We are a long time subscriber to your newsletter and ONLY use your All in One contracts for security alarm system installs.
    We did not however, use your contract on the job below.
    Here is our dilemma:
    We have a customer that we installed (8) security cameras at his home.  We also did some Networking, Electrical, and AV work at the same time.  When the job was over everything was working perfectly.  BUT a few weeks later he thinks he paid too much for the system and wanted his money back. I explained to him that we are not Wal-Mart and that we have signed invoices with his approval of the system being completed to his satisfaction. So the answer is NO we will not refund his money.
    Since then he has contacted the Attorney General and filed a complaint. Of which we responded with our side of the story and no further action was taken. Now, 6 months later I get a call from Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services wanting to meet with me and turn over all documents pertaining to this matter. I told them we would be happy to cooperate but to contact our attorney to setup a meeting and to get a copy of the customers records. I am still waiting for a response back from them.
    Since then I am starting to really think about this and anywhere we could have been at fault. The only issue that I just realized was that during that job one technician carried a DCJS card the other tech did not. The non DCJS tech did not do any programming or setup of the cameras on the clients network, computers, or phones. He mainly pulled wires, did electrical work, AV work, and helped mount and focus the cameras.
    So here are my questions:
1. Should the second tech have been licensed by DCJS if he did not touch any setup or programming of the cameras?
2. And if so, does that make the contract work we performed Null and Void and make us have to refund the customer his money even though it was installed and working properly?
3. Or would this just be a Compliance Agent issue for the Company to be fined for not having all licensed DCJS technicians on site?
    Your input and response would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you,
    Virginia requires registration for the technician and technician assistant.  Your failure to properly register your employees or provide them with identification may be your problem.  There may be other problems.  You undoubtedly violated a number of consumer protective laws, including the 3 day notice of cancellation. Here's the basis of your penalty:
     Va. Code § 59.1-21.7:1. Enforcement; penalties 
    Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a prohibited practice pursuant to the provisions of § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to any and all of the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act of 1977, Chapter 17 (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) of this title.

    You need to be careful dealing with DCJS because it will have broad authority to investigate your business practices,  If it finds that you persistently violate consumer laws you may find yourself involved in consequences well beyond the enforcement of this one contract.
    Generally, failure to have a license will prohibit you from collecting money owed by the consumer.  It won't render the entire contract void if you are using it to defend yourself against a claim, at least it shouldn't.  The best legal advice I can give you is that you should comply with all licensing requirements and all consumer related laws.  A single complaint like the one you now face can bring a house of bricks down on you.  If you have any doubt about license compliance you can check with our licensing department, headed by Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq and staffed by lawyers in our office comfortable researching alarm licensing issues.  
    You purchased contracts from me [www.alarmcontracts.com].  We provided them in proper form, both substantively, format, font and compliance issues.  Your first mistake was not using the contract.  Second mistake was not realizing the potential problems you could stir up by trying to enforce your PO or whatever you used on this deal.  I suspect there other mistake, maybe registering your employees.  
    When faced with investigation by a consumer agency tread carefully.  Be courteous, cooperative, thorough, apologetic, remorseful and pledge future compliance.  Any other approach would be like spitting into the heavy wind.  Best if you engage counsel who understands [and cares about] the authority of the investigator and penalties available.
    Help me separate fact and good practice from fiction on this simple matter,  if you please. 
    I recently converted my IRS tax status from LLC to S-corp. So I did the prudent step and consulted a local law office to fill in the gaps in understanding that my CPA may have left. As a single member LLC or multi-member, at least in my state, now drawing a 'payroll' also commits me to opening an Employer Account with the local agency.  And yes,  paying Unemployment quarterly on the first $14,000 that     I pay myself in draw. But the slap-in-da-face is that I have yet to get an example from the NHES on the theoretical circumstances that I, an owner, could file a legitimate claim for benefits - their answer [on four occasions] is NONE. I have no personal  interest in a claim per se, but seek to avoid the requirements , administerial and otherwise, of opening the account/policy.
    The law office read the statutes used by the NHES and called it a legal conundrum, but the state wins for now. This is both a question to you about your opinion and also a caution to others who may do as I did - convert to S-corp as a further means to build a corporate shield. 
    To be clear, my LLC remains intact while my federal status is S-corp. I'm well into state corporate taxes and also see the tax advantages in shelters using the S-corp, especially as the other LLC members begins increasing draw.
    My second and unrelated question:
    I have been cautioned to always sign for the company using the company name [including 'LLC' suffix] and qualify my personal signature with my title held in the company structure [President, or Manager]. The title can be abbreviated, but the point must be made that I am signing FOR THE COMPANY. 
    I have not seen where you cover this subject. .. signing checks, contacts, or otherwise. It seems to me a very important step in maintaining the corporate shield as best as possible. 
Anon please.
    I recommend a corporation and elect sub chapter S.  
    LLC is OK (but only second choice), especially if you are a single member because then you don't have to file a separate tax return, it's filed on your personal return.   Converting one entity to another is tricky and probably not a good idea.  You should have consulted with Mitch Reitman [he is listed on The Alarm Exchange].  He is accountant to the alarm industry and knows his stuff.
    As for using your corporate title, that is essential if you want to avoid being sued and potentially being held personal responsible.  An agent for an undisclosed principal is going to have personal liability.  If you are signing a document that clearly has the proper entity name, showing the corporate or LLC status, then not using your title is most likely not going to get you into trouble.  The better advice is to always use your title.  For a corporation that means your office title; for an LLC it's usually Managing Member or some other title that shows you are signing on behalf of an entity and not yourself.