Question: can unlicensed alarm co enforce contract
    I feel your daily newsletter is extremely informative and goes a long way to promote professionalism within the industry.  In that regard, I would like to request some information that may be beneficial to us legally compliant companies.
    I believe it’s a fact that a contract cannot be enforced or any collection actions taken against a customer if the company or its agents are or were not when the contract was signed, etc. fully in compliance with all laws pertaining to licensing, being properly registered with the applicable Secretary of State, etc.
    We would like to have a listing of the respective federal and/or Florida and Alabama’s statutes and/or laws pertaining to this matter.
    We have a competitor in our area of northern Florida and lower Alabama selling and installing alarm systems who is not licensed and who is using non-licensed alarm sales agents, etc.  We would like to make this information available to alarm users who have systems bought, installed and/or monitored by unlicensed agents and/or companies and encourage these customers to do business with only licensed companies….  And, this information may help reassure them that to do so is the right thing to do and that they can do so without ramifications.
Thank you.
Dennis Pieta
    Generally, failure to have a license will prohibit the unlicensed company from enforcing its contract.  The rule can be created by courts relying on public policy considerations or from a licensing or other consumer statute.  The rule is most applicable to residential consumers.  You should take the time to report unlicensed activity to the licensing agency.  Hopefully the agency will have the time to pursue and shut down the activity.  If you report to a consumer that a particular company is not licensed be sure you're right - otherwise you leave yourself open to a claim for defamation.  A search of the specific statues or case law is beyond the call of duty for this forum.  You can however engage us to provide such research and provide an opinion letter.
comment on alternate valuation from April 10, 2014 article
    There are many companies that buy based on EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) as opposed to RMR.  These are the integrators and there are hundreds in our industry.  Most of their sales are many thousands of dollars.  As long as a company's history shows continuous, consistent profitability (that's the key) there are multiples to be paid based on that.  So if the EBITDA in a company is $500,000, the valuations today are anywhere from 3-6 X that EBITDA.  Most companies, when calculating also use what's called Adjusted EBITDA.  It's your EBITDA plus all expense items that will not be repeated once the sale is made.  As an example, if you are paying for your car or boat currently through the company, that won't continue so it gets added to your bottom line.  If there are employees, including yourself, who will not be continuing with the company, those incomes are added to the bottom line.  That $500,000, by the time all is calculated, may be well over $1MM.  Multiply that by 3-6 X.  That's a pretty good payday and not contingent on RMR.  Obviously there will be other factors determining worth but Adjusted EBITDA is a major component.  RMR has been the buzzword but not the end all.
Steve Rubin
Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group, Inc.
comment on software from April 9, 2014 article
    Regarding the question from Josh Hudson about software, I’d like everyone know that Astute Financial Consulting is a reseller of SedonaCloud (SedonaOffice hosted). In addition to implementing and supporting SedonaCloud, Astute also provides back office, accounting, and financial reporting/budgeting services. Our overriding objective is to help security companies operate more efficiently and professionally.
Jim Lee, President
Astute Financial Consulting, LLC
Listed in The Alarm Exchange
re electronic time records
Hi Donnetta,
Try this 
Ask for a very nice fellow named Pat Breslin who works there.
Rich Norat
Southfire Systems Inc
    I am reponding to / commenting on looking for electronic time sheets
    We use an excellent product on our technician's cell phones called Field Force Manager.  We get this service through Verizon, but it may be available on others as well.
    This product provides an excellent electronic time sheet,  plus much more.
  >  Tracks employee location
  >  Employees receive their jobs and scheduled times, and are alerted to new jobs
  >  Employees log the time each job is started, paused, or finished
  >  Employees input their job materials used, work performed, etc.
    Basically, it's a combination time card / location tracker / service ticket manager from start to finish.
    I am not affiliated with this product in any way,  but it has worked well for us.
Jeff Kesterson, Owner
Nightwatch Security & Telephone, LLC
Sedalia,  MO

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