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Rhode Island Legal Blog

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Jared Kushner’s Company Fined for Fake Construction Permits


Jared Kushner’s real estate company has been fined for falsifying construction permits at 17 different sites. Kushner Cos. has been fined $210,000 by New York City regulators for forged paperwork over a series of years. 

A Pattern of Under- or Non-Reporting


Despite the fact that the company rented to hundreds of rent-regulated tenants, who lived in it’s building, it was found by New York City’s Building Department that the Kushner Cos. commonly under-reported or all together failed to report them.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What Happens if I Die in Rhode Island Without a Will?


No one likes to think about dying. It can be an extremely scary and uncomfortable discussion, not to mention it makes us face the reality of our own mortality – something we generally prefer not to do. But while the discussion may prove very uncomfortable for you, the effects of dying in Rhode Island without a will can be downright painful for those that you leave behind.

Rhode Island Intestate Laws

When someone dies without a Rhode Island will, they have died “intestate.” When someone dies intestate, their state’s laws govern their estate.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

An Overview of Common Start-Up Costs

Starting a new business is an exciting time. For serial entrepreneurs, starting a new business is often more routine because they have developed a system from their prior ventures. For those who are just diving into entrepreneurship, understanding how to handle the early stages of the business, such as start-up costs, won’t be so routine. If you have a business idea and you’re considering taking the plunge with a start-up, it is essential to have a good business plan which will provide structure for handling the early stages of the company as well as managing start-up costs. The core start-up costs include:

Legal Fees

When establishing a business plan, many entrepreneurs overlook the cost of legal fees. For many, legal fees are an unwanted expense which results in pursuing subpar legal documents online. Unfortunately for many entrepreneurs, these documents fail to account for the individual needs of the business and entrepreneur, which can result in expensive litigation and exorbitant future business expenses. When establishing a start-up, always consult with a business attorney to ensure that you and your company are protected.


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Monday, January 21, 2019

Rhode Island Intestacy Laws: When You Die Without a Will


If you die without having a valid will in place, this is referred to is dying intestate. Instead of having your wishes as to how you want your estate divided amongst your loved ones, your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. Unfortunately, many people neglect to or put off the estate planning process and never create a will. This leaves there accumulated wealth and treasured possessions at the mercy of state intestacy laws.

What Happens to Your Estate When Die Without a Will?

When you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state intestacy laws.
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Friday, January 18, 2019

Small Business Money Management: Three Healthy Financial Habits

Small business is the cornerstone of the American economy. Despite the press coverage that large companies receive for setting new market capitalization highs, or for causing a stir about where they’re locating their new headquarters, small business as a group is the largest employer in the United States. This means that most people rely on small business for their wellbeing and livelihood. As the owner of a small business, your success is their success.

No matter how good a business idea is, the business may fail without proper financial management. Maximizing a company’s finances requires strong analytical and decision-making abilities. To help reduce some of the stress, below are three healthy financial habits that will help any small business owner:


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Friday, January 4, 2019

What You Need to Know About Operating a Home-Based Business

Operating a home-based business can result in reduced stress and lower expenses. By combining your home and office into a single location, you can roll out of bed, make breakfast and a cup of coffee, and then walk across the hall to your office to get on with the day – no more commuting to and from work. If you have a family, a home-based business can mean more time with your kids and significant other. In addition to lower stress and more family time, a home-based business can also provide a financial benefit. By combining your home and your office, you’re eliminating the additional cost of leasing office space. Despite the many benefits, home-based businesses aren’t for everyone. For those who believe they will benefit from a home-based business, this post will provide an overview of what you need to know.

What is a home-based business?

A home-based business is any business in whichthe primary office is located in the owner’s home, regardless of whether the owner owns or rents the home. For many startups and family businesses, the home-based business model is ideal.

Who can have a home-based business?

Anyone! Home-based businesses aren’t just for startups and family businesses – they’re for everyone who earns money from their own enterprise. Some examples of professionals ideally suited for a home-based business are photographers, freelance journalists, travel agents, real estate agents, graphic designers, and any other profession where you are the owner of the enterprise.

However, some municipalities and neighborhoods have restrictions against home-based businesses. Similarly, some leases prevent the leased residence from being used as a home-office. Before jumping into a home-based business, make sure to consult a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether your plans would violate applicable law.


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Friday, December 28, 2018

Characteristics (and Red Flags) to Look for When Buying a Business

According to Merriam-Webster, an entrepreneur is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” Being an entrepreneur means taking financial risk for economic profit, it doesn’t mean building a completely new business. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit who don’t have the latest and greatest idea for an app or new technology, acquiring and improving an existing business is just as entrepreneurial as starting a new company. When buying a business, there are several characteristics that you need to look for, as well as a few red flags.


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Friday, December 14, 2018

The Value of Goodwill and Your Brand

When valuing a business, there are two primary assets that are considered. These are tangible assets and intangible assets. Tangible assets are physical assets such as real estate, equipment, inventory, etc. Conversely, intangible assets are not physical in nature and include intellectual property, brand recognition, and goodwill. Despite being intangible assets, brand recognition and goodwill are intrinsically tied to the value of a business.

Brand recognition is the value of someone recognizing your brand. A brand may include certain characteristics of the goods, logos, slogans, etc. For example, the Chevrolet badge is commonly referred to as the “bowtie” and carries with it certain preconceptions. Similarly, Ford’s emblem is known as the “blue oval.” For anyone who is a truck enthusiast, they will know that aside from styling differences, they may discount the value of a vehicle based on the brand. The primary issue with brand value is in the name itself – the value of the brand. Identifying what a brand is worth is a mix of psychology, sociology, economics, and field research. Interbrand publishes an annual “Most Valuable Global Brands” list which uses three key elements to create a complex valuation: financial forecasting of the future revenue associated with the brand, the role of the brand as a percentage of overall revenue, and brand strength which includes metrics such as awareness and loyalty.

For 2018, the five most valuable brands are:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Amazon
  4. Microsoft
  5. Coca Cola

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rhode Island Beer Industry Boosted Through Regulatory Changes


Beer has long been beloved by Americans and Rhode Islanders are no different. But for years, state residents have remained stiff-armed in their consumption of beer by strict regulations that limited just how much they were allowed to consume and buy at Rhode Island breweries.


Recent Changes Greatly Increase Business


Recent changes in Rhode Island law are helping to contribute to the explosive growth of the craft beer industry. According to WPRI-TV, the Rhode Island state Department of Business Regulation found that since lawmakers passed a 2016 law allowing for breweries to sell products coming from their own plants, the number of microbreweries in the state has almost quadrupled. The General Assembly had voted to allow distilleries and breweries to sell limited amounts of their products to plant visitors for purposes of off-site consumption; before then only wineries were allowed to do that.
Read more . . .


Monday, December 3, 2018

Buying A House After Bankruptcy

It is no secret that filing for bankruptcy can harm your credit. However, compared to simply letting your accounts go past due for months on end, bankruptcy may actually be better for your credit over the long term because there are no repeated “dings” on your credit score. Getting the bankruptcy finished allows you to start fresh and begin to rebuild your credit rating.

Your credit score is closely examined when you enter the home buying process, which means  that filing for bankruptcy may affect your ability to purchase a home in the future. Even if your credit score is not significantly harmed,  a bankruptcy discharge will remain on your credit report for up to ten years. That type of history can make lenders nervous about your creditworthiness.  Nonetheless, it is possible to purchase a house after bankruptcy, but it may take some additional time and extra steps.

Don’t Become a Boomerang Buyer!

After you discharge your debts, it can be very tempting to make large purchases because you may have extra income. You should not to give in to this temptation. It will take time to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy, and if you decide to purchase too soon, you may end up getting denied entirely or obtaining an interest rate that just does not make financial sense. Nonetheless, some buyers are so excited about the possibility of being able to afford a home that they take on high-interest rate loans, often to their detriment. Unfortunately, this practice occurs so often that there is a term for it—“Boomerang Buyers.”

Biting off more than you can chew after bankruptcy can put you in financial hot water. This type of situation is especially troubling after bankruptcy because you do not have the option of filing for bankruptcy again for several years.


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Monday, November 26, 2018

Considerations When Selling Your Business

Finding yourself in a position to sell your business is a monumental achievement. Establishing a business is hard work, and preparing to sell your business is no different. There are many reasons to sell your business: you may be looking to retire, take a less involved role, resolve an ownership dispute, or perhaps your business is now struggling and you are looking for a buyer to try to turn it around. Regardless of the reason that you’re selling, there are some key considerations that you need to be aware of.

Establishing a Strong Team

Selling a small business has many moving parts that will be discussed further below. As a result, it is essential that you establish a strong team to help you through the sale. The three team members that you will want to identify early on are an attorney well-versed in the sale of a company, an appraiser who can accurately value the business, and potentially a broker who will work hard to identify potential buyers. Your choice on these team members, and whether to include all three, will depend upon the complexity of the business and its potential valuation.


Read more . . .


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