What to do in Washington State when the owner of a family business is in capacitated or mentally ill?

What to do in Washington State when the owner of a family business is in capacitated or mentally ill?

Mental illness and physical limitations can be extremely debilitating to an individual and to a business. Especially when a businesses demand and require so much of their owners in small business settings. The ability to operate, manage, and make sounds decisions is key in life and in business.

Generally, a guardianship in Washington State can be ordered when one is in significant risk of personal harm based upon a demonstrated inability to adequately provide nutrition, health, housing, or physical safety. Alternatively or in addition if that person poses a significant risk of financial harm based upon a demonstrated inability to adequately manage property or financial affairs, a guardianship in Washington State can also be ordered by the court. For more information on guardianships visit Washington Court’s portal at http://www.courts.wa.gov/guardianportal/

When a business owner begins experiencing the kinds of limitations discussed above, what happens is people start second guessing the owner, including, employees, vendors, clients, customers, and family. If there are multiple business owners, they could help pick up the slack and cover for the business owner, but then that behavior starts to tax the business, which can cause resentment. In one instance, I had a client in the Seattle area who operated a family business and one of the family members was an owner. That owner was experiencing mental illness and could not control his moods and drug abuse. Ultimately, the other family members/business owners asked that member to stop coming to the office. The mentally ill owner was a drag on the business because he could not contribute work, resources, or financially to the business until he was treated for his illness. The remaining family members/owners sought a guardianship from the court.

In Washington State and the greater Seattle area, you can begin this process on your own. The Washington state court system has a website with the forms required https://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=91 However, you areprobably best served by discussing this with an experienced business law attorney in Seattle or in Washington State who handles guardianships. The process can be confusing and it involves several court appearances and filings that must be done correctly or could risk not having a guardian appointed.

Ideally, you want to avoid these issues all together. In that case if you are ahead of these issues, you may be able to prevent some of these issues with a durable power of attorney. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.94 However, if it is too late, it’s probably better to seek a guardianship.

An experienced business law attorney can be extremely insightful in the guardianship process in Washington State and the Seattle area because measures can be taken immediately to rectify situations, trouble shoot, and prevent bigger issues from occurring down the road. Seek experienced business counsel who has the experience and understanding of the operations of a business, not just knowledge or text book and theory. Seattle area business law firm, Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC provides guardianships for businesses in Washington State. E-mail them with your business law questions. http://www.rhodeslegalgroup.com

Guardianships in the Seattle area and Washington state are not reserved for only business law matters. Guardianships in Washington state extend to the person as well when there is a risk of significant harm to the person through a demonstrated inability to care for themselves personally or financially. For a closer look at guardianships, types, and the process, visit Washington State Court’s portal for guardianships. http://www.courts.wa.gov/guardianportal/ The portal provides an in depth look and description of guardianships in Washington State and what they entail. For the opinion of an experienced guardianship attorney in Washington State, contact www.rhodeslegalgroup.com

Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based criminal and civil law firm. Rhodes Legal Group handles matters ranging from business law, criminal, administrative, civil, and guardianships. For more information on Rhodes Legal Group, visit www.rhodeslegalgroup.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patrick Kwan is an experienced business law attorney based in Seattle, Washington with over 25 years of business experience. For more information on Mr. Kwan, visit https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/seattle-criminal-law-attorneys/patrick-kwan/

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LOAN FORGIVENESS FROM CORINTHIAN COLLEGE, EVEREST, ARGOSY, HEALD, WYOTECH, AND ITT TECH.

LOAN FORGIVENESS FROM CORINTHIAN COLLEGE, EVEREST, ARGOSY, HEALD, WYOTECH, AND ITT TECH.

 

books-student-study-education.jpgStudent loan forgiveness is a major issue facing students who have been defrauded and deceived into loans. The federal government has offered some relief for students. Below is a primer on the process. I have helped students process their claims and have helped them through the process. The process can take up to one year or longer depending the backlog and your individual facts.

 

What are the remedies?

This depends on what you are seeking, where you went, and what occurred. Sometimes you can receive total loan forgiveness through either borrower defense to repayment or loan discharge, which means anything you paid is returned to you including interest, your loan is cancelled, and your credit history is unharmed. However, if this is not available, you may be able to receive a reduction in your loan amount, and your credit will be unaffected so long as you continue your payments.

 

Determine if your loan is private or federal.

This key fact will determine whether or not the federal government through the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ear marked your loan as qualifying. Federal loans generally say “federal” and include Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, FFEL, William D. Ford Direct Program Loans, Federal Direct, and can include Navient or Sallie Mae loans. “Genesis” loans are private loans. The Student Loan Borrower’s Assistance website offers clarification and help on the matter. http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/start-here/what-type-of-loan-do-i-have/ There are generally better repayment and relief options for federal loans unless there has been a settlement reached by your state or you are in a class of students that has been involved in a settlement. In certain circumstances like in the Corinthian College matter, the federal government has set a date range for loans that can be repaid. However, this does not completely bar a claim and the federal government can repay loans and it they are evaluated on a case by case basis. When I last heard, about 60% of applicants received loan forgiveness.

 

Forbearance

You can put your loan on hold by calling the loan servicer and asking for forbearance, which puts the loan on hold until you can resolve the matter with the federal government or your private loan servicer. http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/repayment/postponing-repayment/forbearances/ However, this does not stop interest from accruing, but if you receive loan forgiveness, you are basically not paying the interest. Putting the loan on hold could really serve you well.

 

Claim Process

Depending on your claim, you can submit it yourself at www.studentaid.ed.gov There are also some helpful tips on www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org Both sites have a lot of information and can help you through the process. Hiring a lawyer can also be a great benefit to students seeking loan forgiveness. A lawyer can help prepare your application, assert your legal claims, and cite the appropriate law required to receive loan forgiveness or assert the borrower defense to repayment. In some cases, a student may need to sue the private lender and a lawyer should be used in these circumstances.

 

2017 Process

Going forward, the process is set to get narrower and a bit more difficult. This was announced just after Argosy and ITT Tech came under great scrutiny and Argosy and ITT Tech’s operating practices came into question. The Bloomberg article can be viewed http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-28/it-s-about-to-get-harder-to-seek-student-debt-relief If the rule is upheld, effective next July, borrowers must first seek to sue the institutions or loan servicers before seeking relief from the federal government. This would put an obstacle in front of students seeking loan forgiveness from educational institutions such as ITT Tech.

 

For more information on student loan forgiveness and borrower defense to repayment, Rhodes Legal Group published an article on student loan forgiveness and the Corinthian College matter https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/lawyer-attorney-corinthian-college-federal-loan-fraud-litigation-reimbursement-program You can also contact Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC at (206)708-7852 or visit www.rhodeslegalgroup.com

 

Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based law firm handling civil, criminal, administrative, and business law matters.

 

 

 

 

 

A Civil Lawyers view on the Corinthian Fraud Issue and Debt Forgiveness Reimbursement.

** UPDATE October 25, 2016**

ITT Tech has come under similar circumstances. Loan forgiveness and defense to repayment maybe available to ITT Tech students. calculator-scientific.jpg

The chance to obtain higher eduction, do better for yourself, your family, and achieve is one of the fundamental concepts our nation was founded upon.  The road to higher education is paved with sacrifice, dedication, and hard work. As a group of civil, administrative and criminal lawyers, we believe in this dream as we live it and take great pleasure in helping those who by fraud or deceit have been prey on for sharing this dream.

Students at Corinthians College, Everest, WyoTech, and Heald were robbed of this opportunity by deceptive trade practices that were in essence fraud. The Corinthian College operated several colleges under the Corinthian College umbrella. Among them were Everest, WyoTech, and Heald. Corinthian operated Everest, WyoTech, and Heald Colleges.  This group “fudged” and falsified numbers of job prospects to its students. The Colleges hired its own graduates to inflate and mislead students in the ability to find work after college as well as engaged in predatory lending schemes praying on those students who were unable to obtain loans.

Corinthian Colleges, Inc., was a large for profit post secondary school in North America. Through a number of subsidiaries it offered students diplomas in health care, business, criminal justice, transportation, technology and maintenance, construction trades, and IT. Students in Arizona, California, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada have been among many have been affected by Corinthian College’s long trail of deception and fraud that culminated in Corinthian posted this message on their website on April 27, 2015.

Federal regulators prevailed in a $569 million dollar suit against Corinthian who is now bankrupt and defunct. Though Corinthian may hide behind bankruptcy, but the 40,000 plus students and 130,000 plus loans issued by Corinthian, Everest, WyoTech, and Heald may seek justice for this fraud in the form of federal loan forgiveness and debt reimbursement.  Our office is presently taking on new clients to assist them in this process.

For the 40,000 plus students who were mislead by Corinthian’s false statements and fudging of job statistics, the federal government is allowing debt forgiveness for the student loans. Not only may students obtain debt forgiveness, they may also be reimbursed for the amounts that they paid towards the student loans. More information can be found athttps://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/corinthian#fraud-violations-state-law or by setting an appointment with our office to discuss your situation.

The federal government is working to stream line the process, but it is taking claims now. Patrick Kwan has researched the issues and is familiar with the formalities and filings of this process. Patrick has taken an interest in helping those students who have been defrauded by Corinthian, Everest, WyoTech, and Heald. “Having gone through my own student loans, I know what its like to invest in yourself and your future. It’s a terrible that greed has corrupted eduction, self-improvement, and dreams. These students need to obtain a remedy and seek justice.”

There are a number of options for students including loan forbearance (halting loan payments), loan forgiveness, and a settlement recently obtained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for private or Genesis loans. Options are available for those who have been defrauded by Corinthian Colleges as well as others.  Patrick Kwan has made it his business to know these routes and help his clients get loans forgiven that were injured due to fraud, among other things.

An article in the Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/corinthian-colleges-ordered-to-pay-damages-to-students-1446059379 goes into more depth regarding Corinthians and the justice that has been served.
To reach Patrick Kwan, contact patrick@rhodeslegalgroup.com. Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC takes great pleasure in assisting its civil clients in matters concerning fraud.  Email or call us to set a consultation with a lawyer who knows this area of law and wants to help. To contact Rhodes Legal Group regarding student loan matters including defense to repayment, borrower defense to repayment, student loan discharge, contact (206)708-7852.

 

 

The Pitfalls and Cons of Using Template Legal Documents.

THE PITFALLS AND CONS OF USING TEMPLATE LEGAL DOCUMENTS.

What’s the big deal with template legal documents or using an online legal service? It seems quick, cheap, and effective. The reality is that you may have documents done quickly because they are pre-finished, template, basic, fill in the blank and the cost may be less than going to a business lawyer in the Seattle area. However, the results can be vastly different. Take a moment to consider the gravity of what you are doing and what you are about to embark on. You are about to put into action legally binding documents that can affect the outcome and possibly define rules and boundaries for activities and conduct. You should take the time to know, understand, plan, and prepare for these documents to take effect and you should discuss this matters with a Seattle area business lawyer. Below are a few points that will help you create business law documents and other legally binding documents in Washington State. Think of these documents similar to an insurance plan that you can rely on. That being said, you do not want to cut corners and you do not want to simply have a vague and general document that you hope to catches everything. If you care about the outcome and are seeking protection from a legally binding document, you must have a document custom tailored to your needs because what goes for one client does not necessarily go for all. An experienced lawyer can cater to the specifics you need.

For an example of store bought legal documents available from Office Depot, Example http://www.officedepot.com/a/browse/legal-forms/N=5+535971/ Documents start at about $8.

Plan and be specific.

Think about what you want to accomplish, what are your long term goals, and what is it that you want to rely on this document for. Getting specific here should save you time, money, energy, and headache in the long run. If there is a specific action or provision you want, you need to have it drafted and written for your specific needs, not a general assumption that is written for everyone. Without details and specifics, you risk an uninformed interpretation of your document and intentions. Spell out what it is you want to avoid misunderstandings. An experienced business law attorney can spell out your wishes. Most store bought template documents do not go to the detail that you need to protect and defend your interest.

Protect and Defend.

An experienced business lawyer is both a sword and shield. The sword is when you are using the document to attack and the shield is when you seek protection. Use your business lawyer for advice, counsel, and opinion on how to protect and defend yourself and your business. Template documents can defend and protect, but usually not to the level of an experienced business attorney who understands your needs and interests. Seattle is a robust business epicenter, seek out a sword and shield with a Seattle area business lawyer. Rhodes Legal Group is a Seattle area based business law firm handling business law matters in Seattle and Washington State. They can be contacted at http://www.rhodeslegalgroup.com

 Don’t just throw some words on paper and hope.

Without specificity and custom tailoring of a legal document or business law document, you more or less have some blanket and general words hoping that covers your specific needs. Some services give you an online or phone consultation. That is a step in the right direction, but you should consider the source. How was does your phone operator lawyer understand business? Do they have business experience or have they ever operated a business? Perhaps they are fresh out of law school and could not find another job and have settled on being a phone operator. They could do a good job, but do you want to roll the dice with them with your business or legal needs?

Discuss the matter with experienced business and legal counsel in the Seattle area. Patrick Kwan is a Seattle area business lawyer who has over 25 years experience in owning, managing, and operating successful businesses. View Mr. Kwan’s business law profilehttps://rhodeslegalgroup.com/seattle-criminal-law-attorneys/patrick-kwan/

How would a judge or jury interpret this document?

What many do not consider is what happens if there is a vague and general statement in a business law document or legally binding document in Washington State or whatever jurisdiction they are in? In these cases, the judge or jury will interpret the document. The lawyers of both parties have the burden of proving the intent of the document. You have a good chance at preventing this from happening and letting others decide the outcome of you business and legal matters in Washington State. The Washington State court system https://www.courts.wa.gov/ may be the appropriate venue to hear your matter depending on the amount, location, and what is at stake, but it’s best to not let the matter get that far. Draft a sound business or legal document and make sure your intent is shown and clearly defined. This is another instance of rolling the dice with your business or legal rights at stake. Don’t let others interpret your intent, wants, and needs. Do it yourself by having an experienced lawyer convey your meaning.

 

Understand what you are putting into action, what is at stake, and have the entire document explained to you.

Some lawyers like to use fancy wording, big words that sound Shakesperian and can be found in law.com’s Law Dictionary http://dictionary.law.com/ Skip it, don’t bother, and get to what you mean. As the client, you need to understand what you are putting into action, what is at stake, and have the entire document explained to you. Experienced business counsel and lawyers understand and are experienced in drafting and explaining their work in protecting and defending your rights. A document that is put into effect with out the client knowing and understanding is very dangerous. This is like playing a game where you do not know or understand the rules. Define, know, and understand the rules of the game before you play.

 

Know your options.

If you do not know your options, you have no idea what is available to you. The idea of playing a game with no rules or understanding is true here as well. If you do not know your options, you are then limited in the moves you can make. Do not limit yourself, your business, or your legal rights. Experienced business lawyer and experienced lawyers can open up options you have may not considered and may have not known existed. Broaden your horizons and meet with an experienced Seattle area business law attorney.

This article was written by Patrick Kwan, an experienced Seattle based business law attorney. Mr. Kwan has over 25 years of business law experience as well as owning and operating several businesses. To view Mr. Kwan’s business and law bio, visit https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/seattle-criminal-law-attorneys/patrick-kwan/

Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based business law and criminal law firm serving the greater Seattle area and Washington State. For more information visit www.rhodeslegalgroup.com or contact them at (206)708-7852.

slip-up-danger-careless-slipperyFor more information in doing business in Washington State, contact Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC visit Rhodes Legal Group   https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/business-law/starting-business-seattle-washington-state/ or you can begin at the Washington State Secretary of State’s office at https://www.sos.wa.gov/ For more information on drafting business documents in Washington State, you can view Mr. Kwan’s article on drafting business documents in Washington State.

https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/washington-lawyer/seattle-business-law-attorney/contracts-business-documents

 

 

STARTING A BUSINESS IN SEATTLE AND IN WASHINGTON STATE.

STARTING A BUSINESS IN SEATTLE AND IN WASHINGTON STATE

That magical moment when you land on your million dollar idea is exciting, like Willy Wonka finding the golden ticket. Your thoughts turn to success, wealth, and financial freedom. Maybe you can even quit your job and devote your time to the million dollar idea or even retire. I encourage my clients to dream, develop, and refine ideas. However, as much time, if not more time needs to be spent planning on the formation and structure of what you are about to embark on. How you structure, who you are entering into business with, business planning, and how you operate and exit your business are all questions that need to be though through and developed thoroughly before opening your doors. I published an article in 2015 about starting a business in Washington State. The article can be viewed here and it gives more information on owning a business in Washington State. https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/washington-lawyer/seattle-business-law-attorney/start-new-business-corporation The Washington State Secretary of State has a great website on the different business entities available in Washington State. That can be viewed https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/registration_structures.aspx Spend some time researching and discussing with a Seattle or Washington State business law attorney to help you make the right choice for you.

I have seen many great ideas and businesses get derailed because of poor business planning and the failure to take the time to properly form and flesh out the ideas and structure of a business or idea.

Who Are You Entering Into Business With and How Do You Structure Your Business In Washington State?

This simple question can make or break your business plans very quickly. Who you enter into business with can dictate what kinds of problems you may run into later. Friends and family are close to you, they know you, why wouldn’t they be good business partners? This can be true, but I have also seen business and relationships sour because of a business dispute. The reality is, friends and family can and do fight over money, power, control, and decision making in business.

I represented a business that was started by two high school friends. The business grew at a break neck speed, but there was a falling out. Two owners that were once friends began flinging allegations of theft, dishonesty, distrust, and substance abuse. The business took over one year to dissolve and end. Multiple attorneys were involved as well as forensic accountants and a great deal of work. This all could have been avoided with a sound operating agreement and spending the time planning.

There is no litmus test on how to find out if your friend or relative will make a good business partner or not. What you can do is lay out the business structure and clearly define boundaries, rules, and processes before you enter into business together. You also need to think about trying to anticipate what may go wrong. Asking the difficult questions is never easy or comfortable. Now think about asking the same difficult questions to friends and family. What if you do not get along with your business partner’s spouse? What if your business partner has a substance abuse problem?

Given the variables of families, personalities, and other moving parts, you may be better served with no partners, but with that comes draw backs. Maybe your partner can share the load, responsibility, and liability. Maybe your partner brings additional capital to fund the business. A business plan is a custom tailored plan that should fit the needs of those who own and operate the business.

How Do You Operate Your Business In Washington State?

Now that you know you want to be in business, you need to form the rules of how things get done and how things are handled. In Washington State, this is commonly referred to as an operating agreement. The operating agreement spells out the ownership, how decisions are made, how problems are handled, how profits are divided, how loss and liability is divided, how the business is funded, how the business is to be closed, what if a business partner is incapacitated, who makes business decisions, and lays out the way the business is operated. This sounds like it’s a simple task or I often hear that “my family and I get along” or “I am in business with my friend and I know they would never do me wrong.” Things happen and people generally fight over money the most. When getting into business you hope that you never have to resolve a dispute amongst business owners, but you may not always see eye to eye in business. Though this process takes work now, spend the time to get to know each other, plan the business, as this process could save you time, money, and headache later. Even if you are a sole proprietor and own the business individually, you should consider your operating agreement and what may occur in the future. Do you want the option to take on a partner? What happens if you are incapacitated, who makes decisions in your place? What if you are incapacitated and your spouse or agent needs to make decisions? The operating agreement will spell all of this out for the incoming party.

How Do You Exit Your Business In Washington State?

I recently had a client bring me a matter where there was a business dispute so bad that both parties wanted to end the partnership. The remaining issue was “How do you close the business?” and “What becomes of the partnership assets?”

Generally the partnership agreement governs the closing of the business. In this case, my clients decided to use a partnership agreement that was purchased from an office supply store because the agreement was inexpensive and easy. Just fill in the blanks and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. The agreement was a short one and a half page agreement that covered most of the usual topics. After reading the document and hearing about the nature of the dispute, the store bought partnership agreement glossed over the topics and was not customized to the specific needs of the partnership and the nature of their business. The partnership agreement did not have an attorney’s fees clause. This is an important addition because in the event of litigation, the agreement does not state whether or not the losing party pays attorney’s fees. It usually costs a significant amount of money to litigate a matter and you do not want to have to pay attorney’s fees on top of what you might be awarded.

The store bought business partnership agreement probably cost $40, but the amount that the partners would have to spend to close the business and resolve the matter was in the thousands of dollars. Spending the time with a business law attorney will help you frame out the kind of agreements, rules, and structure that your business will need.

I understand that once you have the million dollar idea or the notion to open a business you want to move quickly and capitalize on the market, but putting off proper business planning can lead to disaster. Things may be great when money is rolling in, but many times problems only worsen in slow business times. I authored an article on drafting business law agreements in Washington State and the greater Seattle area. https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/washington-lawyer/seattle-business-law-attorney/contracts-business-documents The article discusses the importance of taking the time to draft and customize business law documents in the greater Seattle area and Washington State.

The Washington State has an easy to use guide on how to do business in Washington State. http://business.wa.gov/index.html The website discusses and helps you through the steps of operating a business in Washington State.

STARTING A BUSINESS IN WASHINGTON STATE CHEAT SHEET

  1. Define your business. What is it that you want to do?
  2. Who are you getting into business with? What entity is right for you?
  3. Operating agreement.
    1. How do you want to operate your business and what is the structure?
    2. How do you want things done?
    3. How do you make decisions?
    4. How are profits, losses, and liability divided?
    5. What is each party brining to the table?
    6. What if things go south or sour?
    7. How do you sell your interest?
    8. How do you exit?

The above cheat sheet on starting a business in Seattle and in Washington State only considers some of the questions that should be discussed. I do not expect the answers to be arrived at in a short time. Think on it, consider options, and alternatives. An experienced business lawyer in Seattle can help you further develop and trouble shoot your business ideas and goals.

The links provided should get you started in opening a business in Seattle or in Washington State. Make sure you take the time to thoughtfully develop and envision the business you want and the rules you want to govern your business. The time spent involving yourself in the process could prevent chaos down the road.

For more information on business law in Seattle and in Washington State, contact Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC, a Seattle area based business law firm. Rhodes Legal Group’s Business Law Section is chaired by Patrick Kwan, an experienced business man and attorney with over 25 years of business experience owning, operating, and managing businesses. View Mr. Kwan’s bio here. https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/seattle-criminal-law-attorneys/patrick-kwan/waflag.jpg

What Makes a Great Business Lawyer?

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A Business Lawyer’s View | What makes a Great Business Lawyer.

See Patrick’s Linkedin profile

As a businessman with over 25 years of real world business experience in starting up, managing, operating, merging, and transitioning businesses, I understand what it takes to make a business successful. That said, I also have a degree in law which has helped a lot.  The merging of my business experience and a legal background has put me in an ideal position to help businesses understand the law, counsel and apply the law.  I am not your typical business lawyer who is argumentative and litigious, however as part of the Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC I have ready access to a team of litigators if disputes cannot be resolved sensibly.

What many businesses seek in a lawyer and counsel is an understanding of the issues and an advocate who can defend and protect their business so they can concentrate on sustained success. Many business lawyers lack business world experience and only understand business law as text book and theory and thus, do not understand the realities of owning a business. The bottom line is, they don’t understand the grind because they have never been in the grind.

Experienced business counsel helps you understand the issues, protects your rights, sustains relationships and defends your business. Great business lawyers help you plan, anticipate, and forecast for what the future may hold for your business. What if you have a business partner who is taking out too many profits, or there is a business dispute that could cripple your business, or a partner gets divorced, or you don’t understand a contract or are asked to provide one, you become terminally ill or you have a oral business agreement go sideways or get into business with the wrong person, or mental illness strikes a business owner? What do you do in times of disagreement with your partner or another business? What do you do if an administrative or criminal investigation is started against you? Although many of these issues can be addressed when you start your business, there are unforeseen and new situations that every business faces.

I’ve helped businesses of all types from small start ups, charities, world recognized athletes, professional sports teams and leagues, pop-stars, entertainers, and world wide brands in their business endeavors. What all of these clients have in common is that business law affects them regardless of size, popularity, or revenue and they all benefited from sound business advice. Look for experienced business counsel who can guide you through your business career and can help you plan, understand, and focus down the road to success.

Patrick W. Kwan is a Seattle based business law attorney with over 25 years of business world experience who has helped many business start up, get to scale, and achieve success and their goals. Email or call 206-708-7852 to set an appointment with Mr. Kwan.

Why Write Demand Letters and What They Do.

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Why Write Demand Letters and What Do They Do.

You never know what you might get until you ask is an old saying and for the most part its true. When an issue comes up, whether you are an individual or a business, you want it resolved and you want it done quickly. It makes no sense to make the process painful, costly, time consuming and a nightmare. In our opinion and as a Seattle area business lawyers, a formal demand letter https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_letter is a proper solution to resolve your disputes whether you are an individual or business seeking resolution. When properly drafted by an attorney, a well written demand letter serves a few purposes.

  1. It’s a concise way to convey your position and what you want without letting emotions getting involved. Though you may feel very strongly about your position and your interests, a well written demand letter conveys the issues and your expectation without letting emotion get involved. Imagine if your discussion of the matter with the other side were to be escalated by tempers or anger. Emotions tend to cloud good judgment. In our opinion, a demand letter lets clients step away from emotions and other issues by forcing them to articulate what they actually want. This process is a one to two hour discussion with a competent business law attorney. Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based business law firm. https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/business-law-seattle-attorneys/

It tells the other side that you mean business. Sure, you can draft the letter yourself and it could possibly resolve your matter. However, when an experienced business law attorney drafts one on your behalf, it comes with a weighted punch that makes a statement that says “I am really serious and I have retained an attorney who has my back and will fight to protect my interests.” An attorney can also have a draft of a complaint sent with the demand letter or at least threaten to file a complaint if the matter is not resolved. This gives even more power to the weighted punch by threatening litigation and can be quite alarming when read by the other side.

  1. It’s an efficient and cost effective method of starting the settlement and resolution process. No one truly wants to go to court. It takes a lot of time, money, preparation, and it can be stressful. Get the ball rolling in the resolution process so you can see where both sides are at. In our opinion, as business lawyers in the Seattle area, what you pay for a solid demand letter is nothing compared to what you would probably pay in litigating the matter.

A business law attorney is generally motivated to make progress and move deals and negotiations forward. In my opinion, business law attorneys are very well suited for writing demand letters since the entire process is a negotiation or business deal. For more information on Seattle area business law, visit https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/business-law-seattle-attorneys/

Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based law firm who’s business law practice group is headed by Patrick Kwan, a lawyer and entrepreneur with over 25 years of business experience. For more information of Patrick Kwan and the business law practice group, visit https://rhodeslegalgroup.com/seattle-criminal-law-attorneys/patrick-kwan/ or contact Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC in Seattle at (206)708-7852. Patrick Kwan and the Seattle area business law practice group can be reached at Patrick@rhodeslegalgroup.com

It is possible to write a demand letter without an attorney, but that letter should have the weight and punch behind it. Otherwise the letter is just a simple request. If you are going to try to write your demand letter, it is our opinion that you avoid using a meek and timid voice, use a strong and unwaivering voice that isn’t deterred to state what you want and your position. The process is not difficult, it’s the parties that can be difficult which is why having a business lawyer on your side to manage and negotiate on your behalf can help you shorten what could a lengthy and costly process.

 

Starting A New Business In the Seattle Area and the Need For Understanding Business Counsel.

STARTING A NEW BUSINESS 101

 

So you want to start your own business… There are several questions that need to be answered first in order to steer you in the right direction in terms of forming the proper legal entity and for the proper purpose. It is unlawful to operate an unregistered and unlicensed business in the State of Washington. The first place to start is the Washington State Secretary of State to begin the filing and formation process. The Washington State Secretary of State can be reached at http://www.sos.wa.gov/

 

It is possible to file the required business formation paperwork in Washington. However, it may be a lot more trouble than its worth. Hiring an attorney to file and form your business can save you a lot of headaches, paperwork, minutiae, keep your business filings on time. A mis-step could seriously harm your business.

 

PROFIT OR NON-PROFIT

This designation only matters in terms of filing and paperwork. You may still draw a salary from a non-profit. The non-profit designation merely sets the corporation’s objective.

 

LAWFUL PURPOSE

It may seem obvious that in order to have a lawful business you must engage in a lawful business. This holds true even if you are conducting business that you do not know is illegal at the time. Ignorance is no defense. If you have any doubts or questions, its is best to seek the advice of an attorney to help trouble shoot any issues that could arise.

 

PARTNERS, SINGLE OWNER, OR CORPORATION?

Choosing the right ownership platform should be carefully considered. Do you play well with others? Do you work better alone? Do you want someone else to hold you accountable or help you make decisions? If you work better alone, it may be better to have a sole proprietor ship. If you have partners, it may be better to form a partnership.

 

LIABILITY

Whom liability falls on generally pertains to profits, losses, and debts. These are generally shared with the owners of the business. However, a corporation is liable for liability when properly designated as a limited liability company and a limited partnership (LP or LLP) protects the owners from liability when engaged in lawful business purpose. Do you have significant personal or marital assets that you want to protect?

 

Choosing the right method to handle liability should be done thoughtfully and with assistance from an expert on the matter.

 

INSURANCE

Insurance is a worthwhile and minimal expense in the grand scheme of things. You can protect the issues you would expect. Fire, property, employees, damage, loss, etc. However, you can also insure your receivables from non-payment and expectations. The business world can be unpredictable and insurance prepares you in the event things do not go as you like. Companies like USI Northwest handle a wide range of insurance plans. They can be viewed at http://www.usi.biz/

 

LEGAL COUNSEL

Checking in with legal counsel or having general counsel in your business is a tremendous asset. Many issues and initiatives live or die once they are presented to counsel. Experienced counsel should steer you clear of liability offer a different analysis as well as identify risk in issues. Flying blind can at times work out, but flying with a clear course and navigated plan is wiser. You want business counsel to understand the law and understand more than the theory of business. A business lawyer with real world application, practical knowledge, and experience should serve you far better than one who operates in theory and lacks application.

 

The above is not legal advice. It is a set of guidelines and concepts that may be useful in starting your own business. For information regarding starting, purchasing, or ending your business, contact patrick@rhodeslegalgroup.com

 

Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC is a Seattle area based law firm that handles business, criminal, civil, and administrative matters. For more information on Rhodes Legal Group, PLLC visit www.rhodeslegalgroup.com or call (206)708-7852