State Inspectors have been visiting properties and issuing warnings to hotels that are not in compliance with Florida’s Human Trafficking Training Law
We want to inform you of Florida’s new human trafficking law that was implemented Jan. 1st, 2021. Hotel Continue reading “Florida Hotels Must Comply with New Human Trafficking Training Law “
2021 has already seen a flurry of serial filers continuing to file lawsuits and send demand letters alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (hereinafter “ADA”). The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in Continue reading “Conforming to an ADA-Compliant Property”
1031 Exchange transactions can help business owners leverage valuable cash to finance critical growth strategies.
At least once a week I get asked: What are the benefits of doing a Section 1031 Exchange? I normally give the usual answer: Deferral of Taxes resulting in more funds to spend on possible Continue reading “Seven Ways 1031 Exchanges Can Help Strengthen Businesses”
A disbarred attorney, who continued to file hundreds of disability lawsuits on his own behalf, has been permanently blocked from filing new cases in Arizona’s federal court district without permission. Judge Diane Humetewa officially labeled Peter Strojnik a “vexatious litigant” in a ruling that compared his Continue reading “What Peter Strojnik’s “Vexatious Litigant” ruling in AZ could mean for your business?”
2020 certainly threw some curveballs to our friends, family, & clients. As we rebuild our community back to the vibrant economy it once was, it is a great time to review your estate plan or corporate documents and evaluate any needs going forward.
New Year Checklist: Make sure that…
- All major decisions requiring owner/partner approvals have been documented and are included in the company’s record books.
- Secretary of State filings due during the year have been filed (please note Florida’s deadline is May 1st, 2021).
- Agreements among members, employees, and consultants have been documented and signed.
- The company’s agreed value (if applicable), financial statements, and ownership records are current.
- State taxes (if applicable) have been paid and business licenses renewed.
- The company is in good standing in its state of formation and in each state where it is qualified to do business.
- And most importantly your family estate plan is up to date.
If any of the above items have not been updated or handled, we suggest taking the time to speak with your Florida attorney to get them updated. This is also a good time to communicate with members about the company’s progress during the year. Finally, 2021 Annual Corporate Renewals are now due, please reach out to Gulati Law, P.L. for assistance with any of these matters at (407) 900-5054.
Please be aware that private companies that are not associated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) are using trademark applications and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to issue trademark-related solicitations. These solicitations may include offers for legal services, for trademark monitoring services, record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and even to “register” trademarks in the company’s own private registry.
Some applicants have reported paying fees to these companies, mistakenly under the assumption that they were paying mandatory fees to the USPTO. If you receive documents that appear to be from an official government agency, please be sure to read the fine print. If an address is provided, always perform a search to verify that the location is legitimate. Sometimes these companies will provide an address for a vacant building or office space. Usually, an official correspondence will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain “@uspto.gov.”
Unfortunately, if you have already submitted any payment to these companies for services offered, the USPTO is unable to provide a refund. The USPTO encourages you to file an on-line consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), at www.FTC.gov. If you receive one of these solicitations and you’re unsure of its legitimacy, or if you are interested in filing for a new trademark, we can help! Contact us today so that our legal professionals can discuss your options.
As many of you know, the process of purchasing a new home, or commercial property involves quite a few important documents that you need to be familiar with. Title and Deed documents are given to you by your attorney. Usually, these documents are also accessible online via your county’s property appraiser’s website FOR FREE. In instances where you have purchased a new property, you may receive a letters in the mail that might look like an official county or state document which states that you will need to take additional steps to finalize documentation, or that you will need to order vital documentation that shows ownership of your property.
This mailing will have your name, parcel number, and property address on it. What Record Transfer Services is doing might not be illegal; however, these services are usually already performed either before or at closing by a title company or real estate attorney. A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, who researches the vested owner, the liens or other judgments on the property, the loans on the property and the property taxes due before the closing is done. If duplicates are needed or documents are misplaced from your records, these documents can usually be found via your county property appraiser’s website or you may contact your real estate attorney.
Given that the letter includes a deadline for which to request for these documents, it appears to be an official document, however, make special note of the disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the letter: “This product or service has not been approved, or endorsed by any government…” Generally, if you receive a solicitation asking for more money after your closing, it is not necessary and is rarely legitimate. If you are not sure or you would like more information, contact your Florida Real Estate attorney or title company as soon as possible.
Broward County, Florida, has released a recent update on their new record keeping procedures. Effective January 1, 2015, Broward County will no longer assign Book and Page numbers to the documents being recorded. The new record keeping procedures will be done through an “Instrument Number” which is how the documents will be found if searched in their database. They do make an exception for large format documents. See Broward County’s Memo for further information.
Source: RTT Instrument Number Memo
A Florida company based out of Tallahassee, Florida, has been attempting to convince new business owners who have recently formed a new corporation or LLC, to send money by exaggerating to be involved in a vital step in the business formation process. This “company” has gone by other aliases such as the “Florida Center of Corporation,” and now currently operates under “United Business Services”
In the letter it states: “You have one step left to receive your Florida Certificate of Status”, they are instructed to complete their filing by filling out a stub and to “mail back to the corporations center with your payment of $47.00 (some recent mailings have said $47.99 or a similar amount) to complete your articles of organization certificate.” We urge caution because the correspondence is made deceptively like it is coming from a government agency. And note in the image here, that in very fine print, it states that “This is not a government agency.”
We classify this as an inappropriate deception of the Florida Department of State services because the only service United Business Services is providing is to obtain a Certificate of Status (or good standing) from the Secretary of State of Florida. The state only charges either $8.75 (for an INC) or $5 (for an LLC) for this. Furthermore, when we checked the address for the company, it came up as an empty office space which is available for rent. The company came up in no searches affiliated with that address, or any other.
If you have any questions as to the legitimacy of these letters, do not hesitate to contact your Florida Business Law Attorney as soon as possible.
Regardless of the size of a company, whether a small business or a large one, it should comply with its state law record-keeping requirements.
Here is a list of some of the important corporate documents to maintain:
– A copy of the corporation’s articles of incorporation or organization;
– Corporate bylaws or operating agreement;
– Organizational minutes;
– Annual reports;
-Minutes from any shareholder meetings;
-Maintain an updated list of all executives, employees, etc;
-Accurate accounting records; and
-Important Financial statements.
For a year-end business check-up, contact your Business Law Attorney today!