7
Aug

Registering NonProfits in Italy

THE CHALLENGE

When registering a nonprofit in Italy, what are some things I should take into consideration?

NONPROFITS IN ITALY

        In Italy, nonprofits are considered “Third Sector” organizations, meaning they do not qualify as either governmental or business organizations. In 2017, the new Code of the Third Sector went into effect in Italy.  According to the new code, “organizations such as associations, volunteer organizations, and philanthropic foundations formed to pursue the common good” whose goals aims to develop human life and create employment opportunities for all Italians are considered the Third Sector (Legislative Decree No. 117 of July 3, 2017, Code of the Third Sector). Governmental agencies; political associations; unions; and professional, entrepreneurial, commercial, or industrial associations are not usually considered part of the third sector.

SOLUTION

         There are specific procedural steps to follow when registering a nonprofit in Italy. The nonprofit must have at least two members, a unique name, drafted Articles of Association, and a memorandum detailing the characteristics of the nonprofit. Next, the nonprofit must be registered at the Inland Revenue Office in Italy. Applicants also must provide “Modello 69” and “Modello F23” forms, as well as a copy of the fiscal code, in order to be able to register at the Inland Revenue Office. Italian law has set a minimum amount that the nonprofit must have in its accounts in order to register at fifteen thousand (15,000) euros and for foundation thirty thousand (30,000) euros.

         Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that Italian foundations can only be supported by founding members. Nonprofits qualify for taxation relief once registered. The taxation guidelines follow the laws of taxation of the Third Sector. 

CONCLUSION

The most important factors to consider when registering a nonprofit in Italy are to understand that nonprofits belong to the Third Sector and to ensure all documents are properly filed to ensure a smooth and effective registration process.

SOURCES

Dante, Global Legal Monitor Italy: Code to Regulate Nongovernmental Organizations | Global Legal Monitor (2017), https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/italy-code-to-regulate-nongovernmental-organizations/.

Article By Nouvelle L. Gonzalo Esq. and Macarena Bazan

Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Esq. is a U.S. and international corporate lawyer who works with companies across the globe. She is the managing attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC, a U.S. and international corporate law firm with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to the active practice of law, she has served as adjunct faculty of international corporate law for several years. She was recognized as a rising star by the national organization, Super Lawyers, in 2019 and 2020. Her practice areas include: international corporate law, intellectual property law, and nonprofit law. You can contact her with any questions or for a complimentary consult at ngonzalo@gonzalolaw.com.

Macarena Bazan is a current junior at the University of Florida majoring in Political Science and Business Administration with a specialization in Pre-Law. Macarena is the Executive Administrative Assistant for Gonzalo Law a U.S. and International Corporate Law Firm, the Vice President of the University of Florida chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, and a member of the Honors College. She placed 3rd in the National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition and has received the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List throughout her college career. Macarena has been with Gonzalo Law since January 2020. She focuses on case research, drafting and editing contracts, client contact, and additional research.


2
Jul

Foreign Judgements

The Challenge:

If your company has obtained a judgment in a foreign jurisdiction, a question often arises. How can that same judgment be recognized in the U.S.?

Foreign Judgments Defined:

Foreign judgments are decisions from courts or judges from other states in the United States or foreign countries. Foreign judgments from different states are enforceable without the expense of litigation according to the 1964 Foreign Judgement Act. Laws regarding foreign judgments and their enforceability vary from state to state. However, foreign country orders are usually recognized in the United States as long as they have been fairly judged, and the defendant is aware of the claim.

The Solution:

When it comes to foreign country orders, the individual would have to prove its authenticity and fairness to prove reliable in a state court. The foreign country judgment must be proven valid and authentic with a certified copy issued by the court and a certified document translating. The document will be conclusive after proving the validity and authenticity of its decision only if it does the following:

  1. The foreign court must have jurisdiction over the defendant,
  2. The defendant must be a resident of the state throughout all of the time, and
  3. The foreign court must be impartial and offer due process of law.

If all of the above circumstances apply to the foreign country judgment, the state federal court will convert the foreign judgment into a U.S. judgment. The domesticated judgment may then be enforced in the United States.

Conclusion:

Some states require the principle of reciprocity to enforce foreign judgments. This means that if the foreign jurisdiction that first issued the judgment would not recognize a judgment from the State, then the State will also not recognize a judgment from the foreign country. An example of a state that requires this principle is the state of Ohio. In the Ohio federal court, under code section 2329.91 Enforcement of foreign country judgment, foreign country judgments are recognized to be enforceable just like a judgment from another state would be (full faith and credit). This is applicable only if the foreign country demonstrates the principle of reciprocity. Other than that, most states will decide by evaluating the requirements listed above and decide on the enforceability of the foreign judgment.

Article By Nouvelle L. Gonzalo Esq. and Macarena Bazan

Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Esq. is a U.S. and international corporate lawyer who works with companies across the globe. She is the managing attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC, a U.S. and international corporate law firm with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to the active practice of law, she has served as adjunct faculty of international corporate law for several years. She was recognized as a rising star by the national organization, Super Lawyers, in 2019 and 2020. Her practice areas include international corporate law, intellectual property law, and nonprofit law. You can contact her with any questions or for a complimentary consult at ngonzalo@gonzalolaw.com.

Macarena Bazan is a current sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Political Science and Business Administration with a specialization in Pre-Law. Macarena is the Executive Administrative Assistant Associate for Gonzalo Law a U.S. and International Corporate Law Firm, the Vice President of the University of Florida chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, and a member of the Honors College. She placed 3rd in the National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition and has received the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List throughout her college career. Macarena has been with Gonzalo Law since January 2020. She focuses on case research, drafting and editing contracts, and additional research.

2
Jun

Business Licenses

THE CHALLENGE:

When starting a business a question often arises. Does my company need a business licenses to operate in my respective state and if so what is the process to obtain one?

BUSINESS LICENSE DEFINED:

A business license is a legal document that grants companies the right to operate a business in their designated state. Typically, applications for business licenses occur after each business decides which form of business entity they will register as. Different types of business licenses include general business operating license, seller’s license, tax registration and permits, professional license, and environmental permits. Some industries may also be federally regulated and would require applications for additional licensing.

THE SOLUTION:

The general steps to acquiring licenses goes as follows. First, research must be done regarding regulations in the business’ area. Then, an application must be submitted, and any required fees must be paid as well. Additionally, some states may require the business to wait until the license is processed and approved to begin operating. All businesses must abide by these guidelines and research whether the state requires them to wait during the process. Finally, the license must be renewed according to the guidelines of the state, city, or county.

One example is the state of Colorado which does not require any type of generic license in order for businesses to operate. However, it does require licenses from specific industries like the auto industry, gaming, liquor, tobacco, marijuana, and racing. Another example is the state of Nevada which does require all businesses to obtain a license before operating and an annual renewal of the license as well. One of the best resources to obtain information about business licenses is the Secretary of State’s website of each state. All information regarding requirements, costs, and applications would be indicated in such website.

The regulations, costs, and requirements to obtain business licenses all vary by state and by the type of business being operated. It is imperative to research the regulations of each state when starting a new business.

Article By Nouvelle L. Gonzalo Esq. and Macarena Bazan

Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Esq. is a U.S. and international corporate lawyer who works with companies across the globe. She is the managing attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC, a U.S. and international corporate law firm with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to the active practice of law, she has served as adjunct faculty of international corporate law for several years. She was recognized as a rising star by the national organization, Super Lawyers, in 2019 and 2020. Her practice areas include: international corporate law, intellectual property law, and nonprofit law. You can contact her with any questions or for a complimentary consult at ngonzalo@gonzalolaw.com.

Macarena Bazan is a current sophomore at the University of Florida majoring in Political Science and Business Administration with a specialization in Pre-Law. Macarena is a Legal Intern for Gonzalo Law a U.S. and International Corporate Law Firm, the Vice President of the University of Florida chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, and a member of the Honors College. She placed 3rd in the National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial competition and has received the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List throughout her college career. Macarena has been with Gonzalo Law since January 2020. She focuses on case research, drafting and editing contracts, and additional research.


4
May

Can Your Private Information Be Sold?

The existing privacy laws established throughout the globe are creating challenges for companies to sell information collected to 3rd parties, but how do they affect sales for direct sales companies? The main challenges in these situations would be to figure out what is considered compliant with the new regulations and how the client can find new prospects without obstructing the law. 

Relevant Laws

Most people are unaware what information companies can collect or might even be unaware that companies are collecting their information. Different places in the world have different laws associated to how, when, and who is allowed to collect this information. In this article, we will discuss the three main laws related to this issue are The California Consumer Privacy Act, General Data Protection Regulation and The Illinois Privacy Act. 

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act, “CCPA”, is being used in California, United States. This law regulates determines how data is allowed to be collected, managed, shared and sold by companies and/ or entities doing business with/or compiling information about California residents. Companies must disclose whatever information they collect and the purpose of the information. Additionally, these companies must allow the consumer to opt-out of having their information sold to any third party, to view their information, to delete their information that has been collected. According to the CCPA, the company must notify consumers of their rights under the CCPA and what type of information they have obtained or shared/sold.
  • The General Data Protection Regulations, “GDPR”, is currently being used in Europe for the protection of its citizens. It is similar to the CCPA in that it aims to be able to give consumers greater control over their data. That said, these two are not identical and do have differences. The GDPR is stricter than any law related to what is legally allowed.  It requires affirmative consent for any data processing; not just reselling data, but collecting it in the first place. The GDPR also makes companies notify the individual that they have obtained their information and must obtain their consent within 30 days of obtaining the data.
  • The Illinois Privacy Act requires companies or organizations with any personal information from Illinois residents to proceed with security measures to protect any data from unauthorized access, acquisition, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. In addition, the Act states that any contract where personal information is transmitted must include a provision requiring the recipient of the information to implement and maintain reasonable security measures.

Are You Covered Under These Laws? 

The scope of these laws isn’t as big as you would expect; they all cover distinct groups of individuals. The CCPA covers any California Resident.  A resident is anyone who has lived in California for a long period of time. For this law to apply to you, you must be an individual and not a company. Illinois Privacy Act covers any Illinois resident; just like in California, a resident must be an individual living in Illinois for a length of a period. As for the GDPR, this covers any European company or individual in the European Union.

Some observers have come to the conclusion that since no one really wants to exclude selling to Californians, the CCPA is acting as a national law on data privacy in absent to federal regulation. These laws do not affect the cold calling business though.

What Happens If A Company Doesn’t Obey? 

As for the potential risk of non-compliance, every law has different type of punishments. 

  • The CCPA penalty for each individual violation is $2500 if unintentional and $7500 if intentional. Businesses have 30 days to fix alleged violations after they have been notified of their non-compliance.
  • The GDPR has the penalty of up to €20M or up to 4% of the total global revenue of the preceding year, whichever is greater. 
  • The Illinois Data Privacy Act penalty can be up to $5,000 or actual damages for the violation.

Is There Anything You Can Do to Protect Yourself?

The sad reality is that there isn’t much that an individual can do, especially if you are not covered by the CCPA, GDPR, or the Illinois Data Privacy Act. Once a company has your information, they have the ability to sell it to a 3rd party at their own discretion. This said, there are a few ways that you can personally follow up with your personal information for security purposes. 

Best practices for cybersecurity: 

  • Using complex passwords: Some professions believe that a complex password must meet or exceed certain criteria of changing it every 180 days, must be between 8 and 128 characters long, be unique, and utilize uppercase letter, numbers, lower case letter and/or special characters
  • Using two-factor authentication
  • Don’t use public internet
  • Don’t give out personal information through the phone or email
  • Make sure you don’t voluntarily allow for your information to be sold

How Can A Company Protect Individual’s Information?

If a company is keeping any sensitive information for customers or employees, they must follow a few guidelines proposed by the Federal Trade Commission, FTC. Many companies have personal information from customers or employees for various reasons, however, companies need to be aware that if this information falls into the wrong hands, it can have severe consequences. The FTC created a guide for businesses to secure this information. 

The 5 key takeaways are: 

  1. Know what information is in the company’s databases
  2. Try to keep only essential information
  3. Make sure that any information kept is safe and secure
  4. If you do discard any information, make sure it is properly disposed
  5. Have a backup plan if any information is compromised

Article By Nouvelle L. Gonzalo Esq. and Sofia Orrantia 

Nouvelle L. Gonzalo, Esq. is a U.S. and international corporate lawyer who works with companies across the globe. She is the managing attorney of Gonzalo Law LLC, a U.S. and international corporate law firm with offices in Florida and Ohio. In addition to the active practice of law, she has served as adjunct faculty of international corporate law for several years. She was recognized as a rising star by the national organization, Super Lawyers, in 2019 and 2020. Her practice areas include: international corporate law, intellectual property law, and nonprofit law. You can contact her with any questions or for a complimentary consult at ngonzalo@gonzalolaw.com.

Sofia Orrantia Mc Pherson is a Student Associate and Executive Administrative Assistant at Gonzalo Law LLC. Previously, she worked as a Language Assistant for the English Language Institution at the University of Florida. She graduated from University of Florida with a bachelor’s in arts in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Film & Visual Art. She is a native speaker in Spanish and English and is fluent in Dutch and French.  

9
Aug

Happy National Book Lover’s Day!

Our Favorite Business Books

books

It’s back to school for so many! For those of us no longer in the classroom, every day is an opportunity to learn and improve ourselves. In honor of national Book Lover’s Day, check out our team’s favorite business books and why they are worth a read.

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