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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.
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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.


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Monday, November 12, 2018

An Overview of Debt Collection for Small Busines

For many small businesses, getting the sale is just the first step in the process. Many small businesses rely on extending credit to the purchasers in business to business transactions. As a business with many transactions, purchasing on credit from a seller can be ideal as processes are streamlined: purchase as necessary and then making payments within a set period of time. Given the thin cash reserves for many small businesses, having the flexibility to pay at a later date is necessary due to periodic cash flows. All in all, this system of seller-financed credit (the seller not requiring payment at the time of the sale) allows small businesses to flourish.

However, despite the agreement to pay, the purchaser may not always make good on the agreement, and as the seller providing the purchaser’s credit, you may be stuck with attempting to collect on that debt. The failure of the debtor to pay the bill can result from a few possibilities. First, the debtor could have simply forgotten to pay the bill in an administrative oversight. Second, the debtor could be illiquid or have insufficient cash on hand to pay the bill. Third, the debtor could be refusing to pay due to an issue such as nonconformity of goods (the goods received weren’t what they ordered). Finally, the debtor could be refusing to pay in bad faith in hope that you as the creditor will not attempt to collect on the debt, or would be willing to collect at a reduced amount. Regardless of which of the above is the case, you need to act to resolve the outstanding debt.


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Monday, November 5, 2018

Senators Spotlight High Risk of Money Laundering in Residential Real Estate

According to the Wall Street Journal, two U.S. senators have called for an investigation into any existing weaknesses within the current U.S. money-laundering provisions.  Some senators believe that the risk of money laundering in residential real estate is high due to the real estate sector having significantly less oversight than the lending sector. That is why they sent a letter to the head of the Government Accountability Office, writing that this great discrepancy in attention paid presents “increased risk of access by foreign and domestic criminal organizations.”


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Friday, November 2, 2018

Need to Know Differences Between a Commercial and Residential Lease

It is important to know the differences between a residential and commercial lease because both are treated differently under the law. The distinctions will set out certain rights and obligations for both parties involved in the contract.

What is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A residential lease is most often between a landlord and an individual tenant or family. The agreement is to provide a living arrangement. It is usually set up to include a monthly payment, but not always. The term varies from month-to-month to a term of several years, although one-year leases are perhaps the most common.

These types of leases usually apply to houses, apartments, townhouses, or condos. The location is generally not used for profit. However, some areas do permit residences to run a business out of their home.

What is a Commercial Lease?

Commercial leases involve a contract between a landlord and a business. The business can be a sole proprietorship or a corporation. The purpose of the arrangement is to provide space so that the business can sell goods or provide service. The goal for the company is to use the area to generate a profit. It is not designed for sleeping or to meet the residential needs of a business owner or its employees.

Commercial spaces are usually locations such as:


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Friday, October 19, 2018

3 Must-Ask Questions if You Are Considering Buying a Business

If you are considering buying a business, you need to ask several questions first. Getting the right information will be integral to determining whether this is a smart business decision for you. It will also help you decide how to best carry on the business after you have purchased it. You should ask the following questions before you commit to buying a company.

1. Do the financials seem sound?

The books are going to be very important if you are considering buying any type of business. As a buyer, you should be asking for bank statements and profit and loss statements. You may also want to see any contracts with employees, suppliers, or lessors. Ongoing deals with advertisers should also be examined.

Looking at the financials for specific product areas or by quarter can also be helpful. Smaller businesses may not have as detailed of records as you would like, but taking a look at what they have can be helpful. If they don’t have any records at all or the records consist of receipts in a shoebox, that can indicate a problem. Tax records may be a helpful place to start if the seller doesn’t have anything else.


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Friday, October 12, 2018

The Basics of Withholding Taxes for Employees

Getting tax withholdings right can be extremely daunting. Failure to pay the IRS or state taxing authority the correct amount could end up costing you thousands of dollars in penalties and interest. For many employers, an outright failure to pay could result in personal liability for employment taxes.

Payroll tax withholding covers more than just federal taxes. It also addresses any state tax obligations, local tax requirements, and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Taxes. If you, as an employer, do not pay these correctly, you could have both the federal and state taxing authorities upset with you, and your employee may have to pay into the government at the end of the year. You can avoid all of these potential problems by simply ensuring that you are withholding for everything you are supposed to—in the right amount.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

Title Searches

If you have ever bought a home or even considered buying a home, you have probably heard of title searches and title insurance. You may not, however, be aware of why title searches are conducted and why title insurance even exists. Title refers to your ownership rights in the property. That is why problems with a title, which do come up on occasion, can affect your ownership rights. Title insurance works to financially protect you should the property you took title to have a defect that affects your ownership rights.

What Type of Property Defects Can Be Revealed in a Title Search?

A title search is conducted in the property purchase process to help ensure the buyer will receive clear title. A clear title means that there are no problems with the property history that would have a negative impact on your ownership interest. First and foremost, a title search will let the buyer know that the seller actually has the legal right to sell the property. Furthermore, it will inform the buyer if there are any outstanding judgments or liens in place against the property.

There are several defects that can be uncovered during a title search, including:

 


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Monday, October 1, 2018

Fiduciary Responsibilities and Your Business

As a business owner, you have certain responsibilities that must be fulfilled.While being a sole proprietor gives you more leeway, business owners who use any other business formation must be familiar with fiduciary responsibilities. These obligations extend to corporate officers and even managers in some situations. So, what are fiduciary responsibilities for business owners and corporate officers?

What are Fiduciary Duties?

A fiduciary duty is a legal requirement that applies to anyone who has a relationship of trust with another person or organization. While fiduciary responsibilities extend to more than just the business context, they are often associated with corporations and partnerships.


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Friday, September 21, 2018

Developing a Disciplinary Policy as an Employer

Very few employers like to discipline employees for misconduct or poor performance. However, it may be necessary to do so to prompt t workers  to fulfill their job duties appropriately or behave in a specific way. Establishing a disciplinary policy long before you need it will clarify your expectations of employees and also help you avoid legal liability for wrongful termination or similar claims. This article is a brief discussion of how to  develop a disciplinary policy that works for your business and your employees.


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The Law Offices of Richard Palumbo, LLC assists clients with Real Estate Law, Business Law, Probate, Evictions for Landlords and Property Damage matters in Rhode Island including Cranston, Warwick, Coventry, Johnston, Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls and all areas throughout RI.



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