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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

What are the benefits of intra-family loans?

You understand that the IRS limits the amount on the gifts you want to give to family members as you carry out your estate plan in Minnesota. It is important to preserve as much of your wealth as possible, though, and you want to help your children and grandchildren get established now. An intra-family loan may be just the estate planning technique you need.

The National Law Review explains that you must charge the federal minimum interest rate in order for all of the money to be considered a loan and not a gift. This interest rate is determined by the U.S. Treasury Department, and it changes frequently. Your child, grandchild or other family member needs to be able to invest the money and earn more from the returns than is owed to you in interest to keep that excess amount without paying gift taxes. 

4 reasons for business owner disputes

A dispute between you and a co-owner or co-founder can ruin your company. It can derail everything you have worked so hard for. It can even end your friendship. This is something you must take seriously, no matter how unlikely it seems.

After all, no one thinks a dispute is likely in the early days. The company is young, you're both excited, and it seems like the sky is the limit. Over time, though, things change. Relationships fray. Arguments blossom. Eventually, you may run into a dispute so big that you cannot get around it, and the company dissolves.

Deciding if a company buyout is the right opportunity for you

You have just been approached with a tempting offer from an industry leader to buyout your company. The proposal made mention of many promising benefits that could propel you into an even more successful career path. However, you are also aware that this fortunate opportunity brings with it a unique set of risks. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have helped many Minnesota companies to acquire needed legal protection as they continue to grow and develop their organization. 

According to Monster, before you get too excited about the advantages of the proposal you have been given, cautiously weigh your options and read into the details of the offer before making any major decisions. Here are some of the important aspects that you should consider:

  • Your benefits: Will you be able to continue to receive benefits? Does the arrangement of the buyout propose a lump sum payment or smaller payments made out over the course of time?
  • Your career: While a buyout may open the door to incredible career growth, in certain circumstances, you may find yourself struggling to find employment. If you desire to continue working, be sure you understand what your position will be within the organization. 
  • Your exit: Never settle for less than you are worth. Once a proposal has been made, consider negotiating your end of the deal to be sure you are compensated accordingly. 

Characteristics that demonstrate potential in a start-up company

Start-up companies are all the rage and with each new innovation, a wave of excitement intrigues money-hungry investors in Minnesota. So, the question is, what are these investors interested in? Are there certain qualities that demonstrate potential? Investors often go to great lengths to understand a company's vision and future before agreeing to any sort of funding. When start-up companies are aware of the characteristics that are sought by financial partners, they may be able to more effectively market themselves as a promising opportunity. 

Perhaps the most important feature that investors look at is the intellectual property of a start-up. What kind of product are they providing? How does it help meet a need not previously met? Does it provide convenience, or expedite a necessary process? If it is a service or technology that is offered, the same type of criteria will be assessed in determining the company's level of competition in their given industry. 

A closer look at common regulatory compliance violations

For many business owners in Minnesota, one of their highest priorities is ensuring that their employees stay safe and have the proper tools and resources to do their jobs. Often, to guarantee that policies are adhered to, organizational leaders develop and enforce protocols designed to provide order and optimize function. If such rules are violated by employees or by the company as a whole, anyone who is involved could be at risk of legal consequences for failing to comply with regulatory standards.

So, some may wonder, what is regulatory compliance? According to The University of Scranton, regulatory compliance refers specifically to the laws that organizations are required to follow in order to operate legally. For example, rules regarding health benefits, hiring procedures, retention, employee privacy, work environment and methods for disciplining and terminating employees, must be strictly observed to avoid costly legal consequences. 


"They don't have any evidence that this happened." That is what you are reading in the news as a defense to the assertions of sexual misconduct. What is meant is that the statement against me is not credible. Evidence in a court of law can take many forms. It might be writings, photographs, charts, or even ledgers from a business. It can include ancient documents and government records. But evidence also includes a statement of a witness.

What can you do to guard your business against a lawsuit?

As you prepare to open your business in Minnesota, you may have some anxiety about the threats that could cause failure. Sure, there's always that fear that your product or service will not catch on, or that competition will drive you out of business. There is high demand for your unique product, though, and you have a sound business plan and plenty of capital. But what about litigation? 

Entrepreneur magazine notes that there are several steps you can take to prevent a lawsuit from destroying your company.

Pitfalls of printable online will forms

You have taken an inventory of your Minnesota assets, made an agreement with a guardian for your children, and downloaded a will on your computer. As you fill in the blanks, you may be pleased with how easy it all is. However, at Dunlap & Seeger, P.A., we have often seen such documents create more problems than they solve.

CNBC elaborates on the many ways DIY wills could cause problems for you and the loved ones you leave behind.

4 tips for business succession planning

You started your company from nothing 40 years ago. Retirement is finally drawing close. It's not as if you're planning to end your

career tomorrow, but you know the day is coming. You have enough to last you, financially speaking, and you do not want to run this company into old age. You're almost done.

What's the best way to split your assets unequally between heirs?

One of your children has a thriving career in Minnesota, but the other is struggling to make ends meet. However, the child with fewer resources frequently spends time with you and is attentive to your needs, and since your spouse died, that attention has made a world of difference. You feel like leaving that child more of your assets is fair. But can you do it in a way that keeps your wishes from being challenged once you are gone and can't defend them?

According to Kiplinger, you have the right and the ability to bequeath your children's inheritance in whatever way you feel is best. A will is one option, but the probate process typically takes months, and this often gives a beneficiary enough time to challenge your wishes. The probate process also allows estate taxes and creditors to reduce the total amount of the inheritance each of your children receives.

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