The Legal Side of Payroll and How to Manage it

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Employers have a lot of responsibilities to their employees. They must provide a safe working environment, guarantee rights such as paid holiday and, above all else, pay them a wage. The last part needs to be done within the confines of the law, ensuring that each employee pays the right amount in tax, National Insurance and pension contributions.

Running your company’s payroll legally may seem like hard work, but it can be broken down into a few simple steps. Firstly, you need to operate PAYE if any of your employees earn more than £113 per week. This can be done using your own system or by using payroll software.

The next step is to register as an employer with the HMRC. This makes it easier to inform them of how much you need to pay them in tax, as well as report every month. On top of that, you need to send the HMRC an annual report at the end of each tax year by the beginning of April.

Calculating Payments

As part of these reports, you need to work out what you need to pay each employee and what, if anything, should be deducted for tax, National Insurance, pensions and student loan repayments. This can be done internally or, if you are unsure of how to do it, by using payroll software solutions.

In using software, your business is better placed to be paying the right amount of tax and NI contributions. It can calculate the percentage of a pre-tax salary that needs to be paid and then direct what is owed to the HMRC each month.

Businesses should know that there is a tax month that runs from the 6th to the 5th. In that period, the HMRC should be told if an employee hasn’t been paid and a full report of payments should be sent in the form of a Full Payment Submission (FPS) form. That can be done online.

Proof of Payment

From the employee’s perspective, they will need proof of payment. They should be sent a payslip for each month. It should detail their pay after tax and NI has been taken off, as well as any other deductions or additions such as overtime.

Sending payslips is a good way to help manage your payroll. By saving a copy for your business’s records, it makes the whole accounting process easier. It also aids with those reports you need to send for each tax month and tax year.

Errors made in payroll can be costly – the average FTSE 100 company loses up to £30 million a year via these mistakes. Cutting them out can save a lot of work, both for your business and its’ internal admin or finance team.

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Why are Divorce Rates Rising in the UK?

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You don’t need to be a hotshot lawyer to know that filing for divorce can be messy and expensive. In many cases, it can take months for a divorce to become final, but that hasn’t put off many couples from filling in the forms and ending what may have once been happy marriages.

Late last year, statistics showed that the rate of couples filing for divorce rose for the first time in five years. This comes after a gradual decrease in the number of married couples choosing to rip up their wedding vows. With over 106,000 couples going down the divorce route, what is behind the rise?

One possible explanation is the lack of any changes to the current laws until late 2017. The most recent stats are for 2016, but since then, there has been a move to let couples do much of the divorce paperwork online as a cost-saving measure. This could serve to make divorce easier.

Experts’ Opinion

In recent months, many legal experts have shared their opinion about the supposedly outdated nature of UK divorce laws. Famous names such as Lord Mackay of Clashfern say that changes needed to be made. Among the amendments they want to make include stopping the laying of blame on one divorcee and making some divorces long, drawn-out processes.

The figures don’t take into account the number of people who have filled in the online forms, but should they gain popularity, expect divorce rates to rise further. Getting used to the forms and knowing how to fill them in correctly may stop some couples in their tracks.

In such cases, they may need to call upon divorce law firms such as Withersworldwide to make sense of the forms. Then, they can be asked for advice when moving onto decree nisi and then decree absolute.

Simplified Process?

What the online divorce forms have done is make going through the process easier. Individual divorcees can decide whether or not to accept an application from their partner and get the job done more quickly. With deadlines in place for completing forms and making applications, the timescale has become easier to grasp for unhappy couples.

Time will tell if the recent rise in divorces will see the prevailing trend of divorce rates falling is just a blip or the sign of things to come. As the online forms are rolled out, any changes to divorce law will surely be needed to keep pace with demand from couples who want to separate with as little fuss as possible.

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Criminal record verification in the UK

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There are various situations in which the verification of an individual can be requested. There are also several ways in which a person can be checked, however these depend on the information required by the party soliciting it. If some verifications can be misleading, criminal record checks are usually the most accurate with respect to the information given, and also the most correct.

In the UK, it is not an unusual thing to verify one’s criminal record – employers, real estate owners seeking to lease properties and financial institutions are just a few examples when criminal record verification can be requested. It is also possible to perform a self-assessment of police record in the UK.

All criminal records in the UK are held by the police

Which is why they are also known as police records.  All persons in the UK have police records, which contain information on their criminal background. However, criminal records can also be clean, meaning there are individuals who have not committed any offence.

The information found in a criminal record is related to any misdemeanors and up to minor or severe offences. Warnings and cautions are also put to people’s criminal records. These are kept in the Disclosure and Barring Service for a period of 100 years.

Criminal records in the UK are not publicly available and parties seeking information on an individual must first file a request with the Disclosure and Barring Service before performing a police record check. At this point, it should also be noted that there are various degrees of access when verifying someone’s criminal record.

Accessing police records with the Criminal Records Office 

There are three types of criminal checks which can be performed in the UK: the basic, the standard and the enhanced one.

Police record checks imply identity, financial and criminal verifications and each type of search of the above-mentioned ones will contain more or less information based on the requested access. There are also cases when information on the sentences served can appear in one’s criminal record, however these are governed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 and will only appear when performing an enhanced search.

Criminal record verifications are also possible with the Crown Prosecution Service, with the UK Prison Service and with the Courts and Tribunals Service. No matter where the search is performed, the party seeking the information is subject to a fee which will depend on how extensive the search is.

Even if criminal verification is possible, one must also understand that this information is usually classified in order to protect an individual’s right to private life, therefore any search should be treated with strict confidentiality.

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How to open a company in Spain

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Spain has made a strong economic recovery after the economic crisis and is now back among the European leaders in terms of trading. It does not surprise anyone anymore that Spain is once again one of the most sought destinations for opening a company.

Foreigners who want to open companies in Spain have many rights, they actually have pretty much the same rights as the local businessmen, however they also have their share of obligations. So, below we will describe the requirements when starting a business in Spain.

The most used types of companies in Spain

No one starts a company in another country without previously getting acquainted with the types of companies they can register and choosing the right structure, or at least one close enough to their needs. Spain is very advantageous from this point of view, as the types of companies here are usually the same as in any other European jurisdiction and in several Asian and Western countries.

We first have the simple forms for doing business which are the sole proprietorship and the partnership, however these are seldom used. Then, we have the limited liability company which can be private or public. The main difference between them is the share capital needed for registration.

In the case of a private limited liability company – sociedad limitada or SL – the minimum amount of money required to open it is 3,000 euros. With respect to the public company – sociedad anonima – the minimum share capital is 60,000 euros. A quarter of this amount must be paid upon the incorporation of the company.

Documents required to open a company in Spain

The most important documents which must be drafted before starting the registration procedure of the company are the Memorandum and Articles of Association, in other words the company’s statutory documents. These must be drafted before a public notary and they must contain the name of the company owners, also known as shareholders, the company’s administrator and the objects of activity of the business. They must be notarized.

The company formation steps in Spain

Even if the preparation of the incorporation documents is the most important, this is not the first one. Foreign citizens opening companies in Spain must first obtain a tax identification number, known as NIE. Then, the company must be selected and filed for approval. Once approved, a certificate of availability will be issued. The opening of the bank account, where the share capital must be deposited, will follow and only then the incorporation documents will be filed with the Trade Register.

The Registrar will issue a public incorporation document and a fiscal identification number – codigo de identificacion fiscal, or CIF.

Once registered, the company must pay a municipal tax, file a notification for starting the operation with the city hall of the city it will operate in and another notification with the Ministry of Labor.

Registering a company in Spain is not hard, however there are a few steps which must be completed in a certain order which will significantly improve this experience. Once registered, the company can apply for an intra-Community VAT number and have access to the EU market.

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Is Vandalism a Misdemeanor or A Felony? (In the USA)

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We all know the word vandalism and we sometimes use it to describe things we do not agree with. However, the law recognizes vandalism as a crime and as a legal term, it has to have a clear definition.

So, what is vandalism and is it classified as a misdemeanor or is it a felony? In any case, if you’re accused of vandalism, you’d best find a good lawyer, like

The Definition of Vandalism

Vandalism is an act of willful destruction or damage of property to the degree that it defaces or otherwise decreases the values of the said property. Some of the most common crimes classified as vandalism include graffiti, tire slashing, breaking windows and similar deeds.

A more serious version of vandalism is damage or destruction of property, which falls under a category of its own. It is tricky to discern the lines between these crimes because states each have their own interpretation, so what may be vandalism in one state can be classified as the destruction of property in another.

Vandalism Checklist

In order for a crime to be classified as vandalism, there are three marks which need to be checked. In order to be convicted, the prosecutor needs to prove that your deed contains all three elements.

Damage done – first of all, there needs to exist some visible damage to the object in question. The damage needs to be permanent, but not so severe to constitute destruction of property. Be careful with this definition, because graffiti and sticking a sticker to something counts as damage, too.

It belongs to someone else – if you damage your own property, that falls within your rights. However, if the property you have damaged is someone else’s, including the state or federal government, this qualifies the deed as vandalism.

It was intentional – finally, the prosecutor needs to prove that you did that on purpose. It is difficult to defend against an accusation of graffiti claiming it was accidental, but you can break a window by accident.

A Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Even though most people think that vandalism is a minor crime, depending on the circumstances, this charge can be quite serious. Thanks to the penal code 594 PC of California, the district attorney has the power to classify your case as a felony or as a misdemeanor, on the case-to-case basis.

Punishment for Misdemeanor

If your case is classified as a misdemeanor offense, you may think you are in the clear. However, even in this better case scenario, you are still facing up to one year in the county jail. The better alternative is a fine. If this is your first vandalism charge, you can be fined up to $1000, whereas repeat vandals can be fined up to $5000.

If you are really unlucky, you can get both of these punishments at the same time. However, there is another option, which is community service. Typically, it comes in the graffiti charge, where the guilty party is ordered to clean what they have defaced, as well as keep that surface or any other clean for up to a year.

Punishment for a Felony

If your crime is serious enough to be classified as a felony, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail, or in a state prison. The fine option also exists and it can go up to $10,000 or even up to $50,000 if the damage you have caused is more than $10,000. Just like with the misdemeanor, you may get both forms of punishment at the same time.

Even though you may feel like a vandalism charge is not a big deal and that it can be brushed off lightly, hopefully, this article shone some light on the possible repercussions of criminal activities.

To contact Monder Law Group
424 F Street, San Diego, CA, US

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3 Common Mistakes of New Law Practices

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Starting your own law practice can seem overwhelming. However, it’s not as big of a challenge as you might think. Many of the practices that fail make the same mistakes. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you can work towards building a successful practice.

1. Unfair billing practices

While you might need every penny of billing that you can get, unfair billing practices is not the way to go. There are several reasons for this. First, your clients will hear about your high billing rates. As a result, people may be reluctant to choose you to represent them. Even if you have a successful track record, you may still have a hard time getting clients. Very high billing can be enough to keep your business from being successful.

Another problem with unfair billing practices is the fact that it may come back to haunt you. Today, there are companies that specialize in reviewing legal bills. Consider They can help clients determine when a law firm had unfair billing practices. If you have a client who gets their billing reviewed, they may be able to take legal action against you. This could devastate your practice and leave you back where you started.

2. Unethical marketing

Marketing for a new law firm can be a big challenge. And sometimes, that challenge leads to some bad decisions. In an attempt to bring in new clients, a lawyer might have some unethical marketing tactics. For example, he might promise more than he can offer. Or, he might call himself the best in the industry. If you say things in your marketing brochures that are untrue, you open yourself up to malpractice.

To prevent unethical marketing, you should educate yourself on the matter. Learn what techniques you can legally use, and what could get you into trouble. There are many different resources available that can help you understand the ethics of marketing. If all else fails, turn to an expert for advice. This can save you from a big headache later on in your life.

3. Ignoring your reputation

When you run your own practice, your reputation is everything. However, this fact often gets overlooked. If you fail to focus on your reputation and use it as a selling point, you won’t reach your full potential.

If you don’t have much of a reputation, it’s important to work towards building it. Take an active role in your local community. Make your presence known at local events and participate as much as you can. No matter how small your community may be, there are ways to get noticed.

Another way to get noticed is to do pro bono work. Don’t neglect the importance of pro bono work. It’s a great way to build up your reputation and get people to know your name. If you want to build up trust in your community, you just have to get out there. It takes time and effort, but the effort can really pay off in the end.



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