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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Import or Distribute Alcoholic Beverages in Florida or the US

Distribute alcoholic beverages in FloridaIn order to import or distribute alcoholic beverages in Florida or the United States, there are requirements you must meet set forth by federal, state, and local levels of government. These requirements include the obtainment of licenses, approval of labels for the products, FDA approval, and more.

The various licenses you will need will depend on the purpose of your business and the business activities in which you will engage to operate that business. An experienced international business attorney will be able to determine and assist you in obtaining the proper licenses needed to conduct your business in Florida and the US.

If you import or distribute alcoholic beverages in Florida or the United States and do not properly adhere to the regulations set forth by the various government agencies, then you could be subject to penalties that could stop your ability to conduct business in the United States and the State of Florida.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, P.L., we have successfully assisted clients in obtaining importation and distribution licenses in Florida and the United States. We can also assist you with setting up a company to import or distribute alcoholic beverages, assist you with contracts needed for the business, such as distribution agreements, and much more.

Expand Your Foreign Business in Florida

Expand your foreign business in FloridaMany of the companies and businesses you see in Florida are related to or owned by foreign business entities.

If you own a foreign company and want to expand your foreign business in Florida, there are different ways you can setup a business in Florida. These include creating a branch office, a subsidiary, or a new entity.

Creating a branch office will create a new location for the same company. It must have the same company name and it is considered part of the same company.

If you choose to setup a subsidiary, then you will create a new business entity, such as a LLC or Corporation, which will be owned by the foreign company. Creating a subsidiary has different liability and tax implications than a branch location or creating a new entity. If you are interested in setting up a subsidiary for your foreign company in Florida, then you may qualify for an L-1 visa for yourself or the manager of the branch located in Florida.

The third option you have is to create an entirely separate business entity. The difference between creating a subsidiary and a separate entity is the foreign company will not be the owner of the company.

Each of these options has certain advantages and disadvantages, which is why it is important to consult an experienced Florida business law attorney before making the decision to expand your foreign business in Florida. If you are interested in starting a company in Florida, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today.

Import Products to the US and Florida

Import products to the USIf you are interested in or currently importing products to the United States, then it is important to ensure that you are abiding by US Customs laws. As trade between countries increases and the world becomes more globalized, there are greater opportunities for domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to export products out of the United States and import products to the US.

Various agencies on federal, state, and local levels have strict guidelines on imported products that must be met, such as labeling, content, and safety requirements. Failure to adhere to these guidelines could result in penalties, including fines or seizure of the goods in question.

An experienced US Customs attorney will be able to guide you through the various steps and regulations to ensure you are meeting all of the requirements to import products to the US.

Here at Boyer Law Firm, P.L., we can assist you not only through the process of importing products to the US, but also with setting up your business through which to import the products. Additionally, you may qualify for an E1 visa, which is a specific visa classification for those who participate in substantial, ongoing trade between the US and a treaty country.

If you are interested in exporting or importing products to the US, creating a business to do such, applying for an E1 visa, or any combination thereof, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s customs attorneys and international law attorneys to see how we can help you today.

Opening a Company in Florida: A Couple Advantages

Opening a company in FloridaMiami recently hosted a conference that brought together South Florida and Latin America tech communities. These investors were interested in opening a company in Florida, specifically Miami, but they were also looking to launch their companies on the world stage.

The articles in Forbes said “The U.S. has a highly evolved infrastructure for nurturing innovative new companies and positioning them for global expansion. There are mature investor networks, a large and relatively homogeneous consumer population with expendable income, and a proven ability to commercialize innovative IP.”

The article then went on to say “the U.S. is exerting an intense gravitational pull, attracting dynamic young companies and investment capital, and interconnecting them in ways that were unimaginable before the digital era.”

If you are a foreign individual, opening a company in Florida may qualify you for an investor’s visa such as an E-2 Investor’s Visa or and EB5 Investor’s visa. If you qualify for an EB5 visa, then this could be a path to a green card and eventually potential U.S. Citizenship.

Source: Forbes

Wire Transfers for International Business

Wire Transfers for International Business Owning and running a Florida business from another country can be a daunting task, especially when you are just starting out.

Due to U.S. immigration issues, many of our clients will create and begin to build their business from another country, such as France, Belgium, Switzerland, Argentina, Colombia, Canada,Turkey, etc., before applying for a U.S. Visa, such as a B-visa or E2 Visa, or Legal Permanent Residence, such as through an EB5 visa. When you are creating and investing in a business, there will inevitably be funds that need to be transferred between countries and accounts for bills and other various situations.

So how do you manage these large money transfers when you are an ocean away?

The first thing that most of the world uses, the IBAN system is not used in the U.S. Instead, the SWIFT method is how money is transferred internationally to the U.S.

The other aspect is that wires in the U.S. are not sent to a specific branch, i.e. 123 Main St., Miami but merely to the “main” bank. For Wells Fargo, its address is in San Francisco, SunTrust in Atlanta, Chase in New York, etc.

Major international business transactions are usually done via wire transfers. A wire transfer is the electronic transfer of funds from one person or institution to another. In most cases, wire transfers are done between institutions, namely banks, who charge a fee for this service.

When you make a wire transfer, it is important to preemptively research these fees, as they vary depending on the institution, location, and more. The best way to do this is to verify the fees with BOTH of the institutions you will be dealing with, i.e. the bank you are transferring the money from and the bank to which you are transferring the money. If you do not account for these fees when making a wire transfer, then your payment will be for a lesser amount than you intended.

Wire transfers are used for situations such as:

–          Purchasing Real Estate
–          Purchasing a Business
–          Transferring Funds into your U.S. Business Account or another U.S. Bank Account
–          Making a deposit into an Escrow Account
–          Making a payment to your attorney
–          Paying court fees
–          And more

Jacksonville Hotel Market Improving

Jacksonville HotelThe Embassy Suites Hotel on Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville, Florida, located right by our Jacksonville office, sold to a group of hotel investors from San Diego for $8.8 million, or $41,900 per room, on October 10.

The Jacksonville hotel market has been steadily improving, and this trend is expected to continue; Revenue per room is up 9 percent from the beginning of the year. This buy is expected to be profitable for the buyers for the following reasons:

–          The Baymeadows/Southside area of Jacksonville is home to about 45% of all office space within the Jacksonville market.

–          Jacksonville is consistently rated one of the “Hottest Cities in America” for business expansions and relocations according to Expansion Management Magazine

–          Jacksonville has been in the “Top 10” of that magazine for eight straight years and is the only city to claim the number one spot three times.

Because of the large investment and number of staff required to run a hotel, many foreign investors who purchase a hotel will also qualify for an EB5 visa. If you are interested in purchasing a Jacksonville hotel or starting another type of business, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business, immigration, and commercial real estate attorneys today.

Hands-off Approach Enticing People to Open a Business in Florida

Open a Business in FloridaThe Florida government is having a more hands-off approach to business, and this practice seems to be attracting more entrepreneurs who want to open a business in Florida.

Governor Rick Scott stated the following reasons that businesses are attracted to Florida:

–          The state has cut 2,600 regulations

–          The state has reduced business and property taxes

–          The state has cut sales tax on machinery equipment

“There’s no company in this country that shouldn’t want to be headquartered in this state and grow in this state,” Gov. Scott said.

If you are interested in starting a business in Florida, domesticating a foreign entity, or need advice about how to open a business in Florida, contact Boyer Law Firm’s business law attorneys today. If you are not a US citizen and are interested in investing in a business, this could also be a path toward an investors’ visa.

Source: NFW Daily News

Gov. Scott in Paris to Encourage International Real Estate Buyers

Gov. Scott in Paris to encourage International Real Estate BuyersIn support of the Florida Real Estate Industry, Governor Rick Scott, Florida Realtor’s President Dean Asher, and Vice President of Public Policy John Sebree traveled to Paris on a trade mission that took place June 16-21 at the 50th annual International Paris Air Show.

The trio traveled to Paris to encourage French nationals to invest in business and encourage international real estate buyers in the US. Representatives from about 80 Florida-based aviation, aerospace and defense companies, educational institutes, and economic development agencies also participated in the event.

During the event, Ashe and Sebree met with members of the French national real estate federation (FNAIM) to discuss expanding ties between the two associations.

“Florida Realtors’ leadership and members always do an exceptional job promoting Florida, both home and abroad,” said Gov. Scott. “…the state Realtor association has continued to encourage job growth and business development in the Sunshine State. Florida’s housing market and economy are on the rise, and it is clear that the policies we are implementing to create opportunities for Florida families are working.”

According to Florida Realtors’ 2012 Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida, French nationals made up five percent of the international real estate buyers purchasing homes in the Miami- Miami Beach area and the Orlando-Kissimmee area. French nationals made up 10 percent of international home buyers in the Palm Beach area.

Source: The Destin Log

Florida Small Business Then and Now

Florida Small Business then and nowOwning a Florida small business is drastically different than it was 25 years ago when Rhonda Abrams started her first company. Here are the differences that she has noticed betweeen Florida small business then and now:

–          Start-up costs are less expensive: Desktop publishing alone has decreased the need for small businesses to go to graphic designers to print simple things like stationary and letterheads. Although graphic designers can still be useful to small businesses, you can save a lot of money by learning to do part of the work yourself.

–          Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur: Twenty-five years ago, the goal of most business graduates was to work for a large corporation. Today, business graduates are striving to open their own businesses.

–          Start-up financing is easier to find: Angel Investors did not exist twenty-five years ago, and small business loans were only for larger, established businesses.

–          Small business diversity is respected more: Small business now encompasses every market you can imagine. Twenty-five years ago, a small business usually meant a dry cleaner or corner store.

–          Large corporations want small business customers: Today, corporations have entire divisions just to reach and serve small companies.

–          The internet: What a wonderful tool for small businesses! The internet allows small businesses to easily market their company, have the most up-to-date technology, and work from anywhere.

–          Speed: Everything is now instantaneous.

–          Global competition: The business world, including small businesses, has become globalized.

Whether you are a foreign national or U.S. resident, Boyer Law Firm can help you incorporate your Florida small business, help with business planning, and much more. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Source: Florida Today

Florida Small Businesses are Exporting Goods

exporting goods in floridaExporting goods is on the rise for Florida small businesses. According to an online survey of 500 businesses conducted by the National Small Business Association, 64 percent of those businesses had sold merchandise or services to a customer in another country in 2012, compared to 52 percent in 2010.

“The growth we’re seeing in small business exporters underscores a broad change in attitude about exporting,” said David Ickert, the chair of NSBA. “Not only are small businesses seeing growing opportunities available to them via exporting, they increasingly view their good and/or services as valuable in a global marketplace.

For those small businesses that are not currently exporting goods, the main barrier was a lack of knowledge as to how to get started.

As an international business lawyer, Attorney Boyer is very knowledgeable in all aspects of business, including exporting goods. If you are a small business that is considering importing or exporting, contact us today to schedule a business planning session to discuss how you can grow your business on a domestic and international level.

Source: South Florida Business Journal

Business in Jacksonville

International Business in Jacksonville | Business lawyer Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami | Florida International LawyerEuropean consuls from France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom recently visited Jacksonville, Florida, and they had some opinions to share about business in Jacksonville. The main consensus between the visiting diplomats was that Jacksonville needs to do a better job of telling their story, because Jacksonville has a good story to tell and is a city that hosts many opportunities for those who want to live and work in Florida.

“I need reasons, arguments, I can convey to Spanish companies about why they should look here,” Mario Buisan, the Spanish trade commissioner said.

Dutch Consul General Simone Filippini was impressed by Jacksonville’s first-ever, recently-held OneSpark event, a festival celebrating inventors and entrepreneurs, but noted that she would not have known about the event if she had not visited the city. “The marketers of Jacksonville have an undiscovered dynamic jewel,” she said.

Kevin McGurgan, the U.K. Consul General stated that people think of beaches, not business when they think of Florida. Governor Rick Scott is trying to change this perception through his work with Enterprise Florida and Florida Business’ new slogan, “The Perfect Climate for Business.”

Jacksonville may soon become more prevalent in the eyes of the United Kingdom since the Jacksonville Jaguars professional football team is currently planning a game in London.

Most of the consulates in the Southeastern United States are in Miami, but the group made the trip to Jacksonville to find out more about Northeast Florida, a place that few foreign nationals think of when they think of the Sunshine State, and business in Jacksonville. It is the job of these consuls to connect the countries they represent with the country they are stationed.

Source: Florida Times-Union


May is World Trade Month

May is named World Trade Month by the International Trade Administration (ITA). The celebration kicked off with WorldCity presenting its annual analysis of Miami trade at a luncheon at the Coral Gables Hyatt Regency on May 1, 2013. The ITA hopes to ensure the competitiveness of US businesses through international trade.

World Trade Month | Florida International Business Lawyer | Orlando, Jacksonville, MiamiFlorida Gov. Rick Scott has also declared May as Florida World Trade Month as part of his continuing efforts to increase international business in Florida. A record-breaking $124.7 billion worth of products were traded through South Florida airports and seaports in 2012.

International businesses employ 223,500 Floridians, and their salaries are around 30 percent more than the Florida average. These international businesses make up 18 percent of the Florida economy. Canada and China are the top two U.S. trading partners.

For help with international trade and other international business matters, contact Boyer Law Firm today.


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Canadian Real Estate Investors Face Competition from Asian Counterparts

Canadian Real Estate Investors | Florida Real Estate Attorney Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami | Boyer Law Firm, PLNow is the time for Canadian real estate investors to buy in Florida before investors from Asian countries become the new Florida snowbird.

More than 500,000 Canadians currently own property in Florida, and many have made a return on their investment since 2008 when the state was one of the hardest hit in the nation by the housing crisis. The price of single-family homes in Florida is currently up 12 percent, according to the Toronto Star.

In 2010, Canadians accounted for almost 40 percent of all real estate purchases in Florida, but they are now facing stiff competition from their Asian counterparts. This competition is mostly over bankrupt development projects around $100,000. As a result, many Canadian real estate investors are investing in discounted homes over $200,000 and $300,000 while they are still available.

Canadian real estate investors are also facing competition from Brazilian investors in Miami and Orlando.

If you are interested in investing in Florida real estate, buying a winter home, or selling a piece of property, contact Boyer Law Firm’s real estate attorneys today. We have attorneys and paralegals who speak both French and English.

Source: Toronto Star

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Orlando International Airport and International Travel

Orlando International Airport | International business travel| International attorneyBeginning tomorrow, April 30, 2013, Orlando International Airport will electronically streamline the international arrival process, making the process paperless and replacing the I-94 form. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recognized the airport as the first in the nation to move to the new process.

While year-to-date domestic travel is down 3.7 percent in Orlando, international traffic is up 13.7 percent, making this new form of screening a necessity. Lines for international visitors at Orlando International Airport become extremely long when travelers have not completed the I-94 form. With the new system, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will gather arrival and departure information from electronic travel records.

So, if you are planning to travel to Florida for business or pleasure after April 30, you may want to amend your travel plans to arrive in the U.S. in Orlando. However, the process will still be relatively new and there will inevitably be some kinks to work out at the beginning.

Source: Orlando Business Journal

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Small-Medium Sized Businesses & International Trade

International TradeEnterprises engaged in international trade and cooperation are twice as likely to be successful as those that only operate domestically, according to a study done my HIS Global Insight and DHL Express.

We are becoming a more globalized world, and businesses need to be able to keep up with this trend in order to survive.

“[We] firmly support the view that international trade creates tremendous value for SMEs (small- to medium-sized businesses). It not only opens up new markets for their products and services, but also gives them access to international best practices and innovations,” said DHL Express CEO Ken Allen.

The South Florida Business Journal named the following countries the top trade partners of South Florida:

  1. Brazil – $13,688.3 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  2. Colombia – $8,101 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  3. Switzerland – $7,539.7 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  4. Costa Rica – $6,147.1 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012
  5. Venzuela – $5,494.5 MILLION in total trade, January – October 2012

The DHL study revealed that small to medium sized businesses are concerned with the lack of available information on foreign markets, high customs duties, difficulty establishing contracts with different foreign enterprises and the ability to generate an overseas customer base. Here at Boyer Law Firm, our expertise in International Law can guide you through every step of this process.

Sources: South Florida Business Journal

Florida Repeals International Driving Permit Requirement

As part of a continued effort to make Florida a tourism-friendly state, lawmakers are in the process of repealing a law that requires international visitors to acquire an international driving permit to drive in Florida.

International driving permitThe law was originally designed to help law enforcement officers determine if international visitors had valid licenses, especially when the driver’s license was in a foreign language, but the law had unintended consequences.

This law hit Canadians, the largest group of international visitors to Florida, the hardest. Many Canadian “snowbirds” were not able to obtain this permit because they were already in Florida, and the law required them to obtain the permit from their home country.

The repeal of this law was passed unanimously by both houses of the Florida legislature, and Governor Rick Scott has said that he will sign the repeal into law. The law requiring the permit took effect on January 1, 2013.

Source: Orlando Sentinel


Turkish Professionals Discuss Trade Agreement with US

Turkey Trade AgreementAs the United States and the European Union continue talks of a free-trade agreement, Turkish professionals are debating how this agreement can increase trade between Turkey and the US in a way that benefits Turkey.

There has been a swift, noticeable increase in trade volume between the US and Turkey over the last 10 years, Turkish American Business Association (TABA/AmCham) President Ekim Alptekin said. However, Turkey’s imports from the US, amounting to $14 billion, and their exports to the US, amounting to $5.6 billion, are not enough trade between the two countries. Alptekin said it is important for Turkey to improve commercial relations with the US because their trade with Europe is declining.

Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) Vice President Ahmet Ciğer noted that under the free-trade agreement, Turkey would be subject to the same rules as Europe while importing goods from the US, but the US could impose extra tariffs on exported goods from Turkey. “However,” Ciğer said, “since trade relations between the US and Turkey are not at the desired level, the damage would not be that fatal.”

For the past two years, the US was ranked Turkey’s fifth largest trading partner, and Turkey was the 32nd largest goods trading partner for the US in 2011. The top exports from Turkey to the US are vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, and the top imports from the US to Turkey are aircrafts, iron and steel, oil, and machinery.

The two countries also have other shared business ideas. US firms are investing in Turkey because they consider it a springboard to Middle Eastern, and regional markets of the Caucasus and Central Asia, and there is a growing interest from Turkish infrastructures and energy companies to join the U.S. market.

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What is International Law?

Merriam-Webster defines international law as a “body of rules that control or affect the rights of nations in their relations with each other.”International Law

The term “International Law” was coined by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. It can apply to any form of law in which two or more countries are involved. Here at Boyer Law Firm, PL, we pride ourselves in the ability to handle international law. Our lawyers, of counsels, and paralegals speak English, French, Spanish, and more, allowing us to assist clients in many areas of the world.

We practice six major categories of “International Law”:

–          International Business Law
–          Foreign Investment
–          U.S. Visas
–          Real Estate Investment
–          U.S. Customs Law – Import & Export
–          Foreign Judgments Execution in Florida (For other states or countries)

Because we are well versed on practicing these areas on an international level, it allows us to practice them on a domestic level with ease because there are fewer variables to consider.

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Tourism Boosts South Florida’s Economy

South Florida TourismSouth Florida experienced a record amount of tourism in 2012, mostly from international visitors, and this amount is predicted to be even higher in 2013.

This increase is expected to boost economic growth in South Florida, especially in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. Florida’s economy should grow by 1.7% in the next six months, according to the Miami-Herald.

Business travel is one of the main reasons for the tourism increase, and the “cheapness” of the American dollar is benefiting South Florida businesses because tourists are not just coming to visit; they’re coming to buy and spend money.

New hotels are popping up, and several airlines have increased the number of flights between south Florida and Latin American Countries. Brazilians remain the No. 1 source of overseas travelers, and Broward County’s tourism bureau plans to hire its first representative country in Brazil this budget year.

Whether you are looking to visit or open a business in south Florida, 2013 looks like a great year to do so.\


Domestication of Foreign Judgments in Florida

If you have an uncollected foreign judgment in your favor (from another state or another country) and the defendant is a person who resides in Florida or a company that is domiciled in Florida, there are ways you may still collect the money owed to you.

Under the Florida Domestication of Foreign Judgments Act, a judgment issued in another state can be domesticated in a Florida county court. This means the Florida court recognizes and can enforce the judgment.

Domestication of Foreign JudgmentsWhen the judgment has been issued by a foreign country, it can be domesticated under Florida‘s Uniform Out-of-country Foreign Money-Judgment Recognition Act. In order to be eligible for domestication, the judgment must be final and enforceable in the country where it was issued. The judgment may not be enforceable if certain instances occurred, such as if the court was not impartial, did not adhere to due process, or did not have jurisdiction over the case.

The Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s counsel must file a certified copy of the judgment and an affidavit with the county clerk of courts. The clerk will file and record the judgment and affidavit in the public record, and then they will mail a notice to the defendant. The defendant then has 30 days to respond if they wish to file an action challenging the validity of the judgment.

If no objection to the judgment is filed, it is treated the same way as if the judgment was made in a Florida court. Then the courts can place liens on any real property located in the county of recording.

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Technology of a Large Florida Firm, Personality of a Small Florida Firm

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Whether you’re going to buy groceries or hiring an attorney, costs and fees are always a concern. That is why we at Boyer Law Firm insist on a written fee agreement with you, the client. We have hourly, contingency and flat fee rates, and we offer convenient online payments with Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal.

We take time to explain any questions that our clients may haven order to provide comfort for you and confidence in our firm.


We maintain all of our files in electronic format using the latest technology available to large firms, which we have chosen to acquire. Every document is scanned within 24 hours, read,Photo Courtesy of analyzed, and processed. We will often email you the document as well in order to keep you updated on your case. We want to make sure that we are providing for you, our client.

We have subscriptions to online, specialized legal software to access the most up-to-date legal information, case laws, and statutes that may be relevant to your case.

Our central server allows our staff to access information and documents relevant to your case from anywhere, anytime, including while in court, while traveling, and even overseas!

Our case management software allows us to schedule with greater precision. This allows us to not only stay on top of your case, but also to plan well ahead of deadlines imposed by law.


Because we are a small firm, we are able to build a lasting relationship with our clients. We understand that legal matters usually take an emotional toll on all parties involved, and we strive to show compassion in every case.

If you need legal representation regarding business law, international law, immigration, real estate or estate planning, please contact us today.

Now is the Time for Foreign Investment in Florida

Foreing Investment in FloridaThe diminished value of the U.S. Dollar is still offering the opportunity to make money for foreigners who invest in real estate in Florida.

With the rise in short-sales and foreclosures, foreign investors are able to buy properties for a low cost. Investors are able to buy a multi-family home for the cost of an efficient apartment in their own country.

In addition, because many Floridians are now renting instead of buying, there is an opportunity to make a true investment that will gain profit not only from an eventual resale, but also through renting out properties such as condos, which many foreign investors are buying in bulk.

Management and repair costs are also lower in Florida than in many foreign countries. Foreign investors who rent out some properties are estimated to receive a 10-15% return rate.

Even if you are looking to buy a second home on one of Florida’s sunny beaches, renting the property out on a seasonal basis can still result in profit gain (not to mention a nice place to get away.)

Foreign investment in Florida is becoming more popular, and, as a result, the number of properties available is diminishing, and the price of these properties is expected to increase as the demand does. The trend is already in full affect in South Florida areas such as Miami, and it is expected to be replicated in other coastal areas of Florida in a South to North pattern.

Sources: Condo Owner, Equity First

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