Category: Law

Being Self-Sufficient When Self-Employed

premium payablesAs more people are leaving their very insecure permanent jobs and going down the self-employed route, there doesn’t seem to be many financial preparations for the future anymore. And it’s hardly surprising, given the current nature of unpredictability in the market. People are setting up their own businesses, and approximately 9 out of 10 small businesses are failing because people are ill-equipped, or the financial strain is way too much for them to bear. Living a lifestyle of self-employment can be all about living day to day while working all the hours under the sun. While this isn’t the most fruitful way to live your life, how can you make the most of a delicate financial situation while working for yourself?

Assess The Real Amounts Of Outgoings

Living in a hand to mouth way means that you seldom stop and take notice of how much you’re spending. If you get a big contract, you may feel that you are in the money and spend quite lavishly, which leaves you out of pocket when you’re left wanting for work. The best way to tackle this is to establish a base level of spending and stick to that, though it’s worth doing this when you’re in a good working contract and not when you’re struggling. Look at your outgoings and cut back on what isn’t essential. Have you been to the gym in the last 6 months? No? Get rid of it. Getting a selection of credit cards is handy when you’re self-employed is handy for expenses, but not for buying everyday items. The best way to avoid temptation is to lock them away and avoid remembering the PIN number. If you have pressing payments when you’re in the middle of a contract, you could use a credit card to make the payment and then use your earnings to pay off the card. With costs like insurance, you can pay insurance premium by credit card which helps to spread out the debt over a longer period of time. It all depends on the rate of the credit card you have. It is always ideal to have a 0% card for business expenses. So if you needed to travel to another country, the card could pay for the travel insurance.

Look At What You Can Claim Back

One thing that newly self-employed people forget about is what they can claim as expenses. Depending on where you live it varies, but if you operate out of your home, you can make the most of cutting back on your energy bills if you use one of your rooms as an office. So if you have a phone set up, the internet, and of course, all your electricity usage for your business coming out of this one room, you could try and claim some money back on your bills. The rules differ, but you can always speak to an accountant to get the bearings on this situation. Self-employment is a feast or a famine, but saving money is possible in light of circumstances. Just do your research, and make the most of what you are entitled to.

4 Ways to Prepare for Bear Market Investing

money market statusBear markets happen. You can’t avoid them, so you might as well prepare for them before they hit.

First things first: What exactly is a bear market? It’s when the stock market as a whole is off by 20 percent or more from its high point. If you look at stock market trends, you’ll see that this shows up about once three years.

Preparing for the Bear’s Rampage

When the bear starts his rampage, your initial reaction may be unsettling. It will probably look like tough times are on the horizon, and you start envisioning yourself losing all the gains you’ve made financially. But don’t let the bear fool you. There are ways to not only prepare, but also to succeed with bear market investing.

If you keep your wits about you and a cool head, the market’s troubling timespan be used to your advantage. Knowing that a bear market is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to prepare for it.

Accept that the Bear Is Going to Come Along

Downturns are going to happen, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it. Just like everything else in life, the stock market has ebbs and flows. If you want to get biblical about it, look at it this way: the market giveth and the market taketh away. These swings are just a normal part of the investing game. Take advantage of the downturns when they occur and you’ll come out ahead when the bear goes back to hibernating.

Cut the Leverage

In financial circles, the term “leverage” refers to money borrowed at any level. It could be money you borrowed from a bank to buy your home, or from a credit union to buy a car. You may even have borrowed money to get into some investments.

The problem is that leverage is just a fancy way of saying debt. And debt can rapidly grow into a massive burden during challenging economic days. When you get a hint that a bear market is rearing its ugly head, you’ll want to get rid of as much leverage as you can, from both your invested portfolios and your everyday life. Doing this shields you from some major financial problems that can arise when hard times hit.

Spread It Out

This simply means to make certain all your investments aren’t sitting in one stock or fund. Diversification should be the strategy that rules your portfolio. This will give you flexibility during a bear market. To keep your assets performing at an acceptable level while the market is down, spread your money out into cash, bonds, favorite commodities, varied real estate and stocks.

Keep It Fluid

If something in your portfolio is doing well, sell some of it. Purchase some of what is not doing so well. This is the basic tenet of the “buy low, sell high” strategy that is time tested. Even when the popular trend may be going in the opposite direction, don’t jump on the “buy it while it’s hot” train. This process of rebalancing your portfolio shields you from the bear market while allowing you to sell stocks at a profit and buy bonds while they’re low.

Top 5 Legal Tips For Fledgling Startups

startup business ideasSo – you’ve had an excellent idea for business and thought it might be a success? Well, congratulations. It’s an amazing experience owning a startup and seeing something grow from an idea to an actual business. However, there are a lot of things that can go wrong – unless you have the right protection in place.

Most business owners understand the importance of security – but you have to start sooner rather than later. In fact, ask any legal expert and they are likely to tell you to sort out your protection before you even write your business plan. In this guide, we’re going to reveal five simple legal tips for fledgeling startups. Take a look and make sure you have the right protection.

Consider your structure

Before you start work, you will need to register your business with HMRC. It’s advisable to register as a company, rather than a sole trader, as it gives you a little extra protection. You should have a chat with an accountant, too – they will tell you the type of company you should be to save on your tax bill.

Contract everything

From the second you start dealing with other people, make sure you have a contract. It could be a partnership or an employee – it can also be a supplier or investor. In short, anyone that has any contact with your business needs to be held in a contract. It outlines everyone’s responsibilities and expectations and holds both parties to account.

Intellectual property

Don’t forget that your ideas have value, too – and it’s essential you protect them. Trademark registration is a simple process, as is applying for patents or copyrights. Ensure you do this as early as possible. If you have a very good idea, you don’t want someone stealing it from you and making a fortune off the back of it. It’s happened many times before, and will continue to do so if you don’t have intellectual property protection.

Hire a business lawyer

Don’t underestimate how useful a business lawyer can be for your fledgeling startup. They can help you cover yourself in a legal sense, and highlight areas of potential improvements. If someone files a claim against you, they can react quicker as they already understand your business. Just like having an accountant, it will save you money in the long-term. The amount of legal help you might need will be enormous as you grow your company. It makes sound sense – financial and otherwise – to use the same person.

Get insurance

If the worst happens, you have to have insurance. No matter how safe you think you are operating, there is always the chance of something happening. A slip, trip, or fall on your premises can lead to an expensive lawsuit. An unhappy client could pursue you for damages – even if you think you have done nothing wrong. It all adds up to a large payout, which could blow your startup out of the water before you even get started. Insurance will give you the peace of mind you need to make your business success.

A Beginner’s Guide To Hiring A Lawyer

business financial lawyerThere are many times in your life when you might require a lawyer. But, how do you hire the best one for the job? In today’s piece, I’ve written you a short guide on hiring legal representation:

Check Their Track Record

It can be hard to figure out whether or not you’re hiring the best lawyer possible. One easy way to determine this is if you check their track record. See how many cases they’ve won and lost over the years. Typically, the best lawyers will brag about their record. If they win more than they lose, you can bet they’ll let everyone know about it. It will be plastered all over their website to show off how good they are at their job. If you can’t find anything about their track record, then you should enquire. To put yourself in the best possible situation, you want a lawyer that wins the majority of their cases. It’s also important that you take their experience into account as well. You need someone with years of experience behind them, as this can help them get the result you need.

Look For Specialists

Different legal cases require a different type of legal representation. There are many types of lawyer that are best suited for particular legal needs. If you need help with a personal injury claim, then you should go to a personal injury lawyer. Should you require help with a will, then there are firms like Ronald Fletcher and Co. that specialise in this area. Different people have different legal needs; it’s important you find a specialist lawyer that fits your requirements. It doesn’t make sense to hire someone that rarely ventures into the legal field you need help in. When looking for lawyers, check what services they offer and whether or not they fit your case.

Always Check For ‘No Win No Fee’ Offers

I find it’s crucial that you look for a law firm that offers no win no fee on some of their cases. This means that if they don’t win, you won’t have to pay them a penny. You find these offers in most personal injury and negligence cases. I think it’s essential to look for this, as it can save you lots of money. No one wants to pay for a lawyer that ends up losing their case. By hiring someone on a no win no fee basis, you give yourself a bit of security.

Understand Your Budget

The final piece of advice I can give you is arguably the most important. It’s key that you understand your budget and don’t pay for more than you can afford. You must recognise that legal disputes can go on for a very long time. Overpaying for a lawyer can mean that you end up struggling for money.

There are many problems in life that can be solved with the help of a lawyer. It’s important you realise how to hire one correctly. Hire the wrong lawyer, and you could end up in a very bad financial situation.

4 Scenarios When You MUST Hire A Lawyer

law & attorneyThere is no doubt that there are negatives to hiring a lawyer. For one thing, they are very expensive. It is issues like this that make people believe they don’t need help when they are facing legal trouble. However, it is also this kind of thinking that gets those people into even more trouble. Lawyers are an essential part of your defense if you are going through legal proceedings because of their skill and knowledge. Below are the four scenarios when you need the more than most. If you ever find yourself in one of these situations, make your first call to your attorney.

1. A Messy Divorce

If the divorce is amicable, there might not be any need for a lawyer. Although some people would disagree, you can see the logic. But, when the divorce is a messy and contracted affair, legal representation is essential. For starters, law firms like Manassa, Stassen & Vaclavek, P.C. know where to look to find any loopholes. Divorces are like wars, and some people will go to any lengths to get what they want. Remember that when the deal is finalized, it is legally binding. Plus, they also act as your go between. Talking or mediating may be impossible if you don’t have a lawyer to pass on messages and communicate.

2. Wrongful Termination Suit

Thousands of people go to court every year to fight a suit of wrongful termination. The sad fact is that employers will take advantage of your lack of knowledge. They will do things that they know they shouldn’t if they can get away with them. Obviously, your lack of knowledge is a hindrance. But, that is where an attorney comes in handy. A specialist should know the legal terms inside and out, so they should be able to build a good case. Without them, it is unlikely that you will get your job back or get compensation.

3. A Criminal Charge

No one likes to think about going through criminal proceedings. But, if you have to, you need to know where to turn. The first and only place is a top lawyer. Again, there knowledge and experience are vital to building a good case and getting you off. However, there are other issues where they excel. They also take the stress off your shoulders and help you through the process unscarred. The main reason you need one, though, is because this is the biggest moment of your life. Do you want that hanging on your shoulders for the rest of your life?

4. Wills & Trusts

It is a sad state of affairs, but wills and trusts bring out the worst in people. There are numerous instances where people have manipulated dying victims into changing their wills, and it still goes on today. All you want is to make sure that the will is legitimate and that it goes to the right people. If you have a third-party lawyer on the case, you can be pretty pleased with the outcome whatever happens.