Small Business Merchant Account

WARNING. That’s the overall theme these days for those looking to find the right small business merchant accounts. Misleading and misguiding the customer into a painful gulf of financial woe seems to be the end result of most business owner’s relationships with merchant services credit card processing companies. Not a great way to do business, but I suppose it will work for the short term right? How greedy can they be?

Well, in this article I’m going to lay out the brass tacks and tell you like it is. I’m not going to come up with euphemistic language and tip-toe around the elephant in the living room either. I am going to tell you the facts you will without a doubt need to know before you sign ANY agreement with ANY merchant processor.

I have been a successful multi-business owner now for over 15 years, and have had much sustained contact and interaction (both positive and negative) with the merchant services credit card processing companies.

I can say with an unwavering degree of certainty that this advice will be relevant, sound, and reliable, and is here to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. The following is a closer look into some of the antiquated antics of the legion of merchant services credit card processing companies.

1. Bait and switch ploys. Read the fine print. They will always make a big deal about the fact that their rates are better than the other guys, but are they really? Believe it or not but they are counting on the fact that you are probably not going to read the agreement. After all, do you really have time to go through all the teeny tiny little clauses and sentences to find a needle in a haystack? Probably not.

Many times the rates that they are quoting you are only good for 30 days! Then after the increase starts tapping your account dry while you find out that even though you were told there was no contract term that they outright lied to you and you are in contract for the next 3 years! Ouch! If you have a lawyer or some kind of pre-paid legal service, they offer contract reading at little or no cost. This way, no one is going to jump out of the bushes after you’ve signed the “paperwork”.

2. Long funding delays, hold of funding. One would expect after someone submits a payment online or in store for a purchase that the payment would be posted to their accounts within a few business days right? One would think, but some processors can take up to 180 days! That’s pretty scary when you’re trying to run a successful business (to say the least). The reason that they held onto the money was because there is a chargeback timeframe that lasts 180 days.

A chargeback is when someone wants a refund credited back to their credit card. Since most merchant processors don’t take any risk, they will hold your money until the chargeback timeframe has passed and then credit your accounts after 180 days. That’s a long time to wait for your money. Much too long. Again, make sure you read the fine print and get your attorney or prepaid service to review the contract to make sure you aren’t on the wrong end of the gun! It could literally mean the difference between being in business and being out of business!

3. Free Equipment Ploys. Free equipment sounds great. Is it really “free”. Of course it ISN’T. Most of the time there are higher fees attached to these types of agreements to compensate for the cost of the “free” equipment. In addition, if you ever decide that you no longer wish to use this processor, they will actually bill you for the “free” equipment! I had a friend that told me when he went to cancel his agreement they sent him a bill for $800 for the terminal! Free?? What happened? Someone lied. Plain and simple.

4. No Term/No Contract/No Term Agreement. There will always be something you need to agree to in order to outline the parameters of the agreement. I mean think about it. You have to have a legitimate business to get a merchant account! Patriot Act, Fraud, Illegal Activity and so on is happening all the time. If they offer you this and you do get it with no paperwork, then you need to be afraid. Be very afraid! Never take equipment from anyone with whom you’ve not filled out delineating paperwork with and had your lawyer review. It’s not a good bet.

So, in essence it’s really about investigating the company to make sure they are legitimate and that they aren’t trying to bamboozle you. Review the documents before signing, meet with your attorney, investigate the company, and above all ask questions! Normally the questions you don’t ask will contain the answers that could literally destroy your business! The truth is that they lie!

Everyone has to make money. And everyone wants to know who they can trust when they enter into a binding agreement. Having been through pains and tribulations of all flavors with this stuff myself many MANY times, I highly recommend the company at the link below.

They even analyzed my then current monthly statement for me for free and pointed out some hidden discrepancies that were costing me a bundle.In addition I was automatically enrolled in their affiliate program so I can offset my own costs. Now my processing bill is almost half of what it used to be. I give them Five Stars.

Click here to save money on your small business merchant accounts.

Finding Your Home Buying Team

When you buy a home in New Jersey, you will be working with a group of professionals who will assist you from the moment you start the home-buying process until you move into your home. Who are these people and how will they help you?

Although most people who want to buy a home first start by looking on the internet for homes, I think they are jumping the gun. My recommendation is to first start with your mortgage loan. You need to know how much loan you will be approved for before you know the price range of house you can afford to buy. Get referrals to mortgage brokers from people you know in the area in which you want to live, call the local community banks in the area in which you want to live, and call the big banks. Get a list of their loan rates, their costs to do business with you and the loan amount that they will approve. I would advise you to actually apply for a smaller loan than recommended because you will likely want to furnish the home that you are buying. If you are stretched by your mortgage payments, you will not have money to buy furniture or new curtains or appliances. Add the mortgage amount to the money you have for a down payment and that is the amount of house you can afford.

Now that you know how much house you can afford, you can start looking for what houses are in your budget. You may find that you don’t like the houses that you can afford in the town in which you want to buy, so you will change the town in which you are looking. Or you may decide you love a particular town so much that you will buy a smaller, less expensive house in that town. This is when you start working with a realtor. The realtor can take you to different houses in different towns so you can see the houses that you find on the internet. In real life, those houses may look worse than the pictures. Or your realtor may recommend that you look at a house that you did not catch on the internet. How do you find a good realtor? Ask family and friends who live in the area in which you want to live if they have any recommendations. These realtors are most familiar with the houses and the particular plusses and minuses of each town. Interview each realtor to see if you want to spend hours with them while you are look for your new home.

In northern New Jersey, once you sign a contract to buy a home, you will need a real estate lawyer. The lawyer you pick should be one who concentrates on residential real estate. Get referrals from your realtor and anyone you know who has recently bought or sold a home and liked their lawyer. Interview each lawyer to find out about his/her real estate law experience and to see if you feel comfortable with each candidate. Don’t just choose based on the lowest fee that you are quoted.

I recommend to all my buyer clients that they have the home they will buy inspected, unless they are tearing down the entire structure and rebuilding a new house. It is likely that your realtor and your real estate lawyer will have recommendations for you. Find out how thorough the home inspection is and what their report looks like. I prefer home inspection reports that include full descriptions of the problems and pictures of what the problem looks like.

Finally, unless you are moving your own possessions, don’t forget to find a good mover. You want one who is local (if you are moving across the country, find a mover in your new town who has arrangements with cross-country movers), who comes recommended by your realtor or family or friends. Ask each mover how long they have been in business and check their Better Business Bureau record. Have each mover come to your home and give you a written estimate. Ask about what services you are getting for the price you are quoted. Ask for what insurance they provide in case they break anything. Check the internet to see if there are any complaints that other users have posted.

Buying a home can be a very stressful time in your life. By getting recommendations and researching the team that will help you buy your home, you have a better chance that you will have a better home-buying experience.

FAQ With a Tennessee NFA Gun Trust Lawyer

The world of NFA trusts, or gun trusts, is still new to many gun owners. Because of the complex estate planning and federal firearm laws involved, individuals who wish to set up one of these trusts should understand what all is involved. This article will answer many questions and provide a basic overview of the process.

Are NFA items legal in Tennessee?

Yes. Under Tennessee Code Annotated Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13, NFA items are not considered illegal weapons in Tennessee as long as they are properly registered under federal law.

I’ve heard about gun trusts and how you can have one if you want to register a suppressor, short barreled rifle, or machine gun. How do they work?

A gun trust is the registered owner of the NFA weapon. Under the NFA (National Firearms Act), guns such as short barreled rifles, fully automatic machine guns, and sound suppressors (silencers) must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It used to be that an individual would register their weapon in their own name, which meant that only they could legally possess that weapon. However, with a gun trust, the trust itself is the registered owner and anyone listed in the trust may legally possess that weapon. These individuals are called trustees, and the person who establishes the trust is the settlor, or grantor. A valid trust must also have at least one beneficiary–that is who will receive the trust property upon the settlor’s death.

Is there any limit on the number of trustees? Does a trustee have to be related to me?

There is no limit, and a trustee does not have to be a family member. One of the main requirements is that a trustee in a Tennessee NFA trust must be at least 18 years old and eligible to possess firearms.

Can I list children as beneficiaries?

Yes. Because of age restrictions a child would not be able to be a trustee, but children and minors can be beneficiaries in a gun trust. Once the child becomes of age he or she could be added as a trustee. Provisions can be made in the trust where, if the settlor dies before the beneficiaries are of age, the NFA weapons are kept in a secure place with a responsible adult. A Tennessee firearms trust lawyer can help with this.

So anyone I name as a trustee can legally possess an NFA weapon in the trust without me present?

Absolutely. They have full legal rights to any weapons registered in the trust. In contrast, registration by an individual in his or her own name precludes anyone else from possessing or using that weapon without the owner present.

Can I have trustees in different states?

Yes. Your Tennessee NFA trust lawyer can prepare your documents for trustees in different locations.

Is my gun trust a public document? Does it get filed at court?

No. A Tennessee gun trust is completely private, unlike a corporation which must be filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State in Nashville. You must send an executed copy of your trust to ATF with the rest of your registration paperwork, but you do not file it at court or with your county records department.

What are some other advantages with a gun trust?

You do not have to get fingerprinted or photographed as part of your ATF application, and you do not need to have your Sheriff or chief law enforcement officer sign the application. By listing beneficiaries, you get peace of mind knowing who will receive these highly regulated weapons after your death.

How long does it take to set up this kind of trust? Do I have to come to your office?

As a Tennessee gun trust attorney, I can have your documents back to you in just a few days after receiving all the necessary information. Although my office is in Memphis, I draft trusts for individuals and families all throughout Tennessee. You do not need to come to my office, as the entire process can be done over the phone and through email.