When looking for a bankruptcy lawyer, it is important to keep the following in mind:
Make sure you hire an expert – It is important to find a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy. You should find out what percentage of a lawyer’s practice is comprised of bankruptcy and how many cases he has filed. It is best to avoid a “jack of all trades” type of lawyer.
You’ll get what you pay for – Of course you are already tight on money if you are filing for bankruptcy however it is important to keep the saying in mind: “You get what you pay for”. Don’t go with the least expensive lawyer because you may end up having to pay more money in the long run.
Make sure you will get detailed attention – Many law firms will run their clients through a bankruptcy mill resulting in lousy legal work, unhappy clients and wary judges and trustees. In order to spot a mill, check with your local bar association for recommendations on attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy. Most mills will not be on top of the networking which is a normal characteristic of a local bar association.
Last but not least, make sure you have a comfortable relationship with your lawyer – Picking a lawyer you are comfortable with is most important. If you don’t have a good feel about the attorney, find another one. Filing bankruptcy is an emotional roller coaster and you want to feel right about what your lawyer is doing for you.
When starting a business, many start out as sole proprietors.
In order to protect yourself and your personal possessions many business owners will structure their business as a corporation. One type of a corporation is an S Corp.
The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston would like to share some valuable information about the pros and cons of forming an S Corp for your business.
Pros of forming an S Corporation:
You are protected from liability – As an owner of an S Corporation, your personal assets are separate from your business’s assets and are protected in case any judgments occur against the business.
You have the ability to have investors invest in your business – As an S Corporation you have the ability to have up to 100 shareholders.
An S Corp can eliminate double taxation – Profits and losses are passed through to shareholders in an S Corporation and taxes are only paid once. It does, however, depend on what state you are in.
Cons of forming an S Corporation:
You have rules and fees – C Corps and S Corps both are required to file official state and federal documents including Articles of Incorporation and corporate minutes. They also must hold regular shareholder meetings and pay the required government fees.
Restrictions are set for shareholders – If your S Corp has shareholders, they will be taxed for any income the company has even if they did not receive any portion of the income. S Corps are also only allowed to issue one class of stock which may discourage some investors.
You must take a salary – The IRS requires all owners of an S Corp to make a salary even if the company is not yet making a profit.
There are many different entities you, as a business owner, can choose to have your business fall under.
A sole proprietorship is the easiest way to start a business however there are many risks that come with setting up your business as a sole proprietor. Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC would like to share the top 5 risks associated with running your business as a sole proprietor:
You run the risk of being sued personally. If you incorporate your business it provides a layer of protection between you and any losses your company may encounter. If you get sued as a sole proprietor, you can lose all your personal property in addition to your business holdings.
It is more difficult to get a business loan. If you apply for a loan as a sole proprietor, a lender will look at your personal finances. If they are less than stellar it may be difficult to receive a loan to help your business grow.
You are more liable as a sole proprietor. As a business owner you are held directly responsible for any losses, debts or violations coming from the business. If the business must pay any debts, they will be satisfied from the sole proprietor’s own personal funds.
You must pay self-employment tax. Some other tax benefits may not be deductible as well such as health insurance premiums for employees.
There is less stability of the business. If the owner becomes deceased or incapacitated, the business cannot continue. If the owner passes, the business is liquidated and becomes part of the owner’s personal estate to be distributed to its beneficiaries. This can result in heavy taxes to the beneficiaries.
Congratulations! Owning your own business is exciting and rewarding. Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC would like to share some tips for starting up your own business.
Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC helps small businesses get setup legally and would like to share some questions and answers for all you entrepreneurs out there. If you are setting up a new business, call The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston.
Q: What type of business entity should I setup my business as?
A: You can begin as a “sole proprietor” to start doing business. It is easy and inexpensive to start as a sole proprietor however there is no legal protection for your personal assets. This means you have no limit to your personal liability for business failures or mistakes. If you want to limit your liability, set your business up as a corporation instead.
Q: Do I need a Federal Tax ID number?
A: If your business is a corporation, an LLC or has employees you need a Federal Tax Identification Number. Even if you are a sole proprietor you might want to get an EIN. If you do not have one as a sole proprietor, you can use your social security number however an EIN is more professional and less risky than giving out your SSN.
Q: What is a resale license?
A: A resale license will enable your company to purchase goods or materials for manufacture or resale without paying sales tax.
Q: Do I need to file a fictitious business name?
A: If you use any name other than your own, you will need to file a “doing business as” name. This will enable the public to know who is actually operating the company.
Have questions about setting up your business? Call us to get answers: 951-461-2500.
Usually during the summer we like to enjoy the warm weather but it is important to be mindful of how much water we are using.
Check out our helpful water saving tips we can all use around the house:
Check for any leaks – Small leaks from a faucet can waste more water (and money) than you think! Also a leaky toilet can waste a lot of water without you knowing. Most parts are inexpensive to fix and easy to install.
Use your water meter – You can check for leaks by reading the meter before and after a two hour period when no water is being used. If it doesn’t read exactly the same there is a leak.
Install water saving appliances – Low flow shower heads and low flow faucet aerators are easy to install and will save you a lot of money. Limit your long hot shower (which uses five to ten gallons ever minute!) and use a low flow showerhead as well.
Turn off water while brushing your teeth – Most of us run the water while we brush are teeth but there is no need. Wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
Wait to use your clothes washer and dishwasher until you have a full load – This will help with optimum water conservation. Most dishwashers don’t need to be pre-rinsed, which saves on water usage.
Don’t let your kitchen sink run – Fill one side of the basin with soapy water and the other with rinse water. This will avoid running the water while rinsing your dishes.
Store drinking water in the fridge – Don’t run the tap water letting it cool off. Store your drinking water in the fridge so it is nice and cool and ready to drink. You can also get a water filter for your sink or most refrigerators have a water dispenser in them with ice cold water.
If you are buying a home, it is important to know the details of your loan.
Whether you go with a conventional loan, FHA loan or a VA loan, there are different features that many loans offer.
The following are some features of a home loan:
Fixed Rate – A mortgage with a fixed rate means your interest and mortgage payments remain the same, or “fixed”, through the entire loan. Typically the loans are for 15 to 30 years. A 15 year loan will obviously have higher monthly payments but you will end up saving more than half of the interest costs than a 30 year fixed loan and pay it off in half the time.
Adjustable Rate – This type of mortgage is also known as an ARM. The interest rate on an ARM fluctuates during the entire life of the loan. Your interest rate will be modified based on a predetermined economic index established at the beginning of the loan. Most of the time a max is set on the interest rate to avoid enormous increases. An ARM is usually safe only if your budget can afford to handle fluctuating payments.
Payment Option Adjustable Rate – This type of loan accommodates a households fluctuating cash flow which include minimum payment options, interest only payment options and others. You will want to thoroughly understand these types of loans because you need to make sure you are prepared for a sudden increase in payment.
Balloon Rate – A balloon mortgage has a fixed rate but for a shorter term than 15 or 30 years. At the end of the balloon rate (the fixed rate), the borrower must pay the remaining lump sum or refinance. If the buyer is purchasing unimproved property that they plan to build on in less than ten years, a balloon mortgage may be a good option.
Talk to a lending professional to find out what the best type of loan for you is. We highly recommend knowing exactly what you are getting into when you apply for a home loan.