What Do I Do If My Business Name is Not Available in Florida?

Company LogoIf you conduct business in multiple countries or states inside the United States, then it is important to ensure that your business is properly registered in each of those jurisdictions.

In many cases, the name of your business may be available in one state, but the case may be that your business name is not available in Florida.

If this is the case, then you have the option of registering your business under a different legal name and then applying for a fictitious name, which will allow you to legally market and present your business under the same name you used in the other state. You should hire an attorney to assist you through this process, as there are requirements, such as publishing requirements, that must be met in order to properly register your fictitious name.

If you name is unique and you have a logo for your business, it is a good idea to apply for a trademark or service mark in order to protect the brand of your business.

The same is true for international companies whose business name is not available in Florida.

If you are interested in conducting business in Florida, whether you have an existing business or not, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today to see how we can assist you.

 

Annual Report Reminder!

DON'T FORGET!Annual Report Reminder!

Florida Annual Reports must be filed by May 1 in order to avoid a large monetary penalty and the potential dissolution of your business.

If you need assistance in completing your annual report or your need a registered agent for your business, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

How Can I be Appointed as a Florida Personal Representative?

Florida Personal RepresentativePersonal representatives are required to hire an attorney in Florida.

A Florida personal representative may be appointed in the deceased’s will. If the deceased passed away without a will, then a beneficiary can petition to become the personal representative of the Estate. The Court will appoint a personal representative for the Estate in either instance.

The personal representative is in charge of the administration of the Estate and as such holds a fiduciary responsibility.

A Florida personal representative is required to hire an attorney to guide them through the process, but there are tasks required in the administration of many probates that the personal representative must perform. These may include the obtainment of a safe deposit box inventory, communication with other beneficiaries and heirs if the situation is amicable, and reviewing and signing documents to be submitted to the Court.

If you recently suffered the loss of a loved one and would like to be appointed as the personal representative of the Estate, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L.’s probate attorneys today.

Shark Tank Lesson: Your Business Needs a Business Plan

There are many entrepreneurs who think that the purpose of a business plan is to present to a bank to get a loan. However, a business plan has many other functions, including providing you with important information, calculations, and projections for your business.

Dave Alwin, owner of Echo Valley Meats, Inc., found this out the hard way in front of America on the popular television show Shark Tank.

Alwin was not offered a deal the first time he appeared on Shark Tank, even though the investor sharks loved his product. The first time Alwin was on the show, the sharks were concerned that he did not know the numbers of his business, such as customer acquisition costs, profits, and projections.

“You can’t call your business plan bad, because there isn’t one,” said Kevin O’Leary.

“You make a great product,” said Mark Cuban, “but you’re coming in unprepared.”

He was not offered a deal.

However, Alwin took this opportunity to learn. The first “to do” on his list to fix this problem? A business plan!

In the introduction to his second appearance on Shark Tank, Alwin talks about how he dug into his business to discover the true numbers of the business and had the data sent out to be organized into a business plan. When he walked into the tank for the second time, he knew his numbers and was offered a deal.

If you are interested in starting a business or your business is already in existence, then you need to have a business plan in place.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we assist domestic and international clients with creating business plans for their business, whether it be for an investor’s visa or simply to plan for the next five years of growing their business.

Watch the full episode:

Florida One of Top States for Low Tax Burden

According to a recent study by WalletHub, Florida is in the top 10 states for the lowest tax burden on “High Income” and “Middle Income” taxpayers.

It is also the only southeastern state in the top 10 states with a low tax burden, other than Alabama, which ranks lower on the results.

Miami Beach panorama

State “Low Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
“Middle Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
“High Income” Rank
(Tax Burden as a % of Income)
Alaska 1
(5.40%)
1
(4.50%)
1
(3.43%)
Wyoming 6
(7.68%)
5
(6.65%)
2
(3.98%)
Nevada 4
(7.00%)
3
(6.28%)
3
(4.71%)
Tennessee 16
(9.17%)
6
(7.02%)
4
(4.97%)
South Dakota 28
(9.80%)
7
(7.17%)
5
(5.17%)
New Hampshire 8
(7.99%)
8
(7.43%)
6
(5.36%)
Florida 17
(9.23%)
10
(7.67%)
7
(5.56%)
North Dakota 10
(8.37%)
12
(7.92%)
8
(5.70%)
Alabama 25
(9.61%)
20
(8.82%)
9
(6.03%)
Delaware 2
(5.43%)
2
(5.70%)
10
(6.14%)

 

In addition to the beach and sun, the tax benefits and low tax burden of living in Florida add to the list of reasons to live and do business in the Florida. If you are thinking about moving to Florida or if you are interested in starting a Florida business, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

If you are a foreign individual who already lives or does business in Florida, or if you are thinking about moving to or starting a business in Florida, then you should contact an attorney to assist you with tax planning for yourself, your business, and your estate.

Tax planning may include restructuring your company, creating estate planning documents such as trusts and power of attorneys, and much more.

 

Chart provided by: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-be-rich-poor-from-a-tax-perspective/11257/

Confidentiality in Buying and Selling a Florida Business

Buying and selling a Florida businessThe process of buying and selling a Florida business is usually done through confidential deals. The most common reason for this is because the seller of the business does not want to scare their customers or employees. The confidential nature of the deal is also good for the buyer, as these will become his customers and employees and the confidentiality usually makes the transition smoother.

If you are interested in buying or selling a Florida business, it is important to create the right team to assist you. This team includes a business broker, a Florida business attorney, and a CPA.

The confidential nature of buying and selling a Florida business adds a need to protect yourself from a potential lawsuit, which is why it is important to have the assistance of a Florida business law attorney.

In addition to reviewing the confidentiality agreement that will most likely be involved in the transaction, an attorney will be able to review any other needed contracts, including the asset purchase agreement, as well as assist your business broker, CPA, and yourself with legal advice needed throughout the process.

If you are a foreign national who is interested in buying a Florida business, you may also qualify for an investor’s visa, such as an E2 visa or EB5 visa. If you are interested in buying or selling a Florida business, then contact Boyer Law Firm today.

Not Disclosing Your Past Could Be Immigration Fraud

immigration fraudA 67-year-old Chicago woman was convicted of immigration fraud last year for lying on her Citizenship application.  Rasemieh Odeh was convicted for bombings in Israel, including one that killed two college students, over 20 years ago.

Her lawyer says that she is a peaceful, selfless individual, but the government says this is not the time to go easy on her.

“A light sentence in this case would be a signal to anyone who has fought overseas for ISIS or a similar organization that there is not much risk in coming to the United States, hiding one’s past, and seeking citizenship,” prosecutors said. They are recommending a sentence of 5-7 years, which is above the recommended guidelines of 12-21 months for the crime that a jury convicted her of in November.

If you are applying for U.S. Citizenship, permanent residence, or any other visa status, it is important to disclose any mistakes you have made in the past to your immigration attorney in order to avoid immigration fraud. There may be options for you that will still allow you to apply for a visa, such as a waiver of inadmissibility or post-conviction relief, but your attorney cannot initiate these options unless they are aware of the problem.

If you have a blunder or conviction on your record, whether it is major or minor, it is that much more important that you seek the assistance of an attorney for your immigration application.

Florida Homestead Exemption for Property Taxes

Florida homestead exemptionIn Florida, homestead exemptions to property taxes grow as homeowners stay put, and according to a RealtyTrac report, homeowners who have been in their homes for 20 years pay an average of $650 less in property taxes than homeowners who have been in their houses just 1-5 years.

In order to qualify for a Florida homestead exemption, the property must be your principal place of residence. If you are unsure as to whether or not you qualify for a homestead exemption, you should contact an attorney to assist you.

Investment properties do not qualify for Florida homestead exemptions, and the influx of these investors, especially those who have purchased Florida foreclosures, have boosted the tax base because they do not qualify for the Florida homestead exemption. This boost to the tax base is important because Florida relies heavily on property taxes since Florida does not have a personal income tax.

Property taxes in Florida last year were double that of those who live in Tennessee, but 1/6 of the amount as those who live in New York, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

U.S. Employment Authorization Will Be Available for H-4 Visa Holders

employment authorizationSelect H-4 visa holders, for spouses of H1-B visa holders and other less common visas, will be able to apply for employment authorization this year.

This action was part of President Obama’s executive action on immigration, and it is the first reform to be implemented that is geared toward high-skilled immigrants, as the H1-B visa is only available to high skilled workers.

USCIS will begin to accept these applications on May 26, 2015, but it is important that the preparation process be completed as soon as possible, as the USCIS office is anticipating that as many as 179,600 people might apply this year.

If you are already an H-4 visa holder and your spouse has a pending Permanent Residency application, you should be eligible for employment authorization, and now is the time to apply. Waiting and processing times are almost guaranteed to drastically increase once the influx of H-4 visa holders begin to submit their applications.

If you are interested in applying for employment authorization or any other type of immigration visa or status, contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L.
today to see how we can assist you.

Federal Estate Tax Exemption for Non-U.S. Citizens

Federal estate tax exemptionOne of the major differences in probating an estate for a foreign individual and a U.S. Citizen is the difference in the estate tax exemption amount: the amount an individual can leave to heirs without having to pay federal estate taxes.

For foreign individuals, the Federal estate tax exemption is capped at $60,000.00, whereas the Federal estate tax exemption for U.S. Citizens in 2015 is capped at $5.43 million per individual, up from $5.34 million in 2014, according to Forbes. A husband and wife each get their own exemption. U.S. Citizens are also allotted a “gift exclusion” amount of $14,000.00.

The top federal estate tax rate is 40%!

If you are a foreign individual who owns real or personal property in Florida that amounts to over $60,000.00 in value, you should discuss your options of getting on a path to U.S. Citizenship with an experienced immigration attorney. The most common paths to U.S. Citizenship are through an EB5 investment visa, H1-B visa, or family petitions, but there may be other options in some cases.

If you are eligible for U.S. Citizenship through Naturalization, and the value of the assets of your estate exceeds $5.43 million, then there may be other options available to you to lessen or remove this estate tax. These may include trusts, college savings plans, life insurance, and more. It is important to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your estate plan is custom fit to your individual needs.

If you are NOT eligible for U.S. Citizenship, and your real estate value is over $60,000.00, then you should consult with us to prepare your estate plan.

No two people are alike, and no two estate plans should be alike either. Here at Boyer Law Firm, our Estate Planning Attorneys work with tax attorneys and other tax professionals to ensure that you and your family will be best protected when you pass away.

Florida Distribution Agreements for Alcohol and Other Products

Florida distribution agreementIf you are importing alcohol to the United States and you are applying for, or have received, and alcohol import license, then you have the option of applying for a Florida distribution license as well. You also have the option of entering into Florida distribution agreements with companies in the United States to distribute the alcohol for you.

Distribution agreements can also be used for other items imported into the United States or for items that are made in the United States, such as in a factory; it gives the “distributor” the right to distribute your products to stores, which will then sell your product to consumers.

A Florida distribution agreement is an important business contract that should be drafted by an attorney and reviewed by attorneys hired by each party entering into the distribution contract. In addition to the concerns of a normal contract, such as ensuring that you understand the terms of the agreement and the terms you want in the agreement are present to protect you, you must also ensure that the distributor with whom you are entering into a contract with is properly licensed along with other due diligence measures.

An experienced contract attorney will be able to draft and/or review the Florida distribution agreement to ensure that you and your company are properly protected. They will also be able to advise you as to whether or not there are any additional contracts or extra precautions you should take to protect yourself from a violation of the agreement and the potential resulting litigation.

If you want to enter into a distribution agreement or other form of Florida business contract, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today.

Florida Registered Agent for Your Home Business

Florida Registered Agent for Your Home BusinessWho is the Florida registered agent for your home business? Does this comply with Florida law?

The State of Florida requires that all companies maintain a registered agent that is open to the public during business hours and able to accept service of process. In 2015, there are many companies that operate out of a home office, which is not considered to be open to the public during regular business hours because of its residential nature.

If you own a business that you run out of your home or other residential area, it is that much more important to ensure you have properly complied with Florida law regarding maintaining a proper Florida registered agent for your home business. Failure to comply may result in fines or the dissolution of your business.

If you currently own a business in Florida and have not yet filed your annual report, contact Boyer Law Firm today to see how we can assist you both with you annual report and as the Registered Agent for your company. The annual report period, which ends April 1, allows us to have a unique opportunity to make changes to your company registration with the State of Florida without having to incur additional filing fees.

Avoid the Rent Monster with a Florida Investment Property

Florida Residential or Commercial Investment Property | Rent MonsterA Florida residential or commercial investment property is a great way to make money while living in or using a property instead of feeding the rent monster. The rent monster eats your rent money every month because instead of turning that money into equity on your condo, house, or store, the money simply disappears as if it was eaten by the “rent monster.”

The truth of the matter is that in this real estate market it is not much more expensive to buy a commercial or residential property than it is to rent one. In some cases the cost of a mortgage is actually less than the cost of rent. Additionally, if you invest in a shopping center, strip mall, or apartment complex, then you can also earn supplemental income from the other tenants in the building.

If you are interested in purchasing a Florida residential or commercial investment property to avoid the rent monster, or if you want to purchase one of these properties for another use, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s real estate attorneys today.

It is important to contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. BEFORE you make an offer on the property, as there may be steps we can take beforehand to expedite the Florida real estate closing process once the offer has been made and accepted.

Florida Will and Florida Estate Planning

Florida Will and Florida Estate PlanningThere are many times throughout your life when you should update your Last Will and Testament. These include major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, a child being born, a loved one passing away, or a major increase or decrease in the assets that will be included in your estate.

If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, this is also a good time to update your Florida Will. You may have received additional assets from that estate, and you especially want to update your will if the deceased was one of your beneficiaries or the person you appointed as your personal representative.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we assist both domestic and foreign clients with their Florida Will and other Florida estate planning needs. If you are a foreign individual who owns real estate or other property in Florida, then it is important to talk to an attorney who is not only an expert in estate planning, but also an expert in estate planning for international clients, as the international aspect adds a dimension to estate planning that is unfamiliar to most Florida attorneys.

If you need assistance with updating your will, or if you do not have a will, then contact Boyer Law Firm today to see how we can assist you.

DBA or Fictitious Name in Florida

DBA or Fictitious Name in FloridaOnce you have created your Florida business and registered it with the State, you should consider whether or not there will be another name under which you will operate your business. This is common for restaurants and other retail-type businesses and is referred to as a DBA or Fictitious name in Florida.

If your company is ABC, LLC, but the name of your restaurant is XYZ Food, then you should register XYZ Food as a “Doing Business As” (DBA), also known as a fictitious name in Florida. There are certain requirements that must be adhered to in order to fulfil the requirements for a DBA or fictitious name in Florida including a publication requirement.

If your business is not registered with the State of Florida and you are conducting business in Florida, then it is important to properly register your company immediately. Failure to do so could result in penalties that could stop your operations, fines, or other consequences.

For owners of corporations, multi-member LLCs, and other companies with more than one owner, it is not only important that you properly register your business with the State, but it is also important that you company documents are properly drafted in order to protect your partnership, your company, and yourself.

Persons and companies operating under a DBA or Fictitious name in Florida may also want to consider applying for a copyright or trademark for that name and your logo in order to protect the brand of the company.

No Expectation of Privacy for Facebook Photos

Privacy for Facebook photosA picture is worth a thousand words… especially to a Jury… especially when you posted it on Facebook yourself.

A recent decision from the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals regarding a personal injury cases states, “If a photograph is worth a thousand words, there is no better portrayal of what an individual’s life was like than those photographs the individual has chosen to share through social media before the existence of any motive to manipulate reality. The photographs sought here are thus powerfully relevant to the damage issues in the lawsuit.”

Even if you have your privacy setting set to the maximum privacy available, nothing you put on Facebook or the internet is ever 100% private.

The Court opinion in this matter said, “By creating a Facebook account, a user acknowledges personal information will be shared with others, the court said, as that is the very purpose of social networking. Facebook itself does not guarantee privacy.”

The Plaintiff in the above matter claimed that she had a reasonable expectation of privacy for Facebook photos and that they were not “discoverable” (meaning that they should be provided to Opposing Counsel during the “Discovery Process” of litigation).

The Court disagreed and allowed them into evidence.

This lesson on expectation of privacy for Facebook photos is no longer just for teenagers and children. Adults, especially professional adults, must realize that there is very little, if any, expectation of privacy on the internet.

If you do not want someone to read or see something, then do not post it.

IRS Tax Professional List & ITINs for International Taxpayers

international taxpayer ITINThe IRS has created a list of attorneys, CPAs, and other tax professionals available in an online directory searchable by country (for international taxpayers), zip code, and last name. In order to be included in the directory, the tax professionals must have a 2015 Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Attorney and CPA credentials on this list are self-reported to the IRS.

Whether you obtain your tax preparer referral from this list or not, the IRS continues to advise that you ensure your tax preparer has a valid PTIN.

If you are a foreign individual filing taxes, then you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to complete your individual tax return. ITINs may also be required for other tax issues, depending on your specific situation.

Individual Tax Returns are due by April 15, and corporate tax returns are due by March 15. If you are an international taxpayer and need assistance obtaining an ITIN, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today. There are specific document requirements to obtain and ITIN from the IRS, so if you need an ITIN, it is important to get the process started as soon as possible.

SkyRise Miami, EB5 Visas and Other Investor’s Visas

SkyRise Miami EB5 Investor's VisaSkyrise Miami has obtained approval under the EB-5 investor’s visa program. This program allows foreign nationals to literally buy their way into permanent residence in the United States. By investing in the tower (or other EB5 enterprise) and applying for an EB5 visa, a foreign national can gain Legal Permanent Residence in the United States, which can be a path to U.S. Citizenship.

According to a quote from the CNBC story on SkyRise Miami, investors will most likely not receive a large return on their investment, but they will receive a green card if their EB5 visa is approved. The majority of the investment in SkyRise Miami is expected to come from China, where a return on investment is secondary to Citizenship for most investors.

Foreign investors who want to obtain a green card also have the option of investing into other EB5 approved projects or by creating their own business in the United States.

In order to qualify for an EB5 visa, an investor must invest a minimum of $1 million (or $500,000 in some cases) into a qualified enterprise, and the enterprise must create at least 10 jobs.

If you are not able to invest the $1 million right away, then there are other investor’s visa options available to you, including E2 visas. There is no set investment amount for an E2 visa; the investment must be “substantial,” and it is understood that the more you invest in the business, the greater the chances are for the visa to be approved.

Intending Immigrants: Keep Track of Your US Travel History

US travel historyIf you are interested in coming to the United States as an immigrant, or if you are already in the United States on a visa or permanent resident status, it is very important for you to keep records of your US travel history into and out of the country.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, we assist foreign individuals with many different immigration matters, including adjustments of status based on marriage, temporary visas, investor’s visas, Legal Permanent Residence, and applications for Citizenship through Naturalization.

The majority of these immigration applications and forms require the applicant and/or petitioner to list their US travel history for anywhere from five (5) to ten (10) years.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Whether you are currently in the United States or you are thinking about applying for US immigration in the future, you should keep accurate records of your travel history into and out of the United States.

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.!!!

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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

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