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.