a little overwhelming at first. First, you should know the difference between the Franchise Agreement (“FA”) and the Franchise Disclosure Documents (“FDD”).
Don’t Be Fooled – Your Accountant Can’t Create Companies
If your accountant or other consultant offers to perform any of these services, that is the unlicensed practice of law. You should seek the assistance of an attorney for such services.
When is there Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can happen in all types of medicine and at any moment during treatment. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor’s or other health care provider’s actions or negligence.
The IRS is looking to Use Social Media to Investigate Tax Fraud
Online sellers are notoriously known by the IRS as tax cheats. The IRS estimates that businesses across the United States pay $125 billion less in taxes each year than they actually owe. The IRS is on a mission to reduce that number.
What Businesses Need to Know when Working with Influencers
An influencer is a person that is influential in the social media realm. Influencers are usually found on Instagram with over thousands of followers. However, not all influencers are the same.
What is Workers Compensation Insurance?
If an employer operates their business without purchasing workers compensation even though they are required by Florida Law, then there is a high probability that a penalty will be issued. In order to avoid the penalty, any Florida business operating with four or more employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which in Florida will cost your business about $1.32 per $100 wages.
What is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement (or a prenup) is an agreement signed before marriage that outlines what happens to each spouse’s financial assets in the event of divorce or death. This protects each spouse’s personal assets that they have inherited from family members, assets they have obtained before marriage, or income they have generated before marriage.
These are parties that have no interest in using or selling the photos, or other works, they own copyrights for. They may be photographers who own pictures or website who have licensing from photographers. They then purposefully make their pictures readily available online, like on Google.
Online Trade Dress Infringement
Trade dress infringement claims are no longer solely about whether a producer is infringing upon the other because of the packaging or design of a product. Now trade dress infringement also encompasses whether an online user is infringing upon another user’s YouTube channel or blog by copying the name or the content.
Damages Under Lanham Act
The Act permits the injured party to recover (1) any profits the defendant made off the use of the trademark, (2) any damages sustained by rightful owner of the trademark through the unlawful use by the defendant, and (3) the costs of the court action. If the trademark infringement is particularly shocking or offensive, then the court can award the injured party three times the actual amount of damages.
Piercing the Corporate Veil: When Can the Owners Be Liable?
Piercing the veil means the court disregards the limited liability protection and the person suing the company can go after the owners personally.
Trade Dress Infringement
Trade dress infringement occurs when one product’s design or packaging copies that of another product to the degree that there is confusion in the minds of consumers.
Can a Shareholder or Member Transfer Shares?
One of the biggest strengths of the corporate form is its provision of limited personal liability to owners.
What Happens to a Car When the Owner Dies?
There are two ways that the ownership can be transferred, and the court can ultimately determine the legal owner of the vehicle.
Is Remote Electronic Notarization Legal in Florida?
Florida is one step closer to making online notarization legal in the state thanks to the recent approval of House Bill 409 by the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate.
Do you have a pet that you consider as a family member?
Providing for all members of your family is of the utmost importance– including your furry, four-legged friends.
Perfecting the Security Interest
A secured party should perfect their security interest, after attachment, in order to fully ensure its legal rights against a third party claiming that they have an interest in the same collateral. By perfecting a security interest, a secured party gains priority over subsequent creditors claiming the same collateral.
What is a Security Interest?
A security interest occurs when a debtor, which can be a person or business, borrows money from a creditor or more specifically a secured party and they agree to execute a security agreement. In the event the debtor defaults by not paying back the loan or by violating a provision in the agreement, the secured party can seize the collateral and may sell it to satisfy the debt.
Why is an LLC Important?
Today, many businesses are forming as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and are finding that an LLC offers the “best of both worlds” of corporate forms.
What is an Independent Contractor?
Businesses can choose to hire a person as an independent contractor or as an employee. Some employers rather hire independent contractors because of the reduced costs in payroll and taxes. However, an employer must be certain that the worker that is classifying as an independent contractor is truly an independent contractor.
Are You Ready to Retire?
Are you on the right path to retirement? A retirement plan is not something to take lightly or put off to a later date.
Foreign Reporting for US Taxpayers 101
While it is not illegal to earn income abroad or to hold an offshore account, failure to disclose income to the Internal Revenue Service is illegal.
What is “The Uniform Transfer on Death Security Registration Act”?
Beneficiary designations on your financial accounts can provide a quick alternative to traditional estate planning strategies by making sure your accounts are not subject to probate, thus preserving your wealth and preventing unnecessary court expenses and proceedings.
The Different kinds of Tax Penalties
Missed a tax payment? Here are the consequences.
Are Employees Legally Obligated to Take a Lunch Break?
Lunch Breaks: Are you in Compliance with Federal and State Law?
Are you Liable for the Documentary Stamp Tax?
Who Pays the Documentary Stamp Tax? In Florida, people who transfer real estate in exchange for value must pay a transfer fee, called a “documentary stamp tax,” on the documents used. The Florida documentary stamp tax has broad applicability, applying to deeds, instruments, or writings whereby lands, tenements, real property, or interests therein are granted… + Read More…
What is an Accidental Franchise?
Failure to follow the formalities required under state law and by the FTC might unintentionally create a franchise agreement.
So You Want to SELL a Franchise?
While the sales process time consuming and varies significantly from franchise to franchise, you should generally consider the following steps when selling your franchise.
So You Want to BUY a Franchise?
Buying a franchise offers are variety of benefits, such as instant name recognition and a customer pool that is already familiar with and attracted to your products or services.
Will you lose your Homestead if you go to Jail?
Florida provides homeowners who make their Florida home their principal place of residence with a tax exemption. This exemption is called the Homestead Exemption and has different benefits. The exemption allows homeowners to exempt $25,000 (or $50,000 for married couples) from the taxable value of their home.
What is a Promissory note?
We’ve all heard the old story of two friends sitting at a bar and one agrees to loan the other money. They write out an agreement on a napkin for the loan and believe it or not, if the writing on the napkin includes the required terms, it can be a binding promissory note and enforceable in court.
So You Want to START a Franchise?
If you own a successful business that is unique to you and are interested in expanding, franchising could be a great way to do just that.
What is the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund?
Where has all my money gone? If you have ever found yourself asking this question when working with a contractor or construction company, and the project seems to always be going over budget, then you may be entitled to recover from the Florida Construction Industry Recovery Fund. However, there are a few qualifications you must meet before recovering.
What are the Liability Risks for Corporate Officers when Dissolving a FL Corporation?
If you are the director or a corporate officer of a corporation in the process of dissolution you might want to evaluate whether you will be personally held liable. If corporate formalities are not followed and the corporation proceeds with distributions to the shareholders before satisfying outstanding corporate debts, the directors might be held personally liable.
Should an Independent Contractor Incorporate as an LLC or S-Corporation?
Generally, independent contractors, also known as 1099 workers, are considered self-employed and a sole-proprietorship. As such you will be required to pay self-employment taxes. As an independent contractor, you can be sued for your actions or inactions in performing your work.
What are Restrictive Covenants in Employment?
Restrictive covenants (RC), generally, are clauses in a contract that restrict a person’s actions. They can apply to property, in which case the clause could restrict the use of land. However, for the purposes of this blog, we will discuss RCs in employment.
How Important is an Attorney’s fee Clause?
When writing a contract people usually think that putting in the basics about what they are agreeing to and some standard legal language will cover everything with the agreement. However, most people don’t like to think of the possibility that something may go wrong with their contract and may end up having to take that document to court to enforce either the completion of what was set forth within the contract or whatever remedy was set forth for breaching said contract.
How does Chinese Overtime work?
The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employees paid on an hourly basis must be compensated at the rate of one and one-half their regular wage for each hour over 40 worked in a week. It’s fairly simple, if you are paid $10 an hour and you work 50 hours in one week, those extra 10 hours must be paid at a rate of $15 per hour.
An Overview of Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deductions: Part Three; Taxpayers Between the Taxable Income Thresholds
The first and second post of this series on QBI deductions analyzed the purpose of the deduction and how it applies specifically to taxpayers below the lower threshold or above the higher threshold. This post addresses taxpayers that fall between the two thresholds.
An Overview of Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deductions: Part Two; Taxpayers Above the Higher Taxable Income Threshold
The first post in this series on QBI deductions examined the purpose of the deduction, who can claim it, and how to calculate QBI deductions for taxpayers in a lower threshold. This post specifically addresses taxpayers with a taxable income above the higher threshold of $207,500, for individuals, or $415,000, for joint filers.
An Overview of Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deductions; Part One
A new and important provision in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in December of 2017, is Section 199A, which allows deductions for qualified business income (QBI). This post is part one of a three-part series and addresses what QBI is, who may claim QBI deductions, how they may claim such deductions, and how to calculate the deduction for taxpayers below the lower threshold.
What are the Deductions for the new Tax Act?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017, and effective in 2018, provides businesses with a reduced tax rate, but also significantly alters the tax deductions businesses can claim. Some major categories of tax deductions that have been adjusted are meals, entertainment, and travel for either employees or clients
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporate Social Responsibility is a private business self-regulating model that helps a company to be accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and to the public. In essence, when a company adopts CSR policies and practices, its planning and decision-making reflect the potential impact of its corporate actions on various stakeholders and constituencies.
If I use old Patent Drawings as art, does it Violate Copyright or Patent law?
Patents are a government-issued license that gives an inventor the exclusive ability, for a period of time, to make, use, or sell an invention of their creation.
Do I have to pay Property Taxes as a Foreigner Investor?
All foreign investors owning U.S real property are responsible for paying taxes on any and all rental income they earn in the United States from that property. As a general rule, a non-US person who rents out his or her U.S. property is subject to a 30% withholding tax imposed on the gross amount of each rental payment.
How do I Claim the Florida Homestead Exemption?
Florida law allows homeowners who use their Florida home as their residence to claim a homestead exemption. The Florida Constitution provides a tax-saving exemption by reducing the taxable value of real property by up to $25,000, and $50,000 for a married couple. Florida
Can you Claim Trademark Infringement on Google Adwords?
Google allows businesses to purchase advertising space, causing your advertising material and website link to appear more prominently as a result of a search for a particular keyword. However, companies that have a trademark on certain words may have a case for trademark infringement for these types of actions.
What is Trademark Infringement?
Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of another trademark or service mark (or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services. Trademark law protects a trademark owner’s exclusive rights to use a trademark when use of the mark by another would be likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source or origin of goods.
Can Facebook Live videos be considered as evidence?
In an age where social media laws are changing as fast as the platforms themselves, always use caution and consideration when uploading videos. The internet is forever.
How do I Write off “Bad Debt”?
There are two types of bad-debts: business and non-business. A business bad debt expense arises from operating your trade or business, so it is pretty simple to spot. These deductions are deducted on Schedule C of an individual income tax return or on the applicable business income tax return.
What are the most Common Types of Foreclosure?
A foreclosure is the legal process in which the lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan by forcing the sale of the property used as collateral for the loan. Foreclosure occurs when the homeowner is unable to make mortgage payments to the lender. A homeowner has a few options to avoid foreclosure.
What is FBAR?
The Bank Secrecy Act rules require taxpayers with financial accounts outside of the United States which total more than $10,000 in the aggregate to file an annual report – called the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or “FBAR” – with the IRS.
Maternity / Paternity Leave
As Millennials begin to wait more and more to have children, we have also seen an uprise in demand for maternity and paternity leave. This is largely in part to the emphasis of relationship and connections that has developed over the last decade. New parents want to establish that connection with their newborns and lets face it, that’s not something you can do in a week. Currently, here is where we stand on that legally.
What is Qualified Sick Pay?
A Section 105 qualified sick-pay plan (QSPP). A QSPP enables a business to continue some portion of an employee’s wages during a disability. It is the company’s official plan to continue wages for certain ill and injured employees.
Misclassification Between Employee And Independent Contractor
Misclassified employees are often denied access to the critical benefits and protections they are entitled. Misclassification also generates substantial losses to the federal government and state governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.
A tweet, a tweet! A Lady Bird Deed!
A lady bird deed (called an enhanced life estate deed in Florida) is a relatively new form of deed that—like a traditional life estate deed—allows property to pass automatically to one or more designated recipients at death, without the need for probate.
The Extent of Non Compete Agreements in Florida
If you’re a business owner or have EVER been an employed by a larger or specific field, you’ve probably run into or have a NON-COMPETE agreement. Just like any contract, there are limitations to everything and in case you didn’t know, according to FL Statute 542.335(1)(d)(1), non-compete agreements are enforceable against an independent contractor just like an employee.
What are some Simple Facts about Foreclosures and Leases in Florida?
In Florida, what would happen if a tenant is leasing a premises, and the mortgagee—the bank for example—foreclosures upon the property. Is the tenant allowed to remain in the premises? As a consequence of the foreclosure, is the tenant’s lease terminated? What if the tenant was an innocent party with no knowledge of the mortgage?
First Comes Love. Then Comes Joint Accounts…
When you own an account jointly with another individual, the law usually presumes that you each have equal rights to funds held in that account. So, when a creditor attempts to garnish that account, it typically doesn’t have to investigate whether you contributed more money to the account than the co-owner. Unfortunately, this could mean that the money in your account could be garnished to pay for the co-owner’s debt, a debt that you never owed.
How to Collect after a Favorable Judgement
A common issue persons may face in lawsuits is not so much the difficulty in obtaining judgment for remedies, but actually collecting on the judgment once obtained. There are different ways in which judgment debtors try to defeat collection on judgments, which pose problems for those holding outstanding executions.
Employee or Independent Contractor?
Should I Classify my Worker as an Employee or an Independent Contractor? It is important that employers correctly categorize their workers as either employees or independent contractors. Specifically, misclassification is not only a tax reporting issue, but also affects claims for reemployment assistance benefits. In Florida, whether a worker is an employee or an independent… + Read More…
EPGD’s 10 Steps to Start A Business
As times change, businesses change as well. We’ve seen a boom in entrepreneurial businesses throughout South Florida. If you find yourself feeling the bug, here are EPGD’s 10 simple steps to starting your own business.
What is a DBA?
It is important to note that a fictitious business name is not the same as a trademark. Entities like trademarks, service marks, corporations, and limited partnerships are legal names. In contrast, the registration of a fictitious business name does not create any exclusive ownership rights, nor does it reserve the name against future use.
Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Foreign Owners
Today, many businesses are forming as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and are finding that an LLC offers the “best of both worlds” of corporate forms. LLCs have pass-through taxation while also affording the owners limited liability protection, typical of a corporation.
What are Background Checks?
Aside from certain situations where Florida law requires that employees be screened, such as law enforcement officers or those hired to work with children or the elderly, requiring an applicant or employee to submit to a screening is also possible.
Don’t just put a TM logo; file it!
In Florida, the general rule for trademark rights is “First In Use, First In Right.” In other words, you must be the first to use the mark in commerce. Either by selling products (for goods) or providing services (for services) before you can register the trademark.
Charlie Sheen Changed his name, you can too!
Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Bruno Mars, Jamie Foxx, they all have one thing in common. They’ve changed their name. In case you didn’t know, celebrities aren’t the only ones who can do so. If you would like to legally change your name or restore a former a name, you may do so in Florida, provided that you are 18 years of age or older and satisfy certain other requirements. In particular, the state of Florida has set forth specific procedures, which govern all legal name changes of Florida residents.
Life Insurance Trust… in Layman’s Terms!
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets or income for the benefit of beneficiaries. Similar to a life insurance there are three parties to a trust. The settlor, the person or entity who creates the trust and usually transfer the property into the trust; the trustee, the person who holds and manages that property for the benefit of the beneficiary; and the beneficiary, the person who receives the benefit of such property.
Why do I need a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer in which the employee agrees not to enter into competition with the employer during or after employment. Non-compete agreements in employment contracts are essential in protecting your business from unfair competition, and safeguarding your trade secrets and confidential information once an employee decides to leave.
What are the Requirements for Workers Compensation Coverage in Florida?
If you are an employee who works for another person, group, or company, you are required to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This includes people working under any type of contract and also includes all lawfully and unlawfully employed immigrants and minors.
Robo Civil de la Corporación en la Florida
El robo civil es una conversión de derecho común con la intención criminal de robar. Véase 1-27 Florida Torts n.o 27.07. El Estatuto de Florida 812.014 (2014) establece los elementos para el robo civil como:
(1) a sabiendas, (2) obtenido o utilizado, o se esforzó por obtener o utilizar, la propiedad del demandante, (3) con intención criminal, (4) ya sea temporal o permanentemente para (a) privar al demandante de su derecho o beneficio de la propiedad o (b) apropiarse de la propiedad para el uso propio del demandado o para el uso de una persona que no da derecho a la propiedad.
Notice of Proposed Property Taxes
Every year, property owners receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes from the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, listing the total of Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem property taxes to be paid. These property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, as determined by the Property Appraiser every January 1st. Sometimes, however, the value of the property is listed too low, affecting a property’s resale value, or too high, leaving an owner paying an exorbitant amount of taxes.
Compañía de Responsabilidad Limitada ( LLC) y los Propietarios Extranjeros
Hoy en día, muchas empresas se están formando como una Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (LLC) y están descubriendo que una LLC ofrece lo “mejor de ambos mundos” de formularios corporativos. Las CIT tienen impuestos de transferencia y, al mismo tiempo, ofrecen a los propietarios una protección de responsabilidad limitada, típica de una corporación.
What is a Fictitious Business Name?
An important aspect of establishing a business is finding the right name under which a given company is to conduct its business. While some business owners choose to use their own legal name, such as “Jane Smith’s Hair Salon,” others might prefer to use a catchphrase or a term associated with the nature of the business or its product, for example “Jane’s Cuts,” or “Fashion Cuts.” In the latter case, the business is said to operate under a fictitious business name.
How to Register a Florida Trademark
In Florida, the general rule for trademark rights is “First In Use, First In Right.” In other words, you must be the first to use the mark in commerce. Either by selling products (for goods) or providing services (for services) before you can register the trademark.
What if my Employer isn’t Paying me the Minimum Wage?
If your employer for whatever reason is not paying you the applicable minimum wage or the agreed wage for your hours worked, you have a legal claim to recover damages against your employer.
What Remedies exist for Breach of Contract?
When there’s a breach of contract for the sale of goods, the UCC governs. Under the UCC, failure to deliver goods is a material breach, but in common law, it is not. Any contract can contain a “liquidated damages” provision which typically includes a certain amount of money that the non-breaching party is entitled to if a party breaches the contract.
¿Qué es una “B” Corporación ?
Una Corporación de Beneficios o un “B-Corp.” es una empresa privada que crea un beneficio público al permitir que las empresas sean rentables mientras consideran el bienestar de la sociedad y el medio ambiente. Las corporaciones de beneficios exigen que las empresas hagan que sus prácticas sean transparentes para el público. Convertirse en una Corporación de Beneficios tiene ciertos requisitos, pero es principalmente un proceso de tres pasos.
What is a “B” Corporation?
A Benefit Corporation or a “B-Corp.” is a private enterprise that creates a public benefit by allowing businesses to be profitable while considering the welfare of society and the environment. Benefit Corporations require businesses to make their practices transparent to the public. Becoming a Benefit Corporation has certain requirements, but it is mostly a three-step process.
How to Appeal Property’s Market or Assessed Value with Value Adjustment Board (VAB)
Every year, property owners receive a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes from the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser, listing the total of Ad Valorem and non-Ad Valorem property taxes to be paid. These property taxes are based on the assessed value of the property, as determined by the Property Appraiser every January 1st.
Florida Residential Security Deposit Return
Under Florida law, a landlord may retain a tenant’s security deposit, but there are a few steps that need to occur before the security deposit, or a portion thereof, is withheld. If the tenant leaves the premises, and the landlord does not intend to retain the security deposit, the landlord has fifteen (15) days from the date the tenant vacated the premises to return the security deposit.
Small Business and Minority Businesses in Miami Dade County (Part 1)
The federal government has a unique program that assists disadvantaged businesses by registering them for government contracts. In other words, as a “small business” you have a higher probability of obtaining a government contract before a business that is not registered as a “small business.” The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) defines a “small” business in terms of the average number of employees over the past 12 months or average annual receipts over the past three years. The SBA defines a U.S. small business as a concern that:
Civil Theft of a Corporation in Florida
Civil theft is a common law conversion with the criminal intent to steal. See 1-27 Florida Torts § 27.07. Florida Statute 812.014 (2014) states the elements for civil theft as:
(1) knowingly, (2) obtained or used, or endeavored to obtain or use, the plaintiff’s property, (3) with felonious intent, (4) either temporarily or permanently to (a) deprive plaintiff of its right to or a benefit from the property or (b) appropriate the property to the defendant’s own use or to the use of a person not entitle to the property.
How to Protect Limited Liability?
So you filed the state requirements to start your own company. Therefore, now you have obtained limited liability and can shield yourself personally from any obligations that may transpire in the course of your business. Wrong! In fact, filing with the state is merely the first step to obtain limited liability.
Penalties for Misclassifying Employees and Independant Contractors
The risks involved in the misclassification of workers as independent contractors rather than employees are serious. Federal and state agencies have the authority to impose both monetary and non-monetary sanctions against employers who misclassify their workers. Yet, employers remain subject to civil liability with respect to the claims of their workers, as well as to potential criminal liability.
What’s in a Label? The FDA and Product Labeling…
The United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is assigned the task of keeping Americans safe by regulating the sale of food and drugs. Among many things, the FDA regulates the “labeling” of many products. Appropriate labeling is significantly important to protect the health of consumers. Additionally, the labels of a cosmetic product allow the average consumer to make informed decisions about their health and to understand the ramifications of what they are purchasing.
Legal Approaches to Substance Abuse
There are few challenges greater than watching a loved one descend into the depths of drug and alcohol abuse. Lives can be shattered, fortunes squandered, aptitude and potential wasted, and relationships often strained to the breaking point. The damage is two-fold: the abuser’s self-destructive behavior not only hurts his or her own life, but unintentionally inflicts harm on friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors