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Rhode Island Legal Blog

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rhode Island Simplified Probate for Small Estates

Rhode Island estate law provides a shortcut in the probate process for smaller estates. It is a simplified probate process that allows for an easier transfer of property to the heirs of a person who has died. If an estate qualifies as a “small estate,” a form can be filed and the assets of the estate will be distributed without the need of going before a probate judge.


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Friday, June 1, 2018

Family Businesses: Simple Steps to Avoid Common Pitfalls

If you have a family business or are thinking about starting one, kudos to you! There are few better ways to create tradition, meaning and bonds within a family, and a family business can be a gratifying way by which to build wealth.

Family enterprises, however, can bring conflict, legal challenges and financial distress when simple preventative steps are not taken. A business law attorney can assist you with the following issues commonly faced by family businesses:

  • The absence of a succession plan. If the leader of a business dies, sells or becomes incapacitated, the business he or she leaves behind will appoint a leader, somehow, by necessity. The succession process at that point, however, will likely be complicated, and the result may not be optimal for the business or your family. An attorney can assist in identifying all of your options, and help you select one that works best for you and your business. For instance, if the business belongs exclusively to you, you can simply leave it to the person you feel should own and run it. If the business is professional in nature, such as a medical or legal practice, you can identify an outside buyer/successor and prepare him or her using a process agreeable to both of you. If the business belongs to two or more family members or other individuals, a contractual succession plan can be devised, lessening stress both now and at the time the succession occurs.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Securities Sales: When Do You Have to Register a Transaction?

SEC Registration Exemptions Under Regulation S

Following the stock market collapse of 1929, Congress tightened restrictions on businesses’ activities related to the sale of securities. A key provision of the Securities Act of 1933 is the requirement that, with few exceptions, securities issuers must register securities transfers with the SEC. Now, seven decades later, the strict registration requirements of the Securities Act continue to apply.

An exception to securities registration requirements is Regulation S which allows securities issuers to solicit and sell to investors outside of the U.S. without registering the sale with the SEC. But how does the SEC determine when a securities sale qualifies as occurring fully outside of the U.S.? And how do securities issuers ensure they are in compliance with the Securities Act when choosing not to register a securities sale under Regulation S?


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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Probate Process


While you may have vaguely heard of the term “probate”, you may very well have no idea what it actually refers to. Yes, it does involve distributing the property of a deceased individual to the heirs, but there is actually a lot more going on. In fact, probate can be incredibly complex and time consuming.
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Terminating a Franchise Agreement

Buying a franchise can be a great opportunity for an entrepreneur to start a business using a successful operational structure of a proven model. Despite all the resources that a franchise provides, not all are successful. Unfortunately, with most franchises, you can’t just shut your doors and cut your losses; getting out of a franchise agreement can be difficult, leaving a once hopeful entrepreneur stuck in a business that may not be profitable or enjoyable to operate.

If you are looking for a way out of a franchise agreement, it’s absolutely imperative that you contact an attorney who has experience with franchise law and understands the many complexities of the franchisor-franchisee relationship. In determining whether you can terminate the agreement, you will need to carefully review the contract which should clearly outline the circumstances which must be met for either party to terminate it. If the franchisor has not met all of its duties, such as failing to send you the marketing plan and materials for the spring line, you will likely have a much stronger case for ending the relationship. Be sure to document any shortcomings or errors made by your franchisor and keep records of any correspondence which have expressed these concerns.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

Protecting Your Business with the Right Insurance

Starting a business is the dream of a lifetime for many Americans. While most entrepreneurs prefer to focus on the aspects of the business that will result in profit, it’s equally important to consider what will happen in the event of an emergency, injury or even sudden death. In preparing for the “worst case scenario”, insurance coverage must be carefully considered. Selecting insurance policies can be challenging; there are dozens of options and the necessity of some will depend largely on the type of business, the number of employees (if any) and the physical location(s).

To help you get started with your planning, we’ve compiled a quick checklist of different types of insurance that all business owners should consider:

General Liability Insurance – Regardless of the type of business or where it is located (even if it is in your home office), all owners should purchase this type of insurance which provides protection if you or your employees cause bodily harm or property damage to a third party. This type of insurance can protect against a customer who brings legal action after taking a sip of hot tea that you served in the reception area or even a vendor who was injured when an item from a closet shelf fell on him during a delivery to your office.


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Friday, April 27, 2018

Do I need to file a DBA for my small business?

Selecting a name for your business can be challenging. It must be unique, memorable and representative of your product or service. Depending on the name you ultimately choose, you may also need to file for a DBA.

Simply defined, DBA stands for “Doing Business As.” A DBA is a fictitious business name, also referred to as an assumed business name, that differs from the personal name of the owner(s) or the official name of a registered corporation. For example, if Patricia Smith is a sole proprietor and opens her bakery under the name of Patty’s Cakes, the bakery would have an assumed name because it is not the owner’s legal name.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How to Negotiate the Lease on Your Office Space


It can be very exciting for a business owner to finally find office space that will work for his or her business. Do not let this excitement prevent you from taking the time upfront to make sure the office space and the lease agreement associated with the office space will be right for you. Negotiating the best office lease to meet the needs of your business can save you a great deal of money and headaches down the road.
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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Changing Your Business Entity from a Sole Proprietorship

What does the transition entail?

There are various ways you can restructure the legal framework of your company if you wish to add a partner to your sole proprietorship, though each option has different requirements. It's possible to merely act as "partners" without any formal agreement, but that's generally not a good idea. The smart choice is to create a business entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company.
Here are a few facts and considerations to keep in mind as you restructure your company from a sole proprietorship to another business entity.


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Friday, April 6, 2018

Financial Records and Your Business

In starting a business, entrepreneurs are inundated with paperwork, legal requirements and numerous planning meetings. While most of these activities seem burdensome, many business owners cite financial management and record-keeping as the most daunting task of daily operations. With some businesses having thousands of transactions each day, coupled with expenses and employee payroll, it should come as no surprise that business financials can be overwhelming. With so many documents and figures, it can be difficult to stay organized and leads many business owners to question what they are required to keep and what they can simply discard.


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Friday, March 30, 2018

An Introduction to Benefit Corporations

Most business owners in the United States have heard of C-Corporations and S- Corporations but over the past few years, a new corporate form has emerged that is not yet well known – the benefit corporation (B-Corp). Unlike C and S Corporations which can be used across almost all industries for a wide range of small and large businesses, the benefit corporation was designed specifically for for-profit entities that want to benefit society by solving social or environmental problems while also benefitting the shareholders. To date, there are nearly 1000 benefit corporations around the world. A good example of a benefit corporation is Yellow Leaf Hammocks, a California-based company that sells high-quality hammocks that are hand woven by hill-tribe artisans in rural northern Thailand. While generating profit, the company also creates jobs, helping with economic development in an impoverished community.


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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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