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Let’s say someone is a real estate agent, and they sell homes under their main business. They also have a property management side business. They should have these under two different entities because if something happens with a tenant under the property management side and the agent gets sued, they don’t want their commissions on the realty side up for grabs. In order to secure a business, I advise owners with multiple companies to have them under multiple entities. By adding multiple entities, we create layers that protect each area of your business. I’ve seen situations where a business owner is forced to pull money from their personal retirement account to cover the fallout from a suit related to a different business that was listed under the same entity as their main company. This is not the situation you want to find yourself in, and the best thing I can recommend is to establish multiple entities from the get-go. You might wonder why a lawyer is so important to the process of creating another entity when you can do it online. Your structure might be straightforward enough that you can use the forms you’ll find on LegalZoom, but if you want to ensure you’re setting up a corporation in a shatterproof way, then it’s worth the investment to include your business lawyer in the process of establishing your entities. We’re able to give you your options and share all the information you need to make the best call for your business and shoo the dragon away before he can even approach your castle.
KEEP THE DRAGON AT BAY THE BENEFITS OF HAVING MULTIPLE ENTITIES
Sometimes, when I think about my role in showing business owners the holes in their defenses, I imagine myself as a modern-day knight aiding the king. (I just wear suits instead of chain mail, which I’m pretty sure is more comfortable.) I ride into their castle and announce that the enemy is at the gates or that a dragon is flying their way. I give the king all the information. Then, it’s up to them to make the call on how to protect their castle. Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a dramatic comparison, but I’ve seen enough dragon raids that I feel the need to alert business owners of the peril their businesses are in when they don’t set them up properly. One of the common “dragons” that business owners run into is speeding through the entity formation process. Even though they have multiple companies, they put everything under one entity. This situation can put you in hot water down the road.
– Scott Reib
P.S. If you want to form your entity without an appointment or by using LegalZoom, then we have an "Entity Formation" page that includes all the forms you’ll need, organized by state and type of LLC. Find our easy to use forms at Linc.REIBLAW.com/product-selection-formation.
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Published by The Newsletter Pro | www.TheNewsletterPro.com
ARE YOUVIBINGWITHYOUR BUSINESS?
BOOST YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE WITH ‘FIVE FREQUENCIES’
or not. Teams take cues from those who lead them, so if leaders aren’t dialed into the frequencies they’re giving off, they could be transmitting troublesome signals. Instead, leaders should always be dialed into their “vibes” and be particularly aware of five specific frequencies:
If you dive deep into the tactics of successful businesses and startups, a common thread among them is that culture reigns king. More and more value is placed on fostering an uplifting atmosphere for employees, which allows them to generate better business. The general consensus says great culture is built over time and can take many tries in an attempt to get it “just right.” But one book suggests that you might not need to look very far to pinpoint the biggest influence behind company culture. In “Five Frequencies: Leadership Signals That Turn Culture Into Competitive Advantage,” a team of four authors compile their years of extensive experience working with companies to execute cohesive strategies for building effective culture. Jeff Grimshaw, Tanya Mann, Lynne Viscio, and Jennifer Landis have witnessed company cultures of every type be successful and fail. They concluded that culture doesn’t cultivate from the many but, rather, is affected by the few. In this case, the few are the leaders of the business.
1. Their decisions and actions 2. What they choose to reward and recognize 3. What they do and do not tolerate 4. The way they show up informally 5. How they compose formal communications
“Five Frequencies” illustrates how correctly tuning into these frequencies can give leaders the tools they need to make bad culture good and good culture great. Full of tried-and-true examples from real companies around the globe, this guide proves that culture is not something tangible you can hold, nor is it a procedural element you can simply implement. It’s something people feel, and it’s built and explained by the behaviors that surround it. This means it can be difficult to manage, measure, and, most importantly, change. But if leaders take the time to look at themselves and the actions they exemplify, they’ll have a solid foundation to start.
The authors assert that leaders are, at every moment, transmitting signals to their team, whether intentionally
BIZ TOOL OF THE MONTH: ASANA
WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
companies that need a looser, more customizable interface while still being able to manage teamwork and connect employees. Businesses tend to get the most out of Asana when the leadership team — or another group of designated administrators within the business — decides how Asana will be used before it’s rolled out to the entire company. Because it is so customizable, it’s easy to get lost in all the options if you don’t have some sense of your mission going in. As the folks at PC Magazine sum up, “Asana is like a deck of cards, whereas project management software is like a board game.” Because of the open-ended format, Asana also tends to work best for ongoing work, like weekly blog posts or emails, versus projects with a clear start and end date. You can choose from four tiers of services from Asana, ranging from Basic, which is the free plan, to Enterprise, which is the highest level. About once a year, Asana rolls out a new feature to keep things fresh and up to date for customers.
Amid the plethora of project management software out there determining the flow of your and
your employees' days, Asana seeks to provide you with more options. Like many similar tools, Asana helps you track who is responsible for a task, the information connected to each task, and information related to the progress on the task. Asana also shows you the daily stats for a bird’s-eye view of performance. Rather than setting everything in stone when it comes to project structure, though, Asana allows you to make the workflow management tool work for you and your business. This ability to endlessly customize is one of the main features that sets Asana apart. Asana doesn’t have a defined structure, meaning you can adapt it to what best suits your business’s needs, from automation to daily stats. Some project templates are provided, but a lot of the day- to-day use of the tool is up to you. While establishing the initial setup can take some time, it can be a great option for
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MULTIPLE COMPANIES EQUAL MULTIPLE ENTITIES
ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS IS PROTECTED
straightforward process that, as counterintuitive as it sounds, involves us creating some complexity within these structures so they’re less liable to suits and are better protected. We have to create these legal complexities to ensure that the first person who wants to can’t sue you. We’ll call on another analogy here, that of securing your home. You could opt to simply lock your doors when you leave and call it good. Or, you could set up an alarm system with a camera that records any suspicious activity while you're not home. Sure, it’s a little more involved to set up, but it’s going to offer way more protection in the long run.
One of the most common questions we get asked by business owners is, “If I have multiple business endeavors, should I have them listed under multiple companies?”
The answer is a resounding “Yes!” especially if your endeavors have different risk exposures.
For example, let’s say that in addition to your main business, you put on mastermind workshops for other business owners. As part of the experience, you take the group out and drive race cars. If one of the drivers crashes their car and gets hurt and your mastermind is under the same entity as your business, then your entire business can be pulled into that lawsuit. Everything you own is potentially at risk. It’s kind of like if you try to use one umbrella to cover your entire family — aunts and uncles and all. It’s not going to provide much protection, and everyone is going to be at risk. Establishing multiple entities for your businesses provides an umbrella for each family member so that everyone is protected. Establishing these entities is a fairly
Wouldn’t you rather have better protection for the things that really matter?
Setting up these entities is not a difficult process, but you’ll want to have guidance from an experienced business lawyer, like our team at REIBLAW. Call us today to establish the structure you need to ensure each facet of your business is shatterproof.
EASY IRISH SODA BREAD
We want your feedback! Each month, we’ll ask a question to our business community to find out what you need guidance with and how we can best serve you.
Inspired by AllRecipes.com
• 4 cups all-purpose flour • 4 tbsp white sugar • 1 tsp baking soda • 1 tbsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 cup margarine
Here’s our query for this month.
• 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, divided • 1 egg • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Since we’ve been talking all about entity formation, we’re curious:
Have you formed multiple entities for your different businesses? If so, has this structure served you well?
1. Heat oven to 375 F, and lightly grease a large baking sheet. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. 3. Stir in 1 cup buttermilk and egg, and mix until dough comes together. 4. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a round before placing it on baking sheet. 5. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. 6. Brush the raw loaf with this mixture and cut an “X” into the top. 7. Bake loaf for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of loaf. You may need to continue brushing the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.
Text your answer to 972-677-3002
Thanks for sharing!
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Is Your Business in Peril? INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 How Your Vibes Affect Your Business
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Biz Tool of the Month
Legal Business FAQ
Easy Irish Soda Bread
Avoiding Copyright Infringement for Your Business
IS THAT PICTURE WORTH $1,000? HOW TO AVOID COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT FOR YOUR BUSINESS We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and for businesses, this is especially true. Images used on a website and in marketing materials contribute to a specific vision and encourage customers to buy into a service or product. However, obtaining and using those images requires much more than a quick search on Google. To make the biggest splash while avoiding heavy penalties that can tank your business, follow these tips when searching for images.
ALWAYS ASK PERMISSION FOR USE. Even if an image isn’t under copyright, you still might not have permission to use it. Find the source of the image, and inquire about using it for your own business. The image itself may have certain conditions you need to meet before you can use it. For instance, a licensing agreement may require you to pay a fee, give credit to the original creator, or guarantee the image’s use as-is without further alteration. In other instances, ask the photographer, designer, or artist for permission to use the image and agree to include a watermark or a link to their website. FIND AND USE FREE IMAGES INSTEAD. Several websites, such as Pexels, Pixabay, and Morguefile, provide hundreds of photos for businesses to use for free and without worry of copyright infringement. Creative Commons is also a great resource to consult. This nonprofit provides free licenses and tools that make copyright material easy to understand. You may need to meet some agreements under a Creative Commons license, but afterwards, you can access and use numerous photos.
PRESUME ALL IMAGES ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Never assume that an image you find while browsing the internet is free to use. It may be easy to download one you like and use it on your website, social media account, or blog, but it can have devastating consequences. Someone who wrongfully uses copyright material worth at least $2,500 may face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines according to federal statute. Play it safe by assuming every image or photograph you find online is protected by copyright law.
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