Mistakes to Avoid in Barter Transactions

barter transaction mistakes, barter agreements, contract law attorney, business attorney

Bartering is the process of exchanging goods or services for other goods or services without the use of money. While this alternative form of payment is generally thought of as an antiquated business practice, it is a practice that may prove to help businesses survive the economic impact of crises. The primary benefit of exchanging goods or services is that it preserves your working capital. During a time of economic crisis, business owners must get creative in generating income, making barter transactions a worthwhile option. At the same time, these agreements should be carefully planned to avoid the most common mistakes.

Plan Carefully

Carefully  planning terms of your barter agreement  is necessary to protect your business. This type of transaction requires additional due diligence since it is easier to stiff someone on a trade than in a traditional cash transaction.

Take into consideration the following four pitfalls to avoid in barter transactions:

  1. Choosing a bad trade partner. Ensure the items or service, offered by a prospective trade partner, are of value to your business. Verify the items or service are of good quality. Secure a readily available point of contact should problems arise.
  2. Not planning for taxes: The IRS makes inquiries about barter transactions during audits. In general, barter transactions are taxable, with a few exceptions, such as a “like-kind” exchange in commercial building transactions.
  3. Not using an original document: It is tempting to reuse another company’s contract. Avoid this temptation. You can find many barter agreement templates online that appear to be written by lawyers. Non-lawyers redrafted many of these samples. Reusing someone else’s barter contract could be considered copyright infringement as well.
  4. Not evaluating Fair Market Value (FMV) accurately: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which means that barter transactions are highly susceptible to debate over the FMV of the items or services in exchange. Significantly over- or undervaluing the trade can result in one party ending up on the wrong side of the deal.

The most practical way to avoid mistakes in a barter agreement is by discussing the exchange with a Florida contract lawyer. He or she can counsel and represent client interests in establishing fairness.

Contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. to Draft Your Barter Agreement

If you are considering barter agreements as part of your business during the COVID-19 outbreak, you should reach out to a Florida business law attorney at Boyer Law Firm, P.L. We can review your current business situation and provide additional recommendations to strengthen your company’s stability on a solid legal foothold.

Contact us for your complimentary case evaluation with our team of legal professionals. You can request yours by calling (305) 921-9665 or sending us a message through our secure contact form.

What Happens When You Do Not Probate a Will?

will, testament, probate, file a will in court, florida probate attorney

If a person passes away with a will in place, the decedent will name someone—like a spouse or child—to serve as their personal representative. The personal representative bears the responsibility of closing out the estate, distributing assets, and paying creditors.

Having a will requires the personal representative to probate it in court. However, a personal representative may not have known that a will existed or simply does not want to face the legal process.

Florida probate laws require a will to be probated. If the personal representative is uncertain about his or her ability to meet these requirements, he or she should speak with a Florida probate lawyer to help them through it.

Penalties to the Personal Representative for Not Probating a Will

Not probating a will within the statutory deadline has significant consequences. While it is not a criminal act, parties who incur damage—such as an heir—can file a civil lawsuit against the personal representative for willfully failing to file a will in court.

It is possible for the non-probate of a will to result in criminal charges if it is in conjunction with concealment for fraudulent reasons. For example, if a parent donates all of her assets to a charity and leaves a scorned child with nothing, and the child chooses not to probate the will as revenge, then it is possible that the personal representative can be criminally charged.

Creditors’ Claims and Insolvent Estates

It is not uncommon for people to pass away with unpaid bills. Filing a probate matter shortens the timeframe by which a creditor has to file a claim against the estate. If the will is not probated within the statutory deadlines, then it can file a civil lawsuit against the decedent’s estate.

It is essential to understand that family members are not liable for the debts that another solely incurred under an insolvent estate. Failing to probate a will does not solve the problem. In fact, it can create more.

Transferring Title to Property

Aside from paying debts, probate is meant to transfer property and assets to heirs. For individuals who have no will and very few assets, it is unlikely that the estate will have to go through probate.

Some families are in a tight spot and attempt to side-step the probate process by taking over the utilities and paying property taxes. However, it is crucial to understand that even though it is possible to use the property without probate, the heirs will never legally own it without having it go through probate.

Other problems crop up as a result of this occurrence, including:

  • Not able to sell the property
  • Cannot mortgage the property
  • Cannot evict tenants if renting it

There are specific circumstances that allow you to transfer ownership on small estates, like a car, using an affidavit transfer. However, personal representatives should discuss their eligibility to do so by speaking with a Florida probate lawyer.

Contact a Florida Probate Lawyer for Help

Not only is dealing with the death of a loved one heartbreaking but probating his or her estate presents a new set of challenges during a highly emotional time. Keep in mind that you are required to hire a Florida probate lawyer to probate a will in general.

Let the legal team at Boyer Law Firm, PL help you during a free consultation by calling (407) 574-2573 or sending us a message through our online contact form.

The Impact of the Coronavirus On E-2 Visas

E-2 Visa, E-2 Business, Coronavirus, Florida Business Attorney, New York Business Attorney

E2 visas are a great way for foreign nationals to come to the United States for extended periods of time. They’re much easier to obtain than green cards and don’t require a large investment. Also, E2 visas allow the business owner to bring along their family. The coronavirus pandemic has caused travel bans to the United States. Further immigration rules change on a daily basis, so it’s important to speak to an experienced immigration business attorney to discover the best legal options available.

How Will The Coronavirus Impact E2 Visa Businesses?

If you already have an E2 business in the United States, there is no current impact from the coronavirus on your visa. If the economy of the United States suffers greatly, some E2 visas could be revoked or allowed to expire in an effort to promote American-owned businesses.  There are steps to take right now to protect your business in the United States. An experienced immigration business attorney remains vigilant and knowledgeable in the midst of the changes, and then can offer guidance to keep your business safe. 

One thing businesses can do to limit the impact from the coronavirus is to renegotiate commercial leases. Landlords are likely anxious to keep viable tenants, and so they are motivated to renegotiate lease terms, potentially reducing or delaying lease payments. 

A second thing businesses can do today is apply for relief during this economic crisis. Recently, the US Senate approved a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. This package includes benefits both for workers and for businesses impacted by the coronavirus and quarantines. Businesses can apply for both direct payments and for generous loans. These loans can cover operating expenses including up to two months of payroll. However, businesses must also beware the stipulations. There are limits on executive pay and protections for employees that must be considered.

With the fluctuations in the market, the impacts from the coronavirus, and the potential access to the rescue package funds, now is a good time to allow an immigration law specialist to assist. Contact us today so we can review your unique situation.

Can I Apply For an E2 Visa Now?

There has not been a law passed that prohibits new E2 business applications. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to start a new business in the US under the current conditions. E2 visas are generally processed at the United States Consulate in the country of origin, but securing an appointment may prove difficult. As of March 16, 2020 most consulates throughout the world started canceling appointments for new applications. The official recommendation is to apply directly to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. But again, many are under shelter at home orders or are experiencing other restrictive policies that make securing an in-person appointment difficult. Further, USCIS has temporarily closed all in-person services until April 7th. 

Getting Help From an Experienced E-2 Visa Attorney

This crisis is not going to last forever, but it is becoming more difficult to obtain an E2 with the bleak economic climate. Navigating the normally murky waters of immigration has become nearly impossible due to the coronavirus. That’s why it is wise to secure seasoned help. Not only can Boyer Law Firm provide trusted guidance for immigration law, we can also help fastrack your E-2 application when normal operations resume in the future. Let us help you make the best decisions now for the future of your business. Contact our experienced team today.

How to Probate Florida Property from Afar

florida property inheritance probate

When surviving family members need to probate Florida property from another state, it is vital to understand that, unless the personal representative is the sole interested party, they must hire a Florida probate lawyer to represent the mater in probate court.

Survivors do not have to be in Florida to probate assets, although they will need to supplement the matter with formal documentation.

For specific legal advice, speaking with a probate attorney in Florida is best. However, the information below is helpful from a general perspective.

Physical Presence Is Not a Requirement

For most probate matters, surviving families or the personal representative does not have to be physically present to probate assets in Florida. By hiring a Florida probate attorney, he or she will handle it locally while keeping the personal representative apprised of new developments.

Probate matters are generally handled by telephone, fax, and email.

If the personal representative wishes to attend probate hearings, he or she is welcome to travel to the state to do so. However, travel expenses might not be reimbursed from the estate if attendance is unnecessary.

Documents Needed to File a Florida Probate

The death of a loved requires the personal representative or surviving family members to compile and preserve a few materials to file a Florida probate. Your Florida probate lawyer will advise clients on what they specifically need to move forward with the process.

Survivors will need to provide:

  1. Certified copies of birth and death certificates
  2. The full, legal name of the decedent
  3. Social security number
  4. Financial statements and account numbers
  5. Copies of wills or estate planning documents

If a revocable or irrevocable living trust is in place, it is unlikely that the estate will have to go through probate. The only exception is if assets are left out of the estate that needs to be probated into the living trust, which is discussed in the next section.

Hiring a Florida Probate Lawyer Is a General Requirement

In almost every probate matter, the personal representative must hire a Florida probate lawyer, whether or not an in-state resident. Small estates, or where the personal representative is the sole beneficiary, do not require the personal representative to hire legal counsel.

Even if the estate does not require him or her to hire a lawyer, the rules of formal administration are highly technical and can cause mistakes for less experienced filers.

Call Boyer Law Firm, PL for a Free Consultation

If your family member passed away in Florida with assets and you live out-of-state, the first step to probate assets from another state starts by hiring an experienced and reputable Florida probate lawyer.

Connect with Boyer Law Firm, PL for a free consultation by calling (407) 574-2573 or sending us a private message. Appointments are available by telephone or video conference only in light of recent world events.

How to Protect Your Business During a Pandemic

business protection during coronavirus

Coronavirus has disrupted markets and roiled small business owners while jeopardizing the world economy. COVID-19 is causing companies to address a host of challenging issues about how they should transact business and manage employees amid a global pandemic.

There are a few considerations that businesses may want to consider to help them navigate uncharted waters. While the information presented below is general, speaking with a Florida business lawyer will help company owners handle industry-specific concerns.

1. Furloughs and Layoffs

Furloughs and layoffs are alternative work arrangements that allow employers to reduce their labor costs. A furlough is mandatory time off for a specific period, whereas a layoff is a cessation of work until business increases.

Both carry different impacts and should be used wisely. Discussing company needs with a Florida business attorney will help leaders understand their options when dealing with workforce woes amid a pandemic, like coronavirus.

2. Consignment Agreements

Consignment agreements are contracts that grant a party the legal right to sell merchandise on behalf of another seller. It is an excellent idea to put the terms and conditions of the transaction between the two in writing.

Typically, a percentage of the sale goes to the seller in the form of commission. Consignment agreements allow business owners and suppliers to free up cash flow by not requiring either party to make a significant purchase or commitment in a small business capacity.

3. Owner Financing

Owner financing is when a property buyer borrows money from the seller to make the purchase rather than through a commercial lender. Buyers may borrow the whole amount from the seller or in combination with a bank loan.

Owner financing is one way for buyers and sellers to initiate and close transactions faster than going through a traditional mortgage lender. However, there are pitfalls that both parties must avoid and choose with whom they enter into the agreement wisely.

4. Mechanic’s Lien Filings

Construction contractors and real estate owners may want to consider using a mechanic’s lien to protect their businesses. Mechanic’s liens allow companies, who offer these services, an opportunity to file a claim for unpaid compensation.

Placing a lien against the relevant property ensures that contractors and suppliers receive a portion of sale proceeds if the owner sells it.

5. Barter Agreements

Barter agreements are contracts that govern transactions where goods and services are exchanged in place of cash. Fair market value (FMV) assessment and meticulously written conditions will facilitate a smoother transaction.

While barter agreements ease immediate cash burdens, parties involved in the exchange should discuss the terms outlined in the contract with a Florida business lawyer. He or she can help business owners determine if the document is legally-binding as well as reasonable for the given circumstances.

6. Settlement Agreements

Settlement agreements are contracts that allow parties of a lawsuit to resolve disputes out of court. Rather than wait for a jury trial, which could take months or years, settlement agreements give businesses a chance to move on quickly but still become part of public record.

Before entering into any settlement agreement, business owners should seek the advice of a Florida business attorney before signing on the dotted line. Doing so ensures that the deal is fair and does not carry unwanted future implications.

7. Payment Plans

Payment plans are an act of goodwill toward customers. As more people face lost work wages, offering payment plans to customers allows business owners to lend a helping hand while staying cash flow positive.

Take the time to review the client’s payment history, credit rating, disposable income, and other financial signals. This tactic will help business owners structure payment plans that make sense for the specific financial situation.

Contact a Florida Business Lawyer at Boyer Law Firm, P.L.

No matter what happens, the coronavirus is likely impacting business owners in the future, if it has not happened already. The most practical method for managing the impact is through careful preparation.

Contacting a Florida business lawyer will help companies discuss the effects of a global health crisis on employees and the bottom line. Rather than panic, it is time to stand firm and prepare for what may lie ahead.

Request a case evaluation with Boyer Law Firm, P.L. by calling (407) 574-2573, emailing office@boyerlawfirm.com, or sending us a message through our contact form.