Brentwood Law Blog

What licenses and permits will you need to do business in TN?

After coming up with a product or service, but before making it available to the public in Tennessee, you will need to apply for all the necessary licenses and permits. Depending on your plans for your company, you may not need many, but certain types of businesses require more than others. Failing to acquire the appropriate licenses and permits could lead to fines and other penalties.

FindLaw explains that in addition to a local operating license, you will probably need to apply for a sales tax license and a federal employer identification number. Your business may also need a zoning or land use permit, a fictitious business name or "doing business as" permit, and a fire department permit. A company run out of a home is not exempt from permits and licenses. In fact, there are often specific requirements for these types of businesses.

The Ins And Outs Of Commercial Leases

Leasing commercial space can be one of the more frustrating aspects of starting, or further developing, a business. A range of considerations – rent, duration, location, design, floor plan, capacity (to name a few) – must be taken into account.  

As they will quickly admit, many business owners and managers are uncertain how to approach setting up an office space, or opening a retail outlet. They don’t know what risks are inherent in commercial leases, or what questions to ask. Working with a qualified attorney can be useful in such matters; the right lawyer will be adept at protecting his or her clients from legal, and financial, liability.

Why does it matter if you are a legal employee of your church?

Even though your Tennessee church is a tax-exempt organization, as its minister, you still have to pay income tax. Whether you are self-employed or an employee of the church may make a difference in what forms you use to pay your taxes, and what your exemptions are. However, you must pay income tax on all of your earnings.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, if you are a minister who has been ordained, licensed or commissioned to perform ministerial services, then for Medicare and Social Security tax purposes the IRS considers you to be self-employed. So, you would pay self-employment taxes on your salary, and on your housing allowance, if you receive one. You would also pay self-employment tax on other sources of income you receive, such as offerings and fees for services such as marriages, baptisms and funerals.

Suggestions for choosing a legal guardian for your children

If you are the parent of young children, you may have already begun thinking about who you would want to care for them if something tragic would ever happen to you. Planning ahead for these types of situations, even if a bit unsettling at times, is certain to provide confidence that if you were ever debilitated in some way, your children would be lovingly cared for by someone you trust and respect. At Fidelis Law, PLLC, we have helped many couples in Tennessee to create estate plans that are legally applicable and customized to meet their needs. 

One of the most important and time-consuming aspects of arranging legal guardianship for your children is determining who will actually be chosen as their caretaker. Fortunately, there are many helpful suggestions you can consider to make your decision a bit easier. According to Baby Center, here are some of the things you should consider:

What's the best way to divide retirement assets in divorce?

Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. What this means is that, when couples divorce, their assets will be divided in a manner that is fair—if not, strictly speaking, equal.

When it comes to retirement assets, however, matters can quickly become confusing. Spouses must be attentive. Retirement holdings are not automatically included in divorce proceedings. As such, some individuals find themselves at an extreme financial disadvantage if they are not proactive in their pursuit of an equitable division of assets.

4 holiday mistakes that can impact a divorce

The holidays can be very upsetting for people going through a divorce. You may not feel like celebrating; family gatherings can feel awkward and isolating; financial strain can cause anxiety; parents can feel especially depressed when their kids are with the other parent.

Under these circumstances, it is not unusual for people to make some missteps during the holiday season, intentionally or not. However, it is crucial that you avoid certain mistakes if you are going through a divorce during the holidays.

Business owners: what you should know about trade secrets

If you operate a small business, then you know how crucial it is to set your company apart from competitors. Considering how much time and energy you put into distinguishing your business from the others through your marketing choices, products offerings and services, it is vital that you protect them.

These are all examples of trade secrets, and as a business owner, you would be wise to take steps to ensure they are not used or accessed by other parties without authorization.

When should you update your will?

Updating your will is a critical part of the estate planning process. Step one is to have a Last Will & Testament.  But once you have one, keeping it up to date is vital to ensuring that your assets and property go to the people, beneficiaries, loved ones, and organizations that you want them to got to. 

When should I make changes to my estate plan?

Making the time to address your estate planning needs can be very difficult. There are typically many other things a person would rather do instead of creating a will or talking about powers of attorney. However, once you do take the time to address your estate planning needs, you can feel relieved and confident in the future.

Having said that, understand that while creating your estate plan is indeed a important step, you also need to review it from time to time to ensure it remains effective. Below, we look at some common life events and changes that might warrant a close review of your estate plan.

The Smart Way To Save For A Child's Education

College education is expensive. This isn’t news. In Tennessee, the average cost for in-state tuition is nearly $15,000 a year. That number will increase—sharply—if your child chooses to attend a private school, or pursue studies out-of-state.

Most parents and grandparents understand that paying for a child’s education requires a great deal of planning. Starting to save early is crucial. But there are multiple ways to save, and selecting the appropriate approach can be confusing—and stressful. As such, it’s important to understand the options from the very outset. 

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