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New York & New Jersey Law
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

An Update on New Jersey DUI Laws

New Jersey continues to tighten DUI laws in the past few months. On Friday, November 1, 2013, new laws took effect that increase the penalties for repeat drunk driving offenders. Drivers convicted of a DUI related offense will now have Ignition Interlock Devices on their vehicles for a minimum of one year, up from the former minimum of six months. An ignition interlock device is a new mechanism containing a portable breathalyzer that is fitting onto a car's dashboard. Drivers whose vehicles have been outfitted with the device are not able to start their car without first giving a breath sample. At random times the driver is tested while driving to ensure that the driver is not intoxicated.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Starting a Business? Here's Some Tips That Will Help

If you are contemplating starting a small business in New York, you are not alone. According to NYS, 98% of all businesses in New York are small businesses, and together these businesses employ more than half than the private sector workforce. Starting your very own business is very different than buying a business, which we discussed here. Unlike buying a business, when you start your own business you are in total control from the very beginning. You get to select everything, from the business name, to the location, to its employees. One of the advantages of starting your own business is that, according to NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, it is one of the least expensive ways of starting a business. One of the major disadvantages, on the other hand, is that by starting from scratch you must build your clientele and reputation from the ground up. Before you make any major decisions, you should carefully consider all your options and evaluate your financial situation. If possible, you may want to consult with other small business owners in your area so you have a first hand account of what a similar business should expect.

If you have decided on beginning your own business, congratulations! Here are few steps you should take before you open the doors:

• Decide what legal organization your business will be. The most common forms are the sole proprietorship, the partnership, the corporation and the LLC. You can find a “Pros and Cons” list of these organizations here.

• Sketch out a business plan outlining your product ideas and market strategy. Your business plan should include a description of your products and/or services, a list of your business goals and a timeframe in which you expect to achieve them, such as “Sell X amount of product in Y amount of time”, your plans for targeting your customer base and current trends in the market, and your financial situation, such as cash flow and profit and cost projections.

• Begin the employment process. First, you will need to obtain two vital types of insurance: unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance. These can be found either on your own through a private company or through NYS. You will also need to set up your payroll. It is recommended have payroll set up at least a week before you hire your first employee.

• Get an employee handbook. While not necessary, most new business owners find having a professional and comprehensive employee handbook makes managing people a lot easier. The handbook should explain company policy and include things such as vacation time, holidays, cellphone and/or computer usage, and behavioral guidelines.

I hope these tips help you out as you start your new and exciting foray into small business. If you have any questions or need assistance with beginning your business, don't hesitate to call the office at 718-317-5007. Remember, when in doubt, it's always better to contact a legal professional!