Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Important Small Business Law Information

A financial advisor in Seattle, Washington, Geoffrey (Jeff) H. Garrett has years of experience in diverse industries. In 2016, Geoffrey Garrett began applying his prior experience as an attorney by offering estate planning and trust administration services to his clients. Though seemingly daunting, small business law is an important subject for a prospective small business owner to know, so they can achieve success and avoid penalties.

In general, business law refers to multiple fields. Business law pertains to laws involving contracts, taxes, intellectual property, and labor and employment. As a small business owner, you should have enough knowledge of business law so you can make informed decisions and avoid costly penalties in the future.

One important aspect of business law you should know is contract law. A contract is only binding if all parties understand its contents and agree to it. You therefore need an attorney to help you examine a contract and discuss its contents with other party’s attorneys. An oral contract is as binding as a written one, but an oral contract cannot be used in certain circumstances.

You also need to be mindful of intellectual property concerns. If you do not file patents or trademarks for your logo, technology, or services, other companies can use them without repercussions. Consult an attorney specialized in intellectual property law to determine what, if any, of your goods and services can be protected with a trademark.

Alongside intellectual property concerns, small businesses need to implement safeguards to protect customers’ data. You need to create a clear privacy policy that explains how your business will secure customer data, and if you share that data with other entities, how and why you will do so. Invest in antivirus software and other cybersecurity measures and back up your critical files so that you are prepared for whatever may happen, whether a data breach or natural disaster.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Personal Assets with a Small Business

Serving the needs of estate planning and probate clients in Mercer Island, Washington, Geoffrey Garrett has dual roles as a financial advisor and attorney. Geoffrey Garrett’s areas of focus including assisting business owners in protecting assets, and he maintains an in-depth knowledge of complex trusts and the trust administration process, as well as business structures such as sole proprietorships.

For a majority of those who operate small businesses, sole proprietorship is the legal structure selected, as it does not take much paperwork or extra filings to get the enterprise up and running. A drawback of this structure is that it places the owner's personal assets, like one’s home, car, and bank account, at risk in the event that the business is sued. A solution for avoiding potential legal issues is to create a trust related to ownership of the business.

Setting up a trust shields the owner in certain respects, should business-related litigation occur. However, for some businesses, creating a trust may be too expensive or time-consuming, and managing it may not feasible. In such cases, taking simple steps to separate your personal finances from the business can act as a safeguard. This extends beyond establishing separate bank accounts to opening a dedicated company credit card, with no commingling occurring between one’s business and personal accounts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Creating and Building an Emergency Fund

An attorney and financial adviser, Geoffrey H. Garrett handles everything from trust administration and estate planning to probate. Working with trusts and estates through a self-named law firm in California, Geoffrey (Geoff) Garrett possesses over three decades of experience in the legal field. Meanwhile, he provides financial coaching to clients through Erickson Wealth and Tax Management.

An essential part of financial coaching is setting up an emergency fund. This fund goes toward covering unplanned expenses, like home repairs, along with providing coverage for such events as a loss of income. Considering many experts recommend saving between three and six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund, the process takes time and relies heavily on meeting small goals that build up. At first, saving $500 is plenty for an initial goal that builds upon itself until individuals have the recommended amount put aside.

However, starting small only gets people so far. Saving is difficult when the money is constantly being seen. For this reason, emergency funds are best kept separate from a person’s regular savings and checking account so the money doesn’t tempt them. At the same time, accessibility is key. Placing the emergency fund in a high-interest savings account or other high-liquidity vehicle ensures it’s easily accessible when needed while still being out of sight.

Finally, individuals must stick to their savings plan once it’s all set up. This may require setting up automatic deposits so money is added to the fund without any effort. It also requires routine review of the plan so that it remains attainable and realistic as a person’s life changes. Further, it’s essential that a person continues saving after reaching their goal. Even if they put aside six months of expenses as a cushion, having extra money on hand provides additional relief and lessens the impact that emergency situations have on a person’s finances.

Important Small Business Law Information

A financial advisor in Seattle, Washington, Geoffrey (Jeff) H. Garrett has years of experience in diverse industries. In 2016, Geoffrey Gar...