Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Soulful Suffering

Last week, I began saying affirmations as often as I remember. The main one being “I am a peaceful soul.”  Yes more often than not I was at war with my emotions. From irritation and anger, to grief and self-pity, it felt as if the affirmation awoke parts of me that I had been unaware of. Then it hit me how much I judgement I sat all day long, and as  I did the affirmation it highlighted how much of a problem my negative thinking created in my life.

It didn’t help that it was a rough week as I missed my aunt and dad, and it was hard to continue saying I am a peaceful soul when I felt anything but peaceful. Yet I also knew that my rationalizing my constant judgement about others and my emotions were not helping, in fact, were making my days a lot harder than they needed to be.

There were some wins, moments I was proud of myself, ways I could be in contribution to others, and it hit me that kind of work took time. Transformation and negative self talk did not just go away.  I also was fighting a river of negativity and judgement with a few dribbles of positive affirmations, but still it starts with one drop. So I keep working on myself, with the end in mind.

Happy Monday!

Business Law, employment law, Legal

4 Common Legal Mistakes by Small Businesses:Legal Reasons #72

1) Failing to “put it in writing” early

Before founders do any significant work together, it is essential to put into place a written agreement which outlines the roles and obligations of each respective party. Founder Agreements provide clarity regarding critical aspects of the work relationship, including but not limited to ownership percentages, salaries, removal grounds and procedures, governance and management, voting protocol and profit-sharing.

2) Failing to carry out buy-sell provisions

The decision by one founder to leave the company can lead to internal turmoil, customer erosion and disruption in revenue flow. These issues also could arise in the event a founder passes away or experiences long-term disability.

Simply put, failing to plan for the end is planning to fail. A properly drafted buy-sell agreement executed by the founders of the business at the outset (in conjunction with a founder agreement) can effectively account for how the company will proceed in the event of unanticipated change.

3) Using inadequate employment agreements

It is critical to invest in properly drafted agreements that can serve as the foundation for the employment relationship. Common terms included in an employment agreement include, among other things, the length of employment or whether the employment is at-will; the classification of the worker (i.e., employee/independent contractor, exempt/non-exempt); and rights and restrictions upon termination.

Employers should be mindful to not expose the company to liability by disregarding any prior-employment related obligations of job candidates, including any restrictive covenants and/or obligations to return sensitive documents that belong to the prior-employer.

4) Misclassifying workers

Many employers hire independent contractors rather than employees and/or misclassify employees as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act in an effort to avoid the payroll obligations that come with the traditional employment relationship, such as the duty to pay minimum wage and overtime. Serious liability can result from these misclassifications, including substantial wage repayment going back as far as three years and other harsh penalties.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Stretching Myself

It’s been a hectic few weeks, and it hit me that the pace is picking up. I feel stretched in all areas of my life, and what once felt overwhelming now is a reminder how far I have to go.  There are days I don’t want to wake up at 5:30 to do through my morning routines, days when I ask myself no one will care if I don’t do all that I set out to do yet, but there is that niggling voice in my head anyway.

Each day, there is a sense of urgency, and I also keep meeting new people who inspire me to be the best version of myself.  I don’t always succeed, in fact more often than not, I fail. Yet with each fall, I see another way to get back up. It’s not easy, and if  I am honest, there are way more days when I just want to quit.

But I get back up. I learn. I grow. I meet others, and I get inspired.  I am convinced that without growth, my ideas and energy will go stale. So I keep listening to the Rocky 4 soundtrack, and I keep at it. Happy Sunday!

Business Law, Legal

Reasons to Incorporate Your Business:Legal Reasons #71

Incorporating your company allows you to protect your personal assets from any actions that might affect your business. It also gives you the professionalism of an incorporated company, making it more likely that others will choose to work with you.

Business owners choose to incorporate outside their home state for many reasons. California is one of the most popular states for incorporation, because it has a thriving business community and offers important business benefits.

One major benefit of corporations in the state of California is management flexibility – the state only requires three officer positions in the filing: president, chief financial officer, and secretary. You can even fill all three of these with the same person. This allows you a lot of flexibility when it comes to filling out your corporation’s leadership team in the future.

Another reason forming a California professional corporation is a great choice is due to the anonymity of shareholders and management. The state only requires the director and resident agents to be disclosed, allowing stockholders to avoid having their names in the public record.

Finally, California corporation taxes are only 9%, with other significant advantages available depending on the type of corporation formed.

How to Incorporate in California

The process of registering a company is California is straightforward. Below is a brief overview of the steps to incorporating:

  1. Make sure your chosen business name is available under California rules and regulations.
  2. File California articles of incorporation.
  3. Have your organizational meeting and create your company bylaws.
  4. Get your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and open your incorporation’s bank account.
  5. Get business licenses from the county and/or city where you will do business.
  6. Submit your initial report, called a Statement of Information, within 90 days.
Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

You Are What You Consume

This morning I got a chance to listen to a whole program of B. K Shivani that made a lot of sense to me. She pointed out that in today’s world, what we consume, from food to social media, news, music and conversations form a part of us even when we tell ourselves that we wish to avoid the negative. It hit me that there are things I consume that stay with me long after (namely news and negative conversations) that as much as I don’t want to affect me, become a part of me.  Not only that, those things get amplified and stronger and more likely as more and more of it is consumed by others.

Now I see a pattern that when I start my day on a positive note and a healthy morning routine, I Am much more able to stay on track in terms of my health, emotions and diet. When I allow worry and negativity to begin my day, I not only impact my day, but contribute negatively to others. I have to say it is a challenge because just like a lifestyle change, being present and positive is a daily and continuous process that takes patience, willingness and an openness without judgement that can be hard to maintain.

Yet more and more I am learning towards getting better at this because I am determined to live and be the best version of myself not just for my sake but for the sake of my loved ones.

Happy Monday!

family law, Legal

California Divorce 101: Legal Reasons #70

You must be a resident of California for six months and a county resident for three months to file for a divorce, called a “dissolution.”

Either spouse can get a divorce simply by stating in the divorce papers that “irreconcilable differences” have caused a breakdown in the marriage. If both spouses are in agreement that there should be a divorce, they can agree in writing (called a “stipulation”) that the marriage can be ended.

The legal divorce process begins when one of the spouses files a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the Superior Court. The other spouse is then served with the paperwork and given time to respond. If the parties are in agreement about property and debt division, as well as any child custody and support matters, the divorce can be finalized without a trial. If the parties can’t come to an agreement, the court will set a time for a hearing in the future.

After the Petition for Dissolution has been filed, either party can request temporary assistance from the court, for instance, in the form of temporary custody and child support orders, spousal support orders, or orders to determine who pays community debts on a temporary basis.

Dividing Your Property

California is a “community property” state, which means that assets and debts acquired during your marriage will be divided equally when you divorce.

But not all property is considered “community property”.

For example, any assets you had before you married will be considered “separate property” if you kept that property separated from property acquired during the marriage.

The income produced by a separate property investment is also separate property, as long as it hasn’t been “commingled;” meaning, that it wasn’t mixed together with community money.

Property you inherit from your family or otherwise gifted to you during your marriage will generally be considered your own separate property if it was willed exclusively to you and you did not commingle it with community assets during the marriage.

It’s important to collect all the information you can about all your property, including when you purchased it, approximately how much it is worth, and details such as account numbers, serial numbers, and so forth. Collecting this information before you see a divorce lawyer can save you a lot of time and money.

Alimony

A court can order alimony, which is called “spousal support” in California. A court will generally consider such factors as:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The needs of each party
  • The financial resources and liabilities of each party
  • The impact on the children of having the care-giving spouse working
  • The contribution of each party to domestic duties and the education and career of the other party
  • Any tax consequences
  • All sources of income available to either party

A court can order temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending. Spousal support is usually ordered for a specific length of time. Once ordered, it can be modified only upon a showing of a “change in circumstances.”

Child Custody and Visitation

In California, the court can make custody decisions based on what is in the “best interest” of the child, but will do so only if the parents can’t come to an agreement between themselves. In deciding which parent should have primary custody, the court will consider:

  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the non-custodial parent
  • The history of contact between the parents and the child
  • The health, safety, and welfare of the child
  • The mental and physical health of the parents, including any history of continual alcohol or drug usage
  • The preference of the child, if the child is intelligent, understanding, and experienced/mature enough to express a preference
  • Evidence of child abuse

After the custody order is signed by the judge and filed with the court clerk, both parents are bound by it. If a parent is denied court-ordered access to a child, he or she may bring the issue back before the court to enforce visitation. The judge may decide to modify the custody/visitation order, order makeup visitation for the time missed, or order counseling or mediation.

Child Support

In California, child support is based on factors, such as:

  • The incomes of both parents
  • How many children the parent is responsible for supporting
  • How much time the children spend with each parent

If necessary, a court can set aside a portion of joint or separate assets of the parties to be put into a separate trust or fund for the support and education of the parties’ children.

A California child support order can be modified if there has been a “change in circumstances.” Examples of this would include:

  • A big increase or decrease in either parent’s income
  • The child spending a lot more time with the other parent
  • The child being several years older or having special financial needs such as schooling or medical expenses