People to Avoid When Starting a New Business

A new business, like a new baby, is constantly growing and needs proper care. One of the things you must think about when starting a business is the people you work with and surround yourself in to conduct that business. These people include employees, vendors, CPA, attorneys, and other professionals.

There are 10 types of people to avoid when starting a new business, according to Entrepreneur Magazine:

  1. People to Avoid When Starting a New BusinessTHE SIREN: Similar to the Sirens in Greek mythology who lured sailors to their death, a siren is business is someone who seems amazing and enticing, but is a distraction for you as a business owner.
  2. THE GOAT: Goats are very charismatic and seem to get away with anything. However, they use their strengths in devious ways and have a tendency to force those around them to make bad business decisions.
  3. THE ELEPHANT (in the room): Like the elephant in the room, an elephant will never let you forget those passed mistakes. They will keep harping on them instead of learning and moving on.
  4. THE HATER: A hater is someone who wants to be on top by dragging everyone else down below them.
  5. THE NARCISSIST: Narcissists are obsessed with themselves and are bad at taking team-oriented action. They also value a business’ image over its reputation.
  6. THE NEMESIS: If you have to work with someone who you can’t stand (a nemesis), then try to use that person to learn about yourself.
  7. THE ARES: Another from Greek Mythology. Ares-type people love conflict and are addicted to drama and winning at all costs, even if there is nothing to be won.
  8. THE DIONYSUS: The Greek god of wine, parties, and pleasure. Enough said.
  9. THE BLACK CAT: A black cat is unlucky, negative, always depressed, and has a dark cloud following them everywhere they go.
  10. THE FAT CAT: The fat cat are usually investors with a lot of money who want to control your company and make money off you.

 

It is important to properly analyze the people you work with and the people to avoid when starting a new business. If you are interested in starting a new business or if you are currently in business and need legal assistance, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

Terrorists and the U.S. Visa Waiver Program

Baggage claim and Ground Transportation sign concept of travelIn January of 2015, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged that terrorists, European citizens suspected of terrorism, and Europeans who may be linked to terrorism, may use the current visa waiver program, also known as “ESTA,” to enter the United States. He also stated that The Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to address weaknesses in the program, which could include a revision or revocation of the visa waiver program.

Johnson stated that some of the countries in the program have citizens who have left to fight or train with terrorist groups in the Middle East, Asia, or Africa, then return home intent on violence.

Therefore, if you are interested in coming to the United States to visit, you may want to consider applying for a B-visa in preparation for any future to the United States instead of a visa waiver, especially if you are of North African or Arabic decent or if there are other factors in your background that could be considered “red flags” to the immigration officer at the airport or other point of entry.

Merely obtaining a visa waiver does not guarantee that you will be let into the United States upon Customs inspection at the airport or other points of entry. You could be subject to hours in an interrogation room or potentially sent back to where you came.

A B-visa obtained from the U.S. Consulate provides you with greater tranquility because background checks have already been ran by the Consulate, similar to a pre-clearance.

A B-visa allows a person to stay in the United States for six months out of the year each year until the visa expires. A B-visa may be issued for one, five, or ten years at the discretion of the Consular Officer.

If you are interested in visiting the United States for pleasure, work, or to start a business, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today to discuss your visa options.

Alcohol licensing in Florida and the United States

Alcohol licensing in Florida and the United StatesU.S. consumers bought over 768 million gallons of wine in 2013, beating out France for the world’s biggest wine market, according to Daily Mail. The United States is still, however, behind France in consumption per head. This trend shows the opportunity for growth for businesses in the wine industry in the United States.

If you are interested in starting a business in Florida to import, export, or distribute wine or other alcohol, then in addition to the normal requirements to establish and run a business in Florida, you must adhere to Federal, State, and local regulations regarding alcohol licensing in Florida and the United States depending on your respective jurisdictions.

You must adhere to regulations set forth by U.S. CBP, the FDA, and more. You must also register the labels for your alcoholic products. There are different requirements for importers than there are for distributors, which is why it is important to hire an experienced international law attorney to assist you when applying for alcohol licensing in Florida and the United States.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines could result in penalties that could stop or hinder your ability to conduct business in Florida.

For assistance in obtaining alcohol licensing or starting your business in Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

Shark Tank Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Shark Tank LessonsShark Tank, the popular CNBC television show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to investor “sharks” will be visiting the University of Miami for an open casting call Today.

One of the reasons why Shark Tank has become so popular is because the audience can see the “American Dream” come to life when a Shark Tank entrepreneur is offered capital to start or grow their business.

There are several criticisms constantly repeated on Shark Tank that every entrepreneur should consider. These include:

  1. Is the business or product proprietary? How so?
  2. What differentiates this business or product from the competitors?
  3. What are your sales?
  4. What is your marketing plan for the future?
  5. What is your plan to grow your business in the short term? What is your plan to grow your business in the long term?

Whether you are seeking an investor to accompany you on your business venture or you are starting your Florida business without an investor, it is important to consider these questions.

Boyer Law Firm can help you with these items in several ways including the proper setup for your business, the option to have business planning sessions with the attorney to grow your business, the option to have a business plan drafted for your business, which will give you a general idea of where you want your business to go and how you want the business to grow, and much more.

Another subject often brought up on “Shark Tank” is the question of intellectual property, which includes trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Intellectual property can be considered an important asset of the business and add to the overall value that an investor will consider when buying into a business.

If you are considering setting up a company or you have an invention that you would like to turn into a business, contact Boyer Law Firm today to see how we can assist you.

Return Policy Contract: Does Your Business Have One?

Return policy contractNow that Christmas is over, it is time for the tradition of returning the gifts you didn’t like. In Canada, this trend is so popular that they even have a holiday for it: the day after Christmas is called “boxing day.”

UPS plans to ship over 4 million return packages this year, according to the Jacksonville Business Journal.

If you are the owner of a Florida business, whether it be a retail business, a restaurant, or any other type of business which deals in transactions, you need to prepare for the instance when a client or customer will want to return a product.

If you are making transactions on a larger scale, and especially if you are engaging in B2B transactions, it is important that the contract you have with your client or customer outlines your return policy in a clear manner that is consistent with the method in which you want to conduct business. Having a return policy properly outlined in a contract can prevent costly litigation in the event of an unsatisfied customer.

A return policy contract can be tricky to enact because you need to find the balance between making your customers happy while protecting the profits of your company.

If your business does not have this type of contract, or if you are unsure of other contracts that may be essential to conducting your Florida business, then contact Boyer Law Firm today to see how we can assist you.

Florida Annual Report is a Must to Maintain your Florida Business

Annual ReportFlorida businesses are required to file a Florida annual report each year beginning in January.

Failure to comply with this requirement by the deadline could result in severe monetary penalties and a failure to file the Florida annual report at all could result in the administrative dissolution of your business. If your business is administratively dissolved, it will no longer be considered an active company registered to do business with the state of Florida.

If you currently have a business and are considering changing your Florida registered agent, then now is the time to do so. The Florida annual report provides you with a unique opportunity to make certain changes to your business with the State without having to pay additional filing fees.

All businesses in Florida are required by law to designate and maintain a Florida Registered Agent. The registered agent must have a Florida address and must be open to the public during regular business hours.

A Florida registered agent acts as the company’s representative for “service of process,” for items such as summonses, writs, and other legal papers, which is one of the reasons it is a good idea to hire an attorney as your Florida registered agent. In the event that your company is sued, you will have only 20 days to respond to the summons, so it is of the utmost importance that both you and your attorney are aware of this summons immediately.

Boyer Law Firm’s Florida Registered Agent Services include:

– Registered Agent Service for the current year

– Filing of the Annual Report for your company

– All state-mandated fees

– Additional services may be provided upon request for an additional fee.

Please also be aware that Florida businesses are required to file a Florida annual report, but they are NOT required to file their “Annual Minutes.” There have been scams the past couple years asking business owners to file these “Annual Minutes,” and it is suspected that these scams will continue in 2015.

If you receive a letter asking you to file your annual minutes, ignore it or contact an attorney. If you have already received the letter and paid it, contact the State Attorney General’s office.

For more information on filing annual reports and Florida registered agent services, contact Boyer Law Firm today.

2015 Florida Business Planning Session Appointments Now Available

2015 Florida Business PlanningAs 2014 comes to a close and 2015 starts, it is a good time to take a look at your Florida business and determine how to grow in the next year and how to make your business better in general. It is an even better idea to hire an experienced Florida business law attorney to assist you in this analysis.

One of the things you should do to kick off your business for the upcoming year is to schedule a 2015 Florida business planning and preventative business law session with Attorney Francis M. Boyer. This meeting may assist you with multiple aspects of your business, including a legal business analysis that could be of great value to you.

Attorney Boyer can:

–          Perform a legal business audit, or business checkup, which may reveal potential legal problems your company may have, or it may reveal unknown business opportunities.
–          Assist in Business brainstorming in order to improve the business on both a large scale and in day-to-day aspects.
–          Provide reliable contacts, such as CPAs, Banks, Brokers, and other professionals
–          Provide peace of mind
–          And more

If you would like to schedule a 2015 Florida business planning session with Attorney Boyer, whether you are a current client or not, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today and one of our staff will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

These appointments may be via telephone, Skype, or in one of our three office locations, but available spaces will fill up quickly, so contact us today to see how we can help you.

Happy New Year from Boyer Law Firm, P.L.!

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Broward County Will Stop Assigning Book & Page Numbers

Broward CountyBroward County, Florida announced in a press release that they will stop assigning Book & Page numbers in the Official Records book type, affecting the majority of the documents recorded beginning January 1, 2015. An “Instrument Number” will be generated for these documents at the time of recording.

Any documents recorded on or after January 1, 2015 must be referenced using the Instrument Number only. The exception will be for large format documents. This change is in preparation for a transition to a new database format and new recordation system software.

Since book and page numbers are often included in the legal descriptions for real property (which are placed on a deed), this change may affect the way legal descriptions are written.

As with any new policy, tweaks will most likely be made as the system is established.

Happy Holidays from All of Us at Boyer Law Firm, P.L.!!!

Diseño de letras de tarjeta de navidad

How do people in Miami spend their money?

If you are thinking about starting a business in a city, then it is important to find out the needs of the people who live there so that you can ensure that your business fulfills a need. One way to do this is by looking at how these people spend their money.

A study recently published in the New York Times outlines how people spend their money in cities across the nation, including Miami. This study gives us a general overview of how people in Miami spend their money compared to other U.S. cities

Germany compact executive carThe findings were that Miami spends more than the national average on:

1. New Cars
2. Coffee
3. Housekeeping
4. Parking Spaces
5. Car leases

Miami spend significantly less than the national average on:

1. Education (but above average in giving away their money to schools)
2. Personal Computers
3. Social and health clubs
4. Prescription drugs

On average, the study found that people in Miami spend less on status goods then people who live in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles or San Diego.

Some strange findings:

San Diego spends 3.5 times the national average on nonalcoholic beer

San Francisco spends 3.5 times the national average on alimony

Boston spends 7.5 times the national average on rental of campers for out-of-town trips

Boston spends 2.7 times the national average on dried peas

 

Additional Source: South Florida Business Journal

ITINs and U.S. Taxes for Foreign Taxpayers

U.S. taxes for foreign taxpayersAn Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) allows a foreign individual to file taxes with the IRS. There have been over 21 million ITINs issued since the program began in 1996.

ITINS are designed for tax administration purposes and are only issued to people who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). ITINs play a critical role in tax administration for foreign nationals, resident and nonresident aliens and others who have tax filing or tax payment obligations.

Due to an overwhelming number of unused ITINs, the IRS will deactivate an ITIN that has not been used on at least one tax return in the past five consecutive years beginning in 2016.

It is estimated that only about ¼ of the ITINs issued are actually being used on U.S. taxes for foreign taxpayers. This new system is designed so that the ITINs not being used will expire and the ITINs that are being used will no longer expire after five years, forcing the foreign taxpayer to apply for a new ITIN, as long as the foreign taxpayers continue to file U.S. tax returns.

For help with U.S. taxes for foreign taxpayers contact Boyer Law Firm today for assistance with tax planning, estate planning, and much more.

Bankruptcy? Improve the Finances of Your Florida Business

Improve the finances of your Florida businessPart of running a successful business is to know how your business is performing on a financial level and to know the key actions to take in order to constantly improve the finances of your Florida business.

If the following action are being taken by you or your company, it may be a sign that your business should consider bankruptcy, or should at least consult an experienced business law attorney to discuss your options to prevent your business from going bankrupt.

Signs that Your Business Should Consider Bankruptcy:

1. You are using payroll taxes for your business use between payroll and their remittance date, or worse, you are not paying them anymore.

2. You have not made your estimated tax payment for the quarter, or the quarter is approaching and you will not be able. Worse, you are two payments behind. While you certainly can re-estimate your tax payments to lower the amount, you do not do it.

3. You are using personal credit cards, personal lines of credit and/ or retirement funds to keep your business going.

4. You receive numerous debt collection calls and are past due on several bills.

5. You are losing money most months.

Bankruptcy will not make an unsuccessful business successful again. However, good timing of a business lawyer teamed up with a bankruptcy attorney can provide the insight, advice and skills necessary to prevent your business from even filing for bankruptcy.

While at Boyer Law Firm we do not handle bankruptcy, we can recommend attorneys who do to you. It is important to know when to call a business lawyer to potentially renegotiate debts and terms, cancel or negotiate an end to contracts, including equipment lease agreements, commercial lease agreements, and more.

If your business is facing bankruptcy, or if you simply need to consult a business law attorney regarding debts or renegotiations of contracts to improve the finances of your Florida business, contact Boyer Law Firm today to see how we can assist you.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Low Down-Payment Mortgages for First-Time Homebuyers in Florida

First-time homebuyers in FloridaFannie Mae and Freddy Mac have released news that they will begin to accept mortgages for first-time homebuyers in Florida and throughout the U.S. with down-payments of as little as 3%. The mortgage giants have stated that there will be procedures put into place to ensure the borrowers will be able to repay the loans. This will include income verification requirements.

In addition to choosing a real estate agent who can properly assist you, it is just as important for first-time homebuyers in Florida to choose an experienced closing agent, such as Boyer Law Firm, P.L.

If the closing agent does not properly conduct the Title Search and closing process, then you could be subject to a Title Insurance Horror Story. Not conducting a proper title search could result in issues such as forgery, contractor’s liens, easements, zoning and building restrictions, unpaid mortgages, and more.

Things to consider for first-time homebuyers in Florida:

1. Perform a title search on the property before making an offer so that you may discover any blemishes on the Title that need to be corrected. These “blemishes,” such as an unpaid mortage, could affect both the closing costs and the closing timeframe.

2. Perform a home inspection on the property before making an offer

3. Consider having a land survey performed on the property.

4. Ensure that all utility bills are paid and up to date

5. Determine if the property will need flood insurance

If you are a considering purchasing or selling real estate, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. to see how we can assist you.

Franchise Agreement with Wahlburgers

Franchise Agreement with WahlburgersThe Whalberg family is well-known by most people. Mark Whalberg is the old Calvin Klein model and star of many movies, including the recent Transformers movie, his brother Donny Wahlberg was a member of New Kids on the Block and currently stars in the TV show “Blue Bloods,” and their brother Paul Wahlberg stars in their reality show Wahlburgers and is the head chef at the restaurant.

The reality show Wahlburgers is named after their Boston-based “burger joint” owned by the three Wahlberg brothers and follows them as they run this restaurant. Now fans of the show, or fans of the Wahlbergs in general, will soon be able to visit the restaurants in person, as a central Florida entrepreneur has signed a franchise agreement with Wahlburgers to open 20 locations in Florida over the next several years.

A franchise agreement such as the franchise agreement with Wahlburgers is just one option when you want to start a Florida business. If you are interested in purchasing a franchise, then it is important to hire a business law attorney to draft and/or review the franchise agreement before you sign the document. A franchise agreement is a contract which is why it is important to not only understand what you are signing, but also to ensure the protections you want for your business are included in the agreement.

Franchises can also potentially be used as an investment for an investor’s visa.

If you are interested in starting a franchise or another type of business in Florida, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today to see how we can assist you.

Doing Business in Florida as a Foreign Corporation

florida map silhouette with cities namesIf are currently conducting or doing business in Florida as a foreign corporation, or plan on doing so in the future, then it is important that your business be registered as a foreign corporation with the State of Florida.

A foreign corporation is any corporation whose initial incorporation was not filed in Florida. This can be a different country, or it can be another state in the US. The same rule applies to Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships. If you fail to properly register your company with the State, then there could be consequences both for your company and for you individually.

In addition to registering the business with the State of Florida, the foreign company must maintain a registered agent within the State of Florida.

If you are conducting or doing business in Florida as a foreign corporation, then Boyer Law Firm can also assist you with customs issues, such as importing or exporting goods, immigration matters, such as E2 visas or other investment visas, contracts for your business, and more. We can even assist you in finding and purchasing a house for you and your family to live in or commercial real estate for your business.

We pride ourselves in being able to assist foreign clients from their initial dealings in Florida or desire to move to Florida, through the moving process to Florida, and for years thereafter.

Why Should I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Apply for U.S. CitizenshipOne of the greatest privileges U.S. citizens have is the right to vote. This right is not extended to anyone but U.S. Citizens, including U.S. Permanent residents.

If you have been a U.S. permanent resident for five years, or if you have been U.S. permanent resident for at least three years and are married to a U.S. citizen, then you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

If you are not currently a U.S. permanent resident, then there are visa options available to you to obtain this status, such as an EB5 investor’s visa, family petitions, and more.

Voting is not the only privilege that is granted to U.S. citizens. Another benefit is that if you travel outside the country for extended periods of time during your status of U.S. permanent resident, then that status could be revoked; this is not the case if you are a U.S. citizen. In addition, U.S. citizens are awarded higher priority when applying for family petitions for their loved ones, such as spouses, parents, or siblings.

Although it is possible to apply for U.S. citizenship on your own, hiring an experienced immigration attorney will make the process easier for your and ease your mind because you are working with an experienced professional.

If you want to apply for U.S. Citizenship through naturalization, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today. We will be able to assist you from determining whether or not you are eligible for citizenship through naturalization, assist you through your application process, assist you with preparation for the exam, and continue this assistance all the way through your oath ceremony and application to obtain a U.S. passport.

Happy Thanksgiving from Boyer Law Firm, P.L.

Vintage Thanksgiving Card

Should You Include Passwords in Your Florida Will?

login with username and password in internet browserAs technology increases and increasingly changes, there are many things one must do to adapt to these changes. Drafting a will and estate plan in Florida is no exception.

In many cases, bank accounts and other assets are no longer simply on paper; many are kept electronically and password-protected. If your loved ones do not know the passwords you use to these accounts, then it could become an issue and delay in the probate process when you pass away.

If you keep most of your records electronically, then it may be a good idea to include those passwords in your Florida will or Florida estate plan, or at least include a provision in the will that will allow your loved ones access to this information during the probate process. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist you in the proper way to include this information so that your loved ones will have access to it after you pass away, but so that the information will still be kept secure while you are alive.

In addition, many individuals change their passwords often. If you currently have your passwords in your Florida will or included in your estate plan, but they have changed, then an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to direct you as to how to make this change properly.

Some states will allow for hand-written wills, referred to as holographic wills, but this is not the case in Florida. Although you may want to include something as a provision in your will, if it does not follow the requirements of the Court, then it may be deemed inadmissible and those wishes may not be adhered to during the probate process.

If you do not currently have a will, or if your current will needs to be updated, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s estate planning attorneys today.

Don’t Wait! Start Your Own Florida Business Now!

Start your own Florida Business

One of the most common New Years’ resolutions people make is to find a better job or start their own business. At the same time, most people break their New Years’ resolutions, which is why it may be a good idea to start your business now!

If you have been thinking about taking the leap and starting your own Florida business then NOW is the time to do so!

One of the first steps to start your own Florida business is to register with the State of Florida so that when you are ready to take the plunge, you have everything legally in place so you can hit the ground running. If you are starting a business that includes importing or exporting goods, alcohol sales or distribution, or other activities that have additional requirements or regulations, then the process of obtaining necessary licenses, permits, etc. could delay the amount of time it takes you to start your business.

So don’t wait!

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we can help you to start your own Florida business now. In addition, our attorneys offer a business analysis which will guide you in the direction of things you need to think about before beginning your Florida business. These items include:

1. What type of business entity should I create?

2. Are there licenses I need to start my company?

3. Do I have a commercial real estate location for my company?

4. Do I need legal assistance with my commercial lease agreement?

5. Do I need contracts for my business, such as employment contracts, non-compete agreements, etc.?

6. What haven’t I thought about?

If you have that “entrepreneur itch” and want to start your own Florida business, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today to see how we can assist you.

Flipping Houses in Florida: For Individuals and Businesses

Flipping houses in FloridaHouse-flipping in Florida and throughout the United States has become increasingly popular. There are even entire television channels devoted to shows about people purchasing properties, fixing them up, and then selling them for a profit.

If you are interested in flipping houses in Florida, then it is important for you to not only find a real estate agent who you trust, but it is also a good idea to develop a relationship with a Florida real estate closing attorney. Here at Boyer Law Firm, we have assisted both individuals and businesses with Florida real estate closings, including performing a closing on multiple properties with the same person or business.

Developing a relationship with a Florida real estate closing attorney will assist you not only in making the closing process go smoother, but by developing that relationship with a law firm such as Boyer Law Firm, P.L., we will also be able to assist you with other aspects of your business, such as contracts, ensuring that your company documents are properly drafted and recorded, estate planning for the owners and employees of the company, referrals to other professionals you will need to work with during running your business, and more.

If you are a foreign individual who is interested in starting a business flipping houses in Florida, then this could also be a path towards and investment visa. It is important to note that a real estate investment company does hold a higher standard as to the amount of capital the investor must commit, but if you are willing to do so, then it could be a great business to start.

Immigration Business Plan: A Key Component of Investor’s Visas

Graphs and Charts ReportAn immigration business plan is one of the most important aspects of an investor’s visa. It outlines the plan and strategy for the company in a way that is easy for the consulate officer to understand. If your immigration business plan is not properly drafted, then the plan you have for the company may not come across as clearly, which could harm your chances of being approved for an investor’s visa.

There are different types of investor’s visas. The most common are the EB-5 visa, which grants permanent residence to the petitioner and beneficiaries for an investment of at least $1 million and the creation of 10 full time jobs, and an E2 visa, which grants temporary residence for a period of five years, with renewals every 5 years for as long as the business is in existence, in exchange for a “substantial” investment and proof that the investment is not marginal.

The immigration business plan is important for both of these types of visas because it outlines key aspects of your business, such as your investment, your operating costs, your employees, and the general plan for your business in the future.

An immigration business plan is not a replacement for genuine investment, but it is an important tool to outline investments you will make in the future, which may be counted towards the total amount of your investment in some cases.

The business plan is an important part of the application for an investor’s visa, but there are also many other items that must be accounted for, which is why you should hire an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in your investment visa application.

Essential Contracts for Your Florida Business

Contracts for your Florida businessWhether you are starting a business or your business is already in existence, it is extremely important to have properly drafted company documents, such as an Operating Agreement or corporate Bylaws, as well as other types of company contracts for your Florida business.

These documents are a legal Florida contract outlining the procedures of your business for important functions, such as opening a bank account, paying taxes, maintaining company records, borrowing money for the business, distributing cash flow, and more.

If you have already registered your business with the State of Florida, it is not too late to have these documents properly drafted. In fact, if you already have a business active in Florida, then you should have a Florida business law attorney review your current company documents to ensure you are properly protected and advise you as to any additional documents that should be drafted or current documents or contracts for your Florida business that should be amended.

Depending on the type of business you have, there may be other contractual documents or agreements you should have to protect yourself, such as employment agreements, employee manuals, distribution agreements, confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements, and more.

There are certain requirements that must be met in order for a contract to be legally enforceable, which is why it is important to have an attorney draft these contracts for your business. Additionally, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations under these various types of contracts.

Are Your Family Members Aware of Your Florida Estate Planning Documents?

Florida estate planning documentsRegardless of your age, it is important to have a properly drafted will and Florida estate planning documents to ensure that your wishes are met after you pass away. When you begin to draft a will and other documents for your estate plan, it is equally important to ensure that your family and other loved ones are aware of the fact that you have drafted these documents.

Even if you do not want your loved ones to be aware of the contents of your will or Florida estate planning documents, then it is still important that they know these documents exist.

Often when a loved one passes away, their relatives are under the belief that the deceased did not have a will or estate plan because the deceased relative did not tell them about their plans. If you write a will and it is not found, then the estate could potentially be subject to intestate administration, which is probate without a written will, in which case your last wishes may not be met.

You should not only notify the person whom you wish to act as the personal representative for your estate, but you should tell at least one or two other close friends or family members. This will make the Florida probate process easier for all involved, which can be a great relief during the difficult time of not only having to grieve over the loss of a loved one, but also having to deal with gathering documents and other aspects of the Florida probate process.

Although we at Boyer Law Firm, P.L. make every attempt to assist you through this process in the smoothest and most stress-free way possible, there are still certain requirements enacted by the Court that must be adhered to. Drafting a proper estate plan and ensuring that your loved ones are aware of the estate plan can aide in making this process go smoother for everyone involved.

E2 Visa: A Stepping Stone to an EB5 Visa and Citizenship

Stepping stone to an EB5 visaInvesting in a business is one of the most straight-forward ways to immigrate to the United States. Depending on the amount of your investment, you may qualify for an E2 visa, which will grant you temporary residence in the United States for a period of up to five years, with renewals as many times every 5 years as the business is in existence.

One of the great things about an E2 visa is that it can be a stepping stone to an EB5 visa, which grants the investor and beneficiaries permanent residence in the United States. An EB5 visa requires an investment of $1 million, except for certain circumstances. However, if you do not have the means to invest the $1 million immediately, you may be able to apply for an E2 visa and build up your $1 million investment over time.

One of the most important aspects you must consider when deciding whether or not you want to apply for an investor’s visa is the commitment you are making to not only invest the initial capital, but you must also be willing to continue to invest capital in the business, especially if your goal is to use the E2 visa as a stepping stone to an EB5 visa, which could eventually be a path to US Citizenship.

FIRPTA Real Estate Transaction Process for Foreign Sellers

FIRPTA real estate transactionIf you are a foreign individual and you are selling your property, or if you are a buyer purchasing a property from a foreign seller, then you will most likely be subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA).

In a FIRPTA real estate transaction, 10% of the sales price is withheld from the sellers’ proceeds by the IRS until their tax return is filed the following year. The reason behind FIRPTA is to ensure the foreign seller pays the taxes on the proceeds for the property. Before FIRPTA was enacted, the federal government had no procedure to ensure these taxes were paid, as many foreign sellers of real estate had no further connections to the US after the sale of their property.

It is ultimately the buyer’s responsibility to ensure the FIRPTA real estate transaction process is properly conducted. If the buyer does not properly conduct the FIRPTA process, then they could be subject to penalties for the taxes not paid by the seller.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we specialize in conducting real estate transactions with both foreign sellers and buyers and have performed multiple closings involving FIRPTA transactions. We not only are familiar with the process, but we work with CPAs who are also familiar with the FIRPTA process to ensure that both the buyer and seller meet all of the FIRPTA requirements so no future complications or consequences arise.

We have seen first-hand the unnecessary additional work that can arise when a FIRPTA transaction is not properly conducted.

Selling a property that involves a FIRPTA transaction requires early preparation to ensure timely action, even before listing the property for sale. Although there are many companies who are able to conduct real estate closings in the state of Florida, there are many advantages to hiring our firm to conduct your real estate closing, including the legal expertise that only an attorney can provide.

Limited Number of H1B Visas Issued: April is Key

Limited number of H1B visas issuedApplications for 2016 H1B visas will begin to be accepted in April, 2015. There is a limited number of H1B visas issued, which is why it is important to submit your application as soon as possible.

In order to qualify for a H1B visa, you must be sponsored by a company, the job offered must require a bachelor’s degree, its foreign equivalent, or a higher degree, and your degree and/or job experience must match the position for which you are applying.

The window of opportunity to apply for an H1B visa will come and go extremely fast due to the limited number of H1B visas issued, which is why NOW is the time to begin preparing your application so that you can be one of the first ones to apply for the visa.

In 2014, USCIS began accepting applications for H1B visas on April 1 and stopped accepting them less than a week later, on April 7. It is expected that the high demand for H1B visas will continue in this year’s application process, which is why it is of the utmost importance that your visa be not only submitted on time, but also submitted correctly. Due to the high demand for the H1B visa, it is that much more important that your visa be properly prepared, as the competition to obtain this visa is fierce.

If you are an employee who would like to apply for an H1B visa, you must have an employer who has not only offered you a job, but is also willing to sponsor you for the visa. The application process for a H1B visa is the combined effort of the applicant, the employer, and the immigration attorney.

How to Collect Money for a Foreign Judgment in Florida

Collect money for a foreign judgment in FloridaIf you have won a lawsuit and obtained a Final Judgment in another state or country against an individual who lives or owns assets in Florida or against a company that is domiciled in Florida, then you must go through the Florida domestication of foreign judgment process in order to collect the money owed to you from the foreign judgment.

The timeframe to collect money for the foreign judgment may vary, as it is a litigation process, but if the defendants to not file an objection and no unforeseen complications arise, the process will be much simpler than the original litigation process in which you obtained the Final Judgment. This is because there is usually no dispute over the facts of the case, but is simply a Court-mandated process that you must adhere to in order to collect money for a foreign judgment in Florida.

In order to collect money for a foreign judgment in Florida, the judgment must be recognized by the Florida courts. From there, Boyer Law Firm, P.L., can assist you to collect money for a foreign judgment in Florida through several methods, including the garnishment of bank accounts, garnishment of wages, liens on real or personal property, and more.

Do You Have an Estate Plan for Your Business?

Estate plan for your businessIf you own a business, then it is important to include this asset in your estate plan when you pass away. If there is more than one owner or member of the company, then the By-Laws or Operating Agreement of the company (depending on whether it is a corporation or LLC) will usually determine what occurs in the event of the death of a member or owner. This is one reason why it is important to have properly drafted company documents.

If you are the sole member or owner of the company, then it is even more important to have a properly drafted estate plan for your business to determine what will happen to the company when you pass away, as this will usually not be outlined in the company documents.

In many cases, the business itself may own assets, such as residential or commercial property, which are of value to the both the company and the estate in the probate process. There are certain tax implications that are relevant when passing these assets onto your heirs, which is why it is important to discuss what you want to happen to the business with an experienced business law and estate planning attorney.

It may be a good idea to add an heir as an owner or member of the business as a form of estate plan for your business, but only an experienced attorney can determine whether this is the best option for your specific circumstances.

If you are a business owner who would like to discuss the options you have for passing on your business and other assets after your death, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today. If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, then Boyer Law Firm can assist you through the Florida probate process.

Home Prices in Florida Vary Depending on Location

Home prices in Florida Home prices in Florida and cost of living in Florida vary throughout the state. This blog is a response to a recent question we received from a foreign individual inquiring about the different home prices in Florida.

According to Trulia.com, a website that lists homes for sale, Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys and Key West, is the most expensive county in which to purchase a home. Miami-Dade County is second on the list.

If you are interested in moving to Florida, and especially if you will be setting up a business, it is important to research the cost of living and the cost of doing business in the area in Florida where you are planning to move. This includes not only home prices, but commercial real estate price and other costs such as food, electricity, suppliers, and more.

Miami is the city that is most known and desirable to foreign individuals, but there are many other desirable cities to move to in Florida. Orlando is another city that is popular, which may be a reason why it also tops the list of expensive real estate; Orange County’s average home price is almost $300,000 according to Trulia.com.

The most popular counties to purchase homes according to the site include Miami-Dade County, Orange County, Sarasota County, and Saint Johns County.

The greater Jacksonville area, which includes Duval County ($174,650), Clay County ($184,413), and Saint Johns County ($240,000), is a nice alternative to Orlando and Miami to live and run a business.

If you are interested in moving to Florida and/or setting up a business in Florida, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law and real estate attorneys today.

If you have a question or suggestion of a topic you would like to see on this blog, then contact Office@BoyerLawFirm.com today.