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Tips for Hiring Legal Mediators for Your Small Family Business

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Hiring Legal Mediators for Your Small Family Business

Family disputes can be difficult to get through, so imagine how complicated it can be to settle a dispute involving a family business. One area that is typically a sticking point among small family businesses is the decision on who will be the successor when the owner steps aside or dies. To resolve some of these disputes in a way that is amicable, one step you can take is to hire a professional mediation company. Below, you can explore the benefits of legal mediation, what you should know about the process, and how to hire a professional.  The Benefits of Small Business Legal Mediation If you are unsure about the effect of hiring a business mediator, perhaps some of the following points will be helpful. One of the main benefits of legal mediation is that your situation will be resolved much quicker. For instance, legal mediation gets a settlement in an average of approximately 7 months, while a court judgment would take more than 16 months. Hiring one of these companies also allows you to keep these matters out of the public eye, whereas a court procedure would be open to the public. Further, mediation is useful in communicating concerns so that both parties can come up with an agreement that makes sense.  The Mediation Process It is important to understand as much as you can about mediation prior to receiving the service. If you are attempting to decide on the order of succession in your family business, a mediator will typically sit down all official staff and management and hash out what they hope to see in their next owner. The mediators will also go over any business plans, charters, or other official documents which might have a declarative direction on how this must be handled. After taking in information from all parties, the mediator will help to put together several drafts of potential settlements, communicating needs back and forth, until an agreement is reached.  The Hiring of Legal Mediation In order to get the help of professional business mediators, you must take your time and hire the most credible and helpful legal mediators. Put together a list of what you hope to accomplish from mediation and make sure that you hire a company with these specialties. You should also reach out to other family owned small businesses that have used these companies so get a good referral. Be sure you are able to pay for their services, as legal mediation can cost between $200 and $600 per hour, depending on the level of mediation...

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What You May Not Know About Early Stages Of Legal Mediation

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You May Not Know About Early Stages Of Legal Mediation

Dealing with a business lawsuit is certainly a hassle that nobody wants as part of their day. You may wish you could just make it disappear. Unfortunately, it won’t poof into thin air by wishing alone. However, through the process of civil litigation, you can take action to get rid of it. Start by consulting a business attorney, who may then get the court to recommend mediation. Here are some things you may not know about each stage of legal mediation, which may be ordered by a court of law to encourage a mutual understanding and a way to settle the situation outside the courtroom.  People Who Will Be Involved A lot of people assume that private mediation will just include both parties and an impartial mediator. However, the truth is more complex. People who will be in legal mediation for a business will likely include: Plaintiff Defendant At least two attorneys (your own and any attorneys the other disputant has) Mediator Keep in mind that, in some situations, it may be decided that the lawyers shouldn’t be present, but they usually are. The Opening Statement When the mediation begins, all parties will meet in a private conference room. It is the mediator who first has a voice, and the mediator will give an opening statement that typically expresses the benefits of mediation. Since you have already started the process, you may already know the perks, but it will benefit you to listen closely to this speech. You can tell a lot then about the mediator and what you may be expected to do. Some of the most beneficial reasons for you to strive to have the mediation come to a successful conclusion may be voiced, including the following: The mediation is your last chance to solve the problem at hand outside the courtroom. The control that you and your adversary (both the plaintiff and the defendant) will have during mediation. It’s in both of your hands at this point, but it won’t be if things go past mediation. In that case, your fate in this matter will be determined by a judge or jury. Settle the Case In the next step of mediation, the mediator will want to meet with both you and the other party separately and privately. Your attorney may accompany you in this meeting in most cases. Possible paths to settling the dispute amicably and to the satisfaction of both parties will be discussed. While you may not want to agree to the immediate terms that are offered, try to be open ad reasonable during this process. If either party is unable to negotiate or be flexible on the points, it will end up in court. You both may end up unhappy if it does this, and it will be too late to go back to the negotiating table. Follow all the advice of your business lawyer and be proactive during the mediation. Finally, keep in mind that understanding these ins and outs mediation can empower you to make better decisions. Ultimately, it’s important to consult with your business attorney before making any definite decisions about settling the case in the mediation...

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How To Gain The Attention Of An IRS Auditor When Self-Employed

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Gain The Attention Of An IRS Auditor When Self-Employed

Having no commute or annoying co-workers is just some of the many perks that self-employed people enjoy, but with those perks come a greater need for financial responsibility when it comes to bookkeeping. The IRS takes a close look at people who work from home and use their home and vehicles for business purposes on their tax returns, so read on to learn more about red flags that could cause you to come under the scrutiny of an IRS auditor. Cash Flow Electronic records of cash flow, such as credit card charges and payments, can usually be easily documented and proven in the event of an audit. Businesses that rely more on cash transactions, however, such as home day cares and crafts-people who sell their wares at markets, can run into trouble if they aren’t careful with their record-keeping. Enter those transactions in a ledger and give out paper (with carbons) receipts for all cash transactions. Vehicle Use Few self-employed people have a vehicle dedicated to business use only, so good tracking methods to separate business and personal use is mandatory to prevent the IRS from disallowing your deductions. A simple and quick method of documenting mileage is to snap a shot of your odometer setting before and after a trip with your phone. For frequent destinations, just update a spreadsheet with the distance traveled. You can also find mileage-tracking apps for your phone that makes keeping up with transportation expenses a snap. Travel, Meals and Entertainment Ensure that you keep copious notes about your travel, meal, and entertainment expenses; not just the receipts but the purpose of the expense should be noted. The IRS requires that the expense be business-related, so be sure to note that a lunch expense was with your website creator to discuss changes to your website, for example. Be especially careful of mixing personal and business travel. You should not expect to be able to deduct a vacation just because you did some stock purchasing at the market while you and your family were in Atlanta. Lifestyle While an IRS auditor cannot target you simply because you appear to be richer than your profit indicates on your Schedule C, the appearance of wealth may cause greater scrutiny. Auditors are trained to not only look carefully at your financial records, but to observe disparities in stated income lifestyle. For example, it may be difficult for an auditor to accept a stated income of $25,000 for a person living in a waterfront mansion without further and closer investigation of your records. Consult with a tax or business attorney such as for more information about avoiding and complying with an IRS...

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Protecting Your Idea: Tips On Knowing If Your Product Is Patent Worthy

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protecting Your Idea: Tips On Knowing If Your Product Is Patent Worthy

If you think you’ve created the next Rubik’s cube or the most innovative operating system, your idea may need a patent. A patent secures your idea so no one else can use it to create a like product and sell it within the United States. In most cases, the patent is granted to the first person to invent the new product, but in order to maintain sole rights, you have to actually file for the patent. The big question is whether or not your idea is patent-worthy. These tips will help you decide. Understanding Costs Before filing for a patent, you need to ask yourself if you have the ability to produce and market your product. Fees for patents aren’t cheap, so it might not be worth it to you to file a patent if you won’t be able to put the idea into play in the first place. If you don’t have the capital, you might consider seeing if you can get financing or obtain a sponsor or scholarship to help you market your idea, but unless you have the money to back your plan, you should probably consider putting off getting the patent until you can. Considering Ownership You can only apply for a patent if you are the actual inventor or co-inventor of the product. If you work for a company that actually had the idea for the invention, or if you were merely a financial contributor, you may not be able to get the patent. Before applying, you should conduct a professional search to see if there are any similar patents; while there may not be anything identical, you can at least get a general idea of how popular the market is for your idea. Evaluating Usefulness Inventions must have some sort of use to others before you can file for a patent. The idea must provide a benefit and be useable. Most product inventions tend to fall under this category. When filling out the patent application, try to be as specific as possible about what your invention does. This will assist the regulatory board in understanding exactly what your idea is and how it functions. If you feel like you have a novel ideal and want to make sure the idea is protected from anyone else marketing it, it’s a good idea to look into getting a patent. Understanding what a patent it and how it protects you is the first step before applying.  For help from a patent attorney, contact a law firm such as Hamilton IP Law...

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A Beginner’s Guide To Probate

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Beginner’s Guide To Probate

Losing a loved one is never easy, but there are many responsibilities that needed to be handled after a death. One of the most important is the execution of the will. However, before a will can be executed, it must go through a process known as probate. To give you a better idea of how wills work, here is an introduction to probate: What is probate? There are two key components to probate. First is the collection of taxes and debts. The will is meant to divide the estate of the deceased according to their wishes, but their debts must first be repaid, both to private entities and the government. Prior to the honoring of the will by the executor, certain assets in the estate may be liquidated and turned to cash. These funds will then be used to appease creditors. Second is the judgment of the validity of the will. The will is meant to honor the wishes of the deceased and distribute their estate as they saw fit. However, a will might not always align with those wishes, which is what the probate court will attempt to determine. For instance, if a will was tampered with in order to change who inherits what, then the court might not grant the will probate.  Why does probate matter? As you might expect, the first part of probate is crucial to the credit system. Without probate, a creditor would have no way of getting the money that they are owed in the event that the debtor dies without having paid them back. You can imagine the problems that would arise in such a situation if the debtor did indeed have the funds to pay back their debt, yet gave that money to their dependents instead. The second element protects the rights of the deceased and ensures that wills are protected. If probate did not need to be granted before a will is executed, then there would be an epidemic of forged wills racing against one another to secure the estate of the deceased. What if probate is denied? In some cases, probate might be given to some parts of the will, but not the entirety. In other cases, an entire will might be denied probate. If that does happen, then there is a system for appealing the ruling. However, you want to make sure that you have all of your evidence gathered before proceeding since such affairs can be costly and time-consuming. Contact a local probate lawyer for further...

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