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Month: January 2019

Prepaid Legal – Business Opportunity Review

Posted on January 31, 2019 in Uncategorized

Prepaid Legal Services is a company that has been offering legal service and a business opportunity to North American families for many years. Legal counsel and advice from qualified lawyers is available to all and every member with just a call to their toll-free number. Many people find Prepaid Legal services a preventive solution to an unforeseen legal affair. However, there are those that consider the company simply because of the potential profit. In this review we will be focusing only on the business opportunity and compensation plan.

Prepaid Legal is considered to be one of the biggest network marketing companies ever. Their business opportunity is a multilevel marketing design, also viewed as a pyramid structure. It is a tiered compensation plan where distributors can build a downline to earn residual income. As a member you can also make commission from direct sales, plus ongoing compensation for all active members enrolled by you. Override commissions are also given when others in your organization sign up new members. Prepaid Legal believes their business opportunity is designed so that anyone with an honest desire for success can do it, regardless of background or experience.

Prepaid Legal has been around for quite some time and still teaches the same method of approach to reach success. Their business opportunity encourages distributors to grow using their so-called warm market method by sharing the membership with those that you relate with every day such as family, friends and work colleagues. They also teach their members to use the 3 foot rule, which means they are supposed to talk to anyone and everyone within 3 feet around them about prepaid legal services and their business opportunity.

I believe one should take advantage and even take risks when it comes to a business opportunity. However, taking risks does not mean doing the same thing over and over and expect the same result when times have changed. One has to adjust with change to be able to achieve success in today’s market. The fact is that anyone and everyone could certainly make a lot of money and be very successful marketing prepaid legal services, all with the right knowledge and skills to advertise and promote in today’s market.

Website Legal Documents – FTC Cracks Down On Toolbars For Collecting Personal Information

Posted on January 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent settlement against an online college savings program that used toolbars to collect personal information focused on what its members were actually giving away unwittingly – their personal information and data security – rather than on what they might be saving for college expenses.

The settlement in this case highlights the FTC’s continuous efforts to crack down on privacy and data security violations regarding the collection, use, and security of personal information. This time the focus was on the use of toolbars as a collection vehicle, and the related takeaways are in the form of important new rules for the use of toolbars or similar software for collecting personal information.

The Toolbar

The defendant online service provides a membership program that permits its members to contribute to a savings account for college expenses. The contributions to the savings account are in the form of rebates and discounts from products and services purchased by members from participating merchant partners.

As part of its service to members, the service offers a software toolbar that is supposed to assist members in finding participating merchants based on online searches. Downloading and installing the toolbar is a default setting for members because in some instances the user is required to uncheck the toolbar option in order to opt out of the toolbar download.

Members using the toolbar are offered an “Enable Personalized Offers Option” for their browsers that enables the collection of information about the websites they visit for purposes of identifying participating merchants that provide eligible offers and discounts.

This toolbar and the privacy promises accompanying it are the basis of the FTC’s lawsuit against the membership service.

Privacy Policy Statements

The membership program’s privacy policy stated that that the toolbar might “infrequently” collect some personal information. In addition, the privacy policy stated that a filter would remove personal information prior to transmission.

Significant to the FTC were additional statements in the privacy policy apparently intended to create trust from members including:

* [We are] “committed to earning and keeping your trust”;

* “We understand the need for… personal information to remain secure”;

* “We have implemented policies and procedures designed to safeguard your information”; and

* “We protect your data by… SSL, Data, and Password protection technology….”

The FTC’s Allegations

The FTC alleges that the membership service engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices by:

* using a toolbar for the collection of personal information that exceeded the frequency and scope of the data collection promises by collecting extensive information including the names of all websites visited, all links clicked by the user and information that users entered into certain web pages, such as usernames, passwords, search terms, credit card information, expiration dates, security codes and social security numbers,

* transmitting data in clear text and thereby allowing third parties to easily intercept and steal data transmitted over the Internet,

* failing to disclose material facts to consumers regarding data collection and transfer practices, and

* failing to provide reasonable and appropriate security for the consumer information collected.

Conclusion – Important Settlement Takeaways

The settlement takeaways in this case are important for all Internet marketers that distribute toolbars or similar software (referred to by the FTC as “Targeting Tools”) for the collection of personal information.

Two settlement takeaways are noteworthy in terms of the FTC’s requirements for clear and prominent disclosures:

* timing – the disclosures must be before the installation of the toolbar or other similar software, and

* context – the disclosures must appear separately from any end user license agreement, privacy policy, terms of use page, or similar document; traditional disclosures in these documents are no longer sufficient standing alone.

Although the settlement does not mention “Privacy By Design” per se, the settlement takeaways listed above are consistent with the FTC’s commitment to this new approach to privacy first announced in the FTC’s Preliminary Staff Report issued in December, 2010.

This article is provided for educational and informative purposes only. This information does not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as such.

Learn the Differences Between Each Legal Business Entity Type

Posted on January 27, 2019 in Uncategorized

Your individual state will register your legal business entity, and it’s important to understand that not all states recognize every business entity type. The descriptions below are meant to give you a basic understanding of the differences between entities, but you should check with your local government to see which type of business designation is right for your new venture.

Sole Proprietorships

Most small businesses choose the legal business entity of a “sole proprietorship”, where one person is the only “owner” of the business. Legally, there is no difference between you and your business, and while this business entity type is preferred by some because of the ease in setting it up and registering it, there is a greater legal risk assumed by the owner of a sole proprietorship. For example, if someone sues your business for infringement or fraud, they will be suing you, and your personal assets will be on the line if the case is taken to court – a disadvantage to this kind of legal business entity. This type of situation is rare to be sure, but from a business standpoint, it has the potential to be a risky move.

An advantage of this entity is the fact that you’re the only owner! You can make your own business decisions without having to consider the opinions of a board of directors, or other stakeholders. You receive 100% of the income from your business, and are free to file your profit on your individual tax return at the end of the year – a huge advantage to choosing this legal business entity type.

Partnerships

As the name implies, a partnership is an entity in which two or more people own a business together. Just like a sole proprietorship, there is no legal difference between the owners / members of a partnership and the business itself. As previously stated, choosing this legal business entity can have potentially negative consequences if someone were to file a suit against you or your business. An entity type of this sort carries an additional risk because of the added element of another person. For example, let’s say your business partner did something illegal and the court has decided to penalize your business assets because of his or her mistake. Although you have done nothing wrong, the whole business may be at risk of going under because of the partnership liability. Again, although this is rare, it is important to consider when choosing this kind of legal business entity. Types of considerations like this can protect your investment in the long run.

Speaking of investment, an advantage to a partnership is the ability to raise more funds with the influence of more people. Instead of having to shoulder all of the capital upon startup yourself, a partnership can help business owners divide the cost of operational expenses. And of course, because you’re sharing costs, you and your partner(s) will have to share profits as well. A benefit of this kind of legal business entity is the financial ease achieved by being able to file your profits under your individual tax return at the end of the year.

When starting a partnership, it is important to draw up a legal agreement detailing how costs and profits will be shared, what to do in the event of a partner wanting to leave the business, how to settle disputes about business strategy, etc.

Corporations

Unlike sole proprietorships and partnerships, where the owners are legally the same as their business, corporations offer business owners a unique legal and tax benefit in the sense that corporations are granted their own legal status. Therefore, this business entity type is considered as a separate legal business entity from you, your partners, and your shareholders. If your business were to be sued, it would not put you or your personal assets at any risk. So wait…who are shareholders? Whereas you’re an owner / operator / member of your sole proprietorship or partnership, you become a shareholder in a corporation, because this type of business operates with stock, or partial ownership distributed amongst several people. As a shareholder, you “own” a part of the business, but you also have to routinely answer to a board of directors who steer the direction of the company.

The downside to the legal business entity of a corporation is that you have less individual freedom to make executive business decisions, and you are not in total ownership of your business. This business entity type is more difficult to begin and dissolve, and often must comply with a series of complex federal and state regulations and taxes. However, the obvious benefit to this type of legal business entity is that you have more individual legal protection with the separation of yourself from your business in the event of a lawsuit.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Finally, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a sort of combination of all of the above business structures. Like the “corporation” business entity type, an LLC offers a legal distinction between a person and their company, but like a sole proprietorship or partnership, it offers the owner or member (we’re back to being called members now) control over business decisions, tax breaks, and offers no stock option. There is no limit to how many members an LLC may have, and it is also possible to just have one member. The obvious upside to this type of legal business entity is that it provides the best parts of both worlds, corporation and non-corporation, but the downside is that it is more difficult to file than a partnership (but is still less difficult than forming a corporation). To date, the federal government does not recognize an LLC as a classification when you file your federal taxes, so you must file either as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.

So What do I do Now?

As with any kind of legal decision, deciding which business entity type is right for your business is a big decision that requires a lot of thought. This is just an overview of the primary differences between each major legal business entity, so before making a decision, check with your lawyer or accountant to decide which is best for your financial and business interests. It seems complicated at first, but once you get registered with the state, you’ll be on your way toward owning and operating your own business!

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