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  • Starting a Business? Determine Which Model is Right for You (Part II)

    The type of business you form will determine how much profit you earn, how much you pay in taxes, how operations decisions are made, how much control you have…and your legal needs and responsibilities.

    Let’s review: When starting a new business, you must first decide which legal form of ownership will be best for you and your business. Do you want to be your own boss and operate as a sole proprietorship? Or would you rather share the responsibilities of ownership and create a corporation or partnership? The answer to questions such as these are crucial to ask yourself before setting up your business model.

    As we discussed in Part I of this article, no one business model will give you everything on your wish list. Each form of ownership has advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to determine which offers the features most important to you. You should always consult an attorney before selecting a business model, as each structure consists of unique legal and tax consequences.

    In Part I we addressed sole proprietorships, LLCs, and corporations. This time, we’ll look at three additional business structures, as described by the U.S. Small Business Administration, along with formation steps, tax obligations, and the pros and cons of each.

    Partnership

    A partnership is a single business where two or more people share ownership. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, including money, property, labor, or skill. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business.

    Because partnerships entail more than one person in the decision-making process, it’s important to discuss a wide variety of issues up front and develop a legal partnership agreement. This agreement should document how future business decisions will be made, including how the partners will divide profits, resolve disputes, change ownership (bring in new partners or buy out current partners), and how to dissolve the partnership. Although partnership agreements are not legally required, they are strongly recommended and it is considered extremely risky to operate without one.

    Types of Partnerships        

    Three general types of partnership arrangements exist:

    • General Partnerships assume that profits, liability, and management duties are divided equally among partners. If you opt for an unequal distribution, the percentages assigned to each partner must be documented in the partnership agreement.
    • Limited Partnerships (also known as a partnership with limited liability) are more complex than general partnerships and allow partners to have limited liability as well as limited input with management decisions. These limits depend on the extent of each partner’s investment percentage. Limited partnerships are attractive to investors of short-term projects.
    • Joint Ventures act as a general partnership, but for only a limited period of time or for a single project. Partners in a joint venture can be recognized as an ongoing partnership if they continue the venture, but they must file as such.

    Forming a Partnership                  

    To form a partnership, you must register your business with your state, a process generally done through your Secretary of State’s office. You’ll also need to establish your business name. For partnerships, your legal name is the name given in your partnership agreement or the last names of the partners. If you choose to operate under a name different than the officially registered name, you’ll need a DBA.

    Once your business is registered, you must obtain business licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state and locality. Refer to the Business License and Permit guide to learn more.

    Partnership Taxes                   

    Most businesses will need to register with the IRS, register with state and local revenue agencies, and obtain a tax ID number or permit. A partnership must file an “annual information return” to report the income, deductions, gains, and losses from the business’s operations, but the business itself does not pay income tax. Instead, the business “passes through” any profits or losses to its partners. Partners include their respective share of the partnership’s income or loss on their personal tax returns.

    The IRS asks that you use this chart to determine which forms you are required to file.

    Advantages:

    • Easy and inexpensive: Partnerships are generally an inexpensive and easily formed business structure. Most of the time spent starting a partnership focuses on developing the partnership agreement.
    • Shared financial commitment: In a partnership, each partner is equally invested in the success of the business. Partnerships have the advantage of pooling resources to obtain capital. This could be beneficial in terms of securing credit, or by simply doubling your seed money.
    • Complementary skills: A good partnership should reap the benefits of being able to utilize the strengths, resources, and expertise of each partner.
    • Partnership incentives for employees: Partnerships have an employment advantage over other entities if they offer employees the opportunity to become a partner. Partnership incentives often attract highly-motivated and qualified employees.

    Disadvantages:

    • Joint and individual liability: Like sole proprietorships, partnerships retain full, shared liability among the owners. Partners are not only liable for their own actions, but also for the business debts and decisions made by other partners. In addition, the personal assets of all partners can be used to satisfy the partnership’s debt.
    • Disagreements among partners: With multiple partners, there are bound to be disagreements Partners should consult each other on all decisions, make compromises, and resolve disputes as amicably as possible.
    • Shared profits: Because partnerships are jointly owned, each partner must share the successes and profits of their business with the other partners. An unequal contribution of time, effort, or resources can cause discord among partners.

    Cooperative

    A cooperative is a business or organization owned by, and operated for the benefit of, those using its services. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members, also known as user-owners.

    Typically, an elected board of directors and officers run the cooperative while regular members have voting power to control the direction of the cooperative. Members can become part of the cooperative by purchasing shares, though the number of shares they hold does not affect the weight of their vote. Cooperatives are common in the healthcare, retail, agriculture, art, and restaurant industries.

    Forming a Cooperative

    To start up, a group of potential members must agree on a common need and a strategy on how to meet that need. An organizing committee then conducts exploratory meetings, surveys, and cost and feasibility analyses before every member agrees with the business plan. Not all cooperatives are incorporated, though many choose to do so. If you decide to incorporate your cooperative, you must complete the following steps:

    • File articles of incorporation: The articles of incorporation legitimize your cooperative and include information like the name of the cooperative, business location, purpose, duration of existence, and names of the incorporators, and capital structure. Once the charter members file with your state business entity registration office and the articles are approved, you should create bylaws for your cooperative.
    • Create bylaws: While bylaws are not required by law, they do need to comply with state law and are essential to the success of your cooperative. Bylaws list membership requirements, duties, responsibilities, and other operational procedures that allow your cooperative to run smoothly. According to most state laws, the majority of your members must adopt articles of incorporation and bylaws. Consult your attorney to verify your bylaws comply with state laws.
    • Create a membership application: To recruit members and legally verify that they are part of the cooperative, you must create and issue a membership application. Membership applications include names, signatures from the board of directors, and member rights and benefits.
    • Conduct a charter member meeting and elect directors: During this meeting, charter members discuss and amend the proposed bylaws. By the end of the meeting, all charter members should vote to adopt the bylaws. If the board of directors are not named in the articles of incorporation, they must be designated during the charter meeting.
    • Obtain licenses and permits: You must obtain relevant business licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state, and locality. Refer to our Business License and Permit guide to find a list of federal, state, and local permits, licenses and registrations you’ll need to run a business.

    Be sure to consult with an attorney to ensure your cooperative is following the laws established in North Carolina.

    Cooperative Taxes

    Most businesses must register with the IRS, state, and local revenue agencies, and obtain a tax ID number or permit. A cooperative operates as a corporation and receives a “pass-through” designation from the IRS. More specifically, cooperatives do not pay federal income taxes as a business entity.

    Instead, the cooperative’s members pay federal taxes when they file their personal income tax. Members pay federal and state income tax on the margins earned by the cooperative, though the amount of taxation varies slightly by state. Cooperatives must follow the rules and regulations of the IRS’s Subchapter T Cooperatives tax code to receive this type of tax treatment.

    To file taxes on income received from cooperatives, please refer to IRS instructions on how to file Form 1099-PATR. More information about taxable distributions received from cooperatives is available at IRS.gov. If you create a consumer cooperative for retail sales of goods or services that are generally for personal, living, or family, you will need to file Form 3491 Consumer Cooperative Exemption Application for exemption from Form 1099-PATR.

    Some cooperatives, like credit unions and rural utility cooperatives, are exempt from federal and state taxes due to the nature of their operations.

    Advantages:

    • Less taxation: Like an LLC, cooperatives that are incorporated normally are not taxed on surplus earnings (or patronage dividends) refunded to members. Therefore, members of a cooperative are only taxed once on their income from the cooperative and not on both the individual and the cooperative level.
    • Funding Opportunities: Depending on the type of cooperative you own or participate in; a variety of government-sponsored grant programs are available to help you start. For example, the USDA Rural Development program offers grants to those establishing and operating new and existing rural development cooperatives.
    • Reduce costs and improve products and services: By leveraging their size, cooperatives can more easily obtain discounts on supplies and other materials and services. Suppliers are more likely to give better products and services because they are working with a customer of more substantial size. Consequently, the members of the cooperative can focus on improving products and services.
    • Perpetual existence: A cooperative structure brings less disruption and more continuity to the business. Unlike other business structures, members in a cooperative can routinely join or leave the business without causing dissolution.
    • Democratic organization:  The democratic structure of a cooperative ensures that it serves its members’ needs. The amount of a member’s monetary investment in the cooperative does not affect the weight of each vote, so no member-owner can dominate the decision-making process. The “one member-one vote” philosophy particularly appeals to smaller investors because they have as much say in the organization as does a larger investor.

    Disadvantages:

    • Obtaining capital through investors: Cooperatives may suffer from slower cash flow since a member’s incentive to contribute depends on how much they use the cooperative’s services and products. While the “one member-one vote” philosophy is appealing to small investors, larger investors may choose to invest their money elsewhere because a larger share investment in the cooperative does not translate to greater decision-making power.
    • Lack of membership and participation: If members do not fully participate and perform their duties, whether it be voting or carrying out daily operations, then the business cannot operate at full capacity. If a lack of participation becomes an ongoing issue for a cooperative, it could risk losing members.

    S Corporation

    An S corporation (also referred to as an S corp.) is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation.

    An S corp. is a corporation with the Subchapter S designation from the IRS. What makes the S corp. different from a traditional corporation (or C corp.) is that profits and losses can pass through to your personal tax return. Consequently, the business is not taxed itself. Only the shareholders are taxed. There is an important caveat, however: Any shareholder who works for the company must pay him or herself “reasonable compensation.” Basically, the shareholder must be paid fair market value, or the IRS might reclassify any additional corporate earnings as “wages.”

    Forming an S Corporation

    To file as an S corporation, you must first file as a corporation. After you are considered a corporation, all shareholders must sign and file Form 2553 to elect your corporation to become an S corporation.

    Once your business is registered, you must obtain business licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state, and locality. Refer to the Business License and Permit guide to learn more.

    Combining the Benefits of an LLC with an S Corp.

    There’s always the possibility of requesting S corp. status for your LLC. Your attorney can advise you on the pros and cons. You’ll have to make a special election with the IRS to have the LLC taxed as an S corp. using Form 2553. And you must file it before the first two months and fifteen days of the beginning of the tax year in which the election is to take effect.

    The LLC remains a limited liability company from a legal standpoint, but for tax purposes it’s treated as an S corp. Be sure to contact your state’s income tax agency where you will file the election form to learn about tax requirements.

    Taxes

    All states do not tax S corps equally. Most recognize them similarly to the federal government and tax the shareholders accordingly. Your corporation must file the Form 2553 to elect “S” status within two months and 15 days after the beginning of the tax year or any time before the tax year for the status to be in effect.

    The IRS asks that you use this chart to determine which forms you are required to file.

    Advantages:

    • Tax savings: One of the best features of the S corp. is the tax savings for you and your business. While members of an LLC are subject to employment tax on the entire net income of the business, only the wages of the S corp. shareholder who is an employee are subject to employment tax. The remaining income is paid to the owner as a “distribution,” which is taxed at a lower rate, if at all.
    • Business expense tax credits: Some expenses that shareholder/employees incur can be written off as business expenses. Nevertheless, if such an employee owns 2% or more shares, benefits like health and life insurance are deemed taxable income.
    • Independent life: An S corp. designation also allows a business to have an independent life, separate from its shareholders. If a shareholder leaves the company, or sells his or her shares, the S corp. can continue doing business relatively undisturbed. Maintaining the business as a distinct corporate entity defines clear lines between the shareholders and the business that improve the protection of the shareholders.

    Disadvantages:

    • Stricter operational processes: As a separate structure, S corps require scheduled director and shareholder meetings, minutes from those meetings, adoption and updates to by-laws, stock transfers, and records maintenance.
    • Shareholder compensation requirements: A shareholder must receive reasonable compensation. The IRS takes notice of shareholder red flags like low salary/high distribution combinations, and may reclassify your distributions as wages. You could pay a higher employment tax because of an audit with these results.

    Structuring the way in which your business will be run and organized can be a daunting task. Trying to choose between registering as a sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, or limited liability company? Let Oliver & Cheek, PLLC guide you in these types of decisions, the creation of job titles and duties, and the mapping of future expansion. For more information, call (252) 633-1930 or visit www.olivercheek.com.

    (Sources: U.S. Small Business Administration; NC Department of the Secretary of State; Oliver & Cheek, PLLC; Entrepreneur Magazine; Internal Revenue Service; Albuquerque Business Law; Fryar Law Firm P.C.; Fundera, Inc.; and Virginia Tech and the Saylor Foundation.)

     

  • Starting a Business? Determine Which Model is Right for You

    The type of business you form will determine how much profit you earn, how much you pay in taxes, how operations decisions are made, how much control you have…and your legal needs and responsibilities.

    When starting a new business, you must first decide which legal form of ownership will be best for you and your business. Do you want to be your own boss and operate as a sole proprietorship? Or would you rather share the responsibilities of ownership and create a corporation or partnership? The answer to questions such as these are crucial to ask yourself before setting up your business model.

    Here are a few additional questions you should be asking yourself as well:

    1. Do you have the required skills to run a business?
    2. How much control do you want over your business?
    3. Are you willing to share any of the responsibilities?
    4. Are you open to sharing profits?
    5. How do you plan to finance the company?
    6. Do you want to avoid certain taxes?
    7. How important to you is it that your business survives?
    8. If you have partners, do you think you’ll be able to get along with them?
    9. How much personal liability are you willing to accept? Will you share liability?

    No one business model will give you everything on your wish list. Each form of ownership has advantages and disadvantages so you’ll need to decide which offers the features most important to you. Before selecting a business structure, it’s best to consult an attorney as each structure carries with it unique legal and tax consequences.

    Let’s take a look at the different forms of business models, as described by the U.S. Small Business Administration, along with formation steps, tax obligations, and the pros and cons of each.

    Sole Proprietorship

    The most common—and the simplest—type of business ownership is the sole proprietorship. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual with no distinction between the business and the owner. The owner is entitled to all profits and is responsible for all business debts, losses, and liabilities.

    If the business is conducted under a name other than the surname of the owner, an assumed name certificate (a DBA or “doing business as”) should be filed with the state or county. A sole proprietorship may not be owned by more than one person and provides no protection against liability to the owner.

    Sole proprietorship income is reported on Schedule C of the owners Form 1040. Profits are treated as income of the owner and losses are deductible to the owner.

    Common types of sole proprietors are writers, independent contractors, freelance photographers, salespeople working with a commission-only structure, independent contractors, or those working on a contract basis.

    Forming a Sole Proprietorship

    No formal action is required to form a sole proprietorship. If you are the only owner, this status automatically comes from your business activities and no formal action is required. In fact, you may already own one without knowing it. If you’re a freelance graphic designer, for example, you’re a sole proprietor. But like all businesses, you still need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits.

    Sole Proprietor Taxes

    Because you and your business are one and the same, the business itself is not taxed separately—the sole proprietorship income is your income. The IRS asks that you use this chart to determine which forms you are required to file.

    Advantages:

    • Formation is easy and inexpensive: A sole proprietorship is the simplest and least expensive business structure to establish.
    • Complete control is yours: Because you are the sole owner of the business you have complete control over all decisions.
    • Offers simplified tax preparation: Your business is not taxed separately, so it’s easy to fulfill tax reporting requirements.

    Disadvantages:

    • The unlimited personal liability: Because there is no legal separation between you and your business, you can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. This risk extends to any liabilities incurred because of employee actions.
    • It can be hard to raise money: Sole proprietors often face challenges when trying to raise money. Because you can’t sell stock in the business, investors won’t often invest. Banks are also hesitant to lend to a sole proprietorship because of a perceived lack of credibility when it comes to repayment if the business fails.
    • There’s a heavy burden: The flipside of complete control is the burden and pressure it can impose. You alone are ultimately responsible for the successes and failures of your business.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership. The “owners” of an LLC are referred to as “members.” Depending on the state, members can consist of a single individual (one owner), two or more individuals, corporations, or other LLCs.

    Unlike shareholders in a corporation, LLCs are not taxed as a separate business entity. Instead, all profits and losses are “passed through” the business to each member of the LLC. Members report profits and losses on their personal federal tax returns just like the owners of a partnership would.

    Forming an LLC

    While each state has slight variations to forming an LLC, they all adhere to a few general principles:

    • Choose a business name: There are thee rules your LLC name should follow: 1) it must be different from an existing LLC in your state, 2) North Carolina law requires that an LLC name contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC,” or the combination “ltd. liability co.,” “limited liability co.,” or “ltd. liability company,” and 3) it must not include words restricted by your state (such as “bank” and “insurance”). Your business name is automatically registered with your state when you register your business.
    • File articles of organization: The “articles of organization” is a simple document that legitimizes your LLC and includes information like your business name, address, and the names of its members. The filing fee in North Carolina is $125. The Secretary of State’s website has a simple, fill-in-the-blank form for the articles of organization. Instructions are included. For general information, see the Articles of Organization page.
    • Create an operating agreement: North Carolina does not require an operating agreement to form an LLC, but executing one is highly advisable. There’s no set criteria for the content of an operating agreement, but it typically includes topics such as how meetings are conducted, how the company will be managed, what capital contributions are required from each member, and how profits and losses will be allocated. The operating agreement does not need to be filed with the state.
    • Obtain licenses and permits: You can view North Carolina’s requirements at the Secretary of State’s website.
    • Other requirements: North Carolina LLCs must file an annual report with the Secretary of State every year after the date of formation. The filing fee is $200. The form can be found online at the Online Annual Report Editor page.

    LLC Tax Obligations

    In the eyes of the federal government, an LLC is not a separate tax entity, so the business itself is not taxed. Instead, all federal income taxes are passed on to the LLC’s members and are paid through their personal income tax. While the federal government does not tax income on an LLC, some states do, so check with your state’s income tax agency.

    Since an LLC is not recognized as a business entity for taxation purposes, all LLCs must file as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship tax return. Certain LLCs are automatically classified and taxed as a corporation by federal tax law.

    Learn more about your tax obligations as an LLC.

    Advantages:

    • Limited liability: Members are protected from personal liability for business decisions or actions of the LLC. If the LLC incurs debt or is sued, members’ personal assets are usually exempt. This is like the liability protections afforded to shareholders of a corporation. Keep in mind that limited liability means just that—members are not necessarily shielded from wrongful acts, including those of their employees.
    • Less Recordkeeping: An LLC’s operational ease is one of its greatest advantages. Compared to an S Corporation, there’s less registration paperwork and start-up costs are lower.
    • Shared profits: There are fewer restrictions on profit sharing within an LLC, as members distribute profits as they see fit. Members might contribute different proportions of capital and sweat equity. Consequently, it’s up to the members themselves to decide who has earned what percentage of the profits or losses.

    Disadvantages:

    • Limited life: In many states, when a member leaves an LLC, the business is dissolved and the members must fulfill all remaining legal and business obligations to close the business. The remaining members can decide if they want to start a new LLC or part ways. However, you can include provisions in your operating agreement to prolong the life of the LLC if a member decides to leave the business.
    • Self-employment taxes: Members of an LLC are considered self-employed and must pay the self-employment tax contributions toward Medicare and Social Security. The entire net income of the LLC is subject to this tax.

    Corporation

    A corporation (sometimes referred to as a C corporation) is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders—the corporation itself, not the shareholders that own it, is held legally liable for the actions and debts the business incurs.

    Corporations are more complex than other business structures because they tend to have costly administrative fees and complex tax and legal requirements. Because of these issues, corporations are generally suggested for larger, more established companies with multiple employees.

    For businesses in that position, corporations offer the ability to sell ownership shares in the business through stock offerings. “Going public” through an initial public offering (IPO) is a major selling point in attracting investment capital and high-quality employees.

    Forming a Corporation

    A corporation is formed under the laws of the state in which it is registered. To form a corporation, you’ll need to establish your business name and register your legal name with your state government. If you choose to operate under a name different than the officially registered name, a DBA is needed. State laws vary, but generally corporations must include a corporate designation (Corporation, Incorporated, or Limited) at the end of the business name.

    To register your business as a corporation, you typically need to file articles of incorporation with your state’s Secretary of State office. Some states require corporations to establish directors and issue stock certificates to initial shareholders in the registration process. Contact your state business entity registration office to find out about specific filing requirements in the state where you form your business.

    Once your business is registered, you must obtain business licenses and permits. Regulations vary by industry, state and locality. Refer to our Business License and Permit guide to find a listing of federal, state and local permits, licenses and registrations you’ll need to run a business.

    If you are hiring employees, read more about federal and state regulations for employers.

    Corporation Taxes

    Corporations are required to pay federal, state, and in some cases, local taxes. Most businesses must register with the IRS and state and local revenue agencies, and receive a tax ID number or permit. Unlike sole proprietors and partnerships, corporations pay income tax on their profits. In some cases, corporations are taxed twice: First, when the company makes a profit, and again when dividends are paid to shareholders on their personal tax returns.

    The IRS asks that you use this chart to determine which forms you are required to file.

    Advantages:

    • Limited liability: When it comes to taking responsibility for business debts and actions of a corporation, shareholders’ personal assets are protected. Shareholders can generally only be held accountable for their investment in stock of the company.
    • Ability to generate capital: Corporations have an advantage when it comes to raising capital for their business: The ability to raise funds through the sale of stock.
    • Corporate tax treatment: Corporations file taxes separately from their owners. Owners of a corporation only pay taxes on corporate profits paid to them in the form of salaries, bonuses, and dividends, while any additional profits are awarded a corporate tax rate, which is usually lower than a personal income tax rate.
    • Attractive to potential employees: Corporations are generally able to attract and hire high-quality and motivated employees because they offer competitive benefits and the potential for partial ownership through stock options.

    Disadvantages:

    • Time and money: Corporations are costly and time-consuming ventures to start and operate. Incorporating requires start-up, operating, and tax costs that most other structures do not require.
    • Double taxing: In some cases, corporations are taxed twice: First, when the company makes a profit, and again when dividends are paid to shareholders.
    • Additional paperwork: Because corporations are highly regulated by federal, state, and, in some cases, local agencies, increased paperwork and recordkeeping burdens are associated with this entity.

    So far, we’ve only examined three of the most common types of business models. In Part II of this article, three additional models—partnerships, cooperatives, and S Corporations—will be discussed. Stay tuned!

    Structuring the way in which your business will be run and organized can be a daunting task. Trying to choose between registering as a sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, or limited liability company? Let Oliver & Cheek, PLLC guide you in these types of decisions, the creation of job titles and duties, and the mapping of future expansion. For more information, call (252) 633-1930 or visit www.olivercheek.com.

    (Sources: U.S. Small Business Administration; NC Department of the Secretary of State; Oliver & Cheek, PLLC; Entrepreneur Magazine; Internal Revenue Service; Albuquerque Business Law; Fryar Law Firm P.C.; Fundera, Inc.; and Virginia Tech and the Saylor Foundation.)

     

     

     

  • Office manager Cathi Miller recognized

    Cathi Miller recognized in New Bern Sun Journal as a Craven County Unsung Hero 

    Cathi Miller learned relatively early that helping the community is not only beneficial to others, but also personally rewarding. After moving with her parents to New Bern from Florida in 1994, not long after her high school graduation, Miller began to volunteer for the Craven County Jaycees just five years later.

    Those experiences helped her to network and find additional opportunities to lend her talents. Since 2007, Miller has been a regular volunteer at the United Way’s most prominent fundraising events. Whereas the events are prominent, Miller chooses to steer clear of the spotlight.

    “I definitely like to work behind the scenes,” she said.

    Among her favorite United Way volunteer opportunities are races, such as the Crystal Coast Half Marathon, the Run United in Color 5K Trail Run, and the Spooky 5K Trail Chase. The race events bring many people together, she said, and she also enjoys the unpredictable nature of outdoor races, which adds to each event’s unique character and exciting atmosphere. Miller helps with many other United Way events, too, like the Bacon & Brew Fest and the Strike it Rich King Mackerel Fishing Tournaments. Her volunteer duties differ, depending on the event, she said.

    Miller may be humble about her volunteer contributions, but Kitty Hardison, of the United Way of Coastal Carolina, sings her praises. Hardison noted that Miller had volunteered at every community event run by the United Way of Coastal Carolina since 2007, she said in her nomination.

    “I just love helping out, meeting new people, and being part of the community,” Miller said.

    She recommends volunteer work to anyone who wants to feel more connected to their neighbors.

    “Sometimes you can just do small things and it doesn’t take up a lot of time,” she said.

    From the nomination, submitted by Kitty Hardison:

    “She prefers the behind the scenes work that is often overlooked, but is critical to any successful event.”

    “She has served on many boards in the past, including the Craven County Jaycees for over 10 years, and is an active member of Croatan Presbyterian Church.”

    “We don’t know where she finds the time to help us at United Way, but we are certainly thankful that she does.”

    About the organizations:

    Craven County Jaycees is an organization for young professionals and is the equivalent of a Junior Chamber of Commerce. Members get together to sponsor a number of different fundraising events that benefit the community and various helping organizations. Miller said she was particularly active in the annual Christmas Parade. More information about the Craven County Jaycees is available from its website at www.cravencountyjaycees.org.

    United Way of Coastal Carolina supports and brings together resources of many local helping organizations, and aids in their accessibility to recipients who need the various services. It serves Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, and Jones counties from its New Bern office. More information and volunteer opportunities are available by visiting its website at www.unitedwaycoastalnc.org and by calling 637-2460.

    CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE VERSION OF ARTICLE

  • Oliver & Cheek attorneys among the BEST in state

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    TAR HEEL LAWYERS SELECT 14 PEERS AS THE STATE’S BEST IN BUSINESS-RELATED SPECIALTIES

    Fewer than 3% of the state’s lawyers made Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite.

    CHARLOTTE (Jan. 3, 2017) — Lawyers across the state made their selections again this year for Business North Carolina ’s Legal Elite, published in the magazine’s January edition. Statewide, 669 lawyers were picked by their peers in 14 mostly business-related categories. Notices were sent to more than 23,000 active members of the North Carolina State Bar living in the state, directing them to the ballot on the magazine’s website, BusinessNC.com. Voters could not pick themselves, and they could select partners and associates only if they also select lawyers outside the firm in the same categories.

    Business North Carolina is a Charlotte-based monthly magazine that focuses on the people, events and trends that shape business in North Carolina. Since it began publication in 1981, it has won more than 90 national awards for its writing, reporting and design.
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  • NC’s Legal Elite recognizes Oliver & Cheek attorneys

    Oliver & Cheek, PLLC is pleased to announce that George M. Oliver and Ciara L. Rogers have been selected by their peers to be recognized in Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite. Mr. Oliver is recognized for his legal work in the bankruptcy field and Ms. Rogers is recognized as one of the top “Young Guns,” best under 40. We are proud of the dedication both attorneys offer our clients and the work they do in the community to represent our firm.

    Since 2002, Business North Carolina magazine has honored Tar Heel lawyers by publishing Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, a listing of the state’s top lawyers in business-related categories. Winners are chosen not by BNC editors but by the state’s lawyers. Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite has become the model for other awards and lists, but it remains unique as the only award that gives every active lawyer in the state the opportunity to participate. Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite includes the top lawyers chosen using this statewide ballot. >>READ MORE

     

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