protection

social-media-influencer-protection

Protecting Your Company When Using Social Media Influencers

The internet and social media platforms are rich with independent users that have built sizeable audiences ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of followers.  In many cases these grass-roots campaigns have resulted in viewers that rival or top conventional media outlets.  As a result, many companies have learned that they can get their product or service in front of like-minded individuals at a lower cost than television or radio commercials.  In many cases, these social media endorsements are more powerful and engaging because people have a connection with the influencer they follow.  As with any marketing endeavors, it is important to protect your company and follow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules and regulations.

How Companies Should Protect Themselves

In a recent article by Legal Matters we have read more about his subject, and how some companies have been flagged for non-disclosure violations.  These brands include Lord & Taylor and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.  Both of which had to make settlements with the FTC for violations.  Specifically, they had failed to release the relationship they had with big-follow social media creators.  In these specific cases, the followers were compensated roughly $4,000 for an endorsement of their product.  Instagram has become feverishly popular over the last couple of years and companies need to ensure they are marketing their products or services within certain guidelines to avoid violation.

What Can Be Done to Avoid Penalties?

The most important take-away is to understand that according to FTC guidelines, consumers have a right to know whether a certain brand is being endorsed by the influencer’s own violation, or if they have a partnership with a company in exchange for free products or future payments.  In this case, the influencer and the companies failed to disclose their relationship, which violates FTC’s disclosure recommendations.  Remember that if your company is investing in advertising it is well worth your time to speak with an attorney to help ensure you are following FTC and online regulations.  The money you pay an online influencer can pale in comparison to the amount certain violations may bring.  In some cases, these disclosures can be adhered to with an online statement, or #hashtag such as #ad #paidadvertisement or #sponsoredpost at the beginning of the post.  Please feel free to contact our office to learn more about how law firms such as BLPG can help protect companies in their online and social media marketing strategies.

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understanding-asset-protection

Things you must do to protect your Assets

Protecting your assets is a sub-set of business and estate planning. All estate plans should integrate a protection plan to maintain custody of your assets when unforeseen situations arise in the future. It is essential to work with the right legal team to help you properly organize assets and safeguard them against potential risks they may otherwise be subject to. These items generally include materials such as rental or real estate properties, commercial properties, business materials such as tools and equipment, motor vehicles, individually owned bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and many more items. Although there are many potential risks, this article addresses three common situations where protection is needed.

3 common areas of asset protection

1. Protecting assets from a lawsuit. One of the most concerning areas for a business or a company owner is what they should do if they ever get sued by an individual.
2. Protecting your income from being overly taxed. A common concern is if all tax deductions are being used in the correct way that your company is legally eligible for.
3. Finally, how are you going to protect your retirement funds from market risks and the potential ups and downs that can come from running a business?

Understanding assets protection strategies

It is vital that companies work with professional entities that have tried and tested strategies when it comes to asset protection and estate planning. Although there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach, there are common strategies that can be discussed with a legal professional. This includes creating elaborate barriers that add layers of protection against opposi8ng parties that may be looking to pursue them as part of legal action. This can mean planning your assets in a business entity, maintaining the right insurance plans for your needs, and placing funds in trust accounts.

It is always a good idea to prepare for the worst while things are going well. By creating and implementing an asset protection strategy early you can ensure that plans are properly implemented and executed. If you live or run a business in Utah, California, New York, Florida or Tennessee consider calling the professionals at Bowen Law Professional Group to speak with a legal professional and learn more about what we can do for you.

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digital-asset-protection-law

Protecting your Digital Assets

Most businesses these days have embraced technology either by necessity or because of convenience.  It has become commonplace for companies to use computers and the cloud to store information, stay organized and process information.  These digital assets are vital and can sometimes be worth far more to a business than any physical goods or products.  It is therefore important to account for, evaluate and protect, our digital assets both personally and especially for your business.  One way to do this is by adding these assets to your Asset Protection System.  Which includes a business succession plan should business owners either pass away or transition the business to new managers/owners when they retire.

Understanding your digital assets

We store almost never-ending amounts of information among servers, computers, mobile devices, and cloud storage services.  Because of the vast nature of these digital assets, it can seem like an insurmountable task to categorize and protect your digital properties.  With that in mind, it is usually best to start considering these types of materials first and moving on from there.

  1. Software or programs that are unique to your business. Perhaps you own and operate a company that creates and distributes digital goods such as software or apps.  These programs are unique to your business and should be protected.
  2. Business photographs, marketing materials, logos and other branding are often overlooked valued business asset.
  3. Intellectual property includes trademarked or copywritten materials that your business owns. This can include online content, download of prospects, materials, blogs, articles, your business website and domain registration(s).
  4. Contact information for prospective and current customers, including email list, have value and should be protected because they could be sold in the future.

Protecting your digital properties

It is important to establish the ownership and value of your digital assets.  By indexing and explaining various items you are putting yourself in a position where you can help create an estate plan, business succession plan, and Asset Protection System.  Gathering these materials is important beyond these concerns because they directly reflect the overall value or worth that a business has.  Comping this information helps you support your ability to claim expenses on these digital assets as well as sell them or have your business evaluated by potential investors.  If you own or operate a business and have not considered the value of your digital properties, we recommend speaking with us as soon as possible.

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protect-home-asset-protection

Ways to Protect Your Home Before Legal Action

Protecting your assets is best handled in preparation for circumstances, not as a quick response to them. It is important to remember that these steps should be taken before any legal action, such as a lawsuit, has been filed.  Below are several common ways that your personal or primary home can be protected should a legal cause ever happen.

Homestead Exemption

Almost every state has statutes that protect a certain amount of value of your home from creditors or during bankruptcy.  Essentially if someone such as a creditor files a lawsuit against a respondent, the resulting case may require the sale of the home.  The creditor will only get the remaining balance after selling fees, the mortgage balance and the homestead exemption amount.  If homeowners want to take advantage of this exemption, they should contact us.

Tenancy by the Entirety

Certain states offer unique protection called “tenancy by the entirety.”  Essentially this protects the home if one spouse is sued for reasons that have nothing to do with the other spouse.  Essentially this law asserts that it is not fair for one spouse to lose their home because of the actions of the other.  Even if your state does not have this law in the books you can accomplish the same result in the other ways described herein.

Create a Domestic Asset Protection Trust

This is a self-settled trust created and protected under certain state statutes.  In general, these types of trusts are becoming more accepted each year as new states adopt some form of DAPT trust laws.  This type of trust can provide certain protections to homes, farms, vacation homes or beach houses that you plan on keeping for life or a very long time.  In most states, the longer a property is held in a DAPT, the more it will be protected in the future.

Speak with a professional today

There are many ways in which your personal and business assets can be protected.  Perhaps you run a business where you must take financial risks.  Putting the house in your low-risk spouse’s name, for example, could help protect your home should legal concerns arise.  You may also consider getting an “Umbrella Risk” insurance policy that protects you from a wide variety of situations.  These Asset Protection techniques should be components in your Asset Protection System™.  Remember that it is wisest to plan for a storm while the skies above are blue.

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