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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!

Inside Legal Shield: A Critical 3rd Party Review

Posted on January 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

About Legal Shield

Legal Shield is a company founded in 1972 by entrepreneur and visionary, Harland Stonecipher. Mr. Stonecipher founded the company after being involved in a serious vehicle accident. Although he had car insurance to assist in his vehicle damage as well as health insurance to cover his hospital bills, he was completely unprepared for the legal expenses he quickly incurred.

Mr. Stonecipher quickly realized that although the United States has long had one of the world’s most advanced legal systems offering “justice for all”, often times that justice comes at quite a steep price that the average American unfortunately struggles to afford.

He decided to create a solution and thereby offer top legal services to Americans everywhere at a fraction of what those same services would normally cost. Pre-Paid Legal Services was born.

The company expanded quickly and was even listed on the New York Stock Exchange where it was a consistent top performer. In June of 2011, Stonecipher and his shareholders completed the sale and managerial transfer of the company to Midocean Partners, making it a privately held company for the first time in a long while.

The decision to re-brand and rename the company, Legal Shield, was officially announced at the company’s convention in Dallas, Texas on September 10, 2011. Legal Shield provides its services throughout the United States as well as in 4 Canadian provinces.

Legal Shield Service Summary

Legal Shield services are available on a month-to-month basis. Members have access to a multitude of service offerings that are tailored specifically to their needs. For $26 a month, one of the most popular plans the company offers members is called the Family Plan. It provides members with 5 main areas of coverage.

The first area of coverage is preventive legal services. Members receive access to premier law firms in their state for unlimited phone consultations. Members can have wills prepared for them as well as letters or phone calls written or placed on their behalf by the law firm.

The second area coverage is for motor vehicle incidents. Members can receive representation and consultation for moving traffic violations as well as for incidents of manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, and other vehicular homicide charges.

The third coverage area is trial defense. Members receive 75 hours of their law firm’s time for civil or criminal suit consultation and representation. Additional hours are available at a significant discount of the law firms’ regular hourly rate.

The fourth area is IRS audit coverage. Members have access to up to 50 hours of a tax attorney’s assistance in case they are audited by the IRS.
The fifth area of coverage provides members with a 25 % discount of the law firm’s regular hourly rate for legal issues that do not fall within the four areas of coverage.

Legal Shield also offers its members 24/7 access to an attorney should they be detained by police, be involved in a car accident, etc.

Another one of Legal Shields more popular services is its Identity Theft Shield. For a monthly fee this service provides continual monitoring of a member’s credit profile as well as full forensic restoration services in case their identity is compromised.

Compensation

Legal Shield markets its services through a diverse network of business affiliates known as independent associates. In order to enroll as an associate one must pay a one time fee of $249. The company provides marketing materials, support, and on going training.

Legal Shield pays advanced commissions on the sale of its membership plans.These upfront bonuses can be quite lucrative allowing associates to generate large commissions paid on a daily basis. Legal Shield associates also have the ability to recruit other associates to market the company’s services and recruit associates. Associates are able to earn commission overrides on the sales efforts of those within their own personal sales organisations.

The Missing Piece

The Legal Shield financial opportunity provides associates with a fantastic opportunity to build a lucrative home-based business and achieve financial independence. However, as with any business enterprise an associate’s chances of success are directly related to hard work and effort in order to achieve maximum results.

Although Legal Shield may sometimes provide its associates with potential customers or leads the reality is that the vast majority of an associate’s responsibility is to find new customers and sales associates on their own. This presents numerous challenges for any associate especially those who have not been able to grow a business beyond their friends and family members.

However, with the dramatic rise of the internet, Legal Shield associates can now equip themselves with dynamic new online marketing strategies and approaches that will help them grow a successful Legal Shield business without having to chase friends and family members around. Mastering online marketing strategies is a critical component to success in Legal Shield and for many associates it is the “missing piece” to achieving great success with this company.

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Prepaid Legal Services – How Can You Make Money From It?

Posted on January 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

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