Red Penis – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment



Red penis symptoms, including redness, itching, or pain, can range from mild to severe, and these symptoms can be easy or difficult to treat. Some of the most common causes of a red penis are as follows:

Red Penis – In the majority of cases, a “red penis” is simply the result of prolonged or aggressive sexual activity, which can cause a penis with insufficient nutrients or dry skin to become red, sensitive, and uncomfortable but generally heal and return to normal appearance within 12 -24 hours.

Symptoms – Penis skin is red and possibly irritated or sensitive, and symptoms will appear immediately following masturbation or intercourse. There are no bumps, lesions, patches or other abnormal indications.

Treatment – Use a nutritional penis creme or penis skin ointment to keep penis skin from drying out. Continue to use a penis specific product that will sustain overall penis health and eliminate future instances of “red penis” and other common penis conditions that can result from frequent masturbation and aggressive sex including, penis vein damage, loss of penis sensitivity, curving or bending of penis, and more.

Balanitis – This is an inflammation of the penis, which can be the result of poor hygiene and failing to wash under the foreskin. Or, this condition may be caused by Thrush (fungus), psoriasis, or even the use of a soap that you are allergic to.

Symptoms – There are bright red, shiny patches, a rash, or dry flaky skin on the penis.

Treatment – Wash your penis thoroughly, have your partner checked for thrush, and use a Candida antifungal treatment. Change your soap and washing powder brand and if symptoms persist consult your health care professional.

Cancer – This extremely rare condition can present itself as red or blue-brown lumps or growths on the penis.

Symptoms – There will be lumps and growths on the shaft and foreskin as well as changes in the color of the skin.

Treatment – Consult your doctor as treatment varies, depending on the size and stage of the cancer. Laser, radiation, and chemical treatment are the most common.

Eczema – Also known as dermatitis, this condition is usually caused by the skin having a reaction to an irritant.

Symptoms – These include itchy, red patches on the skin of the penis, a red, blotchy penis, and flaky skin.

Treatment – Consult your doctor who will prescribe a steroid creme to reduce and prevent the irritation from reoccurring. As an alternative to a steroid creme, first try a nutritional penis creme as steroids are not well tolerated or desired by many men.

Jock Itch – This is a fungal condition that thrives in warm, moist areas.

Symptoms – A red rash may be raised and circular in shape, and itchy.

Treatment – Buy an antifungal creme, spray, or powder for ‘Tinea Cruris’ and apply as directed. Also, make sure that you change your underwear frequently and use a clean, fresh towel when showering to reduce the spread of infection.

Latex Allergy – If you use condoms when having sex, it may be advisable to check if you have an allergy to latex.

Symptoms – These include a red, itchy rash, and, in severe cases, the sufferer may experience breathing difficulties or hay-fever like symptoms and have an anaphylactic reaction.

Treatment – Use latex free condoms and consult your medial health professional who may prescribe antihistamines or steroids to prevent a severe reaction in the future.

STDs – Many sexually transmitted diseases can cause variations of a red penis, including Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea, Genital Warts, Syphilis, and HIV AIDS.

Symptoms – These include a red penis that is itchy and has small lumps or discolorations,,or it may have flaking skin and ulcers that often appear a day or even days after having intercourse.

Treatment – Consult your doctor as treatment varies, depending on the form of STD. Also, be aware that, if left untreated, some STDs can have serious health implications and you may infect others.

Health practitioners often recommend a penis health creme that helps many men suffering from penis skin issues. A penis specific creme should contain essential vitamins and minerals necessary for penis health including, Vitamins E, A, B5 and C as well as minerals Acetyl L Carnitine for penis cell rejuvenation and Alpha Lipoic Acid for healthy penis cells via increased oxygen exchange.

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Source by John Dugan

Wrinkled Penis Skin – Causes, Treatments and Preventive Measures



A man has plenty to worry about in terms of the health and appearance of his penis – whether it be concerns about the size and shape, preventing injuries and disease or making sure it is functioning well enough to please himself and his partners. On top of all these worries, many men – even those as young as their twenties – report anxiety about the appearance of wrinkled penis skin. Fortunately, sagging, dry penis skin is generally not a sign of poor penis health, and in many cases, men are able to take steps to restore their equipment to its former glory. Here are just a few of the issues that can cause a wrinkled appearance, as well as some tips for smoothing and plumping the skin.

What causes a wrinkled penis?

1) Erections. Obviously, when the penis expands during an erection, the skin needs to stretch along with it. When an erection is present, the skin will appear taut and smooth, but once it retracts, the skin that was formerly stretched has nothing to fill it out; therefore, it tends to look a bit bunched and saggy. This issue is more evident in “growers” (men whose penises dramatically increase in size when erect) than “show-ers” (those whose size tends to remain fairly uniform, with only stiffening of the tissue to indicate an erection).

2) Frequent masturbation. Men who have been masturbating regularly for years, especially those who do not use a lubricant during the process, may experience some breakdown of the collagen tissue that gives the penile skin its elasticity and shape. The result is skin that doesn’t quite spring back into place easily after a masturbation session, and the foreskin in particular can appear a bit stretched and loose.

3) Yeast infections. Many men notice that, when they have a yeast infection (a fungal infection that can be passed between sexual partners), the glans and foreskin tend to take on a dry, wrinkled appearance. Elimination of the infection with medications generally resolves this problem, although healing can take some time. A high-quality moisturizer can help to alleviate the shriveled look.

4) Balanitis. Like yeast infections, the inflammatory condition known as balanitis can cause wrinkles or dryness on the glans. Balanitis is usually the result of substandard hygiene. Keeping the area clean and applying a moisturizer can generally clear up the problem.

5) Dehydration. Women are often told that the appearance of wrinkles and bags under their eyes is the result of dehydration. The same thing goes for the equally delicate penile skin – men who do not have a sufficient intake of fluid may notice that their members appear wrinkled and unattractive.

6) Aging. Finally, there’s no getting around it – as men get older, the collagen that gives the skin its tone and texture tends to thin and break down, and a wrinkled look is the natural result.

Reducing the appearance of wrinkled penile skin

While the skin of the penis will always be a little looser when the member is flaccid – after all, it needs room to expand whenever an erection occurs – there are some steps men can take to improve the overall appearance of the penis and make sure the skin is as resilient and supple as possible.

To start, a guy needs to make sure he is well-hydrated; getting enough fluids can plump out the skin and keep it looking fresh. He should also get plenty of exercise to make sure the heart is pumping enough blood through the veins. An adequate supply of blood is needed to nourish the penile tissue and allow it to appear healthy and vibrant. Nutrition is also an important consideration – a man should be eating a balanced diet of lean proteins, heart-healthy fats and high-quality carbohydrates to provide the nutrients the skin needs to stay strong and elastic.

Finally, a man can improve the look and feel of his penile skin by including a top-drawer penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) as part of his daily personal care regimen. Applying a moisturizing cream that is fortified with vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants can help men to fight off wrinkle-causing free radicals and to maintain healthy and youthful skin tone.

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Source by John Dugan

Vulva Types – Understanding the Different Clitoris, Vagina and Labia Shapes For Great Orgasms



Before we see a real woman’s body for the first time, many guys can get a very unrealistic idea of what female genitals look like. Consider most males first exposures to sex and inevitably they are either from the scientific texts that our well-meaning parents showed us that contained baffling drawings of intimate parts, or from the idealized airbrushed photos from adult magazines.

The problem with this kind of education is that many of us believe that these are accurate images that represent every female body type that we will ever encounter. We almost expect her body to have the smooth, perfect flesh that we see in these images. Then suddenly there is the day when you first see a woman naked and suddenly everything looks so different that you barely know where to begin. Sound familiar? Anyway to celebrate this diversity, we will look at the many different vagina types, labia types and even clitoris types and what they mean for you and her.

What Does This Mean for Guys

There are many reasons guys should care. The major one is that the difference in morphology between difference women can lead to huge advantages or disadvantages when it comes to giving her an orgasm. Therefore knowing as much about the difference vagina types as possible can help you easily work out what type your woman has. The second reason is that women can often feel very insecure about their vagina. I never realized how common it was until I asked some women. It can get so extreme that women may even forbid their lovers from giving them oral sex or fingering because they feel secretly ashamed about their genitals not being as pretty as others.

Physical Differences

The biggest morphological difference that makes a difference to their partners is the exposure of the clitoris. Some women have a clitoris (Also called a clitoral gland. I.e. The part you stimulate) that pokes out quite far from the clitoral hood (The triangle of flesh right above the clitoral glans). A more exposed clitoris is easier to stimulate and so it makes the guy’s foreplay significantly easier. The only problem is that it may be overly sensitive, so it is best to use more lubricant than you would usually use. Conversely the clitoris may sometimes be concealed by the clitoral hood. When this happens you may find it easier to open her legs wider during foreplay or grind your hips against her. In extreme cases, a sex toy will help as these can vibrate even through the clitoral hood. If she find that nothing helps you may want to suggest a clitoral pump to her. This device creates pressure that enlarges the clitoris.

Many women often have an inner labia that is longer than the outer labia. These creates the flower-shaped look that spawned centuries of awful poetry! This should not have any major effect on oral sex, but it can cause problems during fingering as it is easy to accidentally push the labia minor (The ‘internal’ labia) inside the vagina and this will probably cause her some discomfort.

The Effects of Psychological Differences

Once I asked some women about this issue, I was amazed at how many did not like the shape of their vulva. After that I quickly realized that a lot of what I thought was modesty on the woman’s part was actually her nervousness about the way her genitals looked. Since then I have made sure to tell them how beautiful every part of their body is.

Many women have a different coloration to their genitals. In fact the pink-colored vulva is comparatively rare compared to other kinds. Even Caucasian women experience a wide range of coloration with darker areas particularly around the perineum and sometimes the labia too. Different races obviously have differences too.

Therefore it is your job to ensure that she is comfortable with her body. When she is convinced that you find all of her a turn-on then you are most of the way there to having mind-blowing orgasms together.

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Source by Harlan Mulroy

Strongman Solution Selling Model



Solution selling is complex and very exciting. Whether you’re selling Business Process Automation (BPA) or another form of solution, it is likely that you have a tough job that involves a great deal of complexity.

This stuff’s chess; it ain’t checkers.

There may be dozens of decision makers, and while all of them may not be required to say “Yes,” chances are that ANY of them could say “No.” You could be faced with all sorts of competing projects across the enterprise, and political and financial landscapes can change quickly.

STRONGMAN offers a compelling model and simple acronym to help you succeed in your solution selling.

I’ll spell it out and then very briefly speak to each key area.

S-T-R-O-N-G-M-A-N

S is for Solution

T is for Timeline

R is for Review

O is for Options

N is for Need

G is for Galvanization

M is for Money

A is for Authority

N is for Negotiation

These are critical areas to address in your sales cycle.

S, Solution.

Whether or not the prospect fully agrees at the onset of the engagement, you need to be sober in your assessment of whether or not you have a bona fide, legitimate solution for them. Otherwise, why bother?

T, Timeline.

If the customer has a legitimate project that you are selling to, what is the exact timeline? The implementation timeline? Is there a compelling event or deadline driving this project?

R, Review.

Forget about entertaining and servicing a prospect that is not actually in review of the project. If they are simply in research mode (vs. review mode), I would suggest that you balance this project with more advanced-stage opportunities in your pipeline to increase your sales success.

O, Options.

What options exist for your customer? Chances are there are at least five options:

1. Your solution

2. Your competitor(s’) solution,

3. Build it themselves or develop it in-house

4. Do Nothing

5. Improve or upgrade their existing process (perhaps by adding resources or conducting training). You need to be able to sell against their available options, especially the option that most companies choose — which is “improve or upgrade existing processes.”

N, Need.

Is there a need, do you understand the need and does the customer agree with you on what their need is?

G. Galvanization.

This is my favorite one. Remember, you are not in sales to entertain and serve — not completely anyway. If you are working with customers who are not returning your calls promptly, not bringing other key contacts into meetings, not exposing you to post-purchase processes or display other key indicators that they are not as active and committed to the sales process as you are, you should either gain their commitment or move on.

M, Money.

If there is a project in motion, is the funding of the project pre-approved? Does that funding meet your solution’s cost and all of the related costs — such as the staff the prospect will need to devote to deploying your solution? Are you sure of the fiscal cycles? Is the funding coming from resources such as:

1. Project Budget,

2. Cap Ex (Capital Expense requiring a high level sign off),

3. Op Ex (Operating Expense)

4. Departmental Budget

And keep in mind, most companies have the ability to overspend on budgets, or borrow from other budgets, at about the same rate my wife does — which means they can do it — so don’t ever let a negotiator whittle you down solely because of a specific budget.

A, Authority.

A Champion is one thing, an Authority is another. Is the senior executive even aware of the project? Who is the specific authority relative to: signing contracts, producing purchase orders, reviewing legal documents, developing and implementing training programs, technical review and implementations, user acceptance, etc? If you are selling solutions, you had better be exposed to a variety of individuals with legitimate authority over each one.

N, Negotiation.

Many times the real selling doesn’t start until it is time to negotiate. But you want to hear the saddest piece on solution selling: The negotiation process is typically when the sales rep gives up the most concessions and it is also the point at which, in most cases, the customer has already made the decision to go forward. They’re exposing the sales rep to resources that are post-purchase resources (such as legal, technical deployment folks, training folks, purchasing people) and somehow the sales rep feels obliged to start whacking away on their own proposal. It’s insanity.

That’s STRONGMAN. I’ve used it for almost ten years in my own business and as a tool for enhanced empowered sales training. I hope you find it an effective model for your solution selling success.

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Source by Kevin E Graham

10 Secrets to Hiring the Right SEO Company



Even if you are armed with an abundance of knowledge in SEO, you may still need the services of a professional SEO company. Having strong knowledge of SEO is hardly sufficient in some cases. Even if you are doing your best to attempt to obtain a good ranking for your website, you might still wind up wondering why your website is simply not doing well. For starters, you must understand that your website will have to be fully optimized in all elements. Not just that, but your website has to be maintained on a regular basis. SEO is a continuous process that includes a great deal of time and effort. To make things simpler, you will be better off utilizing the services of a competent SEO company to do the work for your website.

There are numerous SEO companies today, and there are a lot of trustworthy companies as well as unreliable ones. Thus, it is crucial that you select the perfect SEO Company. Here are 10 important points that you must keep in mind when selecting SEO services:

Site Evaluation Guide

Does the SEO firm offer you a site evaluation guide? A reliable SEO firm should have the ability to provide you with an extensive analysis of your site, regarding ranking and design structure. This can be done by performing a website audit. The result of this website audit will allow the SEO firm to offer you a proposal of how much work needs to be done to bring you to a certain level of ranking. They must be able to advise and troubleshoot all aspects related to performance, content, and design that might hinder the reading or indexing of your pages.

Tools in Figuring out Keywords

What tools does the SEO Agency use to look for keywords? Do they offer competitive analysis based on your chosen keywords? Understanding what methodology the SEO Agency utilizes for keyword evaluation or research is very important. It will be a great help if you perform your own due diligence using basic tools, such as conducting keyword research and analysis through the use of keyword planner in Google AdWords.

Backlinks to Website

Where will the SEO Company return links from? Backlinks are just as, if not more, vital in SEO than onsite optimization. The SEO Company should be able to obtain high-quality backlinks from reputable websites that are highly related to your niche. Ask your SEO Company what techniques they employ for gathering backlinks.

Cost Structure

A dependable SEO Company will not just give you a quote once they figure out how much work has to be included. Charging you high costs will not necessarily ensure you receive high quality services. It also doesn’t ensure that the rate being quoted is proportional and consistent with the services you anticipate the SEO Company will provide. A good SEO Agency should be able to give you a rundown of services to which the performance and price contract will be based upon.

The Timeline

Does your SEO Company provide you with a timeline? It is through hard work and correct planning that results can be attained on time. Some SEO Firms offer SEO plans that claim to put you in the very first page of search results in just a matter of 10 days. Realistically, however, no SEO Company can guarantee you the number 1 position in Google in as short as 10 days.

An SEO campaign will take 6-18 months to deliver the top outcomes you expect. Make sure you don’t give in to false pledges. Conversely, avoid SEO services that provide you with a time limit. A good SEO company knows that optimization is an ongoing process and they should be able to offer you regular maintenance, customer support and proper upgrading.

SEO Technique

What SEO strategy will your SEO Company use to raise your ranking? You should look out for companies that will utilize spam advertising methods to rank you on top in no time. If the strategy includes any form of dishonest practice, such as spamming or deceiving online search engines, then you should instantly turn away.

An excellent SEO company will certainly see to it that you will not be subjected to spam or misleading services. Keep in mind that if it is based on using deceitful strategies, your site might be taken out of Google’s indexing, which will certainly lead your site to being blacklisted. Knowing your SEO Company and doing your own research on how proper SEO is done is extremely vital in choosing the ideal firm.

Providing Targeted Traffic

Do they understand the distinction between plain traffic and targeted traffic? You will hire the services of an SEO Company mainly due to the fact that you need to attract traffic into your website. However, what you need is targeted traffic that gets you visitors who might be genuinely interested in purchasing your products or services. This is based on your desired keywords in order to generate leads.

You don’t want irrelevant traffic that comes to your website because of irrelevant keywords. Unqualified traffic only enhances your bounce rate (surfers that arrive on your page and immediately leave) and not your sales. The right SEO Company will create relevant content for your website and distribute it to relevant channels, social media and Press Releases (PR). This will potentially lead to natural backlinks that will enhance your overall ranking in the search engine.

Transparent Deliverables

A professional SEO Company should have a clear course of action to attain the desired results in a given time frame. They should be able to show the client what’s being completed for the first month and subsequent months. With this, you will be able to determine how much work is being done in relation to your costs, allowing you to determine your ROI. A clear outline of work in the proposal should be available at any time to show the extent of the campaign. This includes how much fresh and high quality relevant content they are going to publish on your website every week. How many distribution channels? What social media, article directories and websites are they going to use to distribute your content? How many PR submissions? And how many backlinks have been generated? These are the qualifying questions that need to be answered by a good SEO firm.

Reporting

A comprehensive report system should be provided to show the progress of the SEO campaign, as well as ranking status of the site. This reporting could be monthly or quarterly. The report should be clear and concise, using the right combination of graphics and texts. This will be the bench mark of how the firm is progressing towards your desired ranking status.

Performance Guarantee

Does the SEO Company offer some kind of guarantee, such as a percentage increase in traffic? Although there are a lot of factors involved in an SEO campaign, a professional SEO company will be able to give performance guarantees based on their years of experience and proven methodology.

These are the major considerations you need to look at when hiring an SEO Agency to make sure that you don’t pour your money down the drain. SEO is a vital marketing strategy to make your brand highly visible online to your target market and to grow your business. It is a time-consuming effort, but it has greater ROI in the long run when compared to other marketing options.

THE NEXT STEP IS YOURS.

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Source by Newman Ramirez

Insurance Law – An Indian Perspective



INTRODUCTION

“Insurance should be bought to protect you against a calamity that would otherwise be financially devastating.”

In simple terms, insurance allows someone who suffers a loss or accident to be compensated for the effects of their misfortune. It lets you protect yourself against everyday risks to your health, home and financial situation.

Insurance in India started without any regulation in the Nineteenth Century. It was a typical story of a colonial epoch: few British insurance companies dominating the market serving mostly large urban centers. After the independence, it took a theatrical turn. Insurance was nationalized. First, the life insurance companies were nationalized in 1956, and then the general insurance business was nationalized in 1972. It was only in 1999 that the private insurance companies have been allowed back into the business of insurance with a maximum of 26% of foreign holding.

“The insurance industry is enormous and can be quite intimidating. Insurance is being sold for almost anything and everything you can imagine. Determining what’s right for you can be a very daunting task.”

Concepts of insurance have been extended beyond the coverage of tangible asset. Now the risk of losses due to sudden changes in currency exchange rates, political disturbance, negligence and liability for the damages can also be covered.

But if a person thoughtfully invests in insurance for his property prior to any unexpected contingency then he will be suitably compensated for his loss as soon as the extent of damage is ascertained.

The entry of the State Bank of India with its proposal of bank assurance brings a new dynamics in the game. The collective experience of the other countries in Asia has already deregulated their markets and has allowed foreign companies to participate. If the experience of the other countries is any guide, the dominance of the Life Insurance Corporation and the General Insurance Corporation is not going to disappear any time soon.

The aim of all insurance is to compensate the owner against loss arising from a variety of risks, which he anticipates, to his life, property and business. Insurance is mainly of two types: life insurance and general insurance. General insurance means Fire, Marine and Miscellaneous insurance which includes insurance against burglary or theft, fidelity guarantee, insurance for employer’s liability, and insurance of motor vehicles, livestock and crops.

LIFE INSURANCE IN INDIA

“Life insurance is the heartfelt love letter ever written.

It calms down the crying of a hungry baby at night. It relieves the heart of a bereaved widow.

It is the comforting whisper in the dark silent hours of the night.”

Life insurance made its debut in India well over 100 years ago. Its salient features are not as widely understood in our country as they ought to be. There is no statutory definition of life insurance, but it has been defined as a contract of insurance whereby the insured agrees to pay certain sums called premiums, at specified time, and in consideration thereof the insurer agreed to pay certain sums of money on certain condition sand in specified way upon happening of a particular event contingent upon the duration of human life.

Life insurance is superior to other forms of savings!

“There is no death. Life Insurance exalts life and defeats death.

It is the premium we pay for the freedom of living after death.”

Savings through life insurance guarantee full protection against risk of death of the saver. In life insurance, on death, the full sum assured is payable (with bonuses wherever applicable) whereas in other savings schemes, only the amount saved (with interest) is payable.

The essential features of life insurance are a) it is a contract relating to human life, which b) provides for payment of lump-sum amount, and c) the amount is paid after the expiry of certain period or on the death of the assured. The very purpose and object of the assured in taking policies from life insurance companies is to safeguard the interest of his dependents viz., wife and children as the case may be, in the even of premature death of the assured as a result of the happening in any contingency. A life insurance policy is also generally accepted as security for even a commercial loan.

NON-LIFE INSURANCE

“Every asset has a value and the business of general insurance is related to the protection of economic value of assets.”

Non-life insurance means insurance other than life insurance such as fire, marine, accident, medical, motor vehicle and household insurance. Assets would have been created through the efforts of owner, which can be in the form of building, vehicles, machinery and other tangible properties. Since tangible property has a physical shape and consistency, it is subject to many risks ranging from fire, allied perils to theft and robbery.

Few of the General Insurance policies are:

Property Insurance: The home is most valued possession. The policy is designed to cover the various risks under a single policy. It provides protection for property and interest of the insured and family.

Health Insurance: It provides cover, which takes care of medical expenses following hospitalization from sudden illness or accident.

Personal Accident Insurance: This insurance policy provides compensation for loss of life or injury (partial or permanent) caused by an accident. This includes reimbursement of cost of treatment and the use of hospital facilities for the treatment.

Travel Insurance: The policy covers the insured against various eventualities while traveling abroad. It covers the insured against personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation, loss of checked baggage, passport etc.

Liability Insurance: This policy indemnifies the Directors or Officers or other professionals against loss arising from claims made against them by reason of any wrongful Act in their Official capacity.

Motor Insurance: Motor Vehicles Act states that every motor vehicle plying on the road has to be insured, with at least Liability only policy. There are two types of policy one covering the act of liability, while other covers insurers all liability and damage caused to one’s vehicles.

JOURNEY FROM AN INFANT TO ADOLESCENCE!

Historical Perspective

The history of life insurance in India dates back to 1818 when it was conceived as a means to provide for English Widows. Interestingly in those days a higher premium was charged for Indian lives than the non-Indian lives as Indian lives were considered more risky for coverage.

The Bombay Mutual Life Insurance Society started its business in 1870. It was the first company to charge same premium for both Indian and non-Indian lives. The Oriental Assurance Company was established in 1880. The General insurance business in India, on the other hand, can trace its roots to the Triton (Tital) Insurance Company Limited, the first general insurance company established in the year 1850 in Calcutta by the British. Till the end of nineteenth century insurance business was almost entirely in the hands of overseas companies.

Insurance regulation formally began in India with the passing of the Life Insurance Companies Act of 1912 and the Provident Fund Act of 1912. Several frauds during 20’s and 30’s desecrated insurance business in India. By 1938 there were 176 insurance companies. The first comprehensive legislation was introduced with the Insurance Act of 1938 that provided strict State Control over insurance business. The insurance business grew at a faster pace after independence. Indian companies strengthened their hold on this business but despite the growth that was witnessed, insurance remained an urban phenomenon.

The Government of India in 1956, brought together over 240 private life insurers and provident societies under one nationalized monopoly corporation and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) was born. Nationalization was justified on the grounds that it would create much needed funds for rapid industrialization. This was in conformity with the Government’s chosen path of State lead planning and development.

The (non-life) insurance business continued to prosper with the private sector till 1972. Their operations were restricted to organized trade and industry in large cities. The general insurance industry was nationalized in 1972. With this, nearly 107 insurers were amalgamated and grouped into four companies – National Insurance Company, New India Assurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. These were subsidiaries of the General Insurance Company (GIC).

The life insurance industry was nationalized under the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Act of India. In some ways, the LIC has become very flourishing. Regardless of being a monopoly, it has some 60-70 million policyholders. Given that the Indian middle-class is around 250-300 million, the LIC has managed to capture some 30 odd percent of it. Around 48% of the customers of the LIC are from rural and semi-urban areas. This probably would not have happened had the charter of the LIC not specifically set out the goal of serving the rural areas. A high saving rate in India is one of the exogenous factors that have helped the LIC to grow rapidly in recent years. Despite the saving rate being high in India (compared with other countries with a similar level of development), Indians display high degree of risk aversion. Thus, nearly half of the investments are in physical assets (like property and gold). Around twenty three percent are in (low yielding but safe) bank deposits. In addition, some 1.3 percent of the GDP are in life insurance related savings vehicles. This figure has doubled between 1985 and 1995.

A World viewpoint – Life Insurance in India

In many countries, insurance has been a form of savings. In many developed countries, a significant fraction of domestic saving is in the form of donation insurance plans. This is not surprising. The prominence of some developing countries is more surprising. For example, South Africa features at the number two spot. India is nestled between Chile and Italy. This is even more surprising given the levels of economic development in Chile and Italy. Thus, we can conclude that there is an insurance culture in India despite a low per capita income. This promises well for future growth. Specifically, when the income level improves, insurance (especially life) is likely to grow rapidly.

INSURANCE SECTOR REFORM:

Committee Reports: One Known, One Anonymous!

Although Indian markets were privatized and opened up to foreign companies in a number of sectors in 1991, insurance remained out of bounds on both counts. The government wanted to proceed with caution. With pressure from the opposition, the government (at the time, dominated by the Congress Party) decided to set up a committee headed by Mr. R. N. Malhotra (the then Governor of the Reserve Bank of India).

Malhotra Committee

Liberalization of the Indian insurance market was suggested in a report released in 1994 by the Malhotra Committee, indicating that the market should be opened to private-sector competition, and eventually, foreign private-sector competition. It also investigated the level of satisfaction of the customers of the LIC. Inquisitively, the level of customer satisfaction seemed to be high.

In 1993, Malhotra Committee – headed by former Finance Secretary and RBI Governor Mr. R. N. Malhotra – was formed to evaluate the Indian insurance industry and recommend its future course. The Malhotra committee was set up with the aim of complementing the reforms initiated in the financial sector. The reforms were aimed at creating a more efficient and competitive financial system suitable for the needs of the economy keeping in mind the structural changes presently happening and recognizing that insurance is an important part of the overall financial system where it was necessary to address the need for similar reforms. In 1994, the committee submitted the report and some of the key recommendations included:

o Structure

Government bet in the insurance Companies to be brought down to 50%. Government should take over the holdings of GIC and its subsidiaries so that these subsidiaries can act as independent corporations. All the insurance companies should be given greater freedom to operate.

Competition

Private Companies with a minimum paid up capital of Rs.1 billion should be allowed to enter the sector. No Company should deal in both Life and General Insurance through a single entity. Foreign companies may be allowed to enter the industry in collaboration with the domestic companies. Postal Life Insurance should be allowed to operate in the rural market. Only one State Level Life Insurance Company should be allowed to operate in each state.

o Regulatory Body

The Insurance Act should be changed. An Insurance Regulatory body should be set up. Controller of Insurance – a part of the Finance Ministry- should be made Independent.

o Investments

Compulsory Investments of LIC Life Fund in government securities to be reduced from 75% to 50%. GIC and its subsidiaries are not to hold more than 5% in any company (there current holdings to be brought down to this level over a period of time).

o Customer Service

LIC should pay interest on delays in payments beyond 30 days. Insurance companies must be encouraged to set up unit linked pension plans. Computerization of operations and updating of technology to be carried out in the insurance industry. The committee accentuated that in order to improve the customer services and increase the coverage of insurance policies, industry should be opened up to competition. But at the same time, the committee felt the need to exercise caution as any failure on the part of new competitors could ruin the public confidence in the industry. Hence, it was decided to allow competition in a limited way by stipulating the minimum capital requirement of Rs.100 crores.

The committee felt the need to provide greater autonomy to insurance companies in order to improve their performance and enable them to act as independent companies with economic motives. For this purpose, it had proposed setting up an independent regulatory body – The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

Reforms in the Insurance sector were initiated with the passage of the IRDA Bill in Parliament in December 1999. The IRDA since its incorporation as a statutory body in April 2000 has meticulously stuck to its schedule of framing regulations and registering the private sector insurance companies.

Since being set up as an independent statutory body the IRDA has put in a framework of globally compatible regulations. The other decision taken at the same time to provide the supporting systems to the insurance sector and in particular the life insurance companies was the launch of the IRDA online service for issue and renewal of licenses to agents. The approval of institutions for imparting training to agents has also ensured that the insurance companies would have a trained workforce of insurance agents in place to sell their products.

The Government of India liberalized the insurance sector in March 2000 with the passage of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Bill, lifting all entry restrictions for private players and allowing foreign players to enter the market with some limits on direct foreign ownership. Under the current guidelines, there is a 26 percent equity lid for foreign partners in an insurance company. There is a proposal to increase this limit to 49 percent.

The opening up of the sector is likely to lead to greater spread and deepening of insurance in India and this may also include restructuring and revitalizing of the public sector companies. In the private sector 12 life insurance and 8 general insurance companies have been registered. A host of private Insurance companies operating in both life and non-life segments have started selling their insurance policies since 2001

Mukherjee Committee

Immediately after the publication of the Malhotra Committee Report, a new committee, Mukherjee Committee was set up to make concrete plans for the requirements of the newly formed insurance companies. Recommendations of the Mukherjee Committee were never disclosed to the public. But, from the information that filtered out it became clear that the committee recommended the inclusion of certain ratios in insurance company balance sheets to ensure transparency in accounting. But the Finance Minister objected to it and it was argued by him, probably on the advice of some of the potential competitors, that it could affect the prospects of a developing insurance company.

LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA ON REVISION OF THE INSURANCE ACT 1938 – 190th Law Commission Report

The Law Commission on 16th June 2003 released a Consultation Paper on the Revision of the Insurance Act, 1938. The previous exercise to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 was undertaken in 1999 at the time of enactment of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act).

The Commission undertook the present exercise in the context of the changed policy that has permitted private insurance companies both in the life and non-life sectors. A need has been felt to toughen the regulatory mechanism even while streamlining the existing legislation with a view to removing portions that have become superfluous as a consequence of the recent changes.

Among the major areas of changes, the Consultation paper suggested the following:

a. merging of the provisions of the IRDA Act with the Insurance Act to avoid multiplicity of legislations;

b. deletion of redundant and transitory provisions in the Insurance Act, 1938;

c. Amendments reflect the changed policy of permitting private insurance companies and strengthening the regulatory mechanism;

d. Providing for stringent norms regarding maintenance of ‘solvency margin’ and investments by both public sector and private sector insurance companies;

e. Providing for a full-fledged grievance redressal mechanism that includes:

o The constitution of Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs) comprising one judicial and two technical members to deal with complaints/claims of policyholders against insurers (the GRAs are expected to replace the present system of insurer appointed Ombudsman);

o Appointment of adjudicating officers by the IRDA to determine and levy penalties on defaulting insurers, insurance intermediaries and insurance agents;

o Providing for an appeal against the decisions of the IRDA, GRAs and adjudicating officers to an Insurance Appellate Tribunal (IAT) comprising a judge (sitting or retired) of the Supreme Court/Chief Justice of a High Court as presiding officer and two other members having sufficient experience in insurance matters;

o Providing for a statutory appeal to the Supreme Court against the decisions of the IAT.

LIFE & NON-LIFE INSURANCE – Development and Growth!

The year 2006 turned out to be a momentous year for the insurance sector as regulator the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Act, laid the foundation for free pricing general insurance from 2007, while many companies announced plans to attack into the sector.

Both domestic and foreign players robustly pursued their long-pending demand for increasing the FDI limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent and toward the fag end of the year, the Government sent the Comprehensive Insurance Bill to Group of Ministers for consideration amid strong reservation from Left parties. The Bill is likely to be taken up in the Budget session of Parliament.

The infiltration rates of health and other non-life insurances in India are well below the international level. These facts indicate immense growth potential of the insurance sector. The hike in FDI limit to 49 per cent was proposed by the Government last year. This has not been operationalized as legislative changes are required for such hike. Since opening up of the insurance sector in 1999, foreign investments of Rs. 8.7 billion have tipped into the Indian market and 21 private companies have been granted licenses.

The involvement of the private insurers in various industry segments has increased on account of both their capturing a part of the business which was earlier underwritten by the public sector insurers and also creating additional business boulevards. To this effect, the public sector insurers have been unable to draw upon their inherent strengths to capture additional premium. Of the growth in premium in 2004-05, 66.27 per cent has been captured by the private insurers despite having 20 per cent market share.

The life insurance industry recorded a premium income of Rs.82854.80 crore during the financial year 2004-05 as against Rs.66653.75 crore in the previous financial year, recording a growth of 24.31 per cent. The contribution of first year premium, single premium and renewal premium to the total premium was Rs.15881.33 crore (19.16 per cent); Rs.10336.30 crore (12.47 per cent); and Rs.56637.16 crore (68.36 per cent), respectively. In the year 2000-01, when the industry was opened up to the private players, the life insurance premium was Rs.34,898.48 crore which constituted of Rs. 6996.95 crore of first year premium, Rs. 25191.07 crore of renewal premium and Rs. 2740.45 crore of single premium. Post opening up, single premium had declined from Rs.9, 194.07 crore in the year 2001-02 to Rs.5674.14 crore in 2002-03 with the withdrawal of the guaranteed return policies. Though it went up marginally in 2003-04 to Rs.5936.50 crore (4.62 per cent growth) 2004-05, however, witnessed a significant shift with the single premium income rising to Rs. 10336.30 crore showing 74.11 per cent growth over 2003-04.

The size of life insurance market increased on the strength of growth in the economy and concomitant increase in per capita income. This resulted in a favourable growth in total premium both for LIC (18.25 per cent) and to the new insurers (147.65 per cent) in 2004-05. The higher growth for the new insurers is to be viewed in the context of a low base in 2003- 04. However, the new insurers have improved their market share from 4.68 in 2003-04 to 9.33 in 2004-05.

The segment wise break up of fire, marine and miscellaneous segments in case of the public sector insurers was Rs.2411.38 crore, Rs.982.99 crore and Rs.10578.59 crore, i.e., a growth of (-)1.43 per cent, 1.81 per cent and 6.58 per cent. The public sector insurers reported growth in Motor and Health segments (9 and 24 per cent). These segments accounted for 45 and 10 per cent of the business underwritten by the public sector insurers. Fire and “Others” accounted for 17.26 and 11 per cent of the premium underwritten. Aviation, Liability, “Others” and Fire recorded negative growth of 29, 21, 3.58 and 1.43 per cent. In no other country that opened at the same time as India have foreign companies been able to grab a 22 per cent market share in the life segment and about 20 per cent in the general insurance segment. The share of foreign insurers in other competing Asian markets is not more than 5 to 10 per cent.

The life insurance sector grew new premium at a rate not seen before while the general insurance sector grew at a faster rate. Two new players entered into life insurance – Shriram Life and Bharti Axa Life – taking the total number of life players to 16. There was one new entrant to the non-life sector in the form of a standalone health insurance company – Star Health and Allied Insurance, taking the non-life players to 14.

A large number of companies, mostly nationalized banks (about 14) such as Bank of India and Punjab National Bank, have announced plans to enter the insurance sector and some of them have also formed joint ventures.

The proposed change in FDI cap is part of the comprehensive amendments to insurance laws – The Insurance Act of 1999, LIC Act, 1956 and IRDA Act, 1999. After the proposed amendments in the insurance laws LIC would be able to maintain reserves while insurance companies would be able to raise resources other than equity.

About 14 banks are in queue to enter insurance sector and the year 2006 saw several joint venture announcements while others scout partners. Bank of India has teamed up with Union Bank and Japanese insurance major Dai-ichi Mutual Life while PNB tied up with Vijaya Bank and Principal for foraying into life insurance. Allahabad Bank, Karnataka Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Dabur Investment Corporation and Sompo Japan Insurance Inc have tied up for forming a non-life insurance company while Bank of Maharashtra has tied up with Shriram Group and South Africa’s Sanlam group for non-life insurance venture.

CONCLUSION

It seems cynical that the LIC and the GIC will wither and die within the next decade or two. The IRDA has taken “at a snail’s pace” approach. It has been very cautious in granting licenses. It has set up fairly strict standards for all aspects of the insurance business (with the probable exception of the disclosure requirements). The regulators always walk a fine line. Too many regulations kill the motivation of the newcomers; too relaxed regulations may induce failure and fraud that led to nationalization in the first place. India is not unique among the developing countries where the insurance business has been opened up to foreign competitors.

The insurance business is at a critical stage in India. Over the next couple of decades we are likely to witness high growth in the insurance sector for two reasons namely; financial deregulation always speeds up the development of the insurance sector and growth in per capita GDP also helps the insurance business to grow.

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Source by Sowmya Suman

Traveling To America? New ESTA Registration Mandated January 2009



For years, visitors from certain foreign countries have been able to travel to America without first getting a formal Visa sticker placed in their passport. Implemented in 1998, the “Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has allowed for visitors of several countries to come to America for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without getting a Visa put in their passport. During 2007, more than 15 million visitors from VWP countries arrived in the United States.

As of January 12, 2009 America’s new ESTA program requires Visa Waiver Program visitors coming to the U.S. for tourist or business purposes via a plane or ship to “register” online before entering the United States to see if they pose a law enforcement or security risk to the U.S. ESTA is not required for land crossings. Officials are asking that the ESTA registration be done at least 72 hours prior to leaving, but theoretically it is possible to register at the last minute. An ESTA Travel Authorization is free, valid for 2 years, and valid for multiple entries.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ESTA Travel Authorization:

What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program?

Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Where Do I Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization?

A website, operated by the American government, is where you register for ESTA: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA information you submit via the computer is compared with certain American law enforcement databases and then either approved or denied. Foreign travelers will not be able to submit ESTA applications at American airports after arriving or at a U.S. Embassy in their country.

What if I Don’t Have Plans to Travel to the U.S. Yet?

VWP travelers are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before they apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization. As soon as VWP travelers begin to plan a trip to visit the U.S., they are encouraged to apply for travel authorization through the ESTA website. Applicants are not required to update their destination addresses or itineraries if they change after their ESTA Travel Authorization has been granted.

Does the ESTA Travel Authorization Guarantee Entry to the U.S.?

An ESTA Travel Authorization only authorizes a traveler to board an airline or ship for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. After they arrive, travelers who obtained an ESTA Travel Authorization may still be denied entry (also called “admission”) at a U.S. port of entry, such as an American airport. An approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admissibility at an American airport. In all cases, the American airport officers make the final determination whether a foreign traveler can enter the U.S. or not. You still have to establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that you are entitled to be admitted to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?

It is possible to change an itinerary on an existing ESTA Travel Authorization; ESTA is designed so that you can update parts of it at any time. Travelers who did not get an ESTA approval may be denied boarding by the airlines, experience delayed processing, or be denied admission to the U.S. at the American airport.

What If I Already Have a Valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa?

While the ESTA Travel Authorization is completed online with no interview, there are Visas that require a U.S. Embassy interview. The Visa process has separate procedures, which generally require an appointment, travel to a U.S. Embassy, an interview with a Consular Officer, processing time, and the payment of an application fee. If a foreign national already went to the U.S. Embassy and has a valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa pasted in their passport it is not necessary to get an ESTA Travel Authorization because the traveler will be entering with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and not through the Visa Waiver Program. Keep in mind that an approved ESTA Travel Authorization is not a Visa.

Can I Re-Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization if Denied?

Yes, but you must wait at least 10 days to reapply and your circumstances must have changed. Unless there is a change in a substantive fact, re-application will not change the result. Keep in mind that applying for an ESTA Travel Authorization with false information can cause a foreign national to be permanently barred from ever entering America. The ESTA system is designed to try to prevent individuals from changing and manipulating an ESTA entry until they receive an approval.

What If I am Denied an ESTA Travel Authorization and Have No Changed Circumstances?

There are three types of responses to an ESTA application; approved, pending or travel not authorized (denied). Applicants who receive a “pending” response are advised to check the website 72 hours later. Applicants who are denied will be required to go to a U.S. Embassy to apply for a formal nonimmigrant visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, which may take months.

Can a Traveler Find Out the Reason Why an ESTA Application was Denied?

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has stated that travelers may contact the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP at dhs.gov) but there are no guarantees that information about a denial will be divulged. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not required to provide details about an ESTA denial nor resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial.

What If I Have a Criminal Record?

Only those qualified to travel under the VWP are eligible to pre-register through ESTA. Persons who have been arrested and/or convicted are generally not eligible for VWP and probably require a formal Visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, to travel to America. If a foreign national has received tickets for speeding (which don’t usually result in an arrest or conviction) they are probably still eligible for the VWP and ESTA. If a foreign traveler has been denied entry into or deported from the U.S., they require a formal Visa.

Do Any Other Countries Have a Similar Program?

Australia has a program called the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) that mandates travelers to submit an ETA application electronically through a website requesting permission to travel to Australia. Airlines may refuse to accept passengers who do not have either an approved ETA or Visa to enter Australia.

How Long Will the ESTA Application Data be Stored? Who Can Access It?

The ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. The American government will maintain the information for at least 15 years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Information submitted through ESTA can also be shared with any U.S. government organization.

What Information Does the Airlines Get?

Airlines will receive confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA status visa the “Advance Passenger Information System” (APIS) which shows whether the ESTA authorization has been granted for a Visa Waiver Program traveler. It is recommended that the traveler print out the ESTA application approval in order to maintain a record of their ESTA application number and to have confirmation of their ESTA status.

What About Children?

Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA Travel Authorization.

What if a Mistake was Made on the ESTA Application?

The ESTA website will ask applicants to review their application before submitting it. Also, there is an update function for certain information such as email address, telephone number, or flight information. If an applicant makes a mistake that cannot be “updated,” he will need to submit a new ESTA application.

What if I Only Have a Connecting Flight Through the U.S.?

Visa Waiver Program visitors who have a connecting flight in the U.S. are required to either have ESTA Travel Authorization or a Visa from a U.S. Embassy in their passport to travel through the U.S. even for a one hour stop. If a traveler is only planning to stop in the U.S. en route to another country, the traveler should enter the words “In Transit” and his final destination in the address lines under the heading “Address While In The United States” on the ESTA application.

What Are the Questions on the ESTA Travel Authorization Application?

The traveler must provide (in English) biographical data including name, birth date, country of citizenship, country of residence, email address, sex, telephone number, passport information, destination address in the U.S., travel information (round trip airline ticket, flight number and city where you are boarding) as well as questions regarding communicable diseases (chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inquinale, HIV, leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis [active], tuberculosis [active], and others), physical or mental disorders, drug addiction problems, arrests, convictions, past history of visa cancellation or denial, and prior deportations from the U.S. The traveler will also be asked whether they are seeking work in the U.S., have ever been deported or tried to get a visa by fraud or misrepresentation. The traveler will be asked if they have ever detained a child of a U.S. Citizen granted custody of the child, and whether they have ever asserted immunity from prosecution.

Do I Select “Business” or “Pleasure (Tourist) at the Airport Port of Entry?

After the ESTA Travel Authorization is granted, the foreign traveler will be interviewed by government officers at the first American airport they land. The officer will ask what the foreign traveler will be doing in America and the questioning can take up to four hours in a detained setting called “secondary inspection.” The officer may ask the traveler “what else are you doing in America?” repeatedly to try to get “the real” answer. If the traveler is only going to be a tourist, they are not allowed to do any business, including meeting with any attorneys, applying for a bank account, meeting with real estate agents, or other business consulting activities. Even though the traveler is going to conduct just one business meeting while in America, they are required to report it and enter as a business visitor. The business visitor is allowed to participate in tourist activities, but the tourist visitor is not allowed to participate in any business activities. Therefore, if any business might be conducted while in America, it is best to tell the government officers about it at the airport to avoid being accused of lying, put immediately on a plane back to your home country, and barred from America for life.

What Else Do Can the Airport Officers Make Me Prove After I Land?

The airport officers will ask the traveler proof of a foreign residence (address on foreign driver’s license), whether their intention is to depart at the end of the visit (round trip airline ticket), whether the traveler has a job (letter, paystub, business card) and family in their home country, (marriage certificate, childrens’ birth certificates), and whether the traveler has the money to travel around America (bank statement or credit cards with bank letter showing credit limit). The airport officers are also required to ask where the traveler will stay in America (hotel reservations or friends/relatives’ homes) and have been known to pick up the phone to verify all of the aforementioned information.

Can I Be Searched in the American Airport? Am I Entitled to Legal Representation?

While being interviewed at the American airport, all luggage (even locked bags) can be searched, as well as the traveler’s body and his/her cell phone (including text messages and phone numbers) and laptop (including hard drive). The officers may “google” a traveler’s name and check out their myspace, Facebook or hyves pages. The traveler is not allowed to be represented by an attorney or even call their attorney while in “secondary inspection.” Bathroom visits, water and food may be limited, so it is best to prepare for such an occasion while still on the plane before landing.

Do I Still Have to Go Through the “US-VISIT” Program at the American Airport?

Foreign travelers arriving at American airports and seaports must still be photographed and fingerprinted every time they enter the U.S.

Who Should I Ask For Help to Fill Out the ESTA Application?

The information a traveler provides on the ESTA application can remain in their file with U.S. authorities for a minimum of 15 years – probably longer. If a foreign traveler has some questions about how to answer the questions so as not to be permanently barred from America, it would be prudent to them to pay for a legal consultation with an American Immigration Attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Beware of unauthorized private websites that offer ESTA application assistance for $49.99 – they are usually not authorized to practice immigration law and are asking travelers to pay for a copy of the application questions, which are free on the dhs.gov website.

If I Am Denied the ESTA Travel Authorization Will it Effect My Ability to Obtain a Visa at the U.S. Embassy?

When the ESTA Travel Authorization is denied, the foreign traveler must make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in their country to apply for a formal Visa. The U.S. Embassy is operated by the U.S. Department of State and there are no expedited procedures for those who have been denied ESTA Travel Authorization. Because the ESTA program is so new, it is impossible to predict how badly a denial of the ESTA Travel Authorization will impact a traveler’s application for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or impact their future travel to America in general. American Immigration Attorneys are in close contact with their foreign clients and will share the denial information with each other starting in January 2009. Currently there are no government policies regulating this area of the law, or opportunities to appeal a denial.

When Is the a “New” ESTA Travel Authorization Required?

A new ESTA Travel Authorization is required during the two years if (1) the traveler is issued a new passport (2) the traveler changes his name (3) the traveler changes his or her gender (4) the traveler’s country of citizenship changes or (5) the circumstances underlying the traveler’s previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions requiring a “yes” or “no” response have changed (such as a new arrest).

Can an American Immigration Attorney, Travel Agent or Employer Fill Out the ESTA Application?

A third party, such as a relative, travel agent or American Immigration Attorney, is permitted to submit an ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveler. Be aware that the traveler is still responsible under the law for the answers submitted on his or her behalf by a third party.

Over 68,000 travelers have already voluntarily registered by using the ESTA online system in the last few months. Applicants are reminded to obtain a new “e-passport” which has an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, when registering with ESTA.

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Source by Danielle Nelisse

What Is the Basic Concept of Property in Common Law Countries?



Property refers to something which can be owned and the rights involved in owning an asset. Property can be classified as either real property which means land, fixtures and leaseholds. There is also personal property which means all property which is not real property. Finally, there is intellectual property which means copyright, designs, patents and trademarks. The expression is real and personal property of everyday business words with a long history. They come from a kind of court action that a person used in the Middle Ages who was wrongfully deprified of real or personal property. A landowner stripped of man took legal action to recover the land. The Latin word for thing is res and the action was taken in action in rem , later known as a real action. A person deprived of goods and she tells my not to able to recover the asset itself because it might have been destroyed. The person would suit a wrongdoer personally for damages in contract or tort, without necessarily trying to recover the property itself. The legal action taken is an action in personam , or a personal action.

Property which could be reclaimed by real action gradually came to be called real property and other property came to be called personal property. Real and personal property come in many sizes, shapes and forms. Articles of personal property can be divided into two classes. Chattels personal, which are movable, tangible articles of property. And Chattels real which interests in land less than Freehold, such as leaseholds. There may be property rights over nonphysical and non-tangible property, such as shares and benefits under a contract, and so the law provides another classification of personal property which includes choses in possession which is tangible physical property and choses in action, which is intangible property. There are also two types of legal choses in action which include contracts, agreements, arrangements, annuities, shares in a company, securities and other debts, negotiable instruments such as checks, patterns and designs, copyright and trademarks, business and trade names and anything else which is registered under various statutes such as business names, associations incorporation and the corporations legislation in Australia. Property law is at the heart of the legal system and was one of the first areas of law to develop. This is because property rights are an essential part of the social foundation of our society.

The ownership of this type of asset in our legal system is complex, because a person may owe this type of asset without possessing it, and a person may possess this asset without owning it. The owner is the person entitled to all legal rights over the asset, and the owner can transfer the asset to another person. The owner has title to the asset, and can prove title by showing a chain of title back to an unchallengeable beginning such as the Crown or Torrens title registration real estate. The owner has a proprietary interest in the real or personal asset. This may be a legal interest or an equitable interest.

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Source by David A Coleman

Direct Sales Team Vs Distributor – Which is Better For an International Market?



If you’re looking to expand your sales to new markets, then there’s one big question you must ask: do I build a direct sales presence or use a distributor? Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, but we’re going to make a strong case to use one method over the other in almost every instance.

What’s the difference between direct sales and distributors?

A direct sales presence means that your company establishes, manages, and pays a sales team of one or more people in the target market.

An outside agent is any entity that will sell your product in exchange for a service fee. One example is a sales rep, who sells your product in exchange for a percent of the sale. A distributor is similar to a rep, except they would buy product from your company and sell it directly to the end customer.

Is Direct Sales Better?

For most businesses expanding into new markets, especially international markets, hiring a distributor is a better decision-at least until there is enough return from the market to justify building a direct sales presence.

Sure, there is one major advantage to having a direct sales presence-control. Control over the day to day activities of your sales personnel is appealing to most business owners. But this control comes at a heavy price. To start, you’ll need to spend the time to hire someone in that market, then train them, then equip them with sales material and management, if not office space and equipment. These costs are prohibitive for most small businesses looking to expand internationally.

And there are even more costs that we haven’t mentioned yet. Each market has it’s own unique laws, cultures and customs that are essential to master if your company wants to establish a successful sales presence. Japan is a classic example of a marketplace with unique legal structures and business customs that, if not followed, guarantee the failure of any sales efforts. It’s hard to pin down an exact monetary value to this learning, but ask yourself this: Can you afford to establish, manage, and pay a sales force in a foreign country for at least a year while they learn the ropes and generate no revenue?

What about a Distributor? Is a Distributor better for new markets?

Distributors are a cost effective means to enter a new marketplace successfully. Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • No Overhead:
    Unlike running your own sales team, a distributor will take care of the hiring, managing, payment, and optimization of its channel. You’re just borrowing their distribution, while they handle the maintenance.
  • Established Channel with Local Knowledge:
    A good distributor will already know all the laws and customs of the market you’re entering. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel-you can use someone who already has valuable local knowledge.
  • Understand Pricing and Purchasing Power of Market:
    Along with knowledge of the laws and customs comes knowledge about the most successful ways to price and market your product locally.
  • Cost Effective:
    Since you won’t be paying for the above items, distributor relationships are much more within reach of a small business trying to enter a new market.

Using a distributor has some downsides as well, but they can be minimized by building a good relationship with a distributor.

  • Not your own people:
    You won’t be able to directly manage every step of the process. While it may make you nervous to lose some control over the sales process, you can manage the risk by building a transparent relationship with your distributor with constant updates and feedback from both ends.
  • Distributor has many products to represent:
    You may not be the distributor’s top priority at any given time, and you want to be sure your product is not getting shuffled to the back of the line. Once again, a well-established relationship with constant contact will ensure that your product is getting the attention it deserves.
  • Not a “turn key” solution:
    You can’t just give the distributor your products and expect success. You’ll have to manage the relationship. This takes time, but it’s still less costly than trying to install a direct sales team from scratch.

So what do I do next?

If you aren’t convinced that a distributor would be better for your organization than establishing a direct sales team, seek help from a consultant who has experience establishing a presence in new markets. A consultant can use his or her experience to analyze your opportunity and recommend the best course of action.

Before you choose a distributor, you need to know….

Choosing the wrong distributor will set you up for failure. The wrong distributor simply won’t generate sales, and you’ll have wasted at least a year finding and setting up an unprofitable relationship.

There are certain things to look for in a distributor, and they are different for every market. The best thing to do is to find a professional, one with experience in distributor relationships, and hire that professional to help you search for and identify the right distributor.

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Source by J. P. Williams

A Successor Trustee’s First Legal Decision



Seemingly simple decisions can cause unexpected difficulty administering an estate. Among these is the decision whether to utilize an attorney or accountant to file for and obtain a taxpayer identification number (TIN) for a trust.

Most revocable trusts change their tax and legal status upon the death of the last surviving grantor. Sometimes called a settlor, the grantor is the person that generally creates and contributes property to a trust that benefits the grantor during his or her life. During the life of the grantor, particularly if the trust is revocable, the trust is considered a “grantor” trust under the Internal Revenue Code. The significance of being classified as a grantor trust is that the trust does not have a separate tax existence; the grantor is not required to obtain a separate Taxpayer or Employer Identification Number (TIN or EIN), and the trust is not required to file a separate tax return. The grantor affixes his or her social security number to assets requiring a TIN for the trust, and files only a personal income tax return.

Upon the death of the grantor, however, the IRS requires that the trust, which is now irrevocable, utilize a different TIN. Simply, a trust cannot use the social security of a dead person. If the trust has taxable income, the trust may also be required file a separate income tax return. Thus, a successor trustee will typically file for and obtain a new TIN for the trust shortly after the death of the grantor. This application process is relatively simple, and common for attorneys and accountants familiar with trusts, the grantor trust rules in the Internal Revenue Code, and the distinctions between the the original revocable trust and the resulting irrevocable trust.

Because the proper name and characterization of the trust on titles and accounts is important, attorneys will usually prepare for the successor trustee a Certificate or Memorandum of Trust, which permits financial institutions to properly title assets, and follow the instructions of the successor trustee. These documents often identify the correct TIN. Filing for and obtaining the TIN, and preparing the Certificate or Memorandum of Trust is usually completed the same day, or within a few days of completion of the necessary forms, for a nominal fee: easy breezy nice and easy.

Increasingly, however, successor trustees are either filing for the TIN themselves, or relying upon professionals with neither accounting nor legal expertise to request and obtain the TIN. The results can range from frustrating to devastating to the estate plan.

Consider the following examples of mistakes attorneys increasingly observe:

  • The successor trustee goes to the bank in order to access the bank account. The helpful teller advises the trustee of the need to obtain the TIN, and “assists” the successor trustee in applying online for the TIN. The account is closed, and a new account is opened with the new TIN, and the trustee is given a piece of paper showing the TIN, and sent on his or her way. The successor trustee goes to the next bank, broker, or financial advisor holding or managing trust accounts. Confident that everything will go smoothly, the trustee presents the death certificate and the TIN to the institution with a polite request to liquidate the account. The institution refuses, advising that they do not have everything needed. The institution is unclear what the title of the trust is or should be, and what authority the successor trustee has regarding the account. After several attempts the successor trustee is forced to contract an attorney to prepare documents that could have been prepared initially, which would have prevented the delay and frustration.
  • The attorney in the foregoing example reviews the paperwork provided by the teller and realizes that the application is completed incorrectly, and that as a result the IRS will likely request the filing of Form 1041 trust income tax returns from the date of the creation of the trust through the present tax year. In a “pay me now or pay me later,” series of alternatives, the attorney offers to correct the improperly completed application.
  • The attorney in the foregoing example reviews the paperwork, but cannot determine whether the application for the TIN was properly prepared. The teller prepared the application online, but did not print out a hard copy of the application. Concerned that improper preparation of the application will result in expense or loss to the trust, for which the trustee or heirs may seek to hold the attorney responsible, the attorney either (1) refuses to utilize the TIN and recommends abandonment of the TIN, charging the client for preparation of a new application, and paperwork abandoning the prior TIN, or (2) the attorney requires the trustee to sign an acknowledgment that use of the TIN may cause loss or expense, which releases and indemnifies the attorney from loss resulting from continued use of of the TIN.
  • The teller in the previous example identifies the grantor of the trust, now deceased, as the responsible party, since the grantor created the trust. IRS correspondence is directed to the deceased grantor at the grantor’s last residence. Because the property is promptly sold, the successor trustee is not advised that a Form 1041 income tax return must be filed. When the successor trustee learns that a return should have been filed, the trustee is forced to pay the tax liability, and resulting penalty and interest, from his personal assets since the trust assets were distributed.
  • A successor trustee completes the application to obtain a TIN for the trust online, and proceeds to administer the trust estate. The IRS sends letters demanding Form 1041 income tax returns for fourteen tax years. The letters, unfortunately, are sent to the deceased grantor’s home, pursuant to the application, which home was promptly sold by the successor trustee. The successor trustee is later contacted by a revenue agent. With the assets of the trust long distributed, the trustee pays from her own funds an attorney and accountant to resolve the matter.
  • A family friend helps the successor trustee obtain a TIN, but writes down the TIN incorrectly. Neither the friend nor the trustee realize the error. The IRS contacts the taxpayer when a return is filed using the incorrect TIN. An accountant is retained to investigate and resolve the problem.

Each of the foregoing represent actual cases. The application for a TIN may seem simple, but the terms used in the application, and the precise information requested can be confusing. The fact that the application can be prepared online may cause some to believe that the application is either very easy to complete, or that proper completion is unimportant. Neither assumption is correct.

Well-meaning professionals, such as tellers, bankers, insurance agents, brokers, and financial planners, and helpful friends may assume that they are are in safe waters completing the form for a customer or friend. IRS rules require that third parties that complete the application identify themselves, and abide by record-keeping requirements, which rules the well-intentioned often fail to observe. Failure to observe these rules may make impossible immediate solutions to online technical glitches or typographical errors, thereby delaying administration of the estate. Perhaps the ultimate tragic irony to the immediacy offered by the online application process is that failure to follow the third party disclosure, record preparation and record keeping rules may mean that a good TIN takes longer to obtain online than if it had been applied for by traditional mail.

Professionals should also be aware that there may be liability for applications prepared improperly, and that the professional insurance may or may not cover any loss. Non-lawyers and non-accountants are properly cautioned that the completion of the forms, and the accompanying advice, may constitute the unauthorized practice of law, or exceed the scope of the professional’s licensing.

Simply, retain an attorney or accountant to seek and obtain the TIN.

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Source by Monty L. Donohew, J.D.