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Decisions to make before selling a company

Louisiana business owners will ideally figure out how to exit their companies when creating their initial business plans. Doing so may help them answer some of the key questions that they will face when it comes time to sell. For instance, it will be necessary to have the company appraised to determine how much it should be sold for. The appraisal will consider the value of the brand as well as the assets that the company has.

Finding the right buyer is another key step in the sale process. Business owners will need to consider who that person or entity is, and it may be necessary to consider whether that buyer will need seller financing to close the deal. A buyer will be interested in the overall health of both the company and the industry that it is in. If an industry is not expected to grow over the long term, the business may not grow in the long term either.

Fisher-Price addresses infant risk death in Rock 'n Play Sleeper

Parents in Louisiana should take note if they own a Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, together with Fisher-Price, has issued a warning that all models of the Rock 'n Play Sleeper, an inclined baby seat, can put babies at risk for injuries or death if they roll over in the product.

The safety commission knows of 10 infant deaths since 2015 involving the Rock 'n Play Sleeper. Since babies begin to roll over at approximately three months, the report advises parents to stop using the product when their babies reach that age (all 10 of the babies who died were over three months old).

How the past can help predict the future

When buying a company in Louisiana, it is important to research its history. It is also important to research the history of its sector as a whole. By understanding how a company and a sector has performed in the past, it is more likely that a buyer can predict how it will perform in the future. Conducting this type of due diligence is critical regardless of how large a company is or how large a sector is as a whole.

Among the issues to consider are how changes in interest rates impact a business and the sector in which it operates. Other questions to ask are how the company and sector are impacted by economic downturns and how quickly they come out of them. Ideally, a prospective business owner will go back as far as possible to get the most data to analyze.

What powers of attorney can and cannot do

Powers of attorney are important parts of an estate plan, but people in Louisiana should be aware of some common misconceptions about them. One myth is that a power of attorney is a uniform document that can be used from state to state. This is not the case; some states may not even recognize a power of attorney from another state.

Powers of attorney are created to appoint someone to manage a person's finances and healthcare decisions if the person is unable to do so. A durable power of attorney for finances is a separate document from the healthcare power of attorney. Powers of attorney must be prepared and signed while a person still has the mental capacity to do so. They remain valid if a person becomes mentally incapable as long as the documents were signed before this happened.

Procrastinating is not ideal in estate planning

Those who own property or live in Louisiana may be stressing over the prospect of creating an estate plan. The good news is that the anticipation may actually be worse than creating the plan itself. Those who are concerned about how to make an estate plan should consult with an attorney for help.

Speaking with family members may also be a good idea during this process. Doing so can be effective because it shows others that they are valued as both beneficiaries and as adults. Choosing the right executor is also important as that person is the one who will ensure that everything is distributed properly. While it may seem easier to simply ignore the problem of creating an estate plan, it can be a critical mistake. In many cases, failing to plan for what happens after passing causes family members more stress and grief.

How some irrevocable trusts can be changed

Since the terms of irrevocable trusts are designed to be permanent, these arrangements can be difficult to break. However, there may be instances when such a trust is no longer beneficial for a Louisiana estate owner or their heirs.

Some states have been adopting new laws that allow people to change an irrevocable trust. To be more specific, 25 states now allow broken trusts to be amended through what's known as decanting statutes. These allow the creator to take assets out of an old trust and pour them into a new and revised trust. This could correct provisions that might have been unfavorable. That being said, decanting statutes can differ from state to state, and some states can be more restrictive than others (Louisiana currently does not have any decanting statutes). Therefore, it is recommended that a creator move the trust situs to a state that offers flexible decanting statutes.

Williams Sonoma sues Amazon for patent and trademark infringement

Retail giant Amazon is again under legal scrutiny for some of its business practices. According to Fortune, furniture retailer Williams Sonoma has accused Amazon of creating “strikingly similar” designs to some of its West Elm furniture pieces. As a result, Williams Sonoma filed a trademark and patent infringement against the online retailer in San Francisco.

Tesla fire after crash sparks concerns

Some Tesla owners in Louisiana may be concerned about reports of fiery crashes involving the automaker's vehicles. The all-electric cars are known for both their luxury and innovation, but some people are questioning their safety after a February crash in Florida. In the incident, a Tesla Model S suddenly left the roadway, swerving through three lanes of traffic before hitting a median and trees. There, the car burst into flames. The one-car accident killed the Tesla's driver.

After the crash, the car was towed away to a city impound lot. According to local fire officials, the battery burst into flames at least three times in the night following the car crash. However, it is not clear that a problem with the battery led to the initial crash; instead, speed is being investigated as a cause. On the other hand, auto safety experts noted that heat can build up in the vehicles' large lithium-ion batteries after a crash, leading to fires that are challenging to fully extinguish. The manufacturer itself says that battery fires can take 24 hours to extinguish, and noted that it may be best to let the battery burn while protecting surrounding elements from the flames.

Comparatively, how high are auto insurance rates in Louisiana?

If you have had your license for some time, getting in the driver's seat might seem like no big deal. You are probably used to the responsibilities that surround driving. You also likely understand that bringing your vehicle in for regular maintenance, making sure the gas tank is full and paying for insurance are all part of owning a vehicle.

However, in some cases, you might be surprised to see a substantial increase in your insurance rates. But have you thought about why that might be?

About business contracts

Louisiana entrepreneurs should fully understand all the business contracts they are expected to sign when entering into contractual relationships. It's wise to strongly consider the type of business relationship -- whether it's with a family member or some other entity. One should also make sure that the business contract includes terms that protect their interests.

When writing or entering a business contract, it is important to consider if the contract addresses the situations that could arise and whether contingency plans will be put in place. It is also necessary to determine if the provisions are too vague. If the contract terms or provisions are not clear enough, disputes could arise.

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