EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION

Businesses are faced with the ever-increasing environmental regulation. Business practices and uses of items that appear to have no attendant legal application may subject a business to civil and criminal liability unless proper precautions are taken and compliance is obtained. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Department of Environmental Protection, and local governmental and quasi-governmental agencies have significant hammers to require one or one’s business to remediate contaminated property or restructure certain processes.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Department of Environmental Protection, and local governmental and quasi-governmental agencies have significant hammers to require one or one’s business to remediate contaminated property or restructure certain processes.

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ESTATE PLANNING- DO I HAVE THE RIGHT STUFF?

Have you asked yourself any of the following questions?

  • DO I HAVE AN ESTATE PLAN?
  • DOES MY WILL, TRUST, POWER OF ATTORNEY, LIVING WILL DIRECTIVE AND HEALTHCARE SURROGATE DESIGNATION REFLECT MY CURRENT GOALS AND VALUES?
  • DO MY ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS COMPLY WITH THE LAW, AND DO THEY PUT ME IN A BETTER TAX POSITION?
  • WHAT HAPPENS IF I BECOME INCOMPETENT AND UNABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS?
  • WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM ON LIFE SUPPORT AND HAVE NO CHANCE OF RECOVERY?
  • WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY CHILDREN IF I PASS AWAY?
  • WHO RECEIVES MY REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY WHEN I DIE?
  • HOW ARE MY DEBTS ADDRESSED WHEN I AM GONE?

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GROWING YOUR BUSINESS IN LOUISVILLE? TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE TWO LOUISVILLE METRO RESOURCES

ADVICE AND RESOURCE INVOLVEMENT:

I have written about the EnterpriseCorp in a previous blog but it is worth discussing this gem again. As the “entrepreneurial arm” of Greater Louisville Inc. (the City of Louisville Chamber of Commerce), this organization provides advice and assists local businesses and entrepreneurs in growing their businesses through analysis, strategic development, capital growth assistance and resource involvement. EnterpriseCorp.’s focus on providing resources to the local Louisville Metro business community is where the organization really shines. It offers business plan templates, models for investor presentations, identifies and provides assistance with funding sources, presents CEO roundtables and much more. It is well worth it to take advantage of the resources that EnterpriseCorp. provides local Louisville businesses and entrepreneurs.

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Kentucky Business Community Wary of the EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations

In June 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed several new greenhouse gas regulations intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced by electricity generating sectors. The EPA’s stated goal is to reduce overall carbon emissions in the nation by 30 percent by requiring each state to meet a specific emission reduction goal. Under the proposed regulations, Kentucky would be required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 18 to 20 percent by 2020.  If enacted, the regulations would have the greatest impact on the production of coal and coal related industries. Currently, Kentucky is the third largest producer of coal in the United States and the coal industry is a huge economic generator in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet estimates that in 2013 severance taxes on coal production were $212,443,519.59, and overall, the coal industry directly contributes billions of dollars to the economy of Kentucky. Thus, the proposed regulations have the potential to have a significant effect on Kentucky business and the economy.

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New Tax Incentives for Angel Investors

On July 23, 2014, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed into law House Bill 445, which expands the Kentucky Investment Fund Act and provides tax credits to “angel investors” with the aim of encouraging individuals to invest in small local startups and businesses.

Effective January 1, 2015, angel investors who invest a minimum of $10,000 dollars in local businesses with “high growth potential” in fields like information technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing, can receive a tax credit equal to 50 percent of their investment if the startup is located in a county that the state has determined is economically depressed. Investors can receive up to a 40 percent tax credit of an investment in businesses located anywhere else within the Commonwealth. The maximum annual credit that can be awarded to an angel investor is $200,000 dollars. The law also provides some tax incentives to angel investors outside of Kentucky. Investors who reside outside of Kentucky can transfer tax credit to state residents and under the new law. If the Kentucky resident purchases the credit, the out of state investor can then recoup some of their investment. [Read more…]

Will the new Water Resources and Reform Development Act Encourage Private Investment?

On June 10, 2014, President Obama signed into law the new Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (“WRRDA”). The Act’s primary purpose is to improve America’s water infrastructure through the funding of construction programs and projects. Introduced in 2012 by Senators Barbara Boxer (D) and David Vitter (R), the bill garnered unusual bi-partisan support. The WRRDA is also noteworthy because of something the Act is missing. No earmarks. As noted by Speaker John Boehner (R), “this is quite a departure for a bill whose claim to fame -or infamy, as it were – was being saturated with earmarks.  Hundreds of them.” Of significant importance, the WRRDA provides an avenue for the use and acceleration of private investment. [Read more…]

Kentucky’s New Uniform Trust Code

On July 15, 2014, Kentucky officially adopted the Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”), joining twenty-eight states that have officially adopted the UTC including Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio. Kentucky’s adaptation of the UTC will be codified under KRS Chapter 386B and as with any uniform law; the intent of the UTC is to provide clarity and stability to areas of the law typically governed by common law doctrine.  The Kentucky UTC brings with it some substantive changes to the law of trusts and estates, most notably: [Read more…]

“Environmental Issues in the Foreclosure Process”

I will be speaking on “Environmental Issues in the Foreclosure Process” at the seminar presented by National Business Institute. I will be specifically addressing: (1) Environmental Conditions at Foreclosed Properties; (2) Assessment/Reassessment of Environmental Risk; and (3) Liability Protection for Lenders. The seminar will be held on April 8, 2014 at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport, 2735 Crittenden Dr., Louisville, KY. For more information and/or registration please go to http://www.nbi-sems.com/Details.aspx/R-65441ER . I hope that you can join me along with other presenters who will address foreclosure matters outside of the environmental arena.

LEGAL TIPS FOR START-UP BUSINESS OWNERS AND OPERATORS

BUSINESS STRUCTURE

A typical mistake of a small start-up business is not availing itself of a business structure that may shelter the business owner from personal liability.  Corporations and Limited Liability Companies may afford such protection.

BUSINESS PLAN

A well thought-out and well vetted business plan is an essential element to business success. Business plans should include, without limitation, market analysis and planning, financial projections and cash flow analysis, organization of management team, sales strategies, just to name a few items. A business may be subject to liability and incur significant legal costs due the lack of sufficient forethought. [Read more…]

Dancing with the Prospect Stars

I will be putting one foot after another Dancing With the Prospect Stars in support of the Special Olympics. Come join me on 2/9/14 at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville, KY. To learn more please go to www.dancingwithprospectstars.org.