Someone Owes Me Money - What Are My Options?

People often ask me how they go after someone who owes them money.  There seems to be a misconception that if you sue someone who owes you money, the lawsuit can be wrapped up within the span of an hourlong TV show and you magically get all your money and your attorney’s fees back in a giant check delivered to your house with flowers and balloons.

Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration.  The point is, trying to recover money you’re owed is not an easy task.

First, if you spend the time and money to sue, chances are pretty good that even if you win, you won’t be reimbursed your attorney’s fees without a contract that says you should.  Also, if you win, and get a judgment in your

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Get Involved as a Mentor for the Clark County School District

Earlier this week, Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones announced the Reclaim Your Future program, in which mentors from the community are paired with high school students to help raise the graduation rate.  

CCSD is partnering with the United Way, Workforce Connections, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and Vegas Young Professionals to round up volunteer mentors.  If you’d like to get involved, download the application or contact Debbie Tomasetti, Project Manager at 799-6560 or


Saving Money with an Out-of-State Entity? Maybe Not.

I recently met with a client who had formed a Wyoming LLC because it appeared that he would save a few bucks on fees.   He lives and works in Nevada and has no other connection to Wyoming other than the LLC he formed.  I asked him if he was aware of and complying with the law (NRS 86.543) that requires him to register in Nevada as a foreign entity.  He said no.  I told him that even if the LLC was formed in Wyoming, if he’s transacting business in Nevada, he has to register that entity with the Nevada Secretary of State as a foreign entity.  Same with corporations.    

As it turns out, if you are doing business in Nevada under an LLC formed in

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What Types of Records Should Be in My Corporate Book?

Recently, I made a pretty compelling argument for maintaining a corporate book, if I do say so myself.  Now that you’re convinced, what types of records should be included?  Generally speaking, you should include records of corporate meetings of members or shareholders, action taken without holding a meeting first, and approvals of common business decisions.  Usually, the document that memorializes action taken by the owners, with or without a meeting, is called a resolution.

For some examples of documents to include in your corporate book, refer to this list:

Meeting minutes and notices of meetings sent to members or shareholders  Adopting an operating agreement or shareholder agreement Adopting corporate bylaws Appointing a board of directors Opening bank accounts Approving contracts Authorizing or rescinding the authority of an employee

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Why Do I Need a Corporate Book?

When you form an LLC or a corporation with a commercial formation company, you’ll usually receive as part of the package a fancy-looking fake leather binder, sometimes with a heavy metal document sealer thingy.  Often, this binder sits on your shelf, gathering dust, doing you and your company absolutely no good.  There are many reasons to have a corporate book, but the two most important, in my humble opinion, are for business succession and litigation planning.

Business Succession

Your corporate book should contain all significant pieces of information relating to the company and records of major decisions by the company owners.  If a business owner is somehow incapacitated, or made otherwise unavailable, the second in command can refer to the book to find where the bank accounts are, what insurance

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Why You REALLY Need an Operating Agreement

I’m super serious this time.

Lately I’ve heard from a number of business owners whose partners have stopped contributing to the business, financially or otherwise, and the business owner calling me simply wants out.  Of course, it’s rarely simple.

A few callers are lucky in that the company has not yet transacted any business and therefore no equity really exists in the business to worry about leaving behind.  However, most callers find themselves in a position where they have contributed a disproportionate amount of blood, sweat, and tears to the growth of the business while their partners have done little to nothing.  Many callers report that their partners have not only done nothing but have even sabotaged the business by alienating customers, entering into lopsided contracts, or making large purchases

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Small Business Horror Story #4: Did Your Landlord Reduce Your Rent? Prove it.

One of my clients has been struggling to pay his $13,000/month lease.  During a phone call about a year ago, his landlord told him, simply, “pay what you can.”  At that time my client began paying about $6,000 a month while begging the landlord to move him to a smaller space within the same complex.  Though the landlord never moved him, the client continued to pay the reduced rent.

The complex was recently sold to a new owner whose asset manager (during a meeting at which the client’s accountant and I were both present) assured my client that his reduced payments were fine and would become irrelevant as soon as she found him a smaller space within the complex for about the same rent.  Her words, and I quote: ”You have

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Kate – Boxer/Pit Mix Needs a Home by FRIDAY!

Kate’s owner is relocating and has to take her to the shelter unless she gets a home within two weeks – please help! 

“This is Kate. I originally called her Kate Plus 8 – when I first fostered her mid-May she came to me with 8 newborn pups. Now all her pups have found homes and I have spent the last 3 months socializing her and showing her what love is.

She is a 18 month old Boxer/pit mix. She loves nothing more than snuggling and hanging out by your side. Fetching a tennis ball is her newest obsession, and will sleep with the ball. She gets along with other dogs well. Walking her was initially hard because she pulls, bit I got her a Halti harness and she is

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Small Business Horror Story #3: If You Don't Listen to Your Gut, at Least Listen to Your Lawyer

A potential client called me.  We’ll call her Helen.  Over the last ten years, Helen’s partner “Jane” had perfected this FABULOUS idea that would make them both rich.  Six months ago, Helen quit her lucrative job and had since worked full-time assembling Jane’s scraps of papers and mental notes into a formal proposal they could shop around to potential clients.  Jane and Helen had hired a lawyer (not me) to put together an operating agreement and Jane had promised that Helen would become part owner in the company.  Helen even ponied up close to $10,000 as startup capital.  Sounds like the start of a great relationship, right?  Well, it wouldn’t be a horror story if it was.

The longer Helen talked, the more concerned I became.

Helen had cashed out

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IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Treatment of Cell Phones; Provides Small Business Recordkeeping Relief

September 14, 2011

From the IRS NewsWire, issue IR-2011-93


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance designed to clarify the tax treatment of employer-provided cell phones.

The guidance relates to a provision in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, enacted last fall, that removed cell phones from the definition of listed property, a category under tax law that normally requires additional recordkeeping by taxpayers.

The Notice issued today provides guidance on the treatment of employer- provided cell phones as an excludible fringe benefit. The Notice provides that when an employer provides an employee with a cell phone primarily for noncompensatory business reasons, the business and personal use of the cell phone is generally nontaxable to the employee. The IRS will not

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