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role. From there, it’s up to you who you choose; you can even elect to serve as your own registered agent. Attorneys often fulfill this role for LLCs, as the majority of the communication is legal in nature. I’ve served as a registered agent for many of our clients. Currently, to better serve our clients, we’re in the process of working with a company that has professional registered agents who will fulfill this role. The problem with Jeff’s registered agent is that he didn’t carry out his role. He failed to notify Jeff that he’d received an official document. Jeff’s registered agent says he took a picture of the notice of the suit and texted it to Jeff, but Jeff never saw it. Now, he’s stuck filing for bankruptcy because of a missed text. Jeff’s story brings home the importance of selecting your registered agent. It’s too important of a job to leave to someone who’s not up to the task. While you consider if you have the right registered agent in place, I also want to bring home the importance of asset protection in a situation like this. Jeff hadn’t put asset protection in place yet. (We were in the middle of planning and designing it when he got hit with the lawsuit.) I’ve seen it happen too many times to think for a minute that Jeff’s story is the exception. There are organizations that go after small businesses in the hopes that they can make a quick dime off of them. Don’t let this be your story. In addition to protecting your business in the event that you get sued, a shatterproof asset protection plan can prevent your home and personal assets from getting wrapped up in — and eaten up by — the suit. We can structure your plan in such a way that even if your business is sued, they won’t be able to touch your personal assets. Yes, it may be some investment to put the proper structures in place to do this, but I’d bet you that it’s far less than the fallout if you get sued without a protection plan in place. Read on for additional insight for small-business owners and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
DON’T LET THIS BE YOUR STORY THE ROLE OF A REGISTERED AGENT
A few weeks ago, our client Jeff* arrived at his business to find something surprising: A police officer was putting locks around the doors and removing equipment. Jeff was in disbelief. What was happening? “We’re following the judge’s orders,” the officer informed him. Jeff’s business had been sued, and the judge had issued a lawsuit. Only, Jeff wasn’t aware of any of this. How could this happen? How could Jeff be caught off guard about a major decision involving his business? The answer has to do with the person serving (or, maybe more accurately, not effectively serving) as Jeff’s registered agent. As a registered agent, the third-party individual was responsible for receiving official notifications on behalf of the LLC, including communication from the government like tax forms, and yes, a notice of a lawsuit. Most states, including Texas, require LLCs to have a registered agent to carry out this
*Name has been changed.
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WHAT INTERNS CAN OFFER THESE YOUNG MINDS WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS THRIVE
luckily, unlike regular hires, you aren’t making a long- term, expensive commitment to your interns. During their internships, you can test whether or not they will be a great fit for your company before offering them a permanent position. And if an intern impresses you enough to hire them on after graduation, you can rest assured knowing they will already be familiar with their job by then. There’s a reason top companies like Facebook and Chevron invest heavily in their internship programs. By bringing in young, innovative minds, you open up your business to fresh, unique solutions. Interns have spearheaded effective social media campaigns, modernized standard operating procedures, and even designed apps to help their businesses run smoother. In a world where remaining relevant is key to growth, businesses can’t afford to be out of touch with the next generation of consumers. So, while interns will likely do much of the grunt work at your business, don’t be afraid to hand them more responsibilities. Bring them into strategy meetings, ask for their thoughts, and treat them as valued parts of the team. Do this and you’ll be in step with some of the biggest players in the business world. FRESH PERSPECTIVES wouldn’t pick up the phone to call him until “their house was on fire.” This fostered unhappiness on both sides, as Scott cleaned up legal messes that had gotten much further out of hand than necessary and his clients got larger bills. Scott was sure there was a better way. So in 2012, he hired a business coach to help him put together a proactive program for small-business owners called the Access Legal Coaching Plan. Through the access plan, REIBLAW is able to offer a subscription service to clients rather than billing them by the hour, giving both sides more peace of mind. Even if nothing is going wrong, Scott and his team check in with their access plan clients for 20 minutes each month. He tells Shmuel that his health has improved since leaving corporate law, and, these days, his clients call him just to chat, proving that ringing a lawyer isn’t — and shouldn’t be — something to dread. “Law offices aren’t emergency rooms; they’re primary care,” Scott says.
Often utilized as file organizers, envelope lickers, and coffee
fetchers, college interns are usually at the lowliest rung on the corporate ladder. But, as some of the world’s most successful companies have proven, these young team members can be incredibly valuable to your business. If you haven’t considered offering internship positions before, the following benefits might just convince you.
In today’s competitive job market, recruiting a recent college graduate with relevant experience feels like finding a unicorn. But a coveted hire doesn’t have to be one in a million. An effective internship program can give you the opportunity to bring college interns on to your staff who could potentially become full-time employees. And
THE IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
HOW BOTH SIDES BENEFIT FROM INCREASED ACCESS
Would your life be easier if you had a friendly lawyer on call? Would the lawyer’s? This summer, Scott joined “Love Your 9 to 5” podcast host Shmuel Septimus to discuss those questions, comparing conventional lawyer-client relationships and their effects to the bonds formed through Scott’s access plan. Here’s a look at their conversation.
EPISODE 45 OF THE ‘LOVE YOUR 9 TO 5’ PODCAST: ‘AMERICA’S LEGAL COACH WITH SCOTT REIB’
Scott Reib took the roundabout route to becoming a Lone Star State lawyer but now has 20 years of experience under his belt. Today, he focuses on providing legal coaching to small businesses through his access program — the innovation that earned him the title “America’s Legal Coach.” The idea for the access program grew out of Scott’s dissatisfaction with corporate law. “It was so boring,” he says. “I wasn’t helping anybody. I guess somewhere down the line I was. But I didn’t feel like I was, so I was pretty disillusioned.”
To listen to this and other podcast episodes featuring Scott Reib, visit ReibLaw.com/podcasts.
Scott gave up the corporate grind to work with small businesses, but he was disturbed by the fact that his clients
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ARE YOU PROTECTINGWHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?
If you don’t have such a plan, I urge you to start the process now. I’ve worked with countless business owners who never imagined they would end up in that situation. The unimaginable feels so far away — but that’s exactly why it’s called that. I know you think it’s not going to happen to you. That’s what Franklin, Winehouse, and so many others thought before an unexpected tragedy struck or they were hit with a lawsuit. Don’t wait to create a secure legal plan. It will be far easier and less stressful than dealing with the fallout of a lawsuit on the fly or leaving others to face the reality of running your business without you. At REIBLAW, we understand how important this process is, and we work with clients to develop strategies for shielding their valuables from lawsuits and protecting their business for the future. These safeguards utilize a combination of legal tools and financial plans designed to protect you and your hard-earned assets. While preplanning is always best, there are some ways to protect yourself even after a lawsuit has been filed. Give us a call or send an email to get more information. We’re here to help you protect what’s yours.
You’ve probably heard some horror stories of celebrities who died without a will. Aretha Franklin is a more recent example, and Prince, Amy Winehouse, and Bob Marley all left their siblings or parents squabbling in probate court over millions of dollars and the rights to their estates. Meanwhile, their assets got smaller and smaller as court fees piled up. In some cases, relatives who these stars didn’t talk to or have any relationship with ended up as beneficiaries of what was left — typically still a very large sum of money. So, it begs the question: What would be the fallout right now if something happened to you? Do you have a plan in place that would not only secure the financial future of your family but also ensure your business doesn’t end up with the state or estranged relatives?
• 2 medium ears of corn, shucked • 1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced • 1/2 red onion, diced • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped • 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced ROASTED CORN SALSA INGREDIENTS
Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
• Juice of 1 lime • Kosher salt, to taste
'5 PROVEN STRATEGIES TO SHATTERPROOF YOUR BUSINESS' Fact: 1 in 3 businesses has been hit with a lawsuit or threatened with a lawsuit over the past three years. This book lays out five proven strategies that, when implemented properly, will absolutely protect you and your hard-earned assets from any possible legal action. Visit ScottReib.com/books to order your copy today!
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
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The Role of a Registered Agent INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 2 3 3 4 What Interns Offer Protect Your Business Now Roasted Corn Salsa The Art of Stargazing
The Importance of a Strong Lawyer-Client Relationship
THE ART OF STARGAZING HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP
experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. 3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.” The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky.
Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum.
2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy
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