Business and Immigration Blog

10 Reasons Why You Should Become a U.S. Citizen

Citizenship Documents

Introduction

Now more than ever, it is important for Green Card holders to become U.S. Citizens if they are eligible to do so. With a growing trend towards tougher immigration policy, now is the time to secure certainty for your future by becoming a U.S. Citizen. To find out if you are eligible, call Plummer Legal, LLC at 240-206-8287 for your free consultation.

Here are the 10 reasons why you should become a U.S. Citizen:

1) U.S. Citizens are Rarely Deported but Permanent Residents are Regularly Deported

Once you become a U.S. Citizen, you cannot be deported unless you illegally gained your citizenship. Citizenship allows you to live without fear of being deported if you make a mistake. Green Card holders can be deported for certain crimes. Examples include drug violations, firearm convictions, and even crimes of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of protection order. See 8 U.S. Code § 1227.

Let’s say for example you are a Green Card holder, and you and your wife get in an argument. Your wife calls the police. She is advised to get a protection order. Later, she complains that you violated the order. You are convicted of violating the order. Based on that conviction, you could be removed from the United States. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all the time. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you will be protected from deportation.

2) Only U.S. Citizens can petition for Parents, Siblings, and Married Children

Only a U.S. Citizen can apply for their parents, siblings and married children. If you are a Green Card holder, you can only apply for your spouse, minor children and unmarried adult children.  Moreover, immigration law limits the number of individuals who may immigrate to the country per year based upon category (for example wife of permanent resident). This can create 15 years of waiting time in some circumstances. However, if you are U.S. Citizen there is no wait time and no limit for your spouse, minor children, and parents.

3) U.S. Citizens do not have to Green Card renewal fees

If you are a Green Card holder, you have to pay a fee (currently $540.00) to renew your green card periodically or it will expire. If your green card is destroyed, lost, stolen, or you change your name, then you also have to pay to get it renewed. When you become a citizen, you pay one fee that will last your entire life and it will never expire.

4) Children of U.S. Citizens Automatically become U.S. Citizens

When you become a U.S. Citizen, your child can automatically become a U.S. Citizen. If your child is under 18, living with the U.S. Citizen parent and is a permanent resident, then your child will automatically become a U.S. Citizen once you naturalize.

5) U.S. Citizens can Visit/ Live overseas without Fear of Overstaying

A Green Card holder faces the possibility of unintentionally “abandoning residency” if he spends too much time outside of the U.S. As a Green Card holder you must maintain “continuous residence” or you could lose your green card. When you become a U.S. Citizen, you can come and go as you please without fear of losing your citizenship.

6) You can apply for a U.S. Passport which allows you Ease of Travel and Protection Abroad

U.S. Citizens can enter over 150 countries without a visa. Additionally, U.S. Citizens get the benefit of having a U.S. Passport. Travelling in and out of the United States with a Green Card can be a headache because people are worried about being denied admission back into the United States, being grilled by U.S. Customs, or having to wait extra time in non-citizen lines. Moreover, when you travel abroad as a U.S. Citizen with a U.S. Passport, you are more likely to be treated with respect and care because the United States strongly fights for the safe and humane treatment of her citizens abroad.

7) Only U.S. Citizens can Vote in Elections

It is illegal for a Green Card holder to vote in U.S. elections. See 18 U.S.C. § 611. In fact, if a Green Card holder votes, that person can be deported. See 8 U.S.C. § 1227. If you live in the United States you effected by the laws every day and you should have a say in who represents you. Once you become a U.S. Citizen, you will have a voice with your vote.

8) U.S. Citizens can become Politicians

Even further than voting as a U.S. Citizen, once your become a citizen you can become a politician or elected official. U.S. Citizens can become mayors, governors, judges and delegates.

9) Most Federal Jobs only hire U.S. Citizens

Millions of jobs in the United States are only available to U.S. Citizens especially government jobs. If you lives in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, you know that much of the local job economy consists of federal jobs. When you become a U.S. Citizen, you will have access to those jobs.

10) Most Public Welfare and Scholarships are only available to U.S. Citizens

Many of the public benefit programs for healthcare, food, and housing require U.S. Citizenship or requires Green Card holders to jump over more legal hurdles before receiving the public benefits. If you find yourself in a situation where you need help to get back on your feet, you can easily get help if you are a U.S. Citizen. In conclusion, there are many benefits to becoming a U.S. Citizen and rewards last a lifetime. Plummer Legal, LLC would love to help you become a citizen. For your free consultation, call Plummer Legal, LLC at 240-206-8287.

 

Michael R. Plummer is a licensed attorney in Maryland. The purpose of this blog is to provide news and information on business and immigration law. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

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3 Reasons Why You Don’t Want Your Maryland Business to be Forfeited

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Introduction

As business owners we wear many hats and it is easy to overlook a task. Today’s article is a reminder to Maryland business owners to remember to file Maryland Form 1 – Personal Property Return.

Under Maryland law, business owners must file with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) an annual personal property return. See Md. Tax-Property Code Ann. § 11-101. The personal property return basically requires you to list business-owned tangible personal property. If the return is not filed, SDAT will automatically forfeit your business without a hearing or trial.

So why does it matter if you are operating a forfeited business? Here are three reasons why you don’t want your business to be forfeited.

1) You May Be Held Personally Liable.

One of the main advantages of owning a company is having limited liability protection. Limited liability shields your personal home, car and bank accounts from your business creditors. Operating a forfeited company can remove your limited liability protection exposing your personal assets to the reach of your business creditors.

2) You Can Be Criminally Charged.

Believe it or not, in the state of Maryland you can be criminally charged with a misdemeanor for knowingly transacting business in the name of a forfeited business. See Md. Corporations and Associations Code Ann. § 4A-919.

3) You Cannot File or Maintain a Lawsuit.

Let’s say that you own a bakery that provides catering for events. You land a contract for a big event bringing in a $25,000 catering contract. The day of the event comes and your company executes brilliantly. However, when it is time to pay the client refuses to pay. You are now forced to file a lawsuit to get payment. At trial, defense counsel moves to dismiss the suit claiming that your company is forfeited and lacks standing to sue. The judge agrees and your case is dismissed.

Under Md. Corporations and Associations Code Ann. § 4A-911(d), a forfeited LLC loses the right to do business in Maryland and the right to use its name. A forfeited corporation undergoes similar circumstances upon forfeiture but to a greater extent.  See Id. at § 3-503(d). A forfeited corporation does not exist at all but a forfeited LLC does exist for limited purposes. A forfeited LLC’s contracts are still valid and a forfeited LLC can still defend a lawsuit. See Id. at § 4A-920.

In 2010, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland had to decide whether a forfeited LLC had the right to file suit in the case of Price v. Upper Chesapeake Health Ventures, 995 A.2d 1054 (2010). The Court reasoned that the negative implication of the right to defend was that a forfeited LLC did not have the right to file or maintain a lawsuit. See Price at 1061. The Court held that “a LLC whose rights have been forfeited for tax failures still exists as an entity, but may only defend an action in court, not prosecute one.” See Price at 1062.

Moreover in an unreported opinion, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland said if your LLC becomes forfeited after filing a lawsuit, your case will be dismissed because a forfeited LLC cannot “maintain” a suit. See Remus Enterprises, LLC vs. Freedom Equity, LLC, No. 2318, Filed: December 7, 2015. In Remus the Plaintiff was in good standing when the original complaint was filed but soon after became forfeited.

In conclusion, if you are a business owner you must file your annual personal property return with SDAT otherwise you lose the ability to transact business in Maryland, use your business name, file a lawsuit, and maintain a lawsuit. A forfeited LLC’s contracts are still valid and a forfeited LLC can defend itself in court.

Michael R. Plummer is a licensed attorney in Maryland. The purpose of this blog is to provide news and information on business and immigration law. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

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Law Blog – 3 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Consult with a Business Attorney in the New Year

If you own and operate a business in 2016, you should be aware of the numerous legal perils that await unsuspecting business owners. Today business owners face lawsuits from dissatisfied clients, disgruntled employees, government regulators and even competitors in the market. Facing these legal challenges alone will drain you emotionally and ultimately hurt your bottom line. A wise business owner will invest in the services of a business attorney in 2016 to help prevent these issues and deal with them judiciously. Here are three reasons why entrepreneurs should consult with a business attorney in the New Year:

Blog - Januay 1, 2016 - Image from Unsplash

1) You should consult with an attorney this New Year if you have contracts.

Let’s face it, almost all of our business relationships are governed by contracts. As a business owner you do not have the time and for most entrepreneurs the training to understand the contracts that you are signing. Why does it matter? Did you know that if you fire a key employee that understands your business in and out that employee can open a business next door and take away all of your clients and years of hard work. Attorneys draft non-compete agreements to deal with this issue but the agreement must be narrowly tailored so that the restriction is not a restraint of trade. Did you know that if your contract has an attorney’s fee provision you may have to pay for the other party’s attorney’s fees even if you did not initiate the lawsuit? You may want this provision in your contract or you may not. What is important is that you are aware of it and plan accordingly when resolving disputes.

2) You should consult with an attorney this New Year if you have employees or independent contractors working for you.

If you have employees or independent contractors you need to know the difference because your rights and obligations differ depending on the status of that worker. For example, an independent contractor is not entitled to unemployment benefits but an employee is. Even if you classify that worker as an independent contractor a government regulator could say that he or she is truly an employee. For guidance determining whether your worker in an employee or independent contract, see “Fact Sheet 13: Am I an Employee?: Employment Relationship Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).” As a business owner, you want to make the relationship clear contractually and in how you interact with that worker.

3) You should consult with an attorney this New Year if your clients have outstanding balances on their accounts.

Many times in business clients receive the goods or services now and pay later. When a client is obligated to pay you later you want to make sure that your interests are adequately protected. A business attorney will help you assess whether you can improve your collection procedures and possibly avoid non-payment or litigation. Sometimes a simple phone call or letter from your attorney can do the trick. If you have numerous accounts receivable, it would be beneficial for you to consult with a business attorney.

In conclusion, the New Year is a chance to start over and a chance to improve. To take your business to the next level you will need help from several professionals. You can do it and you don’t have to it alone. “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22

Michael R. Plummer is a licensed attorney in Maryland. The purpose of this blog is to provide news and information on business and immigration law. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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