H-2B Visas, The Department of Labor Protecting Local and Foreign Workers

In order to alleviate some of the unemployment woes felt by many U.S. citizens around the country, the Department of Labor has created new rules for importing foreign workers under H-2B Visas. H-2B Visas are those used by non-skilled laborers to enter the country to work for a limited period. In South Florida, many of these workers come into the country to work in country clubs and resorts, but the new rules may decrease the number of immigrant workers that enter the South Florida workforce. Going into effect on April 23, 2012, the new rules set forth by the Department of Labor will require mandatory recruiting of local workers.

The new rules will require employers to “recruit local workers until 21 days for the job is to begin.” Under the current system, “employers are required to advertise the jobs in question for only 10 days,” and the advertisement period can be up to four months before the start of the advertised job. For people looking for immediate work, advertising in such a manner will almost ensure that no local workers apply for the job. This in turn allows employers to bring in foreign workers that will work for lower wages and no benefits. The new rule will make it easier for local workers seeking immediate employment to apply for the job and not have to wait months before they can start earning a paycheck. It also allows employers three weeks to contract for workers overseas.

The new rules will also require employers to “prove they have genuine need for the foreign workers before they will be allowed to apply for them.” After applying for and obtaining foreign workers, there are still more regulations, but these other regulations are in place to protect the foreign workers that employers bring to the States. These regulations include requiring employers to pay for the travel expenses of the foreign workers and “paperwork costs.”

Information for this article was obtained at http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/u-s-changes-rules-to-force-resorts-to-2168113.html.

EB-5 Green Cards and the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program

The EB-5 Green Card, or Investment Visa, is a great opportunity for someone to obtain a green card. The usual requirements of having family connections or a job in the United States are no longer obstacles when you obtain an EB-5 Investment Visa. This type of Visa can be obtained through the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, which was started in 1992 in order to help stimulate “economic activity and job growth.” In order to gain permanent residency status through the program, a Regional Center must receive an investment of $500,000.

A Regional Center is an entity, either public or private, “which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.” The percentage of applications for Regional Centers being approved so far for the first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year are down compared to years past. However, the percentage of approved Regional Centers for the 2012 fiscal year are not far from the percentages reported in recent years, and there are a number of reasons why approvals are down at the moment. The United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services is working to resolve a number of issues, including “what constitutes a ‘shovel-ready’ project for EB-5 purposes.”

Despite the troubles so far for the first quarter of the 2012 fiscal year regarding Regional Center applications, the number of EB-5 applications is increasing compared to years past. Furthermore, the number of EB-5 applications receiving approval is also up, staying in line with the percentage of applications approved in years past. At the rate the USCIS is approving application so far this year, the agency will approve close to the “statutory cap of 10,000” EB-5 applications for the fiscal year.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.eb5greencard.com/

Partnership, LLC, S-Corporation, What does it all mean?

Are you thinking about starting a business? Do you fully understand the differences between a sole proprietorship and a general partnership, or a limited liability company and an S-Corporation? Deciding how to structure your company is an extremely important decision. There are major differences between each type in terms of what papers, if any, need to be filed, as well as how income is taxed, for both the company and the employee. Another important difference between is the amount and type of liability each individual within the company will hold.

Some partnerships do not require much, or anything, to be filed when the partnership is created. Others, however, require that the partnership register with the state. Furthermore, those partnerships may also be required to provide the name of the partnership and proof of insurance coverage. Corporations and limited liability companies also have their own formalities that must be followed. Some have articles of incorporation, while others have articles of organization. One may require the bylaws to be filed, while another may not even require an operating agreement to be filed.

In addition to the documents that must be filed and the amount of liability that goes along with each type of partnership or corporation, each also has its own tax structure. Some receive a double tax, where the income for the company is taxed and the dividends paid out are also taxed. Others receive a pass-through tax, which means that the tax is only applied to the income paid to the individual employee.

It is important to have an Florida attorney help with the creation of your company because an attorney can help guide you through the process, so that you better understand what the company is legally obligated to do after its creation. Another reason to have an attorney help is if any legal trouble arises in connection to the company, there is an attorney that is already familiar with your company’s structure.

If you are looking to Incorporate your business, the attorneys at Boyer Law Firm have the experience necessary to help you get off on the right foot.

Short sale sellers should think about closing in 2012

Since short sales can take months to process, homeowners considering a short sale may want to start the process sooner rather than later.

If a bank writes off debt in a short sale, it’s a “taxable event,” and the lender tells the Internal Revenue Service about the deal by submitting a “Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt” at the end of the year. Home sellers must acknowledge the amount when they fill out their federal taxes. Through Dec. 31, 2012, however, the federal government forgives any tax liability associated with forgiveness of a mortgage loan.

“In general, homeowners believe the government will extend this tax provision,” says San Diego Realtor Joy Bender. “However, as evidenced by the First Time Homebuyer Credit expiration in 2010, you can’t always count on the government to bail you out.”

The government generally considers forgiven debt to be income. If a seller has signed legal loan papers to take out a $200,000 mortgage and the lender accepts $100,000 in a short sale, for example, the seller received the equivalent of $100,000 in free money by government estimates. As a result, the IRS taxes it. For tax year 2012, however, the government still forgives the debt; in 2013, it might not.

The tax amount can be significant. On a debt of $100,000, a short-sale seller in the 25 percent tax bracket could end up owing $25,000 in income taxes.

If you are a buyer or seller interested in either conducting or purchasing a short sale, Boyer Law Firm is here to help, we have handled many short sale transactions and know what to look for.

This article has been provided to you thanks to Florida Realtors News & Events: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=4&id=271220

Debt Collection – Know Your Agreement and the Law

Whenever you enter into a contract, it is important to read the fine print. It is also important to have an attorney review the contract so that you fully understand the contract and the laws that are applicable to the contract.

Most contracts for credit cards and other such contracts contain clauses that state not only where a suit must be filed, but also what state’s laws apply to any legal claim that may arise out of the contract. It is also important to know and understand the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), so that you can protect yourself from creditors.

If you are having a problem with creditor’s or would like a contract of yours to be review by our attorneys, please call the Boyer Law Firm today.

Boyer Law obtains a 3 year E-2 Visa for French clients

We are pleased to announce that we have been able to obtain an E-2 visa out of the U.S. Consulate in Paris, France for our clients. They decided that they would like to purchase a restaurant business and live in Florida. We requested our clients to submit a list of documents and negotiated the purchase agreement of the business as well as compiling their investor visa’s petition.

When dealing with such a project, you need to keep in mind that there are two important aspects:
i) The first phase is the businesses deal with financial and legal requirements such as purchase price, licensure, zoning, etc., and
ii) The second phase is the immigration side of the deal, such as ownership, investment in kind and money, conditional sale, etc.

An E-2 visa, is otherwise known as an investor visa and entitles a foreigner to reside and work in the United States. This case was a bit particular in the sense that we helped our client negotiate and purchase a location for his business. We also were able to trademark our client’s business name. We moved ahead and were able to secure the visas for them under these time constraints.

Shall you need help, contact a Florida business and immigration lawyer, such as Boyer Law Firm to handle your E-2 investment petitions and business purchases.

Why You Need an Attorney to Help Protect Your Intellectual Property

With the recent news of PIPA (Protection of Intellectual Property Act) and SIPA (Stop Internet Piracy Act) being shelved by the United States Congress, many people may wonder what they can do to protect their intellectual property.

Whether you are creating new products or improving on inventions from years past, having an attorney help with your contracts can help. With the America Invents Act of 2011 having been passed last year, the United States has moved from a first to invent to a first to file system. This means that if you file your invention first, it is legally your intellectual property, even if someone else may have had the idea before you. So, what do you do once you have a patent? That depends on what you wish to do with your intellectual property.

Whether you want to license your property to companies or websites for sale or distribution, or you want to put your intellectual property out in public for others to improve upon, there are different things you can do. If you want to license your property, an attorney can help you decide if it would be more beneficial to have an exclusive or nonexclusive license, an end-user license agreement, and, if it applies, whether the license should include a right to modify the source code. Some of these very basic issues with intellectual property licensing can be tricky and that is why an attorney should be contacted, especially to help draft or review an intellectual property license.

Many holders of intellectual property may not be aware of such terms as “most favored nation” clauses. A most favored nation clause is used to ensure that the person obtaining the right to use intellectual property through a nonexclusive license will be able to get the same treatment as others that obtain a license to the same intellectual property. Such clauses can also be retroactive, which means that the current license will receive the same payment rate as any license in the past that has a lesser payment rate. If you are thinking about licensing your intellectual property or entering any other type of contract, please contact the Boyer Law Firm today. We will work our hardest to ensure you receive the best possible result for your business.

Having Trouble with your Mortgage Lender?

Has it taken an extremely long amount of time to refinance, to close, or just get a response from your lender? There is a new place where borrowers can file a complaint that many may not know about.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “began accepting such complaints this month.” One of the aims of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is to “protect consumers from risky loans” and to accomplish the task it looks for “violations of mortgage laws and other issues.” You can also turn to such places as the Better Business Bureau, any number of government agencies, state banking departments, and many others. There are also ways you can try to avoid having problems with your lender.

One way is to do your homework. Know whom the lenders are by talking to them, asking for detailed information, talk to people in the industry, or look for reviews. One person within the industry says to ask a loan officer for their cell phone number because if they refuse, it “could mean that he or she may not be readily available through the process.” Doing your homework before you get a loan can help you save time, money, and unnecessary stress in the long run. A Florida attorney, such as attorneys at Boyer Law Firm, can also help you review these documents for technicalities that are normally missed.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/realestate/mortgages-on-troubleshooting.html?_r=2.