Posts Tagged Phillips & Garcia

February Business Client Spotlight: APC Autobody

http://www.apcautobody.com/

28 Ventura Drive, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts | 508-998-9820 | 

In 2011 APC Autobody Celebrated 20 years in business repairing vehicles to pre-accident condition. They serve the consumer directly and deal with all the major carriers on their behalf. Customer satisfaction is their number one goal, and they will work tirelessly to ensure satisfied customers.

We asked Al Correia, Owner, a few questions about his business as well as his relationship with Phillips|Garcia Law.

How did you get into this type of work? I began my automotive career working in a neighbor’s garage learning how to repair cars. When I realized I had a special talent for this type of work, I went to work at a modern repair shop. Soon after I knew I wanted to open and operate my own facility.

What do you like about being in business for yourself? I like being in control of my personal and business future, making decisions that are best for me, my employees, and my customers.

What challenges do you face as a small biz owners? Politics, Taxes, and Red Tape. We do our best to run a clean and efficient operation, to be proactive rather than reactive, and to make sure everything is done correctly including paperwork.

How has Phillips|Garcia Law helped? P&G helps us maintain a healthy business. This includes any State or Federal filings, setting up new corporations, researching land we may want to purchase, and or course litigation if required. They have been a full service legal resource for APC.

If you would like contact Phillips|Garcia Law send us and email at info@phillipsgarcia.com or fill out a contact form on our firm page. www.PhillipsGarcia.com

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3 Things to Know When Buying a Franchise

1. COST

2. CONTROL

  • Franchisor may retain how you run your systems
  • May require you to buy certain products or goods
  • Limits what you can sell

3. TERMINATION

  • You may be immediately terminated if you breach a franchise agreement

If you have any questions regarding franchises or any other business legal matter please feel free to contact us toll free at 888-449-5343 or fill out the contact form.

Check out our website at http://www.phillipsgarcia.com for all you legal matters.


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Franchise Disclosure Document

Andrew Garcia of Phillips Garcia Law explains the importance of understanding the Franchise Disclosure Document when purchasing a franchise. If you would like to learn more about legal documents and business law contact Andrew, visit our website at www.phillipsgarcia.com or call us toll free at 888-449-5343.

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20% of Massachusetts Probate Judges Step Down: How does this affect your business?

Before the end of 2011, 20% of judges in the Massachusetts Probate Court will be stepping down. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports.

So what does this mean for my business?

With significantly less Probate Court judges, the Probate process will slow down dramatically, leaving your business in probate, following your death, for an extended period of time and in the hands of the remaining overwhelmed judges.

How do I pass down my business without being affected by the Probate Court?

Set up a Trust! Setting up a trust is the safest way to make sure your business is passed on in an orderly fashion.

Why a Trust and not a Will?

A Will “comes to life” when you die and passes your business on through the Probate Court System. A Trust, or “living trust,” “comes to life” when still alive and after your death while avoiding Probate Court.

Who can help me set up a trust to protect my business? We can! At Phillips Garcia Law we specialize in protecting business owners by helping them legally pass down their business in the safest and most precise way possible. Contact us using the Contact Form, call us at 508-998-0800, or email us at agarcia@phillipsgarcia.com. As always, you can find out more information on protecting your family and creating Trusts at our website, www.phillipsgarcia.com.

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Massachusetts Wage Law: Employer Pays Triple Damages for Failing to Follow the Law

A Massachusetts judge found that a Boston business violated the Massachusetts wage law when it deducted money from an employee’s weekly paycheck for a retirement contribution but then never deposited the wages into a retirement account. The judge then awarded triple damages of $25,814 plus attorney’s fees to be paid to the employee.

 The Boston real estate investment and development company had promised its employee that it would set up a retirement account into which the employee could make contributions. In December 2005, the employer began deducting money from the employee’s weekly paychecks. These deductions went on for at least two years.

 During those next two years, the employee made inquiries about the status of his retirement account and his funds, but the employer’s administrators ignored him. The judge found that the employer never bothered getting around to setting up the account and instead withheld the money. The amount of the weekly deductions over this time frame was $8,604.80.

 Sometime in the Spring of 2009, the company offered the employee a check for the $8,604, but as a condition for the money, the employee was to release any claims. The employee refused and then filed the lawsuit alleging that by withholding the money from his paycheck but not putting it into a retirement account, as promised, was a violation of the Massachusetts Wage law.

 There are lessons to be learned by all Massachusetts business owners by this case:

 First, the Wage Act states that an employer must pay an employee his wages within six days of the ending of the pay period during which those wages were earned. So, for example, if a weekly pay period is Monday through Saturday, then an employee must receive his wages by the following Friday. In this case, by withholding weekly deductions from its employee and not putting them into a retirement account as promised, the judge found the employer had failed to pay its employee within the six-day time period allowed under the law.

 Second, the Wage Act has very harsh penalties. Under the version of the Wage law adopted in July 2008, when an employee proves that the employer violated this section of the Act, then the court must award triple damages. It is mandatory. And, the employee is entitled to recover his attorney’s fees and expenses. So, in this case the judge multiplied the employee’s back wages of $8,604 by three and ordered damages of $25,814. The judge also allowed the employee to seek an award of his attorney’s fees and costs (that amount had not been decided as of the publication of this news story).

If you would like to learn more about Massachusetts Wage laws and your responsibility as a business owner, contact us at 508-998-0800 or email me at agarcia@phillipsgarcia.com. As always you can find out more at our website www.phillipsgarcia.com or scan the code above.

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Local Lawyer of Dartmouth Ma. Takes on Bank of America in California Federal Court

Local Dartmouth Ma. lawyer Andrew Garcia of Phillips & Garcia Law is currently flying over the continental United States on his way to California Federal Court to take on the largest American bank, Bank of America. Andrew’s trip is for a widely publicized illegal lock-out and trash-out case.

You can follow Andrew for updates on twitter.

Check out earlier discussions about illegal lockout and trash-out cases with Phillips & Garcia featured on the Today Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

For more information check out our website here. If you have a smartphone scan below.

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Buy-Sell Agreements: Why does your business need one NOW?

Without having a Buy Sell Agreement in place, your business could be in jeopardy.

Do you have a business partner? If so, would you have ever married your partner’s spouse? Well, by not having a buy-sell agreement in place, you could be engaged to him or her right now without even knowing it.

Starting a business with a partner is like getting married. It’s magical and exciting. You have all the best intentions when you go into it. And, like a marriage, sometimes all goes well and it works out for years, but other times it ends up in divorce.

That’s where a buy-sell agreement comes in.

A buy-sell agreement to a business is like a prenuptial agreement to a marriage; it defines the division of the interests in the business when some triggering event occurs. Common triggers are the death, disability or retirement of an owner; and, even when one owner just wants to leave the business.

Experience has shown that owner disputes that arise when one of these triggering events happen can drag on for years and cost the business and owners thousands of dollars in expenses and fees that they could have otherwise avoided. And, business disputes, like divorce disputes, are emotionally draining. With a buy-sell agreement most owner disputes can be avoided.

A buy-sell agreement is a binding contract between the owners. A well drafted buy-sell defines the triggering events, sets out who can buy the departing owner’s interest and how that value is established. It will also layout the terms of any buyout.

The buy-sell also helps preserve the continuity of ownership and ensures that everyone, the company, the departing owner and those continuing on in the business, is treated fairly. For example, when an owner dies unexpectedly a business is usually left in turmoil while it recovers from the sudden loss of one of its principals. There are usually gaping holes that the company must overcome while the responsibilities of the deceased owner are covered by other partners or employees. The owner’s family is also in turmoil over the loss of their loved-one and perhaps the “bread winner” of the family. A buy-sell agreement, though, will clearly outline how the surviving owners will buy-out the heirs of the deceased owner so that the business can continue to function more smoothly during these troubled times and avoid a long, drawn out dispute.

Buy-sells can be in the form of a cross-purchase plan (where the other owners buy the interest of the departing owner) or a repurchase/stock redemption plan (where the business actually buys the interest). It can even be funded with life insurance or can establish flexible payment terms. The agreement can provide for a down payment on the buy-out price with an installment payment plan at a reasonable interest rate.

Buy-sells are a significant benefit for a business owned by multiple owners. While the buy-sell does cost the business some money up front in the form of legal fees and insurance premiums (if funded with life insurance), the cost is worth it because it’s an insurance policy against trouble.

Attorney Andrew Garcia, Your SouthCoast Business Attorney

Attorney Andrew Garcia, your SouthCoast Business Attorney, is a principal of Phillips Garcia Law. He’s created a Business Legal Planning system that will walk you through the process of forming your Massachusetts corporation. Locally he has appeared live on WBSM-AM radio and nationally on NBC’s Today Show and Fox’s Fox & Friends program. If you are interested in learning more about his Business Legal Planning services, just contact him at agarcia@phillipsgarcia.com or by calling (508) 998-0800.

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