Tessmer Law Firm, Author at Tessmer Law Firm - Page 17 of 30
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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we continue with our Tessmer Tips for Veterans.   The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), formerly known as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), is a federal law that provides protections for military members as they enter active duty. It covers issues such as rental agreements, security deposits, prepaid rent, eviction, installment contracts, credit card interest rates, mortgage interest rates, mortgage foreclosure, civil judicial proceedings, automobile leases, life insurance, health insurance and income tax payments.  The law was first passed in 1918 and most recently rewritten and expanded in 2003.  It offers an umbrella of...

Determine how you will handle collection matters.  Every business has to deal with outstanding accounts receivables; know your legal rights and formulate a firm policy for collections and practices. Hire a professional accountant, preferably one who knows your type of industry.  Your accountant can give you advice on deductions, payroll, taxes, etc. that will keep you legal and off the IRS radar.   Consider retaining an attorney.  While most small business startups do not need one, having a trusted counsel can bring peace of mind.  You will have someone to call if any problems arise with contracts, employee issues, customer complaints, etc....

A business owner should put all agreements in writing.  Even if not legally required, it's wise to put almost everything in writing, because oral agreements can be difficult or impossible to prove. This includes leases or rental agreements, storage agreements, contracts for services (such as consulting or electrical work), purchase orders or contracts for goods worth more than a couple hundred dollars, offer letters of employment, and employment policies. Get in the habit of getting and giving receipts for all goods, services, and deposits, regardless of how much....

When you open your business, research any trademarks.  Don't get two years into your business and then find that you have to change the name of a popular product or even your entire company because someone has realized you are using a variant of their name and wants to sue you.  Do a federal or state trademark search on any proposed names for your company or products.   If a proposed name is being used as a trademark, change it if your use of the name would confuse customers or if the name is already famous.   Select the right employment structure for...

When running your own business, keep your personal funds separate from your business funds.  Open a separate bank account for your business.  Any payments made to you by the business should be made as a check written on the business account and deposited to your personal account, just like an employer was paying you.  Never take cash out of the business account for personal expenses.   As a small business owner, you will want to insure yourself and your assets.  You may be required to carry liability insurance to protect yourself in the event of injury to a client or customer. Some...

Are you an entrepreneur with a dream?  If you are considering starting your own business, there are legalities to consider.  For the next two weeks, we will discuss some of the points you may want to think about before you hang that “OPEN” sign.   Before you start your business, decide on an ownership structure.  Ownership structures legally establish a company as an official business. Common structures, such as partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations provide business owners with legal protection. An appropriate business structure not only offers certain tax benefits, but it also provides business owners with personal protection against lawsuits...

Who may legally adopt in Texas?  You must be an adult, and if married, both parties must petition for adoption.  Prospective adoptive parents must agree to a home study which includes all household family members.  A criminal background check must be performed on all adult household members.   Adoption can be an extremely rewarding experience and there are many children waiting for a loving family to call their own.  If you need help navigating the adoption process, we can assist you.  Call Tessmer Law Firm at 210-368-9708 to schedule a consultation....

What if the biological father is unknown to the mother? Because adoption involves termination the parental rights of the birth parents, efforts must be made to determine the name and whereabouts of the biological father.  The Department of Family & Protective Services must provide evidence to the court to show what actions were taken in making a diligent effort to locate the biological father.  Section 161.002 of the Texas Family Code states that the rights of an alleged father may be terminated if the child is over one year of age at the time the petition for termination or adoption...

Does the birth father of the baby have to be notified of the birth and the mother’s adoption plan?  Yes, the birth father must be notified either personally by service or by publication.  Reasonable efforts MUST be made to locate the father.  In Texas, a father may add his name to the state paternity registry, which is operated by the Texas Vital Statistics Unit.  The purpose of the paternity registry is to "protect the parental rights of fathers who affirmatively assume responsibility for children they may have fathered, and expedite adoptions of children whose biological fathers are unwilling to assume...

Texas law restricts the expenses adoptive parents can pay on behalf of biological parents. These restrictions apply even if the birth mother lives in a state that is more permissive in terms of payments of expenses. Adoptive parents can legally pay for medical and legal expenses relating to the adoption. You can pay a social worker or mental health professional to provide adoption counseling. It is also legal for you to pay a fee to a licensed child-placing agency. You cannot directly pay for any living expenses on behalf of the mother.  If you are working with a birth mother who...