A sole proprietorship is both the simplest and easiest business type to form. You are the sole owner, and you and your business are legally the same. Because of this you do not need an Employer Identification Number and your social security number will be used for your business too. As the sole owner, you have complete control over the management and business decisions of the company and all company profits are your own. An advantage is that you avoid double taxation that a corporation has to pay and are only required to pay taxes once as an individual. One downside is that you are personally liable for all debts and liabilities of the company. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Under a partnership, your ownership and control of the company is shared between one or more partners. Each partner will contribute capital and assets to the company and these can include money, property, skills, and labor, etc. Although the partnership is its own separate legal entity, each partner receives a share of the profits based on agreed upon percentage and each partner pays their own share of income taxes. Like a sole proprietorship, all partners will be responsible for the company's liability and losses. Depending on the size of the partnership, the legal documents required for formation can be very lengthy and complex.
A corporation is the most complex business form and requires the most paperwork. You are required to file articles of incorporation, by laws, and have a shareholder agreement with your state secretary. You will also have to file annual registration fees and reports. The corporation must elect directors, corporate officers, and issue stock to the owners, which is specified in the articles of incorporation.
Unlike a partnership and sole proprietorship, a corporation has its own legal identity and pays its own income taxes on its profits. Each shareholder is required to pay their own personal income taxes on any dividends they receive that year. This is known as double taxation and is a major downside to forming a corporation. However, as its own legal entity, owners are shielded from personal liability of the company.
A limited liability company shares certain aspects with a partnership and a corporation. There is no double taxation like you have with a corporation and you will have limited liability for the LLC's debt and liabilities. Like a partnership, the members have the pass-through taxation and will have to pay taxes on their individual income tax. Because of this, the limited liability company is a popular business form.
Joint ventures arise when two or more business or individuals come together in order to capture a larger market segment while increasing revenue. Companies in a joint venture will share a variety of resources including intellectual property, assets, knowledge, and networks. By sharing theses resources, a smaller company is able to stand along side a larger and more reputable company. This gives the smaller company access to more revenue and better financial literacy.
An advantage of a joint venture, is that it avoids the transferring of ownership as seen through traditional mergers. Thus each company maintains and operates their own separate businesses in addition to the joint venture. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Unsecured debt is money that is borrowed but is not backed by any collateral or property. If a debtor defaults on payments, the creditor has no property to seize as repayment for non-payment of the debt(s). Because these debts are not backed by collateral, banks and lenders will offer unsecured loans at higher interest rates. With a few exceptions, unsecured debt can be discharged through bankruptcy. Examples include credit cards and personal loans.
Secured debt is borrowed money that is backed by collateral. If a debtor defaults on payments, the creditor has a legal right to take the collateral as payment for for the debt. Generally, interest rates are lower for secured debt because there is an asset or piece of property that backs up lenders risks. These debts are not discharged through bankruptcy. Examples include mortgages and auto loans.
Music royalties are payments made to recording artists, songwriters, composers, publishers, and other entities owning the copyrights to use another's intellectual property. There are four main types.
1. Mechanical Royalties - are payments for the physical or digital reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works and applies to all music formats including: CDs, digital downloads, and online streaming. For example, a royalty is paid to an artist each time their song is streamed on Spotify or Apple Music.
2. Public Performance Royalties - are payments for copyright works that are performed, recorded, played or streamed in the public. For example, music that is played in any public venue including: radio, television, clubs, music streaming services, live concerts, and bars and restaurants.
3. Sync (Synchronization) Royalties - are payments for copyrighted music that is synced with digital and visual media. For example, music used in television, films, commercials, video games, advertisements, and other visual media mediums.
4. Print Music Royalties - are payments to owners of music their that is printed such as a sheet of music and that is then distributed. This is the least common form of royalty payment.
A copyright is a legal protection given to developers and authors who create original pieces of work. For example: songwriters, authors, and filmmakers. The copyright gives the creator the exclusive right to use their original work(s) and to determine if their original work(s) may be used by others. The copyright holder is given the exclusive right to publish, print, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are all forms of intellectual property.
A trademark is a legal protection given to a distinct symbol, word, logo, name, design or other mark that distinguishes a company or brand from another. Trademarks legally protect brand names and logos that companies, like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, use on their goods and services. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights are all forms of intellectual property. __________________________________________________________________________________________________
A patent grants a person or entity the exclusive proprietary right to manufacture, use, or sell their invention(s), new design(s), or new process(es). Often times the owner of the patent is the inventor of the product, process, or design. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are all forms of intellectual property. __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Music publishing is a contractual relationship between a songwriter or music composer and a music publisher, whereby the writer assigns part or all of his or her music copyrights to the publisher in exchange for the publisher's commercial exploitation of the music. __________________________________________________________________________________________________
A work for hire is a term created by U.S. Copyright Law. Generally, a person that creates a work will be considered the author of that creation and will automatically own the copyright for that work. Under the work made for hire, the employer, company, or third party that commissioned the work will be considered the owner and automatically onw that copyright. This is often seen in entertainment contracts where one party hires another party to contribute to a song or project.
A "personal injury" is a legal term that describes any injury to the body, either physically or emotionally, that an individual suffers as a result of an accident. Personal injury law(s) are designed to help those who were injured through no fault of their own.
Premise liability refers to cases where someone is injured on someone else's property that is cause by a dangerous or hazardous condition of the property. Premise liability is a form of personal injury and is based on the theories of negligence. A common example would be a slip and fall at a grocery store.
After an accident, you will experience a range of emotions that can cloud your judgment. These may include pain, fear, and disorientation. Hiring us to handle your injury claim will ensure that your case receives an objective case evaluation and focused representation.
Our knowledge of the law, insurance industry, and these types of cases will ensure that your case receives the attention that it deserves. Our attorneys know what to do at each stage and have developed winning strategies to secure a favorable settlement for your injuries
3. Save Time
Personal injury cases are very time consuming and involve ordering and reviewing medical records, communicating with insurance companies, and conducting legal research. Hiring us will enable you to spend more time focusing on important things like recover, family, and work.
4. Higher Settlements/Verdicts
Insurance companies love when those injured do not have attorneys and will offer a lower amount of money in hopes of a quick settlement. They assume that you will be in need of money and not know the value of the case. By hiring us, you will level the playing field and substantially increase the amount of your settlement or verdict obtain by us.
5. No Fees (Until We Win)
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only owe us when we settle your claim or win your case at trial. Our fees will come from any settlement or verdict we obtain on your behalf.
Our firm begins every case with a free consultation to determine the viability of your case and whether or not we can take on your case. Once hired, we will proved zealous legal counsel and aggressively pursue the maximum recovery and compensation available. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing until we win your case.
The total amount an injured party can recover in a personal injury case depends on a variety of factors because each case is different. Factors affecting the value of your case include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The more serious the injuries and the accident, the more you are to receive higher compensation.
Under Georgia law, an injured party has two years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations, which is the maximum amount of time after an event for which a lawsuit can be brought. There are limited exceptions to this rule so pursuing a claim soon after the injury occurs is a good idea.
Negligence is defined as the failure to act in a way that an ordinary prudent person would under the same circumstances. The elements of negligence are discussed below.
Duty of Care
The first element of negligence is the duty of care. For a personal injury claim to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the at-fault party had a duty to ensure the safety of the plaintiff.
Breach of Duty
The second element of negligence is breach of the duty of care. For a personal injury claim to be successful, the plaintiff must show that there was a duty, and that this duty was breached
The third element of negligence is causation. For a personal injury claim to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the there was a duty, this duty was breached, and that the breach caused the injury.
The final element of negligence is harm. For a personal injury claim to prevail before or at trial, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, the defendant breached that duty of care, and that breach caused injury and harm to the plaintiff.
The most common types of damages are known as compensatory damages. These damages can be divided into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily ascertainable monetary amounts and represent tangible costs like medical bills, loss of income, property damage, and the cost of future treatment. Non-economic damages are not as easily quantifiable and include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
To learn more about damages, visit our article "Legal Remedies Part 1: Damages".
The majority of personal injury cases do not go trial and conclude with a settlement between the injured and the defendant or their insurance company. Because each case is different, it is difficult to predict how long an individual case will last. Complex cases with serious injuries can take several years, while minor cases can take months.
Under Georgia law, the owner of a motor vehicle must carry a certain amount liability insurance on their automobile. The minimum liability requirements for Georgia drivers are:
The vast majority of states, including Georgia, follow an at-fault system for automobile insurance and subsequent accidents. Each insurance company will pay for any damage or injuries sustained in accordance to the (percentage) fault of each party. An at-fault driver is liable for injuries and property damage for accidents they cause, and their insurance will be used first to cover these expenses.
This coverage helps protect those drivers who cause an accident or those who are found at fault for injuring someone in an accident. Specifically, at-fault drivers can avoid certain costs and expenses associated with an accident by having their insurance pay for things like: emergency aid at the scene, medical expenses, compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and attorney fees for the legal defense of named insureds under the policy.
This coverage, like bodily injury liability, helps at-fault drivers avoid costs and expenses associated with the accidents and damages to another's property, such as automobiles and other types of vehicles. Insurance will cover expenses for things like: damages to structures, repair or replacement to personal property, and vehicle repair and replacement.
This coverage helps drivers protect themselves in instances where the at-fault driver does not have insurance. The protected driver's insurance will pay for the bodily injury or property damage caused by the at-fault and uninsured driver. Note that this coverage only protects the policyholder and their passengers and not the at-fault driver and Georgia law does not require this type of coverage.
This coverage is grouped with uninsured motorist, and is useful when someone who has car insurance causes an accident, but their liability coverage limits are not high enough to cover the cost of injury or damage caused by the accident.
This coverage helps cover medical expenses directly related to the auto accidents and can compensate the driver, their passengers, or any family members driving at the time of the accident. Medical payments, commonly referred to Med Pay, are available to help protect drivers, no matter who is at fault.
This coverage helps better protect a driver and their vehicle in an event of an accident that is caused by them or not. Specifically, insurance will help cover payments for damage when you hit a vehicle, stationary object, or when someone or something hits your vehicle.
This coverage helps protect you even when you are not in an accident and helps insure for losses and damage caused by storms and natural disasters, vandalism and theft, window and windshield damage, and damage caused by animals or fallen objects.