A fictitious name is a company asset. It is the name with which consumers will come to associate a good or service with your company. Protecting fictitious names is one of the best investments a company can make.
In Florida, there are risks associated with choosing a fictitious name, but also ways to insure your right to use it.
First, to prevent potential claims or confusion, it is important to check with the Department of State that the fictitious name you’re doing business under is an available. If it is, consider forming your business under the fictitious name as an entity with limited liability protection. This will ensure that no other company doing has your name and is operating business in your field.
Second, trademark your name. If you are already doing business under a fictitious name and you haven’t even done a knockout search, you could be infringing on someone else’s mark, which puts you at risk to potential infringement law suits. Only a thorough trademark search will provide you with the certainty you need to protect yourself. If you’re already doing business under a fictitious name and you haven’t registered it as a trademark, you only have rights to the name through common law trademark protection. Common law trade mark is limited protection and only protects your brand in the geographic area in which it’s being used. This could be a problem if you’re planning to expand your business into other cities or states.
Someone else could register the same mark federally and preclude you from using it everywhere in the United States other than where it’s already being used. To guarantee broader protection, you should register your mark federally with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Doing so requires an experienced intellectual property attorney, but it provides you the right exclude others from using your brand nationwide.
Third, buy a domain name. Doing this will reserve your online real estate the e-commerce marketplace where consumers are searching for your brand. Beware of overly expensive domain names or domain names that were registered for the purpose of stealing your business or preventing you from registering your mark. If the domain name was registered in bad faith, you may need to file a claim under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy to claim rights in the domain.
One of the most popular immigration questions currently being asked is whether a green card holder can get a visa for a spouse. The short answer is yes, however the process can take years, and it can become even longer when an applicant fails to meet certain strict requirements. You should schedule an immigration assessment appointment to determine options and eligibility and to prevent unnecessary extensions of time.
There are generally two ways to obtain a green card, or legal permanent resident status in the United States. One way is through a job in the US. To qualify for this option, you don’t have to be related to a US Citizen or a US permanent resident. Instead, your employer must be willing to sponsor your visa application, which includes paying a filing fee for the visa application itself. This has proven to be a good path to US immigration for scientists, investors, IT specialists, researchers, and individuals in many other job sectors.
The second way to obtain a green card is through a US Family Petition. The family petition, or “Adjustment of Status” petition, is what a green card holder files to get a visa for a family member, including a spouse. To qualify, the new applicant does not have to have employer sponsorship. Rather, the new applicant must first be one of several types of family members.
The family petition process can be lengthy, because there are a limited number of visas available. Because there are fewer visas available than there are applicants, some applicants end up on a waitlist. The waitlists are created by arranging applicants in an order of preference that depends entirely on how the green card holder is related to the applicant. For example, “First Preference” goes to unmarried, adult children of the permanent resident. Next on the list, “Second Preference A,” then goes to the spouse and unmarried, minor children of the permanent resident. If you become a US Citizen you get the greatest priority.
You can start the process to permanent US residency by consult with an immigration attorney to see if your spouse or other family member qualifies for US immigration. An immigration attorney can guide you through the complex system of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and ensure you the fastest and easiest route to becoming a permanent US resident.
Green Card Holders Can Get Spouse Visa – the complex legal filing requirements still prove to be one lengthy way for a family member to obtain a US visa.
We help our clients who are parties to legal disputes outside of Florida collect monies owed to them in Florida. Whether you have a foreign judgment or an arbitration award, we can help you collect the losing party’s assets located in Florida.
A judgment is an official decision of a court. It is the final determination of the rights of the parties in a legal action or proceeding. If there was a loss suffered, the judgment may include damages, a monetary compensation for the loss suffered. If the judgment comes from a court outside the state of Florida, in Florida it is said to be a foreign judgment.
A foreign judgment must go through the process of domestication in order for a prevailing party to collect money for, or enforce the judgment in Florida. This requirement comes from the Florida Domestication of Foreign Judgments Act.
Domestication is a separate litigation process that requires a special hearing to grant an order to recognize the foreign judgment in Florida. Once the judgment has been recognized, a Florida Final Judgment will be issued. This final judgment is fully enforceable in Florida, and will allow your Florida attorney to collect the monies owed to you in the foreign judgment.
An award is the official decision rendered by arbitrators. It is the final determination of the controversy submitted to them in arbitration, and it is binding in virtually every jurisdiction. If there are damages attached to the award, and the losing party has assets in Florida, the prevailing party may seize those assets. While an arbitration award does not require domestication, is subject to a different body of international laws and rules. Among other factors, enforcing an arbitration award depends on the member status of the countries of the parties to certain Conventions and the existence of Treaties. At a minimum, to enforce an arbitration award in Florida you must file Petition to Enforce the award.
Take note: if the prevailing party was a business, that business needs to hire an attorney to represent it, either in the domestication process or in the enforcement of the award. This is because a business is required by law to hire an attorney to represent it. Choose a Florida business attorney who has experience collecting judgments and awards for his clients.
To collect money located in Florida, you must file a domestication of foreign judgment in Florida.
If you’re planning to move to Florida or the United States from another country, and you plan to invest in a U.S. business, you may qualify for an investor’s visa. Some investor visas offer permanent US Residency. Two of the most popular paths to becoming an investor immigrant include the EB-5 visa and the E-2 visa. Each of these paths includes filing a detailed and lengthy visa application. An experienced immigration attorney can streamline the process and ensure that you fulfill every legal obligation.
The most advertised investor’s visa is the EB-5 visa. The EB-5 visa grants residency in the United States to anyone who invests at least $1 million ($500,000 in some instances) and creates 10 or more jobs.
Two major upsides to the EB-5 visa is that the residency it grants is permanent in nature, and it extends to the immediate family of the investor as well. To meet the requirements, you must invest in a qualifying entity, like Skyrise Miami, which accepts EB-5 investors. On the EB-5 application an immigration business plan is also required. You’ll want to hire an attorney highly experienced in business immigration and international business law to assist you the creation of your business plan.
An E-2 visa is a more affordable type of investor visa. The E-2 visa is 5-year temporary visa that is granted to individuals who invest a certain amount into a United States company. To fulfill the investment requirements for obtaining an E-2 visa the individual may choose to invest a substantial sum into an existing business, buy an existing business, or even start a new business within the United States.
One important upside to the E-2 visa is that it is renewable every five years so long as you meet the requirements. Satisfying the ongoing requirements is imperative if you plan to live in the United States for more than five years. Another significant upside is that the E-2 visa can be a stepping stone to an EB-5 visa. If you are unable to make a $1 million investment immediately, you may be able to apply for an E-2 visa and build your way up to the $1 million total investment over time. Alternatively, if you are employed by a foreign company with a U.S. sister company, you may qualify for an L1 visa. It is important to know the differences between the L1 visa and the E-2 visa, which an experienced immigration attorney can explain to you.