News | | Page 5

Category : News

Home»Archive by Category "News" (Page 5)

Tips for Preparing Your Business for Tropical Storm Gordon

  • Posted On September 6, 2018
  • Categorized In News
  • Written By

Tropical storm Gordon made landfall in Florida Tuesday night.  You should have started preparing before today, but it may not be too late to ready your business for a turbulent week.  Mitigating damage during a natural disaster can be incredibly beneficial in the long run.

Preparing Your Property

This may seem obvious, but there are things you should do to your physical business to prepare for a tropical storm such as securing your property and covering windows.  You want to make sure that any products that are reliant on temperature are relocated in the event of power outage.   However, your business is composed of more than a building and physical goods.

Preparing Your Staff

Bad things happen when there is no plan in place for your employees.  People get caught at work during natural disasters quite frequently.  If you have employees, be sure to:

  • Prepare them with means of communication outside of landlines.
  • Create a “call down” list so everyone from the top down stays informed.
  • Let staff know that they are not expected to be at work if they are concerned for their safety.
  • Have a rendezvous point and time in place in case all communications are disrupted.
  • If you can, offer water, food, and shelter to your employees.

Preparing Business Operations

It is essential to prepare your suppliers, customers, and anyone else that could be affected by pausing your normal business operations.  A few things you can do:

  • Maintain a physical list of vendors and delivery schedules so you can maintain contact with them in the event of an outage.
  • Create a message on your website to communicate a plan to your customers.
  • Make sure you have enough cash on hand to operate for at least two weeks.
  • Keep a physical phone book with phone numbers for your insurance agent, local disaster relief organizations, and employee health insurance providers.
  • If you store business data on-site, consider transferring the data to a cloud service or another physical location.

It is very difficult to be completely prepared for a natural disaster.  Often times, small businesses lose money because insurance companies refuse to adequately cover damage.  If your business suffers damage caused by unforeseen circumstances and you need help getting the support you are entitled to, consider contacting Elias Dsouza at Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group for a free consultation.

How Did Jay Z Make $810 Million?

Just about everyone knows Jay Z is one of the most popular hip-hop artists of all time.  Since 1996, he has sold over 55 million records.  However, did you know that only about 3% of his net worth is from album sales?  You may not be familiar with Jay Z’s music, but there is a good chance you have heard of companies he is involved with.

Roc-A-Fella Records

Jay Z and a couple of friends started this record label in the mid 1990’s.  Their first release was Jay Z’s album, “Reasonable Doubt”.  The record label had some success as they released Kanye West’s first 6 albums.


Jay Z followed up the record company with an urban clothing line called Rocawear.  It may not be a household name now, but in the early 2000’s, the company saw annual sales of over $700 million.  He later sold the company for over $200 million.

Roc Nation

This entertainment label was created by Jay Z and Jay Brown.  It has been a huge success and has signed people like Rhianna, T.I., and Big Sean.  This label has since been absorbed by Live Nation and gave Jay Z the ability to launch Roc Nation Sports.

Roc Nation Sports

This venture was born out of Jay Z’s time as a co-owner of the Brooklyn Nets.  He gave up his “shares” in the team so he could start the management company.  Today, Roc Nation Sports manages athletes such as Dez Bryant, Robinson Cano, and Kevin Durant.


In an attempt to get into the music streaming game, Jay Z bought a Norwegian company and rebranded it to get exclusive rights to new hip hop albums.  They ended up with between 1.2 and 3 million subscribers (this has been debated).  He bought Tidal for $56 million and sold it for $200 million.

Buying and selling businesses is a complicated proposition.  It is important that you seek the advice of experienced and skilled people to take you through the process.  Elias Dsouza has been guiding business owners through complicated transactions for over 15 years.  Contact Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group for a free consultation today.


Donald Trump: The Master of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Many businesses file for chapter 11 bankruptcy, Donald Trump’s businesses seem to have this step built into their plan.  With 6 chapter 11 bankruptcies under his built, Trump has shown a willingness to throw ideas at the wall to see what sticks.  Let’s take a look at those ideas that did NOT stick.

First, the Basics of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Unlike chapter 7, after filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy, a trustee is not automatically appointed by the court.  A trustee may be appointed if there is sufficient evidence that the debtor has committed less than savory acts such as fraud and gross incompetence.  Chapter 11 bankruptcy is often referred to as “reorganization” of debt.  If the creditor and debtor can agree to a plan, the business can continue to operate and pay back debt in the future.  Reports show that Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by businesses is successful 10% – 15% of the time.

Bankruptcy #1 – Trump Taj Mahal

The Trumps paid $1.2 billion to build the hotel and resort.  The plan was to use Trump products to outfit the place.  Unfortunately, no one wanted Trump water, towels, etc. In 1991, chapter 11 bankruptcy was filled in an attempt to maintain control.  Trump was able to hang on to the property until 2015 when Carl Icahn took controlling interest eventually selling to the Seminole Indians for $50 million (4 cents on the dollar).

Bankruptcy #2 – Trump Castel Hotel and Casino

This property had trouble paying the bills after Trump opened the Trump Taj Mahal.  Maybe it is not wise to compete with yourself…In 1992, Trump bondholders signed a deal to accept equity and preferred stock in lieu of the debt.

Bankruptcy #3 – Trump Plaza Hotel

1992 was a rough year for Donald Trump.  The Trump Plaza Hotel went bankrupt which led to the transfer of 49% in equity to Citi Bank.  Trump was an estimated $550 million in the red at the time of the filing.

Bankruptcy #4 – Trump Plaza Casino

This property filed along with the Trump Plaza Hotel.  Over $100 million in liabilities have been reported for this filing.

Bankruptcy #5 – Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts

Perhaps this is one of the largest screw ups by Trump.  Trump Hotels and Casino resorts acts as the parent company to three of the afore mentions properties.  In 2004, this holding company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy with over…wait for it…$1.8 billion (with a ‘b’) in debt.  Trump was stripped of control and his title of CEO only to emerge with a new company called Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Bankruptcy #6 Trump Entertainment Resorts

Trump Entertainment Resorts (TER) is the same group that ran Trump Hotels and Casinos into the ground for all intents and purposes.  To be fair, in 2009, tons of businesses were having trouble paying the bills due to the recession and TER already had debt from previous failed ventures.  When TER filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were $1.2 billion in debt.

If you or your business is upside down in your loans and you are considering filing for bankruptcy under chapter 11, you need help.  This is an enormously complex process and you need someone to protect you from creditors and guide you.  Contact Elias Dsouza for a free consultation today!

The 3 Largest Bankruptcies in U.S. History

Many people were affected by the recession.  People lost their house, car, life savings, and more which led to bankruptcy.  However, bankruptcy was not limited to individuals and families.  Some of largest bankruptcies in history were actually filed by companies.


3 – WorldCom

Fueled by a hungry CEO, Bernie Ebbers, WorldCom managed acquisition after acquisition in the 1990’s.  The worlds # 2 long distance phone company and # 1 internet network had to keep its stock price up to pay for many of these acquisitions.  In one of the largest corporate frauds in history, this company took “cooking the books” to a whole new level.  To elevate the value of the company, they recorded over $9 billion in fraudulent transactions.

Before declaring bankruptcy under chapter 11, WorldCom had assets worth $103.9 billion.

2 – Washington Mutual

Everyone knows the housing market in California is well…challenging.  No one knows that better than Washington Mutual.  When housing values dropped more than 9 percent (equal to the drop during the great depression) in 2007, Washington Mutual found itself holding mortgages (mostly in California) worth far more than the asset they financed.  They couldn’t sell the mortgages to other companies which led to a net loss of $67 billion in 2007.  The final dagger for Washington Mutual was the loss of customer deposits.  When Lehman Brothers went down, people everywhere started pulling all of their money out of investments and banks.

Prior to declaring bankruptcy, Washington Mutual had $329.7 billion in assets.

1 – Lehman Brothers

You may be familiar with the term “subprime mortgage”.  These are mortgages that were given to unqualified people without the necessary documentation.  If this sounds like a bad idea, that is because it is.  Just ask Lehman Brothers.  This firm acquired 5 companies that were underwriting subprime mortgages during the housing boom in 2004 and 2005.  By 2006, they controlled $146 billion in mortgages which is wonderful when everyone is paying on-time.  Unfortunately, as we all know, that became a difficult proposition around 2008.

With a portfolio massively leveraged in mortgage loans and the stock market beginning to faulter, Lehman Brothers looked abroad for investors.  They were close to a deal with Korea Development bank.  When that deal fell through, stock holder confidence fell to an all-time low which marked the end.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy with $639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt.

The Moral of the Story

No matter how much money you have, things can happen that leave you upside down in debt.  Regardless of fault, you can protect yourself.  If you are defaulting on loans and getting phone calls from debt collectors, you need help.  Elias Dsouza of Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group has the skills and experience to give you that help.  Contact Elias to get started on the right path today.

How to Close Your Small Business in 5 Easy Steps

When you started your business, you did not do it with this day in mind.  That day is here nonetheless.  The business is no longer viable and you have made the decision to close it.  Do not fret, you will be back in the game soon enough!  However, you must first deal with this steaming pile of failed business.  Doing it the right way makes all the difference if you intend to start over at some point.


Step 1 – What is the Steaming Pile of Failed Business Worth?

Take stock of every asset your business still owns.  Everything is worth something.  If you are closing the business, it is probably because the plan is not working and you may have accrued some debt while trying to save it.  The remaining assets will help offset any liabilities you still have.

Step 2 – Make the Announcement

While this step is very difficult, it is better than firing everyone one day as they walk in the door.  Notify employees of the date their employment will end, contact your customers directly, inform your utility companies, landlord, and anyone else that will be affected by the loss of your business.  While you do not HAVE to necessarily do some of these things, it could benefit you to leave bridges un-scorched so when you raise from the ashes one day you will have friends.

Step 3 – Haggle and Settle

Liquidate your assets.  This money will be used to settle up with your creditors and anyone else you still owe.  You may be able to negotiate to reduce the value of liabilities you still have.  If you have creditors to worry about, they may be thrilled to talk to you about ways you can pay a lesser amount as opposed to filing for bankruptcy which leaves them with empty-handed.

Step 4 – Pay the Man

Meet with your accountant and file any and all tax returns.  This includes federal and state returns.  While this can be stressful, you should not put it off because you can incur fees and interest on unfiled returns.

Step 5 – Closing Time

  • Bank accounts – At this point, your bank accounts are most likely bruised and limping. It can be expensive to keep them open because most business checking accounts incur fees if the minimum balance is not maintained.
  • Your business – This is the end of the road. Time to move on and come up with the next great idea!

Closing a business can be very complex and overwhelming.  Do yourself a favor and obtain the services of an experienced business attorney in Broward County, Florida.  Elias Dsouza has been working with business owners for over a decade and has the skills needed to steer you safely onto your next venture.

New Custom App Brings Clients Even Closer

As technology noses into the delivery of legal services, Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup Group has become more focused on where we add value. Understanding the core human thing, the social experience, is a defining difference. By using technology creatively, such as an app to speed communication on matters in ways that enable continuous improvement, we can facilitate client problem solving and higher quality communication.

For instant help with your finances and how to keep them in check, download our new APP available now on itunes and Google Play. We will help by coming up with solutions that will get you back on your feet.