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QUESTION: I started a small sole proprietorship type business a few years ago as a part-time hobby. With the refineries bringing in so many people to Lake Charles my business has increased very quickly. Is it possible to switch my sole proprietorship to an LLC to protect my personal assets while keeping my tax structure as it currently is?
ANSWER: Certainly. The LLC is structured to protect individuals and their personal assets from any liability of the company. This is available to anyone considering beginning a business as well. A limited liability company, commonly called an "LLC," is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. Converting a sole proprietorship or a partnership to an LLC is an easy way for sole proprietors and partners to protect their personal assets without changing the way their business income is taxed.
Some states provide a simple form for converting a partnership to an LLC (often called a "certificate of conversion"). Sole proprietors and partners in states that don't provide a conversion form must file regular articles of organization to create an LLC. In some states, before a partnership can officially convert to an LLC, it must publish a notice in a local newspaper that the partnership is being terminated. And in all states, you'll have to transfer all identification numbers, licenses, and permits to the name of your new LLC, including: (a) your federal employer identification number(b). Your state employer identification number (c)your sales tax permit (d) your business license (or tax registration), and (d) any professional licenses or permits. (LA R.S.12:1301 et seq)
QUESTION: My mother is elderly and requires full time care so we placed her in a nursing home so she would receive the medical attention she needs. My mother is not one to complain, but she has repeatedly told me about some issues arising over and over. I have spoken with a nurse and even the head nurse of the facility with nothing happening to rectify the situation. I do not want to file a complaint with the Department of Health and Hospitals, is there anyone available before I would have to take that step?
ANSWER: Unfortunately, this is a common complaint. The person you are seeking is the ombudsman. The Long-Term Care Ombudsmen investigate and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes that serve individuals who are elderly or disabled. Ombudsmen also assist consumers and potential consumers with the process of choosing a facility. The contact information is provided in our answer on the website. Also, the Law Center does have a special Elder Care program to assist with the legal needs of the elder.
Louisiana State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Office of the Governor Office of Elderly Affairs P.O. Box 61 Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0061
Phone: (225) 342-7100 Toll Free: (866) 632-0922 Email: StateOmbudsman@goea.la.gov
QUESTION: I am engaged to be married, or I was, and then my fiancé out of nowhere asked me to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Neither of us is rich, in fact, our kids are grown and I do not really know his children very well. Do you know any reasons why he would want this pre-nup?
ANSWER: The most commonly known use of a Pre-nuptial agreement is to protect personal assets. However, they are also designed to protect the other from something or keep certain things from happening. Some of the reasons could be to pass separate property to children from prior marriages or protect from debts either of you may have prior to the marriage. Once married, spouses domiciled in this state may change to the legal regime of community property by agreement at any time without court approval. So even though pre-nups have a bad reputation, sometimes creating one could be in your best interest.
Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.