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Accounts Receivable Financing – Bueno!

According to Wordreference.com English to Spanish dictionary, the Spanish word “bueno” has about seven meanings: good, kind, well, nice, considerable as in a considerable amount of money, gorgeous and real. As used in this article bueno is used to suggest that if you are in the import or export business, Mexico is a good country to consider with special opportunities for U.S. traders and financing available in the form of accounts receivable financing. Your business can make a considerable amount of money in Mexico.

Mexico has a population of over 103 million people. In January, 2007 U.S. exports to Mexico were over $10.7 billion dollars and imports from Mexico to the U.S. were over $15.3 billion dollars. Products traded included food, beverages, tobacco, lubricants, manufactured goods and machinery. Many U.S. companies have production and assembly operation in Mexico to meet the challenges of global competition with Mexico’s lower labor, utility and overhead costs. Compared to China, Mexico presents less geographic logistical problems with our common border and relative proximity. Mexico has a highly skilled and hard working labor force. The Mexican legal system, however, is quite different from U.S. law where we have a Uniform Commercial Code which has been adopted by all of the U.S. States to regulate commercial finance transactions. Enforcing agreements in Mexico can be problematic. Litigation can drag on for years and judgments are difficult to enforce.

Mexico has a highly evolved and organized legal system. It was originally based on Greek, Roman and French legal systems; today it more resembles a Latin American country’s legal system than the U.S. legal system. Mexico has vast layers of administrative law and a limited body of case law, or “jurisprudencia definida”. Mexican law now recognizes a variety of security devices which allows commercial finance lenders to offer accounts receivable financing with reasonable certainty. To participate in Mexico’s marketplace, it is wise to have a Mexican legal counsel as a part of your team.

One unique Mexican program is the Maquiladora concept and its privileged status. Maquila operations involve the importation of foreign merchandise into Mexico on a temporary basis, where it is assembled, manufactured or repaired and then exported back to the U.S. or to other countries. The advantages of maquila operations are savings in operational costs, waiver of import duties, opportunities to sell goods in Mexico and other legal and tax advantages that are beyond the scope of this article. Mexico’s maquila industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. – Mexican border. These laws are business friendly and many small and medium sized firms have increased their profit margins by manufacturing in U.S.-Mexico border cities.

One example is a fine furniture and wrought iron fabricator based in California that was having financial difficulties because of high labor costs and increasing worker’s compensation premiums. These costs were cut in half by moving production to a maquiladora. Their exponential growth from 30 to 100 employees more than tripled their production and profits. Their sales contracts specified net 60-day credit terms but actual payments collections were closer to 90 days. Accounts receivable financing facilitated the company’s rapid growth by providing liquidity from the purchase of the receivables by a commercial finance company at a discounted rate. Without this cash flow, the company could not have taken advantage of their sales opportunities or produced their products fast enough.

The Mexico factoring financing process is similar to accounts receivable financing in the U.S. A finance company advances about 80% of the face value of the receivable to business owner. This cash is used to pay for materials, labor and overhead. When the invoice is paid to the commercial finance company, their fees are deducted and the balance is returned to the business. In general, a 25% profit on the merchandise is necessary for the financing to make sense.

The bottom line: for U.S. importers and exporters Mexico offers many opportunities for successful business operations. Accounts receivable financing and maquiladoras may enhance their profits. Bueno! Business in Mexico is good.

Why Early-Stage Startup Companies Should Hire a Lawyer

Many startup companies believe that they do not need a lawyer to help them with their business dealings. In the early stages, this may be true. However, as time goes on and your company grows, you will find yourself in situations where it is necessary to hire a business lawyer and begin to understand all the many benefits that come with hiring a lawyer for your legal needs.

The most straightforward approach to avoid any future legal issues is to employ a startup lawyer who is well-versed in your state’s company regulations and best practices. In addition, working with an attorney can help you better understand small company law. So, how can a startup lawyer help you in ensuring that your company’s launch runs smoothly?

They Know What’s Best for You

Lawyers that have experience with startups usually have worked in prestigious law firms, and as general counsel for significant corporations.

Their strategy creates more efficient, responsive, and, ultimately, more successful solutions – relies heavily on this high degree of broad legal and commercial knowledge.

They prioritize learning about a clients’ businesses and interests and obtaining the necessary outcomes as quickly as feasible.

Also, they provide an insider’s viewpoint and an intelligent methodology to produce agile, creative solutions for their clients, based on their many years of expertise as attorneys and experience dealing with corporations.

They Contribute to the Increase in the Value of Your Business

Startup attorneys help represent a wide range of entrepreneurs, operating companies, venture capital firms, and financiers in the education, fashion, finance, health care, internet, social media, technology, real estate, and television sectors.

They specialize in mergers and acquisitions as well as working with companies that have newly entered a market. They also can manage real estate, securities offerings, and SEC compliance, technology transactions, financing, employment, entertainment and media, and commercial contracts, among other things.

Focusing on success must include delivering the highest levels of representation in resolving the legal and business difficulties confronting clients now, tomorrow, and in the future, based on an unwavering dedication to the firm’s fundamental principles of quality, responsiveness, and business-centric service.

Wrapping Up

All in all, introducing a startup business can be overwhelming. You’re already charged with a host of responsibilities in which you’re untrained as a business owner. Legal problems are notoriously difficult to solve, and interpreting “legalese” is sometimes required. Experienced business lawyers know these complexities and can help you navigate them to avoid stumbling blocks.

Although many company owners wait until the last minute to deal with legal issues, they would benefit or profit greatly from hiring an experienced startup lawyer even before they begin. Reputable startup lawyers can give essential legal guidance, assist entrepreneurs in avoiding legal hazards, and improve their prospects of becoming a successful company.

Think Twice Before Getting Financial Advice From Your Bank

This startling figure comes from a recent review of the financial advice offered from the big four banks by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Even more startling: 10% of advice was found to leave investors in an even worse financial position.

Through a “vertically integrated business model”, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, ANZ and AMP offer ‘in house’ financial advice, and collectively, control more than half of Australia’s financial planners.

It’s no surprise ASIC’s review found advisers at these banks favoured financial products that connected to their parent company, with 68% of client’s funds invested in ‘in house’ products as oppose to external products that may have been on the firms list.

Why the banks integrated financial advice model is flawed

It’s hard to believe the banks can keep a straight face and say they can abide by the duty for advisers to act absolutely in the best interests of a client.

Under the integrated financial advice model, there are layers of different fees including adviser fees, platform fees and investment management fees adding up to 2.5-3.5%

The typical breakdown of fees is usually as follows: an adviser charge of 0.8% to 1.1%, a platform fee of between 0.4% and 0.8%, and a managed fund fee of between 0.7% and 2.1%. These fees are not only opaque, but are sufficiently high to limit the ability of the client to quickly earn real rates of return.

Layers of fees placed into the business model used by the banks means there is not necessarily an incentive for the financial advice arm to make a profit, because the profits can be made in the upstream parts of the supply chain through the banks promoting their own products.

This business model, however, is flawed, and cannot survive in a world where people are demanding greater accountability for their investments, increased transparency in relation to fees and increased control over their investments.

It is noteworthy that the truly independent financial advisory firms in Australia that offer separately managed accounts have done everything in their power to avoid using managed funds and keep fee’s competitive.

The banks have refused to admit their integrated approach to advice is fatally flawed. When the Australian Financial Review approached the Financial Services Council (FSC), a peak body that represents the ‘for-profit’ wealth managers, for a defence if the layered fee arrangements, a spokesman said no generalisations could be made.

There are fundamental flaws in the advice model, and it will be interesting to see what the upcoming royal commission into banking will do to change some of the contentious issues surround integrated financial advice.

Many financial commentators are calling for a separation of financial advice attached to banks, with obvious bias and failure to meet the best interests of clients becoming more apparent.

Chris Brycki, CEO of Stockspot, says “investors should receive fair and unbiased financial advice from experts who will act in the best interests of their client. What Australians currently get is product pushing from salespeople who are paid by the banks.”

Brycki is calling for structural reform to fix the problems caused by the dominant market power of the banks to ensure that consumers are protected, advisers are better educated and incentives are aligned.

Stockspot’s annual research into high-fee-charging funds shows thousands of customers of banks are being recommended bank aligned investment products despite the potential of more appropriate alternatives being available.