A Legal Blog Sponsored By The Maitland Law Firm - www.Maitlandlaw.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 Changes to Corp-LLC

The Maitland Law Firm helps many of our clients create new North Carolina business entities for business or investment ventures. It is important to choose the best entity, Corporation (S or C Corp.), Limited Liability Company (Member or Manager managed LLC), Professional Corporation or PLLC, General Partnership, or other options to fit your needs and tax situation. From a legal perspective, our primary concern is to ensure "limited liability" for the owners and investors of the entity to make sure their personal assets are never at risk for the sake of the business entity.

The simplest, and a particularly relevant situation in our area, might be where parents are buying a rental property for the use of their college bound children and intend to rent portions of it to third party roommates. Should something happen, say during a "study session" or party where a third party slipped and fell or otherwise became injured, most landlords choose the LLC as an effective way to limit their potential exposure to the equity in the rental property rather than put all of their hard earned personal assets at risk. Of course, a more traditional scenario is where the client is starting a new business venture and wants to create the proper structure to encourage investment and provide management. We can assist clients with the myriad of issues to consider and make sure your new business gets off on the right foot.

Once we advise on the creation of the new entity, we believe it is our responsibility to keep you informed of annual changes to the law and other developments that might affect your business. The most common way for people to lose the benefit of "limited liability" even after creating a business entity, is to fail to comply with the simple formalities required of a business. Such failures can invalidate the business entity or open the door to "piercing the corporate veil," "alter ego," and other issues. We advise our clients along the way to make sure they avoid these pitfalls.

Along those lines, each North Carolina business entity is required to file an Annual Report with the North Carolina Secretary of State and pay an annual fee. The Legislature recently passed new legislation changing the due dates and reporting requirements for most business entities effective June 30, 2010. A summary of the changes can be found here. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Thanks!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Team Edward or Team Jacob? Beware of Team Virus!

Be careful when searching for Twilight related content. There are definitely a lot of Twilight related links out there that lead to scams and corrupted websites.

Here are some tips to help you avoid scams and other viruses.

If you download Twilight movies or videos clips, make sure they’re from well-known and trusted sources

Keep in mind “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” will not be available for legitimate download for months. In addition to being illegal, pre-release downloads often carry viruses or spyware. Be especially cautious if you’re being asked for your credit card information.

Don’t click on search engine results for images of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, or other cast members unless you can verify the website

An increasing amount of rogue spyware directs consumers away from search results. Most common is a links that warns you of a “threat” and offers free anti-virus or anti-spyware. Actually, if you click on it, you will actually download malware – viruses, antispyware and other malicious software.

Whether you’re on Team Edward or Team Jacob, know how to spell it correctly

Slightly mistyped names can present search results with bad Web sites. Typo “squatters,” as they’re called, will often buy URL’s with slightly different spelling to capture unsuspecting visitors. They might drop malware on your computer just from visiting the site, or request personal information for financial gain.

Purchase your Twilight gear from well-respected online retailers

Reputable online retailers such as EBay and Amazon monitor phishing and impersonations of their Web sites. They look for typo squatters and other cybercriminals that are responsible for fraud and take them down.

Be wary of clicking on links in Twitter — shortened links make it difficult to confirm legitimate and recognized Web sites

Twitter allows users to post shortened URLs, making it easier for users to keep the messages within the prescribed character limit. URL shortening is similar to URL re-direction and can be abused by malware authors.

Entering a Twilight contest online? Here’s what to look for to make sure it’s legit

Make sure the Web site encrypts your data when sending it over the Internet. In this case the URL starts with “https” instead of “http.” Additionally, some Web sites have the trust seal issued by VeriSign to Web sites that meet its standards. You should be able to click on the VeriSign Trust Seal that opens up a window displaying information about the company you are about to do business with.

Always check the URL to verify that you are on the Web site you think you are visiting. You can also copy the domain name and verify the ownership using tools that can be found online. These tools will give you information about the domain you are visiting.