How to Make Sure Your Home Business Is Legal

Here are a few recommended tips for new or prospective home business owners to make sure your home business opportunity is legal.

Slow Down – Take a Deep Breath

Our greed makes us prone to take action when we normally would behave more cautiously or rationally. Slow down when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The con artist usually wants you to take immediate action – resist the temptation.

If the business is legitimate and built for the long haul – a day or two won’t make a difference in your success. But, taking time to evaluate the company and the business can save you heartache and money.

Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Check with the BBB Better Business Bureau is your town and the city where the main business office is located for the company you are investigating. Any legitimate business will have a verifiable business address. Make sure the address is a physical building and not just a mail drop box. This is easily accomplished with a Google search.

Get References

We are more likely to be approached about a home business by a family member or friend than by any other method – though internet advertising has greatly increased our exposure to this market. Either way, ask for at least five references from the business and your sponsor.

Investment Required

Every business has a start-up cost whether the business is operated out of your home, on the internet or a more traditional brick- and-mortar. Always, make sure the initial investment is something you can live with losing because there can be no guarantees of success.

In addition to the initial investment, make a realistic determination about the recurring monthly costs, like business cards, advertising, monthly orders required by the company to remain active and conferences. Some of these are basic, but need to be included in your business budget.

Money Back Guarantee

Check to see if there is a money back guarantee for your initial investment. Many companies do offer a limited time guarantee – just make sure it is writing.

Legitimate companies that sell products are required to have policies for people to return unsold product to the company within a limited time. This is to prevent the “garage full of product” problems faced by many people who thought they could buy their way to success or just found the product did not sell. Again, get this in writing so you can return unused product for a refund.

Self-Assessment

After you perform your due diligence, take a self-assessment. This will prove to be extremely helpful for determining your success after you make sure your home business opportunity is legal.

What skills, talents and expertise do you have in the area of the business you are considering?

Are you willing to do what your mentor teaches you in order to reach a similar level of success?

Are you willing to learn the business?

Conclusion

There are many legitimate and legal home businesses available to you. The guiding phrase in this industry is captured in the old, old phrase “Caveat Emptor” or “Buyer Beware”. Protect yourself by following these few simple tips before laying down your money.

Wishing you the best of success.

 

Legal Tips on How to Run a Company

– 3 Things You Should Know About AGMs

Holding a company’s Annual General Meeting or AGM is one of the most important statutory requirements under the Companies Act. An AGM is a mandatory meeting of shareholders. There are three important things that directors who form a company should know about AGMs.

First, during the AGM, the company will present to the shareholders or members its financial statements, which may then raise queries with regards to their investment or other matters. Secondly, all members must receive notice of the AGM in writing. And thirdly, for the meeting to be considered legally valid, you will need a quorum, which is the minimum number of people required to be present during the meeting.

It is important for directors who start a company to hold its AGM on time. A delay or failure to do so, will incur a penalty which is imposed on the company or legal action which is taken against the directors of the company.

· Maintenance of Share Capital

Under the law a company is not allowed to use its share capital for any other purpose other than trading and conducting business. However, there are certain circumstances under which a company is permitted to alter or reduce its share capital, if this is allowed under its Articles. In such a case, the following alterations are permitted.

The company may consolidate and divide its share capital, convert paid-up shares into stock and vice versa, subdivide shares, cancel shares or unissued capital. Once these alterations have been completed, individuals who form a company should lodge a notice of alteration with the ACRA. Under section 71 of the Companies Act, a cancellation of shares is not regarded as a reduction in the company’s share capital. A company may also reduce its share capital with or without court sanction. This may involve cancelling or reducing liability on shares that have not been paid up, canceling paid up share capital or returning paid shared capital to members.

It is important to note that business owners who start a company are not allowed to return any of their assets to members with the exception of dividends which are to be paid out of profits. It is advisable to seek professional advice should you decide to alter or reduce your company’s share capital.

· When and How to File Your Annual Returns

Directors who form a company must ensure that they file their Annual Returns or AR. Filing of Annual Returns by companies is a requirement under law which must be complied with within one month of holding the company Annual General Meeting or AGM. A delay or failure to do so, will incur a penalty which is imposed on the company or legal action being taken against the directors of the company.

Even companies that dispense with holding their AGM are still required to file their AR within one month from the date that the resolutions were formally agreed to. This requirement also applies to dormant companies which are required to file their AR within one month of holding their AGM. Such an AR will only contain a declaration by the directors that the company has been dormant and under what circumstances. Exempt Private Companies are also required to file their AR within a month of their AGM.

· Why Employers Should Implement Work Life Harmony Strategies

With the present day competitive nature of businesses, it’s important for companies to take care of the well-being of their employees if they hope to prosper. Work Life Harmony strategies are implemented by employers to assist their employees in the management of work responsibilities, as well as their personal and family needs. A Work Life Harmony strategy encourages increased productivity and shareholder value, improved employee engagement, improved attraction and talent retention, improved customer experience, reduction in health-related costs such as medical leave and absenteeism, as well as promoting a workforce that is satisfied and more motivated.

· Outsourcing – Is This a Good Thing?

Today, a majority of banks and finance companies are turning to outsourcing some of their business functions overseas. This is due to a shortage of skilled workers and cost savings. There are various pros and cons to outsourcing functions overseas. The main advantage of outsourcing is that directors who form a company are able to keep costs down, as well as recruit staff to perform certain finance and accounting functions locally. One the other hand, the downside of outsourcing is that the company could end up with low quality services and products, as well as the loss of intellectual property. Before you turn to outsourcing, it is important for company directors to weigh the pros and cons of this venture.

 

Legal Tips to Eliminate Unsecured Debts

According to most financial analysts, debt relief options in 2010 have been more successful as compared to the year 2009. One reason is that 2009 was the year in which recession was in full flow. Hence, financial companies were finding it hard to combat this unusual problem. Due to scams, a lot of people do are not finding debt relief options in 2010 trustworthy. One of the reasons is scams. Loan takers are not knowledgeable about settlements and they are picking illegal firms. These companies are robbing credit card holders by using unauthentic methods. To avoid this situation, you need to be more aware as a debtor.

Scam identification points

All the companies which demand advance payments from the customers are illegitimate. They are counterfeiters who are not interested in providing authentic services to the loan takers. Legal debt relief options in 2010 have increased as compared to 2009. In addition to that, more people are hiring liability reduction companies because the awareness about liability settlement has increased.

Checking the performance of settlement companies

It is important to have a good look at the company which you are hiring. However, you need to look at organizations which are suitable for your case. How do you select the suitable firms?

1. Look at the experience which the firm has. Firms which have experience charge more than newly established ones. You need to see how much you can pay. It also depends on the size of your liability. For instance, there is no point in paying a heavy sum if you have a small liability. According to regulations, you need to have a liability of ten thousand dollars or more if you want to apply for reduction.

2. What kind of settlement cases have been handled by the company? If it has handled complex situations, you can consider it as one of the options. Get a free counseling advice from one of the company representatives. Analyze the opinion and see how help is provided. A legal firm does not take any money for providing an advice.

3. All the firms which you have extracted for comparison should be registered with relief networks. You should check the records of the company even before you start communicating. Try not to waste any time because when the recession period reaches an end, settlement firms will find it hard to survive. Debt relief options in 2010 are used by loan takers who have scarce time available to clear their accounts.

Getting out of debt through a debt settlement process is currently very popular but you need to know where to locate the best performing programs in order to get the best deals. To compare debt settlement companies it would be wise to visit a free debt relief network which will locate the best performing companies in your area for free.

 

Legal Tips for Using Social Media

Without a doubt, social media has introduced a whole new world of opportunity for citizen journalists, bloggers and others looking to share their stories and ideas in the public arena. Unfortunately, it’s also introduced a host of ways to violate intellectual property laws. From Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram to blogs, Facebook and Google+, social media makes it easy to unknowingly infringe on others’ copyrights.

If you want to participate in social media, here are six things you need to know.

1) Fair Use

If you participate in social media, it’s good to understand “fair use,” a tenet of copyright law. Essentially, the fair use rule allows you to use other people’s material (e.g., photos, art, music, videos, ideas, articles, etc.) if you use only portions of it – as opposed to the entire copyrighted work – for criticism, comment, teaching, research or news purposes. The idea is that using it for those purposes means you’re using it fairly rather than just getting ahead by co-opting someone else’s hard work.

2) Transformative Use

It’s also best to use it in a “transformative” rather than derivative way, meaning that you somehow add to the original content. With a recipe, for example, you can add to the ingredients or adjust the cooking process. With a work of art, you may add praise, criticism or comment on the message it conveys.

3) Attribution

If you are using someone else’s original material, give them credit. Give attribution to the original author of a quote or passage, the composer and/or singer of a song, or the name of a photographer or visual artist. If the material exists online, include a link to that original content. Copyright laws are intended to protect creators’ markets. If your use of their material affects their market, you could be infringing on their copyright.

4) About Pinterest

With more than 4 million unique users every day, Pinterest has sparked many conversations about copyright law. If you use Pinterest, you need to be sure you follow the above rules because when you signed up, you agreed that all risk arising out of your use of the Pinterest site is your responsibility (even legal fees that Pinterest may encounter because of your actions). Some experts have likened Pinterest to Napster, suggesting you may face some risk using the site, even if you do attribute, though the risk to an individual is likely small. Repinning, however, doesn’t fall under copyright infringement.

5) Safest Bet

If you want to use other people’s material for any use – fair, transformative or otherwise – your safest bet is to get permission from the copyright owner. It’s not always easy, but if the material is for something truly important, it’s the wisest step to take.