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A Guide to Choosing Professional Indemnity Insurance and Understanding the Policy Terms

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Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI) can be a complex area. Policy wordings can vary quite fundamentally from Insurer to Insurer. Different professions have different needs and as a result specialist wordings exist for some industries such as IT, marketing, media, construction, surveying, architects, etc.

Some professional bodies require their members’ insurances to be written on an approved wording, Accountants and Solicitors PI being two examples.

Examples of the professional indemnity insurance terms that you are likely to encounter when considering this cover for your business include:

Claims Made

Professional Indemnity Insurance policies are written on a claims made basis. This means that it is the insurance policy that is in place on the date a claim is made against you, rather than at the time you carried out the work, that would respond to a claim

Retroactive Date

As mentioned above as your professional indemnity insurance policy is written on a claims made basis, it is your existing insurance company who is liable for claims made today for work carried out in the past. The retroactive date noted on your policy fixes the date from which they are potentially liable. A claim made against you for work carried out prior to the retroactive date will not be covered.

Your PI policy will show a retroactive date of either:

  • Inception – namely the date from which you first placed your insurance with them
  • A specific date eg 01/01/2000 – this is usually the date that you took out your first professional indemnity insurance policy
  • None – this usually applies if your business has been insured uninterrupted for many years.

Negligence or Civil Liability?

Some policies will only indemnify you in respect of a claim brought against you for a negligent act. Others are written on a much wider civil liability basis, which would cover you in respect of claims arising from

  • Breach of professional duty;
  • Dishonesty of employees;
  • Libel or slander;
  • Unintentional breach of confidentiality;
  • Unintentional infringement of intellectual property rights. (Some insurers restrict this to unintentional infringement of copyright only)
  • Loss of or damage to documents.

The Limit of Indemnity

The limit of indemnity is the maximum that an insurance company will pay out. A classic example of when professional indemnity insurance terms can make it difficult to compare quotations, you will need to know whether the limit of indemnity applies “in the aggregate” or to “any one claim”.

  • “in the aggregate” this means that the limit of indemnity is the maximum your insurance company will pay during the entire period of insurance, regardless of how many claims you make. For example if your limit of indemnity is £1,000,000 in the aggregate and during the period of insurance you are unfortunate enough to have three claims successfully made against your business each for £500,000, you will find yourself having to fund a £500,000 claim yourself
  • “any one claim” the limit of indemnity is the maximum your insurance company will pay for any one claim. In the example above as each claim is less than the £1,000,000 limit of indemnity they will pay each claim in the full (less the policy excess see below)

The choice of limit of indemnity for your business’ professional indemnity insurance is muddied further by the issue of defence costs, see below.

Including Defence Costs or Defence Costs in Addition

How your insurance company treats the issue of defence costs should be an important factor when assessing your limit of indemnity. Some insurance companies state that their limit of indemnity is £x, defence costs in addition. This means that the limit of indemnity applies to the awards element of a claim against you and that legal costs incurred will be paid by your insurance company in addition to the limit. Other insurers will include defence costs within the total limit of indemnity meaning that a low limit of indemnity could get quite quickly eaten up by legal costs

The Excess

The treatment of the excess can vary from policy to policy too. Some Insurers apply it to the whole claim including the defence costs. Others only apply it to awards meaning that you do not need to fund the initial defence costs yourself.

Professional Indemnity Insurance can be a complicated form of Business Insurance. I hope this article has helped you to understand some of the terms and jargon that you are likely to encounter and will help you to interpret the differences in cover when comparing quotations.

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Top 3 Important Characteristics of a Successful Payroll Service Provider

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I guess when you look at the different businesses; there would be companies that would be ahead of the others. They are considered the visionary and ahead of the pact. Have you ever wondered what do these companies have that the less successful ones do not have? In a payroll service provider this can also be considered true. You can tell that there are payroll service providers that are more well-known. What could be the secret to their success?

Perseverance

This trait is necessary especially if your company is just beginning. Perseverance means never giving up even in the midst of failure. As we know failure is part of business. A payroll service provider does not just become successful overnight. It takes perseverance and the never-say-die attitude. That separates the winners from the less successful ones. Lack of perseverance may mean bad news to your company.

Honesty

We hear about business closing down because of lack of integrity. Clients value trust and honesty when dealing with businesses. It is one of the foundations of a business relationship. If dishonesty and shady dealings is the heart of the company, chances are the success you might have accumulated would still not continue because in the end truth prevails. As a payroll service provider, it is imperative that honesty is practiced because of the confidentiality and sensitivity of the information being handled.

Dedication

To some companies, it may just be work. To a successful outsourcing payroll company, it is a personal goal. Each client is important and it is not just about earning money. It is about showing people the importance of the work they do. They hire staff that is dedicated and focused on the task at hand. A successful payroll company is committed to giving the excellent service that your company expects of them. Hence, dedication is a trait that a successful provider should have.

Excellent traits of a successful payroll service provider are important to know because it can give you the criteria if they measure up to your expectation. These help you gauge if it is the right organization for you. It requires careful consideration and thorough understanding of the traits that can help you choose the best payroll service provider for your company.

It is understandable to hesitate in hiring a good payroll outsourcing company. That is why these traits are given to you so that you can be equipped with the right know-how in about payroll service.

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Mobile-Free Life – 9 Pathways to Retaking Control of Your Lives, Loves, and Relationships

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Distraction is a killer!

Distraction kills both people and relationships. The evidence for this is mounting daily; ignore it at your peril. The average amount of time spent in the cyber world by each of us is between five and six hours per day. Hey, I’m not looking at my smartphone or tablet that much! So, someone else must be doing my share on top of their own.

Texting while driving is an epidemic in our country today. One in four accidents is caused by it, resulting in 330,000 serious injuries. It’s scary, isn’t it? Studies in performance psychology consistently show youngsters underperforming in exams when their smartphone is on the desk – not switched on, not used, just available and within reach – in comparison with when it is absent.

In business, the smartphone is ubiquitous, which means that we are all less productive than we can be. Because our attention is divided between “here and now” and “there and then,” our interpersonal communication and relationships are suffering hugely. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are 9 pathways to greater control over your life and loves.

1. Meditate at least once a day. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus inwards, and be uncoupled from all the usual stuff. Allow your unconscious mind to innovate.

2. Be mindful of the proven side effects your smartphone has on you, both physically and emotionally. Be aware of stress so that you can combat it. When you find yourself squeezing and scrolling frenetically, take a deep breath, count to ten, and start again.

3. Focus on your purpose in going to your devices. When you realize you are multitasking in ways such as talking and typing, or texting and driving, just stop with the secondary task. Get back to the primary job in hand. You’ll do a much better job of it and hopefully live to tell the tale.

4. Be sure to listen and respond with empathy when you are talking on Skype or WhatsApp, etc. Concentrate on the voice tone in your ear and their silences. Check your understanding of the messages they are sending you. Deal with others as you want to be dealt with.

5. Censor your desire to check your phone when in the company of others. When it rings or vibrates, you may experience the fear of missing out on “something.” The feeling will pass, and the world will keep on turning. Nothing is more important than authentic communication with the person in front of you.

6. Limit and schedule time for your device usage. It’s only a tool! A means to your ends. Every time you find yourself reaching out to the Internet, ask yourself, “is this the best way to accomplish this task?” Each small step will loosen the bonds that ensnare your mind.

7. Share your rationale with any people you interact with if there is a pressing personal or business need to be available. Never place your device between you and your colleagues, family, or friends. Rather, say something up front like; “There’s a chance I may have to take a call. Please excuse me if that happens while we’re talking.”

8. Dare I say, stop it with the selfies and the food pictures? Think of the time and resources involved in posting, replying, and checking. What could you do instead? How about check in with a customer? Or call your partner or parents, to let them know you are thinking of them. Every minute spent online is one NOT spent on authentic interaction with people in front of you.

9. Recognize you are addicted to your device if IT sleeps nearby. If it’s the last thing you see at night and the first thing you reach for in the morning, then you are in trouble. Time to wean yourself from checking emails or social media at every opportunity. More than once a day is an expensive habit. The bedroom is no place for smartphones. Be mindful of two things: 1) We all need a calm state of mind to achieve restorative sleep. 2) We are at our best and most creative immediately after sleep. Take time to listen to your thoughts before plunging into the cyber whirl.

Smartphones, the Internet, and social media are here to stay. They are fantastic modern servo-mechanisms. But there is also danger in them when we become their slaves. The answer to this postmodern dilemma is mindfulness, pure and simple. So, retake control and have a wonderful, mobile-free life!

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6 Things To Consider Before You Buy A Smartphone

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Today, smartphones have become part of our busy lives. They are used for surfing the internet, saving documents on the web servers, taking pictures, and talking to friends and family. Since there is a huge variety of smartphones in the market, you may not be able to make a choice so easily. So, we have put together some things that you should consider before buying one. Read on to find out more.

1. Build quality

The durability of a cell phone depends upon the build quality. The smartphone market offers two types of builds: plastic and metal. You can also find some phones that feature glass-coated panels. If you worry about dropping your phone, you should go for a plastic or metal build.

If you drop these phones from a height of two to three feet, the metal body can withstand the fall keeping the internal chips safe.

2. Display

The choice of the resolution of the screen depends upon the way the smartphone is used. For instance, if you love watching videos and downloading stuff from the internet, you can go for a phone that features a screen of at least 5.5 inches. And the resolution must be at least Full HD.

If your phone has a screen that is bigger than 6 inches, you will find it harder to carry the handset around. Also, if you are going to use the phone for simple browsing and chatting online, a 5-inch display screen can be more than enough.

3. Processor

The processing power of a phone is different based on the device model, bloatware and OS version. If you need to edit images and videos on your phone or you want to play advanced video games, you should go for a phone that features Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 at a bare minimum. This will make it easier for you to use multiple apps at the same time.

4. Camera

If you go for a camera that features a 16MP back camera, don’t assume that the image quality will be great. The quality of photos depends upon a lot of factors like autofocus, pixel size, ISO levels, and camera aperture, to name a few.

The image size will be bigger if you go for a camera that is16MP, for instance. So, you should keep this in mind when considering this feature of the phone you are going to purchase.

5. Battery

The usage of the battery varies from one person to another based on how they use their phone. For instance, if you play heavy games or watch HD videos on your phone, you should go for a handset that features a 3500mAh battery. For average users, a smaller battery can also do the job.

6. Storage

The OS takes up most of the memory space on your phone. Therefore, you should go for a phone that has at least 32GB of storage space. But if you want to store a lot of huge files, we suggest that you use a phone that allows you to insert a microSD card.

In short, if you are going to buy a smartphone, we suggest that you consider the factors given in this article.

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How to Give Mind-Blowing Blow Jobs

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No matter what you call it, a blow job, giving head or fellatio, one of the first things you encounter when you start sucking cock is your gag reflex. Most men seem to want to force their cocks down your throat as far as they can get it (particularly at the moment when they cum!). As mentioned earlier, it’s a man’s nature to want to thrust his cock into you as far as he can get it, particularly at the moment when he cums. If he wants all of his cock in you, can you take it all in? Do you want to take it all in (do you actually even need to take it all in)? Consider this: the length of your mouth from your lips to the back of your throat is about 3″ to 3½”, while the average cock’s length is 5″ to 5½”. The laws of nature would seem to say that getting all of that cock into your mouth is impossible. But the laws of sex say that you’ll want to get all of it inside you.

Many women can do it and so can you. You can take as much of his cock into you as you want. You simply take as much of it into your mouth as will fit there, and then slide your throat down over its head until the rest of it is in your mouth and your face is buried in his bush. It’s called deep throating, and when you really get into cock sucking you’ll probably want to do it. The term was made popular in the ’70s porno movie of the same name starring the (now) infamous Linda Lovelace. She wasn’t the first woman to do it by any means: women have been taking men’s cocks down their throats for centuries she simply popularized the term used today.

Can anyone learn to perform deep throat? Yes and no. For example, if you have a very small oral cavity and are attempting to slide a very large penis into your throat, no matter how great your desire it may just be physically impossible. That said, in most cases, with some practice the “average” woman can easily deep throat the “average” penis. Extremes, either way, are rare. Do you really need to do this to give great head?

You can give your man fabulous head without using your throat. Remember, most of the action occurs at the head of his cock – taking any more of it into your mouth is simply the icing on the cake. You can use your mouth on the head of his cock and your hand on its shaft and put him on cloud nine. But, maybe you’re the kind of women who likes both the cake and the icing, and is willing to work for it – even if it means burying your face in his bush. Although most men will be satisfied with the cake, there aren’t many men who would turn down the icing if offered. You need to try it enough to discover if you get any pleasure from this act – if you’ve given it a good try and simply don’t like it, then don’t do it he’ll understand. And, it’s especially fulfilling to deep throat someone that isn’t expecting it. Their eyes grow as large as a silver dollar when you slide the whole length in for the very first time! Why would you want to learn to deep throat?

Four reasons immediately come to mind:

First, it is visually arousing. Very visually arousing! Many of you have seen videos or pictures of a woman deep throating an erect penis. It is a very erotic image, especially watching her neck and throat expand and bulge as the penis slides in-and-out and one that all men get off on!

Second, if you don’t like the taste of your man’s semen but he wants to ejaculate in your mouth, when you perform deep throat the head of his penis is in so deeply that it extends past the taste buds that are on the back of the tongue. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the taste, it is not as strong when done this way.

Third, it a power thing for a woman to do. He must completely trust her. She has all the control.

Fourth, when done right, with enthusiasm and skill, most men find it very, VERY pleasurable. Imagine your delight when you hear your man moan with pleasure as you do things to his penis that most men only dream of!

What does it feel like for your man?

Most men report that they feel a “pleasurable ring of tightness” around the circumference of the penis just below the head with the most pleasurable sensation focused on the underside of the cock where the head joins the shaft (by the way, this area is the most sensitive region on the penis. When done correctly, you can bring your man to a very powerful orgasm just by sucking and licking on this spot). Almost no one says they dislike the feeling. This sounds WAY too difficult!

It’s actually fairly easy to learn to “take it all in.” Getting his cock in your throat is easy – getting your throat used to it being in there is what takes practice. While it might be a tad boring, if you understand the anatomy of your mouth and throat, you’ll see how easy it really is to take his hard cock down into your throat. The biggest obstacle to getting it into your throat is not the size of either his cock or your throat – it’s that sharp bend behind your tongue at the entrance to your throat. Stand in front of a wall mirror and use a hand mirror to get a good side view of your head and neck. Open your mouth wide tilt your head as far back as you can and see how your open mouth almost lines up with your neck. There, that bend is almost gone. Check out your guy’s cock – feel how flexible it really is – especially the end of it. Look at the shape of its head; you’ll note that there will be no problem sliding it around that curve.

A little more anatomy – yours this time. Recall that the length of your mouth (the oral cavity) is 3″ to 3½” from your lips to what I’m going to call the back of your throat (the vertical part of your throat that you see when you look in a mirror). Your trachea – the tube to your lungs – is at the front of your neck (you can feel it with your fingers). Your esophagus – the tube to your stomach – sits behind the trachea. Your throat – which is vertical and about 4″ long – connects your mouth to your esophagus in a straight line. When you take anything into your mouth, your tongue rises against the rear part of the roof of your mouth (the soft pallet with its attached uvula) to close off your throat. When you swallow, your tongue whips backwards and shoots whatever is in your mouth down your throat and into your esophagus. There’s an opening in the front side of your throat that leads into the larynx (the entrance to your trachea). The larynx has a flap or lid – the epiglottis – that closes off the larynx to prevent anything from entering your trachea (e. G. His cum) when you swallow. The larynx also contains your vocal cords. The amazing thing about this arrangement is that it lets his cock slide from your mouth down to the bottom of your throat without entering your larynx or disturbing your vocal cords.

Your throat is about 2″ wide at its entrance (a little less from front-to-back as it passes behind the larynx). It’s somewhat bigger in diameter than the “average” cock. The entrance into your esophagus from your throat is only about 1″ in diameter, so his cock generally won’t go into your esophagus without lots of practice and conditioning. So, the math says that you can easily slide your mouth and throat down over a cock that is about 7″ to 9″ long and about 1½ ” to 2″ in diameter. How does this compare to the size of your man? (Answer: these statistics encompass more than nine out of every ten men) Doing so will have your lips pressed against his groin and have the head of his cock just pressing against the bottom of your throat. It makes a nice fit your guy’s cock will just about fill your mouth and throat, you’ll like the feel of it filling you up.

Sounds great in theory, but can I really do it?

Let’s use an analogy that all you contact lens wearers will readily understand. Remember the difficulty you had overcoming the involuntary urge to blink the first few times you tried to put in your lenses? And, for those that wore hard contacts, do you remember the moderate discomfort and copious tears the first time they were placed in your eyes? But with practice and patience you were able to stop tearing, stop experiencing any discomfort, insert them on the first try, and (by gradually increasing the amount of time they were in your eyes) get to where you could keep them in all day. The same applies to deep throating! In the same way that you really wanted to learn to wear your contact lenses, if you really want to learn to give deep throat, are patient, and practice the techniques described in the next several sections, and you’ll be a world-class deep throater in no time at all! I promise! Go ahead and give it a try.

What I’m going to suggest is that you should do some homework before you try to deep throat a real live cock. While technical discussions about anything as pleasurable and emotional as sex is no fun, on the other hand you don’t want to run into any unpleasant surprises that will turn you off before you experience the pleasures of deep throating. You’ll need to learn some simple details that’ll help you overcome your gag reflex and control your breathing before the pleasures of deep throating can really be enjoyed.

Obviously, one of the first things you probably encountered when you started sucking his cock was a gag reflex when it went too far in. It’s the natural tendency of your body to gag when a foreign object, such as a deeply thrusting cock, is trying to slide down into your throat. But with practice you can learn to control your gag reflex. You then learn how to relax your tongue so you can slide his cock past it and down into your throat (you also have to learn to control your tongue during the entire time you’re deep throating).

In fact, there’s really not much learning involved. You’ve already gotten used to having his cock in your mouth – now all you have to do is get used to having it in your throat. Here’s what you do: get yourself a soft, flexible dildo of the “proper size” so you can practice with it in private at your leisure (the solid jellies are the most comfortable). You may want to get what is called a “double dong” so that you’ll have something straight with enough length to hold on to – 1¼” in diameter and about 10″ long (!) is a good size to start with. Most cocks are not much bigger in diameter and you need one this long to find out how much cock you can take. If your guy’s cock is bigger in diameter, then also get one that is about ¼” to ½” wider than his penis (after you’ve mastered the one-and-a-quarter you’ll want to practice on the larger size so that you’ll know that you’ll be successful when it’s time to perform on the real thing). Huh, you want me to swallow what?

You just use the dildos to limber up the muscles of the throat: start with the smallest and work your way up (since the muscles in the throat are like any other muscle in your body you’ll find that they will limber-up and expand the more you practice). Remember that the tighter the fit, the better it feels for your man. And, depending on the size and shape of your throat, you may even be able to breathe slowly through your mouth (maybe even through your nose) after you get the dildo past your pallet and down into your throat a ways. Otherwise, learn to time your breathing with the in-and-out strokes of the dildo. Note: NEVER, NEVER, EVER practice on hot dogs, sausages, cucumbers, zucchini, or even peeled bananas. They can break-off in your throat and choke you! You’ve got a really strong gag reflex? Then try this –

If you don’t have any adverse reaction to the medicine, dissolve one-or-two Cepacol (or equivalent) sore throat lozenges in your mouth about 15 minutes before you start to practice with the dildo (they will mildly anesthetize your throat and will help eliminate the gag reflex until you get used to having it in your throat). An alternative method is to place ½ teaspoon of liquid Oragel (a medicine normally used to numb the gums when experiencing tooth pain) in a syringe, place the syringe on the back of your tongue, squirt in the contents onto the back of your throat, and swallow. After a minute-or-so your throat will be completely numb. The effect will last about 5 minutes, provided you don’t drink anything (just don’t over do it – never use more than two dosages per evening, as more could make you sick). Be careful though and don’t get too aggressive with the dildo when your throat is anesthetized or you could bruise the lining at the back without feeling it.

By the way, you may think you see a short cut here (but there really aren’t any short cuts when learning to be a virtuoso, right?): why not just deaden your throat, skip all of this practice, and go straight to doing your man? Great concept, except that the same medicine that is deadening your gag reflex will also deaden the nerve endings in his penis after just a couple of thrusts. Your short cut into the world of deep throating will then come to a screeching halt as he loses his erection. If you’re wondering whether all of this is worth it, remember the old adage: if you’re going to do something, do it right the first time!

Prior to starting, be sure that the dildo (and, eventually, his cock) is thoroughly lubricated. THIS CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED! Strangely, an excellent lubricant is the makeup remover Albolene (it is completely odorless and tasteless, is non-toxic, and has the added benefit of warming as it melts!) – it can be purchased at any local pharmacy. Another alternative is heavy mineral oil (also available at the local pharmacy). Just note that saliva is not enough, particularly when you’re starting out! I

To start, you want to be as relaxed as possible (yeah, right!). Take a long, hot bubble bath. Drink a glass of wine. Put on some relaxing music. When you’re ready to practice you want to be as comfortable as possible. Now that you know what you’re pushing it into, open your mouth and slowly slide the dildo in as far as you can without gagging. Hold it there and breathe normally, until you’re comfortable with it this deeply in your mouth. When you put something in your mouth, you begin to salivate. It’s difficult to swallow the saliva with the dildo in your mouth (since it will interfere with your tongue as it tries to drive things out of your mouth and down your throat). You can go through the motions of swallowing with the dildo in your mouth (but you probably won’t swallow much if it’s very far in). If you do get the urge to swallow, do it, it won’t hurt anything and you can’t really swallow the dildo (or his cock when the time comes for that). For most women, swallowing suppresses the gag reflex, so practice swallowing with the dildo in your mouth – starting with it just past your teeth and continuing until it’s all the way down your throat. (Hint once you’ve mastered the basic technique, try swallowing when you get his cock in your throat, it feels great to him).

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Accounting Outsourcing Services Are Best For Business Management

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Every entrepreneur loves to create new resources for its business and he/she also wants to find best business solutions for the overnight success of his/her business. They remain engage in checking all the business records and finding mistakes. They don’t want to compromise on accuracy of business accounts.

On the other hand, new business owners really don’t like to check business records and doing paperwork because it is very tedious job for them. However, they struggle in order to manage their business accounts efficiently. In most of the cases, new business entrepreneurs fail to manage business accounts due to lack of accounting knowledge. In such kinds of circumstances, accounting outsourcing services can be proved a great helping-hand. These services are ideal for preparing financial statements, filing tax returns and improving the efficiency of business.

Most of the people cannot distinguish between bookkeeping and accounting services. Let me tell you that these services are separate but related to each other. Bookkeeping is the name of keeping your financial records up-to-date and correct and this may include issuing invoices, entering bills and reconciling the checkbook. These types of activities are included in the bookkeeping services. On the other hand, financial or accounting management is the name of using bookkeeping records and applying information to produce reports for filing the tax returns. Accounting outsourcing services can perfectly handle all kinds of accounting problems of your business firm.

There is no more need to make hectic search for finding best accounting services because accounting outsourcing services are ideal for managing all types of business accounts. Luckily, business people are getting conscious about getting these accounting services for the betterment of their business. Success of every business largely depends on preparing good accounting system. However, if you don’t have a good accounting system that can manage accounting issues of your business firm then you must take the help of accounting outsourcing services.

You will not have to visit different accounting firms for getting these services because you can get best accounting services through internet. Several accounting outsourcing services are available on the world of internet and you can choose any of them to deal with your business accounts. This is one of the best ways to get better accounting services at affordable prices. Most of small business owners are always looking for the finest accounting services at affordable prices and online accounting outsourcing services are best for such small business owner.

Efficient accounting services are crucial for improving profitability and management of your business. I have personally observed that most of small business owners don’t have enough time to spend on preparing financial statements and filing tax returns. Therefore, they prefer to find best accounting outsourcing services that can handle all the accounting matters of their business. They also give preference to such reliable accounting outsourcing services because these can be attained in affordable prices and are much better than accounting software. Every small business owner can easily afford these services for managing business accounts in the best way.

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How to Open a Halfway House Or a Recovery Home

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To begin with, let us tell you that this article is going to smash any preconceptions out there regarding opening a halfway house in the USA. You do not need a license, permit, or any other document to open a halfway house. If any person, government official, government agency, zoning commission, etc. tells you otherwise, they are engaging in illegal and unfair practices. Know your rights (see bellow links to know your rights).

NATIONAL LAWS (ADA) ALWAYS SUPERSEDE LOCAL LAWS.

Just for a hypothetical situation; let’s say that 3 people who have depression decide to become roommates in a home. Should they be shut down and kicked out of the neighborhood because of their disability? Does that mean they have to get a license or permit to stay? Of course not. They are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), as well as other determinations (see links below) against such discrimination. Havingchemically dependent persons in a home is no different!!! Alcoholics and addicts have the same laws to protect them.

It is a well known fact that City Councils have tried to stop halfway houses in their neighborhoods by stating that a halfway house with alcoholics and/or addicts, in other words disabled persons, (and alcoholics and addicts qualify as disabled under the ADA), must not have roommates (as in 2 people in a room at a house), which prevents most halfway houses from opening.

If you have a house, and you want to open a halfway house, and your mortgage payment is $700.00 per month (see additional expenses at the bottom of this paragraph), there are many things to consider before accepting residents into your house. Let’s say, hypothetically, you follow licensing and zoning guidelines. With the average charge to a resident with a substance abuse problem, being around $125.00 per week, you can see that if you went with what the license division / politicians tell you, (which are illegal tactics), you would be out of business shortly. Keep in mind that in addition to your mortgage payment are things such as: utilities, phone service, water, food, furniture, cooking utensils, beds, sheets- basically everything you would need to survive, etc.

On the other hand, if you did not license your house, you could put in 2 or 3 people in a room and keep your halfway house open. In other words, helping others to get a hand up at living sober. Please read more details below…

NATIONAL LAWS (ADA) ALWAYS SUPERSEDE LOCAL LAWS.

How to open a Recovery Home, Halfway House, Sober Living Home OR starting a Half Way House/Recovery Facility*- Resources to assist you. This article includes information on the standards and requirements of opening and operating a Halfway House/Recovery Home- NOTE: Not every county in the United States approaches standards and licensure in the same way- it is best to contact your local licensure department and/or zoning division.

The first thing you should know about opening a halfway house is that you do not need a degree or special certification to open one, and that most operate without a license/permit. Also, under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and The Fair Act Amendment, as well as other determinations, makes it illegal to discriminate against halfway houses and the people who own, operate, and live in them. Please see our links below for more information concerning these issues. There are a number of other important issues to cover concerning opening a halfway house that are vital to know.

You must first decide where you will operate. Once you have determined a location you have a choice in whether to license* the facility or not. There are also other permits, inspections, zoning variances, etc. to explore prior to opening up a halfway house. Please keep in mind that it is your choice whether to obtain a license, permit, and other certifications for the operation of a halfway house. If you choose to open a halfway house without a license, there are certain parameters you must operate under to make sure you are not shut down by the county/city you operate within. It is always best to check into what is required, allowed, and not allowed by contacting your local licensure agency and zoning department.

Most halfway houses that are not licensed are mandated to NOT provide on-site counseling or other wrap-around services- to avoid additional

paperwork and hassles, you could provide these services at a local church or other building. Most halfway houses that are licensed may need to

obtain a zoning variance, simply because (in the eyes of politicians) you are basically operating a business in a residential area. You may find that

because you are licensing it, the county (Zoning Commission) will limit the number of people you can have in any one room and at any one residence.

A halfway house that is going through the licensing process (and this may take months, even years to work out) will be required to have certain

structural adaptations made (water/fire sprinkler lines installed- which is very expensive) wheel chair accessible, parking and traffic issues to deal with, etc.

There are some overhead details to work out before you start taking in residents. You should know how many residents you will have in each room, what you are going to charge each resident, and what services are included in this cost or rent. You may also have to contend with residents coming in with no money, or that some residents will be late and/or short of the entire rent monies owed. It’s up to you how you handle these situations. If you have a house ready to use as a Halfway House (providing you have decided whether to license it or not) and your mortgage payment, for a 4 bedroom home, is $700.00 per month (estimate), you will also need to factor in start-up and continued costs like food costs per week, water and utility costs, household needs, (paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, cleaning chemicals, phones, etc.), as well as monthly and yearly costs, (beds and sheets, TV, computer(s), Internet connection, towels and face clothes, shampoo, dishes and utensils, pest control services, vucuum(s), maintenance, etc.)- basically everything you would need if you were starting from scratch in a new home (considering you have nothing on hand) only this time it is for X number of people. Also include additional items, if licensed, like license and permit charges, health inspection fees, reports, paperwork and filing, accounting, etc. With the above example you can clearly see that many licensure and zoning variances would limit you to having only 4 people at your house, so meeting your overhead is not possible- you would be operating in the red every month.

Fair Housing Act

A case in point (actual court case) in which, for a period of more than 1 year, a city violated the provisions stated within the Fair Housing Amendments

Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3619) and denied the operating of a Halfway House within a residential area.

In an effort to assist individuals, agencies, religious affiliations, etc. open recovery places and tackle the unfair and illegal tactics politicians and others are using to stop them, NICD has put together some basic, and very needed, resources to aid in the journey. Counties are using zoning

codes/variances to try and control halfway houses/sober living homes and the total census allowed within these centers. Some of the bias is a

NIMBY, (Not In My Back Yard) situation, while others include property value concerns. In any case, the reasons for discrimination and unfair tactics are not based on fact or material circumstances. These counties and individuals are in violation of the law as it relates to the ADA, (Americans With Disabilities Act), Section 36.209 section 510 which describes alcoholics/drug addicts as people with disabilities. The Federal Fair Housing Act, (see link below), 42 USC section 3604(f)(2) makes it unlawful “to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling because of a handicap.” The 42 USC section 3604(f)(3)(B) provides that unlawful discrimination includes failure to make “reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices.

providing some resources that you can use in starting up a program.

There are numerous obstacles to overcome in trying to open up a halfway house for alcoholics and/or drug addicts. NICD will attempt to help you by

Note: Please feel free to copy/print this page, as we have waived the copyright for this page only.

Some additional concerns you may encounter:

The next section has some rules that should be a part of any quality run halfway house. In addition to these is a section for navigating your way

through getting your residents into benefits and entitlements.

Specific: Halfway Houses Rules- A good halfway house should have rules. We have constructed some that we feel are essential.

RULES & REGULATIONS

IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE

*Being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

*Possession of alcohol/drugs

*Possession of weapons

*Threats either verbal or physical, or acts of violence, fighting

*Property destruction or altering the physical construction of the premises, including interior walls

*Failure to submit a U/A (which are always at your cost)

*Unaccountable or discrepancies in times off of premises

*Lies, either found on your intake paperwork or otherwise, stealing, unusual behavior, and any criminal activity

*Failure to comply with rules and/or staff directions

1. You are required to attend at least 3 12-Step meetings per week, have a program book, (Big Book, NA Text, etc.), and have your meeting slip

signed by a member of the group, and not another resident, and attend on-premises “House Meetings” which are held 2 times per week, 1-2 hours per meeting.

2. House meeting attendance is mandatory, (which means you must arrange for employment that does not interfere with these meetings), there are

no exceptions to this rule.

3. For the first 30 days you are to remain on premises, (during this time you are expected to be working on your steps), and must arrange 12-Step meeting attendance with another resident who is not on restriction, and this must be pre-approved by the house manager.

4. You are required to sign-out when leaving the premises, and sign-in upon return- all leaves must be pre-approved by the house manager in

advance, and any inconsistencies in leave times are grounds for discharge.

5. Rent must be paid every Friday directly to the house manager, and kept up to date without exception.

6. You must see the house manager at least 1 time per week to discuss your recovery program- it does not count as a visit to discuss program while paying rent, unless the house manager chooses to do so.

7. You must obtain a Home Group and a Sponsor (You must provide a contact name and phone number), within the first week of residency, and this will be verified.

8. You must have Steps 1,2, and 3 in writing, and present these in the House Meeting by the 3rd week, along with a copy to the house manager.

9. You are required to be employed full time, and you are not permitted to quit a job without first discussing it with the house manager, (employment status will be checked on periodically).

10. There are certain types of employment that are not allowed, and you must speak with the house manager

11. No cab driving, working in bars, clubs, or places that sell alcohol.

12. Your room must be kept neat, with your bed made at all times, rugs vacuumed, toilet cleaned, kitchen area clean, which means absolutely no

glasses, dishes, forks, knives, spoons, etc. left in the sink at any time, and any trash disposed of in a timely manner.

13. You will be assigned daily and weekend chores (these are mandatory as part of your stay).

14. All vehicles will have current tags and insurance, and this must be verifiable. Also, there will be no storage of vehicles, and no working on vehicles on the premises.

15. Bikes and other modes of transportation must be stored in the appropriate locations, and security for these are at your own cost.

16. Any situation that requires police involvement must be discussed with the house manager before the police are called, (any police involvement

without house manager approval will be grounds for discharge).

17. There are absolutely no visitors allowed on premises without prior approval from the house manager.

18. There will be no congregating outside, no loud music or discussions, no walkmans, caps, sunglasses, bandanas, or inappropriate dress allowed, and you are required to attend to daily hygiene needs.

19. No one is allowed in another residents room- period.

20. There are no sharing of clothes, personal property, loaning money, borrowing vehicles, including bikes by either staff or residents.

21. You may be requested to submit to a U/A at any time, which may include either with cause or without.

22. Any resident who is aware of a rules infraction and does not notify the house manager immediately will be subject to discharge, which includes

finding out later that you knew about it.

23. All rooms are subject to inspections at any given time, and any room that does not pass inspection may cause all residents in that room to be

discharged.

24. Smoking is not allowed in rooms.

25. There will be no illegal hook-ups of cable, or use of cable boxes. Cable hook-ups will be done legally, at your cost, and your risk. If bills are not current you will be required to cut-off services until the bill is paid for.

26. Phone hook-ups are your responsibility, as are the bills that go along with it.

27. Any cooking done by residents requires immediate clean-up.

28. Any delegation, directive, or request that is made by staff will then become a rule.

29. Any medical conditions and/or injuries must be brought to the attention of the house manager.

30. Calls to 911 for medical conditions, injuries, etc. must be approved by the house manager before calling.

31. If there is an emergency, call 911, and then notify the house manager immediately.

32. Any and all medications, including pain pills, psych. meds, aspirin, Advil, cold, flu, sinus, etc. will be kept, and locked up by the house manager and dispensed according to the instructions on the bottle- any Rx. or

33. House shut downs will occur if chores are not done, the grounds and buildings are not cared for, rooms are not kept clean, or general attitudes are not in line with house etiquette, and is done so at the discretion of the house manager.

34. All rules and regulations are subject to additions and changes at the house managers discretion.

This is not a complete list of all the possible rules and/or violations that may happen, so to insure a healthy, happy, drug and alcohol free recovery

environment please do your part to use common sense when it comes to either doing or not doing something that may affect yours and others

continued stay.

Finally, staff will not take the role of cop, lawyer, or investigator. This means discharges will occur without investigation of who did what, what was said, who is, or who is not at fault.

The NIMBY Syndrome, (Not In My Back Yard), is one area that an owner of a recovery home / halfway house will have to contend with. It is usually best to address this issue up front before you open, or before construction is started. Your local Zoning Commission office should be able to provide information on the area you plan on opening the halfway house in. The census bureau can provide information on the neighborhoods make up, (economic base, average salaries made, gender average, average cost of homes in the area, and other good information to educate yourself with).

Check to see if there is a homeowners association, as that could be your best bet in getting to know your neighbors, and them getting to know you.

You should plan on going to one of their meetings before you open, but definitely after you have been armed with the information that you know will come up for discussion. Some concerns will be on whether or not you will accept violent offenders, psychiatrically unstable residents, how your home will affect property values. You can convince people that you plan on running a safe, drug free, and strict program by bringing a copy of your intake protocol and halfway house rules. Let them know how you plan on handling the situation when one of your residents comes up positive on a drug

screen. You should develop, in writing, protocols for dealing with this and other situations- there should be a plan of action that all staff and residents are to follow in any given situation. There will be some fear there, as no one wants a drug addict discharged/kicked out in their neighborhood at 1:00 A.M. on a weekend or any other time.

You need to arm yourself with the facts and also how you will handle all sorts of possible situations. If you take the lead and let your neighbors know, before they ask, what they can expect from you, you will go far in gaining their trust. Just be sure you follow through as you promised. It will pave the way to open another site, if you want to, if you have a great relationship with those that live around your halfway house.

In six major studies of communities where halfway houses were opened, no significant change in average housing prices could be found (MacNeil & Kappel, 1986, Part III.A.).

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