As your post-holiday credit card statements arrive in the mail, you´ll probably think about what you spent. But have you thought about how much of your personal and financial information was exposed? Sounds like the perfect time to check your Credit Report!
In the past you had to be careful of the carbons when they “swiped” your credit card. Today credit thieves have a whole new high tech and low tech bag of tricks. The only way to make sure you’re safe is to take precautions and regularly check your credit report for inaccuracies, you know, the key changes on your report that could either indicate identity theft or a reporting error.
A friend referred a new business client to me recently. I’ll call the corporation “Guys and Dolls.” Only problem is its legal name should be “Guys and Dolls, Inc.” or “Guys and Dolls Company” or something which indicates it is a corporation. Similarly, if Guys and Dolls was a limited liability company, it would need to include LLC or such in its legal name.
The owner of Guys and Dolls formed the corporation through the Colorado Secretary of State, which warns that corporate designators are required under state law but still allows a user to file without one. Guys and Dolls compounded that incorporation mistake by using the Inc-less name to refer to itself in all of its business dealings.
Unless you were daydreaming during history class, in high school you learned that the birth of modern limited liability business entities, namely corporations, was a key factor in the Industrial Revolution and America’s emergence as a world economic leader. An investment of capital that risks only that capital, not the investor’s other assets, has been at the heart of capitalism ever since. This is especially true, but often challenging, in human-owned businesses where the people who invest the capital are often investing blood, sweat and tears as business management, too.
Typically, the law splits management of a corporation into two functions: the officers (President, Secretary, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, etc.), who run the day-to-day operations, and the Board of Directors, which supervises the officers and keeps a long term view in mind. Yes, I know that if public company Boards of Directors really did that, we wouldn’t be in our current economic pickle, but that’s not today’s subject; my concern is that people in private companies don’t keep track of the hats they wear (owner, officer and/or director) and the consequences that go with wearing them.