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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Business Laws Unveiled

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Each and every person in this world must have at least once thought about opening some sort of business to increase his or her income. No matter if you are thinking about opening a small family business or a larger company, you cannot do anything but obey the business laws! If you don’t, you and your business can get into serious trouble!

In case you are under the impression that you need to be a graduate of a business law college or have a business law major in order to understand and use some of the basic ideas of small business law and corporate business law, you are making a very big mistake. Perhaps you have heard form the news and the headlines that employment law for business is one of the most dangerous fields, as a person can easily break the business laws and regulations.

The least any business man should know is that he or she must meet the general international business laws. You must also consider the export laws, import laws and but, by all means, one must obey to the specific laws of the country in which your business is situated.

Should you own a company that operates in your home country, then you must get to understand the business laws there. If you cannot manage to get a business permit or license, you can find yourself in a great amount of trouble, as your business can get shut down. Not to speak about the inconveniences due to business and hefty fines and penalties!

If you thought that Internet and online businesses do not need to take these rules seriously, then you can have the unpleasant surprise of getting serious problems. Of course these types of business need to obey the business laws, but they are called Internet compliance laws. Therefore, should you be operating a website of any kind and do not care about all these rules and regulations, criminal prosecution and hefty fines are waiting for you right across the corner.

Well, if all these bad things have made you fear doing business of any kind, you must know that no one expects you to be able to navigate the complexities of any type of business law by yourself! The best option for you is asking for help from a qualified professional of a business law firm. This way you will never get into trouble of any kind!

[ad_2] Source by David Rumsey

Information Security Policies: Foundations of Asset Protection

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Information security Policies: Foundations of Asset Protection

Information security policies, whether corporate policies, business unit policies, or regional entity policies provide the requirements for the protection of information assets. An information security policy is often based on the guidance provided by a frame work standard, such as ISO 17799/27001 or the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800 series standards. The Standards are effective in providing requirements for the “what” of protection, the measures to be used, the “who ” and “when” requirements tend to be organization-specific and are assembled and agreed based on the stakeholders’ needs.

Governance, the rules for governing an enterprise are addressed by security-relevant roles and responsibilities defined within the policy. Decision making is a key governance activity performed by individuals acting in roles based on delegated authority for making the decision and oversight to verify the decision was properly made and appropriately implemented. Aside from requirements for protection measures, policies carry a variety of basic concepts throughout the entire document. Accountability, isolation, deterrence, assurance, least privilege and separation of duties, prior granted access, and trust relationships are all concepts with broad application that should be consistently and appropriately applied.

Policies should ensure compliance with applicable statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements. Auditors and corporate counsel often provide assistance to assure compliance with all requirements. Requirements to resolve stakeholder concerns may be formally or informally presented. Needs for the integrity of systems and services, the availability of assets when needed, and the confidentiality of sensitive information can vary significantly based on cultural norms and the perceptions of the stakeholders.

The criticality of the business processes supported by specific assets presents protection issues that must be recognized and resolved. Risk management requirements for the protection of especially valuable assets or assets at special risk also present important challenges. NIST advocates the categorization of assets for criticality, while asset classification for confidentiality is a long standing best practice.

Requirements for policy may arise from a contractual source or from a partner’s request, the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires a policy addressing the Standard’s requirements that applies to all assets within the scope of the standard. DSS requirements can be integrated into a single corporate policy but given the stringency of the requirements an enterprise may elect to segregate protection domains with separate dedicated policies so that less stringent requirements are applied to assets outside the scope of the DSS, saving resources and tailoring protection based on the lesser perceived threat/risk to the assets.

Risk assessments are an important source of policy requirements that are specific to the environment and assets to be protected. Risk mitigation measures based on an assessment of risk and the assets at risk allows managers the opportunity to weigh investment against potential damage to reach a level of risk acceptable to the decision makers.

Attacks targeting online applications and their data have become an issue of well-founded concern, policy should focus on risks in this area by specifically addressing the software development lifecycle and measures to ensure bespoke applications are sufficiently robust to withstand common attacks.

Policies should be reviewed and accepted at senior levels, ensuring the policy’s authorizing authority has the stature necessary to make policy compliance mandatory. An authorization process to document and approve instances of noncompliance should also be provided. Often a compliance window is granted to allow time for the implementation of the policy by all applicable organizational entities.

Auditors often provide assurance of compliance as a result of their activities. The senior Auditor is also an important stakeholder and reviewer of policy drafts and amendments. Policies should be reviewed on an agreed schedule, often every two or three years. Changes in technology, evolution of business objectives and changes to the organization’s goals and processes all act to invalidate and outdate a policy. Keeping the policy fresh and relevant is essential to providing appropriate protection to important assets and supporting mission performance.

ISO 17799/27001 and NIST SP800-53A Revision3 both provide a long list of information protection best practices. There is frequently an inclination to declare one of the documents to be the corporate standard and demand policy comply with the corporate standard. Ignoring cost issues, there are several important things wrong with this approach, first and most importantly, it ignores risk realities. Best practices are the average, where extraordinary risks exist, they are too weak and where risk is significantly below average they are too strong, wasting resources. Policy should be based on reality, not an idealized set of homogenized requirements. Arguably the correct approach is to begin with a standard and bend it to fit the shape of the enterprise. There is one exception to this rule, shops that run an absolutely standard architecture can benefit from the simplicity and straightforward nature of a standardized policy. Governance issues remain and should be dealt with quickly and cleanly as exceptions.

Security guidelines, component configuration standards, and standard operating procedures are based on and build on the information security policy. Care should be exercised that the documents are consistent with each other and are reviewed and exercised for correctness and reliability. Security training is often based on the detailed documents ultimately leading to repeatable processes and a predictable level of protection being realized.

An information security policy is a necessary first step in securing an environment and providing appropriate protection to all information assets. Building consensus around a policy is an effective approach to resolving concerns and resistance to the idea of mandated controls. Listening to and involving stakeholders while ensuring the policy reflects their issues will go a long way in gaining acceptance of the program of protection.

[ad_2] Source by Chris A Inskeep

Business Ownership Structure – Sole Trader

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If you want to start or purchase a business – or have an existing business – you may want to know the best ownership structure for you to use. We’ll talk about the three main business structures in Australia and NZ – sole trader, partnership and company – over the next three articles and please email us if you want to know more.

The first is that you don’t have to stick with the same structure – you don’t have to form a company to buy a company, for example. A company can buy a partnership, a sole trader can buy a company and so on. Or, if you’re currently a sole trader, you can turn it into a company; a company can be wound down and turned into a partnership. There is, of course, cost and hassle in making these changes so let’s get it right, now, and have your money and effort directed at productively running a business.

Personal Liability

A sole trader is you, the owner and the person. Therefore a sole trader is a legal entity because the law recognises you – you can sign contracts, sue and be sued, own property, take out loans, have bank accounts and so on. Partnerships are not legal entities and cannot do this – we’ll cover that next week.

So, you start or buy your business, paying from your personal bank account or a separate business account and, from whatever account you use, you make business purchases – assets and expenses. This is exactly like making private purchases.

If you don’t repay your mortgage, the mortgagor can sell your house and then sue for any shortfall and you can lose other personal assets.

The same with your business: if your business spending is on credit and you don’t pay, the creditor, lender, mortgagor or bank can sue you and get the court to take your personal and/or business assets. Because the business is you, the legal system doesn’t see any difference between your business and your personal assets. Companies avoid this problem and you can read about that here in two weeks.

Taxation

As you are your business and it is you, legally, so the business income is yours. Whatever profit (or loss) you make from your business, it’s added onto your other income. So, if you have interest and other income of $10,000 and your business makes a profit of $30,000, your taxable income is $40,000 (10,000 + 30,000 = 40,000). If your other income was $40,000 and your business made a $25,000 loss, your taxable income would be $15,000 (40,000 – 25,000 = 15,000). Simple maths.

The disadvantage of this is that all the business income (or loss) is yours – you cannot spread it to other members of your family to reduce tax, as you can with a partnership or company.

Your business’s Tax File number will be your existing personal tax number.

Any business in Australia has to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) so you’ll need to get that [not applicable in NZ]. You have to register for GST if your gross income is going to be over $75,000. You can do this on the ABN form.

You Trade Alone

When you die, the business ends, unless you provide for the assets to be passed on in a will. You can’t pass on your shares in the business as you can with a company.

You can only borrow money against your personal assets. A company gives you more access to finance and we’ll cover that in two weeks time.

Summary

As with every ownership structure, there are advantages and disadvantages. Above, we explained the three main issues and below is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of a sole trader ownership structure.

Advantages of Sole Trader

  • Low cost of entry – no company set-up costs.
  • Easy to set up – it’s only you.
  • Few legal costs.
  • Only one tax return required – cheaper accounting fees.
  • No registration of name required (if trading under your own name).

Disadvantages of Sole Trader

  • Personally liable for business debts.
  • When you die, the business dies.
  • Cannot split income out to other family members to reduce tax.
  • Limited access to business finance.

[ad_2] Source by Philip Bradbury

LLC Legal Issues – Dodging the Land Mine in 2009

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When the chips are down in the business world companies have to manage legal risks a little better, especially considering that they are teetering on going out of business as it is and one lawsuit could put them over the edge. Even if they win the lawsuit the legal costs are simply not affordable during this recession. Worse, lawyers are trying very hard to come up with lawsuits right now to stay in business themselves, so they are willing to take questionable cases as long as they are getting paid to do so.

And unfortunately, we live in a “sue happy” litigious society and some folks that are failing are looking to filing a lawsuit to blame someone else or enforce a bad contract provision to save themselves. Yes, we have too many laws and too many lawyers and it’s outrageous. Nevertheless, there is one lawyer you need to hire to get your risk management in order. You may wish to look into an LLC for your company and to protect your personal assets. If you have not done that yet, well right now would indeed be a smart time to consider it.

Setting up an LLC for your small business is a wise idea, but there are reasons why you may need a “C-Corp” instead. You need to seek professional legal advice to figure out what is best for your situation and make sure the paper work is done correctly and filed appropriately so your LLC is legitimate. Perhaps this is something you’ll think about in 2009 to dodge those ever present legal landmines.

[ad_2] Source by Lance Winslow

Commercial Business Liability Insurance – What’s the Secret?

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Liability insurance for commercial operations can be extremely complicated. Let’s face it – insurance in general can be complicated. Most insurance companies do their best to “dumb down” the content on their websites, but many users become suspicious of material that seems too easy to be sound or too good to be true. Liability insurance is a very serious thing, so it’s important to know how to navigate the complicated terrain without losing your shirt.

So what is the secret to commercial and business liability insurance? The secret, to be sure, is not in the fine print. Rather, the secret is in knowing exactly how to get the right kind of coverage for your particular business operation. There are many different types of commercial insurance liability protection. Professional liability coverage, product liability coverage, employment liability coverage, and more. The question for you is “Which type of coverage will be best for me and my business?”

Unfortunately, many business owners do not ask this important question before obtaining liability asset protection and end up with exactly the wrong plan when doomsday arrives. Maybe this doesn’t sound like much of a secret because it’s so simple. Still, the truth is many people will continue making this mistake if they don’t do their homework. Without proper liability insurance, you could stand to lose a significant amount of your business assets. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens more than insurance companies would like to admit.

It’s important to remember that the insurer is running a business – not a daycare. Their job is not to be sure that you have everything you need. Their job is to offer you the best protection possible at a rate that is profitable for them. That’s really all there is to it. Even so, most insurance companies work very hard to create a public image that evokes security, protection, and an almost familial kind of bond with you. Your insurance agent may be a nice guy or gal, but he or she may not be a liability expert for business issues. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to be sure you are getting the kind of coverage you need to avoid a tragedy.

Accidents happen in the business world every day. That’s a simple fact of life. What are you going to do to prepare yourself for that day? I would highly recommend starting by researching this issue further to get as many details as possible to find out what arrangement is best for you.

[ad_2] Source by Jason Clegg