Business and Industry Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Business and Industry.

Texas Advance Directives: 4 Types

Making decisions about the kind of medical care you want to receive when you get older or become too ill to communicate is important. In Texas, you have a wide range of methods available to ensure your medical wishes are followed.

The Reluctant Franchisor

A client may believe that they only want to do a license instead of a franchise due to the the heavily-regulated nature of franchising, but they are most likely drawing a conclusion that disregards the facts and/or the law. What is a franchise? What must franchisors disclose? By Susan E. Wells, Esq., Jaburg & Wilk, P.C.

Estate Tax Exposure

A lot of people call the federal estate tax the "death tax, “and many consider it a sarcastic term. Some probably do use it in this spirit, but the reality is that there is literal truth in this description.The assets that you accumulated throughout your life after paying taxes are sitting safely in the bank or otherwise invested.

Many Benefit From Charitable Remainder Unitrusts

When you are exposed to the estate tax you have to make a serious commitment to gain estate tax efficiency. There are a number of ways you may achieve this, and the best strategy will vary depending on the nature of your assets and what exactly you are trying to achieve. This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to retain the services of a savvy estate planning attorney.

I Have an Addicted Son; Should I Disinherit Him?

Sadly, many Americans have trouble with drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions However, if you have an addicted child, you don’t have to disinherit him. In most cases, disinheritance causes great emotional trauma as inheritances represent the love of a parent for a child (whether we want to admit it or not.)

Can I Change My Trust?

One of the common goals of estate planning is staying in control; often, clients want to know if they can change their trust. The main rule is: If the trust is revocable, the trust can be changed; if the trust is irrevocable, the trust can’t be changed. There are exceptions.

When You Should Start Estate Planning

Though many people don't start thinking about estate planning until later in life, there is no single best time when you should begin to plan on structuring your estate. The truth is that everyone can begin at least some part of estate planning immediately. Whether you're single, recently married, a parent or anyone else, you can get a leg up on your future by tackling estate planning issues now.

SEC Amends Definition of “Accredited Investors”

Last week the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) amended its rules to exclude the value of a person’s home from net worth calculations used to determine whether such individual qualifies as an “accredited investor”. The amendment is not “new law” but rather simply conforms the SEC rules with the Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) which already became law on July 21, 2010.

Gay Partners must Plan Ahead

The subject of same-sex marriage is a controversial one and the legalities surrounding these unions are always being questioned. At the present time, at the federal level marriages between people of the same sex are not recognized. Most states don't recognize marriages between gay couples either, and this would include the state of Nevada.

A Look at the Gift Tax

We have all experienced the indescribably pleasant feeling that goes along with an act of giving. Making someone else happy is a great experience because, as they say, it is better to give than to receive. However, the powers that be seem to take a dim view of giving for some reason.

Tax Discounts with Family Limited Partnerships

Significant gifts come with a cost in the United States via the imposition of the federal gift tax. This tax is carrying a 35% rate at the present time, and any tax that consumes over a third of the amount in question is attention-getting. However, 35% looks almost good when you consider the fact that the gift tax is scheduled to rise to 55% once 2013 rolls around.

Gift Tax Raises Questions

We have a federal gift tax in place, and at the present time it is carrying a 35% rate. When you think about any tax that will consume over a third of the resources in question such a high rate may get your attention. And when you are talking about a levy that is imposed when you are attempting to engage in an act of generosity this rate and the tax itself may cause you to scratch your head a bit.

Estate Planning Tools

Planning your estate is likely one of the most important projects you will embark upon within your lifetime. Although no two estates are the same, there are common tools that can be used during the estate planning process. Understanding these tools is an essential starting point for your estate planning project.

Small Business Succession Planning

As the owner of a small business, you likely have enough on your plate trying to keep the business running smoothly and profitably. Without taking the time, however, to create a small business succession plan, all the time, effort and hard work you have put into growing your business could be in vain in the event of your death or disability.

Irrevocable Trusts and Probate

Trusts are often used as part of an estate plan. Trusts offer numerous benefits to the beneficiaries of a decedent upon death such as avoidance of probate as well as potentially avoiding payment of estate taxes. Benefits to the decedent include the ability to control how the trust assets are used even after death.

Limited vs. General Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney are legal documents you can use for any number of purposes. Powers of attorney transfer to someone else, called an attorney-in-fact or an agent, your ability to make decisions or enter into agreements. When you appoint a power of attorney, you give your agent the right to act on your behalf as a stand-in, and the decisions your agent makes are just as legally binding and enforceable as if you had made them yourself.

In Blended Families

When you design your estate plan, don’t make your children wait for an inheritance, especially if you’re in a blended family and want to keep the peace. Having your children wait until your spouse, who is not their parent, dies, pits your loved ones against each other.

China Released the Industrial Catalogue for Guiding Foreign Investment 2011

The new version of Industrial Catalogue for Guiding Foreign Investment (“Catalogue”) was formally released on 24 December 2011. It will come into effect on 30 January 2012 and supersede the Catalogue published in 2007. The 2011 Catalogue brings significant adjustments to China's industrial policy towards foreign investment.

A Few Keynotes on Mexican Labor Law

Enacted on May 1, 1970, the Mexican Labor Act (the “MLA”) governs all labor relations in Mexico falling under the scope of article 123, section A, of the Federal Constitution (which refers to private employment as opposed to bureaucratic employment). The spirit of the law is to provide protection to employees and this explains the basis for numerous provisions of restrictive and prohibitive nature.

Real Estate Transactions in Mexico in a Nutshell

The Mexican Constitution expressly forbids the direct acquisition of real estate by foreign individuals or foreign entities in the so-called “restricted zone”. The restricted zone comprises an area of 100 kilometers along the borders and 50 kilometers along the seashores. In this restricted zone, only Mexican individuals and Mexican companies (notwithstanding any foreign investment in them) may directly acquire land and buildings.

How Do I Get Assets Out of My Living Trust?

You maintain full control of all of your living trust assets, so you’ll be happy to know that you have the power to take your assets out of your living trust, so long as you are alive and well. You transfer assets out of your trust the same way you got them into your trust. You change the title (or the beneficiary designation.)

What are Revocable Living Trusts?

Revocable living trusts allow you to distribute your assets through written documents, similar to wills. Also similar to a will, if you create a revocable living trust, you can revoke or amend your trust to change the distribution of your trust assets.

North Dakota Law on Nuncupative Wills

A nuncupative will is an oral will. Several states allow their residents to create oral or nuncupative wills under limited circumstances. Commonly called “deathbed wills,” testators make nuncupative wills during their final hours before at least one impartial witness.

Irrevocable and Revocable Trusts

A trust is a legal type of property ownership which allows a grantor to transfer legal title to trust property to a third-party trustee. The grantor gives another person the right to manage and temporarily retain ownership of his property for his benefit. To create a valid trust, a grantor must create the trust through a written instrument.

Will There be an Inflow of Chinese Money in Ukraine?

In recent months, China has been dominating media headlines in connection with exchange rate disputes with the Unites States and possible participation of China in the bailout of some Eurozone nations. China seems to be proving the truth behind the Chinese proverb that says that ‘the saving man becomes the free man’.

Joint Implementation Projects in Ukraine: Tips for Prospective Investors

On 4 February 2004, Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This gave Ukraine an opportunity to engage in various types of projects purported at reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (the “GHG emissions”), in particular and especially joint implementation projects (the “JI projects”).

North Dakota Augmented Estates and the Uniform Probate Code

North Dakota is only one of 10 states to adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s augmented estate concept. Augmented estates allow disinherited spouses to claim a share of their spouse’s property if they were disinherited.

Avoiding Will Challenges

One of the things you should take into consideration when planning your estate is how your family members, or former family members, may feel about your wishes. Of course you have every right to leave your assets in any manner you see fit. But to make sure that the rightful heirs to your estate don't run into problems after your death you need to do what is necessary to avoid challenges.

Estate Planning: Don't Be Among the Unprepared Masses

Your would probably be surprised if you heard that someone died without leaving behind a last will or some other type of estate planning document directing distribution of his or her assets. Many people view estate planning as a simple, basic responsibility that everyone has to engage in for the well-being of their family members. So for many it comes as a surprise to learn that not everyone understands how important it is to have an estate plan in place.

Proving the Validity and Authenticity of a Will in Florida

Once a custodian of a will locates a decedent’s will, he must file it within 10 days of receiving notice of the decedent’s death. After the custodian files it with the probate court in the county where the decedent died, the probate court will conduct a cursory review of the will to establish its validity and authenticity. Probate courts can validate a testator’s will by using one of three different validation and authentication methods.

Creating a Self-Proving Will in Florida

To get around the judicial process of authenticating a will, the Florida legislature enacted Section 732.503 of the Florida Statutes within the Florida Probate Code. To create a self-proving will, a testator must comply with the legal requirements to create a valid will. In addition to signing a will in front of two impartial witnesses who also provide their signatures, a testator will self-prove his will in front of a notary using a statutory acknowledgement form.

Florida’s Elective Share Statute

In Florida, Chapter 732 of Part II of the Florida Statutes is the Florida Probate Code. Pursuant to Section 732.201, Florida law allows married spouses to receive elective shares of probate property. As such, spouses cannot disinherit one another from receiving at least some of their estate assets. The Florida Statutes allows a spouse to receive one-third of a spouse’s elective estate.

Bulgarian Business Advantages

The location of Bulgaria makes it strategically advantageous for accessing the developing markets in Eastern Europe and Turkey. It is also a largely unspoilt rural country with enormous business tourism potential. It has a coastline along the Black Sea and lovely mountains making for potential investment opportunities.

Do You Have a Retirement Date in Mind?

Intelligent long-term planning is essential for most people if you want to be prepared to enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.

A QPRT Can Be the Solution

Home ownership has long been the key to wealth building in the United States, the recent downturn in the housing market notwithstanding.

Alterations to Estate Tax Parameters on Tap for 2013

If you want to be prepared every step of the way you have to go forward with the understanding that estate planning is an ongoing process.

Veterans Aid

Serving your country in the military is a supreme sacrifice, but there are some rewards that go along with it. Most people are aware of the fact that veterans who have served at least 20 years are eligible to receive a retirement pension.

Why Having a Small Business

Most people realize the importance of estate planning and keeping up to date with their plan; however, if you are a small business owner, creating a succession plan is equally as important. A succession plan is basically the same as an estate plan, except it focuses on what will happen to your business, or your interest in a business, upon your death.

What is an Insolvent Estate?

When you start considering estate planning issues, you do so with the intent to pass on as much of your wealth and property as possible.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Funeral Rule

Unfortunately, many complaints filed by consumers alleging deceptive trade practices or illegal contracts involve senior citizens.

Advanced Estate Planning Suggestions for Alzheimer’s Patients

There are a number of considerations to make during your estate planning process, of which includes getting your affairs in order prior to creating a will.

New Baby

If you have a new baby, adopted a child, or have a step-child or other special child you want to provide for, you need a new estate plan.

Veterans Benefit Can Defray Long-Term Care Costs

There are some statistics that you run across that are kind of hard to believe if you have not already done some research into the subject in question.

Should Dying Be a Taxable Event?

There are those who refer to the federal estate tax as the "death tax, «and though this can sound like a flippancy there is actually reasonable logic to support this name. To explain, let's take a look at the anatomy of this levy.

Your Business Needs a Succession Plan

Most people think to create a plan for their personal assets in the event of their death; however, if you are an owner, or part owner, in a business, you need to include your business assets in your estate planning.

Lessons Learned from a Famous Supreme Court Justice’s Will

Even U.S. Supreme Court Justices are required to leave legally valid written wills to save their executors from unnecessary probate fees.

How to Use an AB Trust

One of the biggest concerns for individuals and couples with a sizable estate is how to accomplish the transfer of assets upon death without incurring estate taxes.

Without a Will

Some people never get around to planning their estate or creating a will. In this situation, there is no will to determine how affairs are to be handled and how assets are to be distributed.

Baby Boomers Becoming Caretakers

A recent survey reported by the newspaper USA Today had some surprising findings for the growing group of Baby Boomers that are anticipating caring for their aging parents - only half could name any medications their parents take.

The Most Important Key to an Estate Plan That Works

Most people sign their estate planning documents, breathe a sigh of relief, pat themselves on the back for completing the task, and don’t think about their estate plan again.

Giving Gifts Can Provide Tax Savings

The federal estate tax looms as a significant source of asset erosion and taking steps to mitigate your estate tax exposure is a big part of what estate planning is all about.

The Pitfalls of Probate

A lot of people equate the process of estate planning to the execution of a last will. While it is true that you can choose to use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer and a lot of people do, it is not always the best choice.

Direct Asset Transfers Free of the Gift Tax

Taxation is an interesting thing, and a lot of people would question why you should have to pay a tax when you give someone a gift.

When Will You Be Retiring?

If you want to be prepared for the future you need to engage in careful and intelligent advance planning.

Enforcement of Foreign Judgment in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The courts must enforce foreign judgments that meet the criteria described in this article. In fact, once a foreign judgment has been rendered “executor” by a court in the DR. Congo, it may be enforced by writ or order of the court. Generally, as in most civil law systems, the court will recognize the foreign judgment and issue the enforcement order in the same proceeding.

Reducing the Taxable Value of Your Home

When you are inventorying your assets in anticipation of distributing them to your loved ones after your death you may find that your home is your single most valuable asset.

Seniors on Social Security to See Increase in 2012

Living on a fixed income can be difficult, and this is one of the reasons why it is so very important to engage in retirement planning.

Estate Tax Relief to Expire in 2013

If we said 2010 was an interesting year in the field of estate planning it would be a gross understatement.

Massive Numbers of Baby Boomers Retiring Unprepared

There are those who hear retirement planning attorneys say that it is important to make preparations for retirement but let this advice go in one ear and out the other.

Air Traffic Controller Errors on the Rise: A Report From Your South Florida Injury Lawyer

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), certain errors by air traffic controllers rose by 81 percent between 2007 and 2010. These errors, which result in planes flying too closely to one another or too closely to an object, have the potential to result in injury or death. For instance, in January of 2010, an error made by an air traffic controller resulted in a plane crash in Hawaii that killed a pilot and passenger.

Small and Large Companies Need to Understand Open Source Software

One of the important issues to emerge with respect to the development of software is the integration of open source software in the application, platform or program. Any company developing software, outsourcing the development thereof, or obtaining software through an acquisition, must understand the risks associated with its use, and establish precautions to prevent the unknown integration of open source software into its key technologies.

What’s the Most Important Part of Disability Planning?

The absolute most important part of disability is naming successor trustees and power of attorney agents.

The Hand of Taxation

Much of estate planning focuses on the reduction or elimination of taxes, with good reason. Consider the “hand of taxation «which represents all the taxes during your lifetime and at your death.

Why You Must Fund Your Trust

TThere are not too many people who like paperwork; and, funding a revocable living trust is a lot of paperwork. Yuck

Key Considerations in Commercial Contracts

Every kind of commercial contract will have its own individually negotiated and agreed terms (for example what is to be supplied; where; how; when; the price for supply; quality etc) all of which may be determined by the parties involved and unique to the particular agreement at hand. However, other terms and considerations will have a more general and universal application and will need to be thought through in the drafting of any agreement, regardless of subject matter.

Venture Capital Terms: A Primer

Whether you are a company looking to raise financing or a potential investor, make sure you understand the important concepts that you will invariably be confronted with in a venture capital transaction. Even if your business is not at the juncture of raising financing, understanding the key terms now will help you start to position the company for an eventual financing round down the road. This Article provides an overview of some of the important terms in a venture deal.

SEC Limits its Non-Public Review Policy for Non-U.S. Issuers

On December 8, 2011, the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission significantly limited its policy of allowing non-U.S. issuers to submit initial drafts of registration statements (initial public offering or other first-time registration statements) on a “draft” confidential basis.

What is a Codicil?

A “codicil” is an amendment to a will; it’s an addition or change. Codicils were commonly used before the computer age when wills were written by hand or typed on a type-writer.

How to Avoid Probate

When an individual dies, the assets owned by the decedent are often required to pass through a legal process known as probate.

Renewable Energy: Turkey’s Hope for Energy Independence

Turkey is currently an energy-dependent country, with approximately 70% of its energy being supplied from imported sources. More investment in renewable energy has thus become vital for Turkey.

What Is a Joint Tenancy?

Joint tenancy is a form of property ownership that comes to us from the common law of feudal England.

Establishment of Joint Stock Companies and Limited Liability Companies in the New Turkish Commercial Code

The new Turkish Commercial Code (“NTCC”) No. 6102 shall enter into force as of July 01, 2012. In parallel with the harmonization process of Turkish Law with acquis communautaire, the NTCC has significantly changed the existing system and replaced the outdated provisions of the current Turkish Commercial Code (“TCC”) with practical ones. As one of the aims of the NTCC is to boost investment, advanced provisions regarding the establishment of the companies have been introduced.

North Dakota Adopts the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act

On April 27 of 2011, North Dakota became the first official state to adopt the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act.

Estate Planning Keeping Raiders in Davis Family

If you were to make a short list of the most influential owners in the history of professional football Al Davis would certainly be at or near the top of the list.

A Look at Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

Estate planning obviously involves deciding how you would like to provide for each of the ones that you love after you pass away.

The Foreign Investment Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This article shares the views on the Foreign Investment Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo including Employment, Business Taxation, Environment, Physical Planning, Health & Safety, Consumer Protection, Competition Policy & Law, Monetary Policy, Foreign Exchange and Foreign Investors, Public Procurement, Intellectual Property, Investment Protection and Dispute Settlement.

Access and Admission of Foreign Investors in the Democratic Republic of Congo

This articles discusses the Investment Legislation and its Reasoning; Foreign Investment Establishment, Registering and Licensing Processes; Registering a company; Establishing a Bank; Investing in the Mining Sector; Mining Prospecting; Mining Exploration; Investing in the Forestry, Gold and Diamond Sectors; Foreign Employment & Residence and; Foreign Investor Access to Land and Property Rights within the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Investment Promotion in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In order to value the extraordinary resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo adopted from 2001, an important batch of economic measures establishing the freedom of commerce and industry and the liberalization of sectors governed so far by the Government (mining, oil and exchange sectors). Should be added to the reforms introduced the promulgation of new laws, the spirit of boosting private initiatives: it is the case of investment code, mining code, forest code, labor code.

Sure, LLC’s Grab the Hype, Sub S’s are the Small Biz Tax Stars, but C’mon, C-Corps Need Love Too…

There may be very good reasons to consider a C-Corp for your small business entity.

The Commercial and Legal Significance of Laytime & Demurrage in English Law and the New Turkish Commercial Code

So far as the global shipping practice is concerned, laytime & demurrage is one of the most complicated topics for both ship-owners and charterers under voyage charter-parties. Thus, the dynamic between the parties has been sought to be balanced through a number of attempts which have been made either by courts or legislators in shipping world.

A QPRT Can Be the Solution

Home ownership has long been the key to wealth building in the United States, the recent downturn in the housing market notwithstanding.

Late Singer Winehouse had Solid Estate Plan

The entertainment industry was dealt a blow last month when the British singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her posh North London home.

Difficult Issues Elders Face

As you reach the latter stages of your working years it is likely that you are simultaneously tying up any loose ends that remain as you prepare to ease into retirement.

Tax Measure Details Relevant to Estate Planning

As we allow the impact of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 to set in some of the finer details are starting to come into focus.

Mitigate the Damage with Generation Skipping Trusts

Due to the new tax relief measure that was passed in mid-December we are working with an estate tax rate of 35% in 2011 and 2012.

Investment Firms in Cyprus

In the Republic of Cyprus only certain persons and companies are permitted to undertake investment services and activities (for a full list of such regulated activities please refer to the end of this article)[i] and such entities are tightly regulated in order to ensure high standards and full consumer protection. The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is the body responsible for the issuing of licenses and for overseeing the operation of such entities.

Business Environment in the Republic of Belarus: Review of Tobacco Industry

Law Firm Glimstedt presents the overview of tobacco industry in Belarus. The article covers the following matters: current business trends and opportunities, restrictions and advertisement, prices and taxations, production and import requirements.

Estate Tax Changes Loom Over Horizon

One of the things that you have to keep in mind when you are serious about crafting your legacy is the fact that updates to your estate plan are probably going to be necessary.

Choosing the Right Charity

Giving to charity is something that is personally rewarding, but it can also have value from a tax perspective.

QPRT For Tax Savings

If you are like a lot of people when you inventory your assets you may find that your home is the most valuable thing that you own.

2013 to Bring Changes to Estate Tax

They say that the only constant is change, and some of these changes are for the better while some of them are for the worse.

Recent Development of China’s Merger Control: A Review on the Penelope/Savio and GE/CSCLC Cases

China launched formally a comprehensive business concentration control regime on 1 August 2008 when its Anti Monopoly Law (“AML”) entered into effect.

How to Register a Trademark in Egypt

Registering a trademark in Egypt shall be carried out in accordance with the Intellectual Property Law No. 82/2002. Registering a trademark is not mandatory to use it in Egypt. However, it is preferable that the trademark's owner have his trademark registered. Said registration shall grant the owner of the trademark the exclusive right to use and license his trademark, prevent the other form registering same and take the legal procedures against any infringement of said trademark.

Restricted Securities 101

The Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) requires that the sale of a security be registered under the Securities Act, unless the security or transaction qualifies for an exemption from registration.

Private Placements 101

Regulation D, Rule 506 Offerings - To offer and sell securities in the United States, an issuer must comply with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), or must offer and sell the securities pursuant to an exemption from the registration statement requirements.

Investor Relations 101

Investor relations involve the dissemination of information regarding a publicly traded company to create awareness of the public company and its business and to increase its stock price. The person who provides the investor relations services is known as a “Stock Promoter”. Stock promoters have used illegal practices and are often the subject of enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is the stock promoter.

FINRA Rule 6490

FINRA Rule, 6490, recently enacted in September 2010, requires issuers of equities and debt securities not listed on exchanges to provide timely notice to FINRA of certain corporate actions. These corporate actions include name changes, forward stock splits, reverse stock splits, distributions of cash or securities such as dividends, stock splits and other actions, and rights and subscription offerings.

New Listing Standards for Reverse Merger Issuers

On July 9, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved rules to increase the standards for companies going public through a reverse merger to list on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”), American Stock Exchange (“AMEX”) and the NASDAQ Stock Market (“NASDAQ”).

Regulation A

Regulation A was created under Section 3(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) to exempt public offerings not exceeding $5 million in any 12-month period by non-reporting companies, without restrictions on the types of investors that can take part in the offering. By: Brenda Lee Hamilton, Attorney Hamilton & Associates Law Group

How Do Powers of Attorney End?

You have the right to give other people the authority to make decisions on your behalf by creating a power of attorney.

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