Just Because You Can… Should You?

Would you extract your own tooth? Or perform surgery on your own leg?

Shopping on amazon for things I don’t really need, I came across a few interesting items. Did you know amazon sells a surgical bone saw? Or a human rib spreader? Or dental extraction tools? Neither did I until now. And the reviews though! While it’s possible to save a little cash in performing surgery on yourself, is it really valuable? Your nerves and emotions prevent you from staying focused. Additionally, you don’t possess the skill or knowledge to perform serious professional work on yourself.

Along that same lines, should you handle your own legal affairs?

Similarly, the emotional aspect that exists when you are personally invested in a cause can cloud your judgment. Picture it: your partner takes all the profit out of the operating account, signs over all rights to the company to his shell corporation, then disappears. This is your baby, a business you have built from the ground up. Your partner was merely a passive investor and had no say-so in the business until you hit it big. Now he’s taking all your profits and your business?

You must take him to court and all you have is your basic knowledge of business law. You’re too emotion-driven in this fight to lead a serious discussion, much less pose a winning argument to the court. Will you be able to think clearly enough to object when needed? Can you focus enough to anticipate his arguments? Do you know the procedure or the statute well enough?

In addition to being emotionally charged, there are complex procedural requirements of which most people are unaware.

How to put items into evidence, correctly question a witness, or object to a question are all procedures that are learned in law school. If someone does not have the requisite knowledge to handle these topics, they will not be successful in getting their side of the story accurately heard in court. Because they are invested in the case personally, it is hard for them to logically and legally anticipate and defend opposing arguments. This is damaging and often leads to the demise of the case.

So, if you are like me and would not risk pulling your own tooth, I would recommend getting the advice of a sound attorney who has the training and experience to take you through the legal process. They have the knowledge, impartiality, and calm demeanor to take your case through to victory while you may be too saddled with emotions, lack of experience, and inability to see around your own point of view. So, as they say, don’t cut your nose off to spite your face!

Requirements to Import Food to Florida and the US

Your Company Must Be Legally Registered to Do Business

If you are starting a business to import food to Florida and the United States, or import other products, then it is important that your company be legally registered to do business in Florida and any other state in which you conduct business. An experienced Florida business law attorney will be able to assist you in setting up your company in Florida and provide you with legal advice as to the permits and other legal requirements to import food to Florida and the US.

Factors that Contribute to Importing Goods to the US

The regulations for imported food and products will depend on several factors, including:

  • The type of product
  • The country of origin
  • The value/ size of the shipment

FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a US Federal agency, enforces the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) along with other federal laws in order to protect consumers in the US. It is the agency’s duty to ensure that both imported and domestic products are safe, sanitary, and labeled according to US requirements, among other requirements. Imported food products are subject to inspection by the FDA at US ports of entry.

The producer from which the importer is obtaining the food, drugs, or cosmetics must be registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is the importer’s duty to ensure this is the case. Additionally, the importer must provide the FDA with advanced notification of the importation.

What Taxes Am I Required To Pay for To Import Food and Goods?

Importers must pay all applicable Federal excise taxes and duties to U.S. Customs. In Florida, there are also applicable state taxes, and there may be applicable local taxes depending on where you are conducting business in Florida.

For more information on how to import food and goods to the US, contact Boyer Law Firm’s international business lawyers today.

Types of Business Entities

Incorporating a business in Florida will provide you with many advantages. The costs of doing business are low from a governmental and regulatory viewpoint. A business corporation is required to be registered in the State of Florida to “do business.”

The cost of registering with the State, as well as the yearly fees to maintain the registration, are virtually the same as having a Florida corporation.

  • Corporation: either a U.S. subsidiary or a U.S. branch of a non-U.S. corporation, S and C Corporations
    •    Limited Liability Company (LLC)
    •    Partnership: general, limited or limited liability partnership

Advantages of Corporations

Creating a corporation, instead of an LLC, has a lot of advantages such as the fact that, in general, the shareholders of a corporation are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation; the is no limit to the number of shareholders who need not be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and most small businesses can qualify for a status allowing the profits or losses to flow directly to the shareholders without being subject to double taxation.

Every Florida and non-Florida corporation must be registered to do business in Florida. Every corporation doing business in Florida must have a registered agent able to relay notice of lawsuits and other administrative actions. An attorney can be such an agent.

Penalties for not registering are a prohibition to bring a lawsuit in Florida and assessment of fines. However, the corporation can be sued in a Florida court.

CONTACT OUR OFFICE TO SELECT US AS YOUR REGISTERED AGENT>>>

Social Media Survival for Businesses

How to survive the tweets, notifications, and pings…

As we all are infinitely aware, social media is a growing presence that is not going anywhere. Now, how do we manage the risk involved when we are trying to grow our business? Lately, we’ve seen tweets cause international turmoil, much less what it can do to your business.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of small businesses plan on using social media to get the word out about their brand. While it is a cost effective, interactive solution to get your name out in the population, we must remain ever-cognizant of the fact that customers have more power than ever. They can review your business on any number of sites—yelp, google, trip advisor, etc. One bad review can cause a whole slew of damage to your reputation. A simple post on your Facebook page can create a fury of responses that could cause more damage than ever before. It is important that you respond to these negative comments as quickly as possible. A response to have them interact with you separately a private communication can be effective. Do not delete the post, as that will create more issues for you. Just offer a way to compensate the person in a personal message and do not be afraid to ask them to take down the post.

Social media can also mean the release of confidential information. This means that you must be vigilant to make sure your team is aware of what is confidential, so your proprietary information is not being released to the public.

 The return on the investment of social media can be difficult to track. There are tools, like Hoot Suite, Google Analytics, etc.,  that can help you measure the effectiveness of your posts. You can see how frequently your followers engage with a post, but that still does not carry over to conversions.

Social media posting can be time consuming and with the added difficulty of not being able to track the conversion to sales, it makes social media cumbersome marketing activity. Also, making a mistake or having something posted that is incorrect, is even harder to correct on social media as it reaches audiences so quickly that taking back those words can be treacherous.

These days it is necessary to have a social media policy for your employees to follow as well so that they are keeping their posts appropriate and not misrepresenting your business. Social media is a tricky endeavor and adding employees’ inappropriate posts can only make things more challenging.

Be vigilant and careful with social media, and remember to create the policies and procedures to protect your small business.

Contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. if you feel your business has been falsely represented in social media and suffered harm.