Reading Legal Documents: Pay Attention to Details

It’s not just the document in front of you that counts; it’s also the document to which this one refers.

Yesterday, I found out what failing to pay attention to details in legal documents can cost.

Sarita and I bought a bunch of acres in Virginia several years ago. Most is forest; some has been cleared. We were thinking we might build a house there. In the meantime, we were going to care for it with the best methods we knew to use. (more…)

S- vs C-Corporations

IRS Form 2553 - Used by corporations to choose treatment under Chapter S (Small Business) of the tax code.

My introduction to the two primary kinds of commercial (or profit-making) corporate structures in the U.S.: C- and S-corporations. What’s the difference? How shareholders are taxed. (Prosperity Hint: When you enter the world of legal structures, you will discover you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to the taxes you pay!)

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Last time, I described my introduction to the idea of legal structures (and, particularly, the corporation). Based on what we learned, we agreed that, most definitely, we wanted to incorporate our business.

So we did. And what I mentioned in that post pretty much summarizes Sarita’s and my experience—and my knowledge—of legal structures for the next six years or so. (more…)

The Strange World of Legal Structures

Articles of Incorporation

Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.’s original Articles of Incorporation: How Sonlight Curriculum became a legal structure independent of a human being . . . and how the human beings who had created Sonlight Curriculum gained legal independence from the business!

It was 1992. We were just at the point where we were going to hire our first employee and Pete Smit urged me to call a certain company to see if maybe we wanted to engage in employee leasing rather than (all we knew about at the time) actually hiring someone.

He had given me the name of the leasing company. But, when I looked them up, it turned out (what I didn’t notice) that there was another company with virtually the same name right in front of theirs in the phone book. And I called the wrong number.

As it turned out, that was a wonderful mistake I made! (more…)

PT: The Multiple Flags Theory

multiple flags

A short while ago, I mentioned bumping into W. G. Hill’s book back around 1990, PT: The Perpetual Traveler, the Perpetual Tourist. The Possibility Thinker.

I said that the first, most basic concept Hill taught that grabbed my attention was this: to get outside your box. Try always to see the world from a larger perspective. There is more out there than you can imagine.

Today—not because I have totally “bought” the theory, but because it has deeply influenced how I view the world and because sometimes you need to hear a concept several times over from different perspectives—I want to summarize the concept for which Hill (and, before him, Harry Schultz) was best known.

It’s the idea of structuring your life so that you are beholden to no single governmental power.

Schultz and, then, after him, Hill, spoke of multiple “flags” (a flag being a symbol of one’s presence and allegiance). (more…)