Virgin Islands Law Blog

U.S. Virgin Islands law & politics

There are many types of industries in which hiring independent contractors is a big part of a company’s business model. There are some benefits to working with independent contractors, but as with any type of hiring practice, it’s important to make sure you abide by all the federal and territorial rules and plan out the hiring in a way that protects your company. With this in mind, here are some tips for hiring independent contractors…
A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure you can operate under. It is technically not a legal entity—it is just a single person who owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts. The business can operate under the name of its owner or under a fictitious trade name. Sole proprietorships are popular because they are simple to establish and relatively inexpensive. All you need to do is register your trade name with…
One of the many ways to efficiently grow your business is to acquire other companies, taking over their intellectual properties and customer bases. Of course, there is a lot of planning and hard work that goes into an acquisition, and the process of actually finding a company worth acquiring isn’t always easy. Every merger or acquisition situation is different, but there are some elements you should consider any time you are looking at acquiring a…
While the U.S. Virgin Islands’ bonds are still rated in junk status, there are some significant signs of improvement and glimmers of hope for economic recovery in the territory. The price of some of the Territory’s bonds has more than doubled since the end of 2017, thanks in large part to a boom in construction during the post-hurricane rebuild and the reopening of the St. Croix oil refinery. Now, economic experts in the Territory feel…
A short sale is when a lender agrees to a person or entity selling property at fair market value even if the outstanding mortgage against the property is more than that value. In such a case, the lender generally forgives the balance due on the loan after the sale occurs, and the borrower is not required to pay off the remaining balance (though this isn’t always true). Short sales are more likely to fail than…
Employee handbooks or manuals are frequently used in corporate settings to provide an overview of employee responsibilities and rights, as well as certain company regulations. The purpose of these manuals is twofold: to ensure all employees are aware of their rights and obligations, and to protect the company in the event of labor lawsuits. There are some Virgin Islands and federal labor laws you are required to put into your employee handbook. Examples include information…
Information gathered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group shed some light on the effects of the hurricanes of Fall 2017 on the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands, including the statistic that the territory lost 4,500 jobs in the wake of the hurricanes. That figure accounts for a 12 percent job loss between August 2017 and November 2017, before and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As of May 2018,…
The process of converting an LLC to a corporation can vary depending on the circumstances of your business. There are three types of conversion available—which method you choose depends on where you primarily do business and whether you meet the requirements for each method. Here’s an overview of each of them. Statutory conversion This type of procedure is relatively new, and offers business owners a more streamlined means of converting an LLC to a corporation.…
The United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recently paid a visit to St. Croix and St. Thomas to investigate some reported wage issues, as well as to offer compliance assistance with regard to recovery efforts still ongoing after Hurricanes Maria and Irma. According to a press release issued by the Department of Labor, federal agents were reviewing local employers’ compliance with the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), the Contract Work Hours…
On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled that employers may require employees to enter arbitration agreements that waive their rights to seek class-action claims against the employer. The split, 5-4 decision was authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, rejecting the position held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that any of these types of class-action waivers violated employees’ rights to engage in “concerted activities” with regard to terms and conditions of employment,…