Author Archives: Terri Henry

When Two Business Entities Are Better Than One

Why TWO LLCS are better than one.

Most business owners know that they need to form either a corporation or LLC to protect themselves from the risks associated with running businesses in our modern world. Alas, most don’t think through the process to its logical end when evaluating these risks. As a result, they often don’t realize that they may need two, not one, business entities.

Let’s start with a simple question.

Why do you form a business entity? Yes, there can be tax reasons, but most form them to protect themselves from the risks associated with being in business. These risks include being sued for a ton of money or having creditors come after the company to collect debts. Business entities are great at creating a shield between you, the owner, and these debts. The question is whether that is enough. For many businesses, it is not.

So, what is the problem? The problem is most of your valuable and critical assets are actually owned by the corporation. This means they are exposed to the risks of running the business. Consider an example. I own a hosting company for websites. I incorporate it and business goes really well. Everyone knows “Chapo’s Hosting”. I have a trademark, logo and the whole nine yards. My servers get hacked in the first week of December and all the sites of my clients are down for the first 10 days of the month, the busiest on the web. I get sued for millions. While I am not going to be personally liable, I am going to lose all my servers, equipment, trademark and logo to the companies suing me. Once I lose all of those, it is just a matter of time till I can’t meet my personal bills and lose my home, car and so on. We are talking about a nightmare!

Many businesses use a double entity strategy to avoid this. They form one entity to deal with the public and a second one to hold all the valuable assets of the company. This second entity then leases the assets to the first entity. If the assets are put at risk, the leasing entity simply takes them back. The downside of this approach is your costs are all doubled since you have two entities, but the upside is you more or less eliminate the risk of losing everything.

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Richard A. Chapo is with

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Fantastic Food in Barbados

Barbados : Cou cou and Flying Fish

A famous Spanish saying quotes “The belly rules the mind”. Indeed it is true! As for people all over the world, eating or the art of cuisine is such a favorite topic among many since it satisfies our sense of taste.

When we come to talk about cuisine and exotic tropical taste, one place stands out, Barbados. Having a mix of tropical atmosphere and the sweet sense of exotic and mouth watering taste surely gives a whole new definition to dining.

Let me start off by introducing to you the national dish of the famous island. Cou Cou and Flying Fish has made this little Caribbean island stand out among the rest. The first recipe is an exotic and sophisticated blend of cornmeal, okra and tomatoes with an accent of salt, peppers and the famous Bajan hot sauce. Meanwhile, flying fish is abundant in this location since it thrives well among the warm waters that surround the island. This dish is commonly served fried or steamed, depending on your choice.

Fish here in the island is a common choice for food since the place clearly is full of aqua culture resources. People have created and come up with different kinds of recipes that use fish as its main ingredient. Another one of their famous cooking inventions is the Bajan Macaroni Pie and Flying Fish. This unique recipe is the Bajan’s own version of Mac and cheese.

This time, let’s talk about the famous thirst quencher. It’s called the Mauby drink. It’s a carbonated drink made from the bark as well as the leaves of a Colubrina arborescence tree. Although there are already a lot of commercialized carbonated drinks in the market out there, Mauby still stands out as a symbol of the Caribbean island’s pride. This drink can be of an alcoholic nature as well as a non-fermented drink. It is consumed as a cold drink in most cases. So team up your flavorful meals with this native drink and get to feel the whole tropical experience of being in Barbados.

For those having the notion that food in Barbados are almost all hot and spicy, well, let me enlighten you on that. Actually, not all Barbados food is hot and spicy. As a matter of fact, one of the islands well loved delicacies is coconut bread or sweet bread as what they usually call it. Its flavor and taste is best described by three words, sweet, sweet, and sweet! The bread is accentuated with a bit of coconut filling inside before it is cooked in the oven. While this delicious treat is being cooked, it gives out the aroma of sweetness all over the place. This will surely make you crave for more.

Here’s a rare delicacy that would surely give off that exotic taste you have been looking for. Get to experience the local specialty of the island, Sea-Egg. The sea-egg is commonly known as the sea-urchin. This local delicacy is considered rare since harvesting of these eggs is controlled by local government officials due to the depletion of its resources. But don’t fret; these exotic eggs are available when they are in season. So if you happen to be in Barbados, don’t forget to check out this dish.

When it comes to food, Bajans have been known for two things: alcohol and cake. Rum Cake or also known as Great Cake has been a favorite among the locals of this island. A combination of beer and rum, this dessert would top your great food experience in Barbados.

All these food and delicacies would surely fill you up not only with a satisfied belly, but with a rewarding and complete tropical experience in the island of Barbados.

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Initiation to Offshore Banking Terms

Offshore Banking Terms

Many investors are puzzled by the various terms used by bankers in describing ways to protect their money. Here is a short list of some of the most common ones.

Asset Protection Trust (APT) is an irrevocable trust, usually created (settled) offshore for the principal purposes of preserving and protecting wealth against creditors. Title to the asset is transferred to a trustee. It is used for asset protection and usually tax neutral. Its function is to provide for the beneficiaries of the APT. A trust is a contract affecting three parties, the settlor (who sets up the offshore trust; also called the grantor in U.S. or IRS terms), the trustee and the beneficiary. A trust protector is optional but recommended, as well. Through the trust, the settlor transfers asset ownership to the trustee on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Business trust is created for the primary purpose of running a business. These trusts are treated as persons under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). It must have a commercial purpose and actually function as a business.

CARICOM is the Caribbean Common Market. Its members consist of 14 member countries of the Caribbean community, including Antigua, Bahamas, Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago. The purpose of this organization is to encourage free trade and free movement of labor. Conspicuous by their absence are the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, the two major players in international banking and finance, which did not wish to be regulated by a small local community because of greater international ties.

Discretionary Trust is a grantor trust in which the trustee has sole discretion as to who among the listed beneficiaries receives income and/or principal disbursement. The trustee has full authority over the fund, or it would cease to be a discretionary trust. A letter of wishes, or side letter, can provide guidance to the trustee without having any legal and binding effects. The letter(s) must be carefully drafted, as the trustee cannot be seen as a pawn of the beneficiaries or there is basis for the argument that there never was a complete renouncement of the assets.

Estate is the sum of personal interests in real and/or personal property.

Flight Capital is money which flows offshore and likely never returns. It is exacerbated by a lack of confidence in government fiscal management.

GmbH is a German form of a limited liability corporation.

High Net Worth (HNW) Person is any individual with more than $1,000,000 in liquid assets.

International Business Company (IBC) is a corporation formed (incorporated) under the Company Act of a tax haven, but is not authorized conduct business within that country. It is intended to be
used only for global operations. It is owned and operated by members and/or shareholders, just like other corporations.

Limited Company is not an international business company. May be owned by a resident of the tax haven and is set up under a special corporate law with a simpler body of administrative laws. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) consists of member owners and a manager, at a minimum. It has tax advantages and operational flexibility found in a partnership, operating in a corporate-style structure, with limited liability as provided by the state’s laws. A LLP is a Limited liability partnership, a form of the LLC frequently used for professional associations, such as accountants and attorneys. A LLLP is a Limited liability limited partnership, intended to protect the general partners from liability.

Member is an equity owner of a limited liability company ((LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), limited liability limited partnership (LLLP) or a shareholder in an IBC.

NRA is a nonresident alien of the U.S. An NRA is not a U.S. person a  defined under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Offshore is an international term meaning not only out of your country, but also out of its tax jurisdiction.

PLC is a UK public limited company.

The Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1995 proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code affecting foreign trust reporting, among other changes.

Securities are shares and debt obligations of every kind, including options, warrants, and rights to acquire shares and debt obligations.

Settle. To create or establish an offshore trust. Done by the settlor (offshore term) or the grantor (U.S. and IRS term).

Settlor. One (the entity) who (which) creates or settles an offshore

TCI are the Turks and Caicos Islands, a popular tax haven.

Trustee is the controller of a trust fund. This person is independent of the settlor or grantor and has the fiduciary responsibility to manage the assets of the fund as a reasonable prudent business person would do in the same circumstances. The trustee must defer to the trust protector when required in the best interest of the trust fund. The reporting requirements of the trustee are defined at the creation of the trust include how often, and to whom, the trustee will respond to instructions
or inquiries, investment strategies and fees for the trustee’s services. The trustee may have full discretionary powers to distribute the fund to beneficiaries.

Uniform Partnership Act (UPA) is one of the uniform laws adopted by some states or used as a baseline for other states.

Vetting is the process used by the offshore consultant for evaluating whether a prospective client is a good candidate for offshore asset protection.

World Bank was formed to be the lender and technical advisor to developing countries, utilizing funds and technical knowledge from member nations. It has often been criticized for promoting austerity programs in indebted third-world nations.

Hopefully this short guide will help investors seeking asset havens and offshore banking facilities.

Written by
Dillon Norris

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Share your Story with Caribbean Land and Property

Do you have a Caribbean property story to share?

Well here is your opportunity to shine by posting your story on the Caribbean Land and Property Blog. We are looking for your contributions of 300-400 word blog posts on developing or maintaining property in the Caribbean, especially those which have an environmental component.

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Moving Towards Renewable Energy – Solar Solutions

Renewable Energy

Moving into a new home recently I got very enthusiastic at having a spacious kitchen all to myself and even with an abundance of non-cooked salad making I finished our gas bottle in just over 2 weeks! I was lovingly told by my partner that as much as he enjoyed every morsel that I made, I clearly had to be more efficient in my energy consumption. So in the absence of a pressure cooker and considering how long it takes to boil up beans and pulses, which I do regularly, I bought a coal pot.
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Pests in Paradise

Even in paradise it’s not always paradise.

Last week my house was invaded in the evening by a massive swarm of mosquitoes. I’ve never really been troubled by them before but this battalion came on thick and fast and are the size of flies! They whine, they bite and they suck blood – all of which are offenses punishable by death.
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Liquid Gold – Making & Using Organic Fertilizers.

Organic Farming in the Caribbean with Organic Fertilizers

Yesterday I watched a short video about a family in California who have turned their city garden into a modern-day Eden which sustains up to 90% of their food needs on just 1/5 acre! They replaced their lawn with edible flowers and using organic fertilizers the whole garden burst forth with fruits and vegetables to feed the family. It further inspired me to keep planting in my own garden and do my part to combat the constant news of rising food prices and shortages.

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Food growing really is a quiet revolution that I want to be a part of!

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Of course being a person who always aims to be in tune with nature, our garden is 100% organic. Organic farming or gardening is a practice which has numerous benefits for producers, consumers and the Earth. The chemicals in artificial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides ultimately leach into the soil and our water and whatever we do to the Earth we do to ourselves. I know that I’d rather eat some food that has a few bug bites on it than consume produce that is saturated and laden with toxic formula.

Tiled shopfront with fetilizer advertisement

A key philosophy and practice of the organic approach is to gradually build up the natural fertility of the soil so that it comprises the right nutrients to yield healthy produce and is resistant to disease and pest attacks. One great way to enrich the soil is to create compost and I’m pleased to report that with thanks to the constant weekend work of my partner, our 3 bin system is now up and running! Now I’m being tutored on other ways to achieve the goal of naturally enhancing the plants directly with a number of liquid botanical fertilizing agents.

To start with, our first compost pile has been set up with a pipe at the bottom to collect the liquid that leaches as the material breaks down. The dark coloured liquid that emerges is often referred to as ‘tea manure’ or, to emphasize its incredible value, ‘liquid gold’. This liquid is one of the best things you can apply to your plants for a quick boost as the nutrients are readily available in the water and are quickly taken up by the plants. The tea should be diluted to a 25/75 ratio for use as a foliage spray or 50/50 for directly on the soil. Apparently most root crops will be spoiled by the application of the tea so use it only for your veggies sprouting above ground. To capture the tea from the compost pile it is a good idea to set it above the ground on a structure with a drainage system so that the tea can drip into a storage container. Setting the compost pile directly on the ground will allow the liquid from the pile to seep directly in the soil and if you are able to move the pile after each compost batch is completed, the patch it was once on will be highly fertile.

Other liquid fertilizers can be easily made by soaking and fermenting plants in a large barrel with a lid for about a month and diluting when ready for application. The leaves from Gliricidia sepium, a tree commonly found in the Caribbean, produces a good fertilizer liquid and its major advantage over other tree fertilizers is that it grows back year after year despite severe pruning.

Comfrey is also very popular as the plant has deep roots that can tap into vital nutrients and trace elements that are below the range of plants with shallower roots systems. When planting a patch of comfrey do not that they can be quite invasive so do not put them in your best vegetable patch! Once the leaves have grown they can be cut and fermented in the water with the same process as above.

Seaweed, invasive plant species, leguminous plants and many more can also be used in this way to create liquid fertilizer. Be warned though, these liquids can give off a foul smell so make sure that they are placed far away from the house and are well covered. A good covering also prevents them from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. When handling all of the liquids use gloves as many can be harsh on the hands

Another natural liquid fertilizer that I have been told about is fermented urine! Yes that’s right, you have to save your pee in a container, leave it for week and dilute with twenty parts water. (Undiluted urine can be used directly on a compost heap as an accelerator) It is reported to be an amazing source of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium and some trace elements. I am working on producing some so I’ll let you know! Of course it is not advised to spray any of these liquids directly onto edible leaves and best not to give the plants any tea at least 2 weeks before harvesting.

The liquid manures are a great boost to plants at particular points in their growth cycle. We are currently doing research and experimentation on the best times to supplement each plant and it’s important not too go too crazy with tea and let mother nature keep her natural balance.

So as for our garden, the lettuce we planted out at the beginning of the month will be ready in about a week and the new seedlings we planted out last week are already growing strong. It is a real blessing to be eating what we have grown. I invite you to share and circulate your best tips and techniques for Caribbean Organic gardening so both we and the planet can be healthy and happy.

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Books on the Beach! – Going to University in the Caribbean

Attending University in the Caribbean

Studying for higher education is nearly always hard work but the burdens of exam stress can certainly be eased by having a relaxing environment and natural places to retreat to for some brain relief. Thus studying in the Caribbean can be a perfect place to reach for academic attainment whilst ensuring that life stays balanced and fulfilling. Continue reading

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Solar Solutions for Caribbean Properties

Solar Solutions

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This week I’ve been humming the Frank Sinatra tune above and while the sentiments may seem a little outdated for some, I was reflecting on how some things are just meant to go together. In particular my thought was that Caribbean properties and solar technology were made for each other. I do hope that in the future we will ensure that you can’t have one without the other!
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Coming in from the Cold – The Return of the Diaspora

The Return of the Diaspora

In 1958 my Dominican born Grandmother boarded a ship and left for England. After the sea-sickening 7 day journey she was met by my Grandfather who had left a few months earlier. Ever since the Empire Windrush landed on the British shores with a group of Jamaicans in 1948 this scenario of people from the Caribbean leaving for a new life in England was played out many times over the next few decades.

My Grandparents, like many others who left home, were certain that they would only be staying away for a couple of years. However it was only when they retired 38 years later that they returned home to live.
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