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What You Need to Know If You Run a Horse Boarding Facility

What You Need to Know If You Run a Horse Boarding FacilityMaryland has many protections, regulations, and guidelines regarding the care of horses. Several of these directly impact owners of horse boarding facilities. As a boarding facility owner, it is crucial that you understand your obligations under the law. Whether you are running a large-scale horse operation, are just only one boarder to help defray your horse expenses, giving lessons, have a horse rental service, or are a rescue or stable sanctuary in the state of Maryland, you are required by law to be licensed through the Maryland Horse Industry Board. (Additionally, a few counties have further licensing requirements for boarding facilities.) Regulations Affecting Horse Boarding Facilities The MHIB requires that each horse be provided with shelter that is clean, dry, well-ventilated (but not drafty), and protects the horse from inclement weather. The stables and surrounding areas must also be kept neat and orderly and in good repair. This includes making sure…

Why Many Women Prefer Hiring a Female Attorney

Why Many Women Prefer Hiring a Female AttorneyWhen people seek legal representation, they want someone who understands their experience. Clients often feel more comfortable with an attorney they can relate to, which is one of the many reasons women seek female attorneys to represent them. Rebekah Lusk is a fierce advocate for female clients and a successful entrepreneur in her legal practice. She realized early in her career that to gain respect from others in the legal field, she would need to have her name on the door. Naturally independent, outspoken and authentic, Rebekah found that playing to those strengths were essential to establishing herself in her field. We asked Rebekah Lusk about the work she’s done for her clients, to learn more about her experience as an attorney and businesswoman. Question: You have heard from several female clients that they were specifically seeking a female attorney. Why do you think that is? Rebekah Lusk:  I think women…

Client Spotlight: Media to Memories

We regularly highlight one of the community’s promising businesses in our Client Spotlight. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Media to Memories, LLC.Lusk Law, LLC, serves a wide array of business clients. We regularly highlight one of the community’s promising businesses in our Client Spotlight. This month, we’re shining the spotlight on Media to Memories, LLC. Media to Memories is a photo-organizing business based in Severna Park, Maryland, that helps people organize, archive, and display their photos in such a way as to make them more enjoyable to view. Owner and lead memory organizer Kristy Stephens came up with the idea to start her business when she sat down to work with her family photos to create her family’s annual yearbook. “I was amazed by how many photos my family of three took in one year,” said Stephens. “We had taken well over 3,000 photos and videos in just one year.” This was when she realized that she had so many photos and videos that it was unrealistic that her family would be…

How Small Businesses Find Footing in Cozy Communities

How Small Businesses Find Footing in Cozy CommunitiesIn 2015, CNN named Frederick, Maryland, one of the best “comeback towns” in the United States. The article called the city center “nearly chain-proof,” with its array of small and independent businesses. The same thing is happening around the country: Entrepreneurs are breathing new life into forgotten or neglected properties and building a new commercial infrastructure. Residents of small towns are welcoming business owners, and some governments have even created incentives to encourage businesses to set-up shop. Small Business Incentives The City of Frederick offers several incentives for small businesses, such as: Vacant Commercial Property Tax Credit – This tax credit is for entrepreneurs who rehabilitate a property that’s been vacant for at least 18 of the past 24 months. Arts & Entertainment District Tax Credit – This incentive includes an artist income tax credit, a property tax credit, and the abatement of arts & entertainment tax for qualifying arts…

City Council Bill Enhances Requirements for Baltimore Landlords

City Council Bill Enhances Requirements for Baltimore LandlordsBaltimore City Councilman Bill Henry introduced a bill this year that would require licensing and inspection of all private rental properties. Currently, landlords with one- and two-unit rental properties are exempt from those requirements, but those are the properties that most often are the subject of tenant complaints. Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the legislation on May 7, so the new law becomes effective in 2019. Provisions of the Law The new law establishes a three-tier licensing structure: Landlords whose properties pass initial inspections or who promptly repair violations may be licensed for three years and subject to inspection every three years. Landlords whose properties have lingering violations may be required to submit to inspection every year or every two years (depending on the severity and nature of the violations) in order to renew their licenses. Pros and Cons of the New Law Supporters of the legislation say it’s a long-overdue…

Are You Owed Money? When You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney to Help

Are You Owed Money? When You Should Consider Hiring an Attorney to HelpIn a perfect world, every client, tenant, member of the supply chain, or debtor would pay their bills on time. When they don’t, businesses often expend a lot of effort trying to collect on unpaid debts, and the longer a debt is unpaid, the harder it becomes to collect. You may not need an outside assistance with collection if you run a large company with the resources to pursue delinquent debtors. Most small businesses, however, can’t afford for their bookkeeper or small accounting staff to devote time to collections. If you’re struggling to collect unpaid debts, it may be time to hire an outside help. Debt Collection Agency or Attorney? Hiring a debt collector costs money, of course, but that’s a preferable alternative to collecting nothing on the outstanding debt. Collection agencies usually charge a flat fee on any debt they collect. So, if your debtor owes you $10,000, and…

Survey, Business Experts Reveal Small Business Plans, Challenges for 2018

Small Business SurveyA survey in late 2017 found most small business owners plan to hire one or two new employees in 2018. And 80 percent of the 1,300 entrepreneurs who responded to the Microsoft/SurveyMonkey “Small Business Insights” survey said they had a good work-life balance. While, overall, business owners may be confident about the year ahead, the survey revealed that many will need to focus on preparing for changes in technology and cybersecurity. Only 49 percent of seasoned business owners said they were staying ahead of evolving technology. For businesses less than a year old, budget constraints were the main obstacle in keeping up with technology, with only 37 percent of respondents saying they were staying ahead of changes. Among all businesses, half were unconcerned about data breaches. Technology and Small Business Small business owners who don’t think data breaches are a threat are putting themselves at great risk, because in 2016,…

How Small Businesses Can Compete With Big Businesses

Business LawyerConsumers know they can find just about anything they need on Amazon.com. They can compare products, place an order, and receive their item quickly – sometimes, on the same day. Small retailers just can’t compete with that kind of efficiency, but they do have some advantages over large corporations. Online and big-box retailers often fall short of customer expectations when it comes to providing friendly and helpful service. Small businesses that make excellent customer service a priority can gain an edge over their larger competitors. What Customers Want A survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that about 90 percent of respondents had experienced an irritating customer service interaction in the previous year. Most complaints were about the inability to resolve an issue with a phone call, specifically: Unable to find customer service number to call Unable to reach a customer service representative Transferred to a representative who…

Establishing Your Business in a Small Town

Frederick MarylandSmall business is booming in Baltimore, but the high cost of city real estate may be a barrier for some entrepreneurs. Smaller cities and towns hold appeal for business owners who want a brick-and-mortar location that won’t break the bank. Outside of Baltimore, Maryland residents live only in small cities and towns – from tiny Port Tobacco (population: 13), to Frederick (population: about 65,000), so there are plenty of places throughout the state to establish your business. Appealing Factors for Small Businesses In April 2017, WalletHub published its list of the best and worst small cities for starting a business. It analyzed 1,261 small cities with a population of 25,000 to 100,000, and ranked them according to these factors: Business environment (which included metrics such as average revenue per business and industry variety) Access to resources (such as the availability of financing and qualified workers) Business costs (including office space…

Women Entrepreneurs Optimistic About Coming Decades

Maryland Small Business LawyersThe concept of “the glass ceiling” in business seems to be fading away – female entrepreneurs predict big changes in the next 20 years that will put them on par with, or ahead of, their male counterparts. These findings come from the 2017 Bank of America Women Small Business Owner Spotlight. For this year’s annual study, researchers gathered input from 1,022 small business owners – 375 of them, women – that employ two to 99 employees and have annual revenue of $100,000 to $4,999,999. Here are some highlights of this year’s survey: 66 percent of women think that by 2037, female-owned businesses will outnumber men-owned businesses. A recent survey found 40 percent of new entrepreneurs are women, so it seems likely that female business owners could easily outnumber male business owners in the next 20 years. 80 percent of women think that women will be equally represented or more represented…