What Employee Benefits Are Required By Law

Employee benefits are very important to many. Sometimes they can determine whether potential employees will accept your offer and work for you instead of going to your competitors.
employee benefits
There are two types of employee benefits: those the employer has to provide by law and optional benefits a business owner may decide to offer their employees in order to motivate them to stay. Among the required benefits there are social security and workers’ compensation. Optional benefits may include various things such as medical insurance coverage and retirement benefits. Regardless their type, all these benefits may have tax and legal implications for the business owner.

This is a brief overview of the employee benefits required by law and their implications for the employer.

Social Security Tax

The employer has to pay Social Security tax in an amount equal to the one paid by the employee.

In order for you to learn what you need to do to comply with the legal requirements, you can visit these websites:

Unemployment Insurance

If your business hires employees, you may need to pay unemployment insurance taxes. For this, it is mandatory that you register with your local workforce agency. You can find it on our State and Local Tax page.

Workers’ Compensation

Companies with employees must provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage through a commercial agency or through the state Workers’ Compensation Insurance program. It is also possible to choose the self-insured option. Anyway, you can visit the Workers’ Compensation page for more information on this issue.

Disability Insurance

Partial wage replacement insurance coverage is mandatory in the following states:

If your business is registered in any of the above mentioned states, you must provide this type of insurance to your eligible employees.

Leave Benefits

Most leave benefits are optional and they can be offered as part of the employer’s overall compensation and benefits plan. They include but aren’t limited to vacation jury duty, sick leave, personal leave and funeral or bereavement leave. Nonetheless, it’s mandatory for businesses to offer leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Family And Medical Leave

According to The FMLA, employees can have maximum 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12 months period in any of the following situations:

– Child birth and care or child adoption
– Care of an immediate family member is case of severe health problems
– Care of the employee in case of serious health problems

FMLA requires employers to maintain the benefits for the entire duration of the leave, just as if the employee continued to work normally. It applies to all employees in public administration as well as to employees of companies with more than 50 people. You can find more information on the Department of Labor’s official website.

Employment & Labor Law – Resources

Getting your initial worker as well as developing your own small business team creates with it a whole new area for compliance – employment and labor law.

University_of_Virginia_School_of_Law,_LibraryThese regulations deal with everything from preventing discrimination as well as harassment within the place of work, work environment poster demands, salary and hour regulations and workers’ compensation laws. It is particularly important if you are looking for outside funding or business grants for women or minorities that you be in full compliance with state and federal regulations.

The U.S. Department of Labor oversees federal government employment and labor law; however, individual states have got their particular specific legal guidelines. In order to help you comprehend and comply with these regulations, consider the following small business guides and sources.

  • Find out which National Employment Regulations Pertain to Your Enterprise – This specific online tool from the Department of Labor – the “FirstStep Work Regulation Advisor” – will assist you to determine which laws and regulations pertain to you and how to abide by.
  • State Labor Regulations – Each and every state has its unique regulations that you have to comply. This site contains links to your state labor office.
  • Browse Regulations by Type – Acquire easy-to-understand information concerning a variety of government employment regulations making use of this “eLaws” on the web resource from the Department of Labor.
  • Find Info by Subject – Obtain the most frequently asked search engine terms and themes from the Department of Labor.
  • Employment Law Guide – This in depth guide describes major employment laws and regulations which effect businesses and is intended for people seeking “hands-on” facts to create salary, benefit, safety and health, and nondiscrimination procedures.
  • 10 Steps to Choosing your 1st Staff Member – These 10 easy techniques may guide you through things to do while you hire your first staff member.

The Basics Of Selecting A Good Lawyer

Are you looking for a great lawyer to win your case for you? You may not know what steps to take to get started. This article will help you make the best selection based on your circumstances.

If you find that a lawyer is actively seeking you out, refrain from hiring them. This is typically a scam where lawyers are simply looking for money. Do careful research to hire a lawyer who will work on terms you define.

TIP! Pay attention to your lawyer’s advice, but also make it clear they work for you. Anytime you feel uncomfortable with things your lawyer is telling you, let them know.

Though the expense of a skilled practitioner may be intimidating, you will likely end up saving money in the long run. A lawyer who just handles general legal matters may have to spend more hours learning about the legal implications of your case. A specialist will spend less time and, perhaps, be cheaper.

If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular lawyer, keep looking for a better option. Also, watch out for unreasonable fees. Do not sign over a blank retainer check. Get an estimate so you can keep costs low and they don’t get out of control.

Before signing with a lawyer, ensure you find out if your lawyer has dealt with and won similar cases to your own. There is no guarantee that your lawyer will be able to make all of your problems disappear. If the information isn’t online, they should be able and willing to give it to you.

TIP! Do not hire any lawyer that makes you feel uncomfortable. This also goes for their fee structure.

You should know what you can spend. You may feel like you are correct, but what will it cost you? Be sure you know just how much any lawyer you are thinking of hiring will charge you. Discuss your budget and your expectations before signing an agreement. Make sure you find out what unexpected things could happen to increase your costs.

Don’t hire the first attorney you come across, carefully check out their reputation and seek recommendations if possible. Online reviews, coupled with bar association reports, will give you an accurate idea of whether a certain lawyer is right for you. Doing this will help you avoid wasting your time, your money and your sanity going forward.

Now you know what it takes to get the job done. Just start your search today using the tips you just read. Regardless of what your particular case entails, it is probably the most important thing going on in your life right now so you need to treat everything with the seriousness it deserves.

Solid Tips For Choosing The Best Lawyer

Legal affairs are complicated, no matter what they are. Minimize your fear by hiring a competent attorney. Knowing you are well represented will make a great difference to you, and this article will help you find the best lawyer.

Never hire the very first lawyer that is found when you’re trying to locate one. Do your homework thoroughly, as choosing the wrong lawyer may lead to a negative outcome. Ask others, and find out the things you want to know about lawyers.

TIP! Don’t just choose the first lawyer you come across. But you should seek out a lawyer carefully.

If your case is of criminal nature, then you need to immediately get in contact with and hire a lawyer. You may inadvertently break some law if you try to represent yourself. Lawyers are specially trained for cases like yours, so do not hesitate to trust them.

Speak with lawyers that you’re thinking of hiring to get their fee list. Fees can vary a great deal, depending on the individual’s level of expertise, and you ought to understand what you are getting into. It is highly problematic to lose your attorney after your matter is already underway.

You may be nervous about how much a lawyer, particularly one experienced in your case, will cost. But, don’t be discouraged. The truth is that general practitioners will have to do lots more research than a specialist, which ends up costing you lots of money.

TIP! Never hire a lawyer who approaches you out of the blue. Usually, this is a scam that you will want to avoid, especially if you are going through an issue that is going to cost you a lot of money.

You and your lawyer need to work together to come up with a regular time that you two can touch base. You do not want to be kept in the dark about what is going on with your case. Having a set schedule beforehand can prevent this from occurring.

Always ask your lawyer plenty of questions. Lawyers will be happy to give you updates. If your lawyer does not answer your questions, consider hiring a different attorney.

Use a notebook to write down all the details of any phone call or personal visit with your lawyer. Write down everything from the time and date to whether cash was exchanged. This can help protect you from problems that may arise such as large fees.

TIP! A good criteria in choosing a lawyer is how accessible he is on a normal day. Not being able to reach their lawyer is a very common complaint that people have.

After reading this article, you should have a good grasp on legal proceedings. It’s important to find the right lawyer first. Having a good attorney can help everything go much more smoothly.

Use Personal References To Find The Best Lawyer

It can be hard to find a good lawyer. There are lots of lawyers needing work today, and it can be hard to know which one will actually do a good job. This article is filled with tips that will help you find a great lawyer.

Rule number one of hiring a lawyer: Ambulance chasers are bad news. Usually, this is a scam that you will want to avoid, especially if you are going through an issue that is going to cost you a lot of money. Do your due diligence and hire the best lawyer on your terms.

TIP! You might feel like choosing the first lawyer you visit. But you should seek out a lawyer carefully.

While the high cost associated with the idea of hiring a specialist lawyer may phase you, the fact is that it will often cost you less in the end. The average lawyer will need to spend much more time researching the law pertaining to your case than one who is already familiar with that are of the law, resulting in less hourly fees.

Be sure that your lawyer has won cases similar to your case before you sign any contracts. Just because a lawyer lists that he specializes in cases like yours does not mean that he is able to win your case. If your lawyer is not willing to provide you with information on their past cases, then you should think about hiring a different lawyer for your situation.

Create and stick to a budget. Although you may have a winning case, you need to consider the costs carefully. Always request a written estimate of costs, fees and hourly rates. Schedule a meeting with them to discuss what you can afford and your expectations. Learn what can add to your cost.

TIP! If there’s a specific lawyer really gunning for you, don’t be compelled to hire him. If you are involved in a case that can be costly, they may be trying to scam you.

Lawyer referral services are something you should try. These services can be used to browse through listings of local lawyers. There are certain services that will only recommend highly skilled lawyers. Some of these services list just about anyone though. Investigate their qualifications first to determine the best referral service.

It is important that you get along well with your lawyer. When you are uncomfortable, you need to hire someone else. Be certain you trust your own instincts and choose an attorney whose personality works well with your personality.

General Lawyer

TIP! Choose a lawyer for a reason, not because of a fancy ad, commercial, or slick website. You need to thoroughly research your options so that you obtain the best lawyer.

If you need a specialized lawyer, find out if your general lawyer knows anyone. Lawyers specialize in different things. Your general lawyer will know who specializes in what subject and will give a reliable recommendation. If you are already a lawyer’s client, he will also be invested in your satisfaction, so he is the most likely to give you good advice.

When you need a lawyer, it is vital that you choose the best person to represent you. Take the advice you’ve read here and use it. This choice is important since picking the incorrect lawyer may increase your stress levels.

Read This Before Consulting With Any Lawyer

Most folks have no clue how to go about looking for a lawyer. Not taking the time to choose the right lawyer can leave you with a legal headache. The advice below will assist you in your search.

You need to get a good lawyer immediately if you have been accused of a major crime. This should be done as soon as you are accused to protect yourself. Lawyers are experienced professionals trained to deal with these situations.

TIP! Always get a history of the lawyer to look at before you retain him. Just because the lawyer is allowed to practice does not mean that he is successful.

Real estate lawyers are extremely helpful in legal situations involving real estate, such as buying or selling a home, renting or lawsuits involving any of these subjects. This makes you more likely to win your case quickly and efficiently.

When looking for a lawyer, do not just throw a dart at the Yellow pages! You want to find a lawyer that will represent you well and one who is a specialist in what you need. Even other professionals may not know what they are doing in this situation; they could inadvertently lead you to someone who isn’t licensed or doesn’t know what they are doing. Beware.

Establish a budget before hiring a lawyer. You may have a case, but can you afford it? Research charges and fees of any prospective lawyers. Speak with them about what you are expecting to spend and achieve. Make sure you find out what unexpected things could happen to increase your costs.

TIP! If you have any doubts about a lawyer you interview, find someone who makes you feel more confident. This goes for the fee arrangement, too.

When selecting a lawyer, make certain to research their reputation as much as possible. Your state’s bar association will be able to give you information about any lawyer licensed to practice law in that state. In the long run, the right lawyer can cut your costs significantly.

Make sure that you feel comfortable in every way about the lawyer that you chose. Your lawyer should be experienced, intelligent and friendly with you. If you do not feel this way with your lawyer, you may want to look for another one.

It can take quite a while to find the right lawyer. When you use the advice given in the above article, you’re making your search for a lawyer much easier. You will also increase your chances of choosing a dependable lawyer that will give you their undivided attention.

Tips To Help You On Your Legal Journal

Have you found yourself needing a good attorney to take on your case? Are you not sure how to go about finding one? Continue reading to learn great advice about picking the right attorney for your specific needs.

Learn about your lawyer’s past before you hire him. Having a practice does not make them a good lawyer. Be certain to know the lawyer’s record, so you can feel better about his ability to work well.

TIP! You and your lawyer need to work together to come up with a regular time that you two can touch base. Many lawyers get paid and go without client contact for a long time.

If you’re accused of a crime, you need to find a lawyer immediately. You mustn’t try to defend yourself because ignorance of the law could cause you to break it. From experience, attorneys know the best way to handle your situation.

Be certain every lawyer you interview provides you with a list of fees. The charges can vary widely depending on the lawyer’s experience and skill; therefore, it is best to understand the fees prior to signing any agreement. You do not want to lose your lawyer after your matter has already proceeded because you lack the funds.

Don’t hire a lawyer that finds you. This sort of situation is generally a scam. This is especially true if the situation in which you are embroiled will tend to cost a great deal of money. Spend some time researching lawyers and get the very best one you can.

TIP! If you have any doubts about a lawyer you interview, find someone who makes you feel more confident. The same applies to their fee schedule.

You may wish to have the lawyer on retainer already, in case of the worst happening. This way you are not under pressure, but rather can take your time finding a lawyer that you can trust. Keeping an attorney on retainer affords you the luxury of always having access to good advice.

Don’t just go into the yellow pages and pick the lawyer at the top of the page! It is hugely important to research your choices to ensure you get the best. Make sure to thoroughly research your options before choosing a lawyer. You want an honest representative.

A lawyer with a proven track record with cases similar to yours is invaluable. Simply because your lawyer may be knowledgeable about your case doesn’t guarantee he or she is the right candidate for it. Don’t be afraid to simply ask the lawyer, as well as doing your own research, to find out.

TIP! When you are searching for a business attorney, make sure you get some business recommendations. They may be able to share the name of a great attorney they had success with in the past.

Be wary of handing over a huge retainer to a lawyer for taking your case. Make sure they’ll refund any money not used. You might want to comparison shop, as lots of lawyers will take smaller retainers and bill as you go.

You will feel more confidence when you have a skilled, trustworthy lawyer who is on your side. After reading this article, you can find the attorney you need. Refresh your memory if necessary by reading this article as often as you need while choosing your lawyer.

Need An Attorney? Try This Helpful Advice

Some people have nothing good to say about lawyers, but society still needs them nevertheless. Someday, you might need a lawyer. The lawyer you choose is someone who is going to help you prevail in your case, so you have to choose wisely. The following tips will help you choose a great lawyer to work with.

Don’t just hire the first attorney you talk to. Make sure that you research attorneys thoroughly to avoid making a bad decision. You should ask people you know if they can recommend a good lawyer.

TIP! Don’t just choose the first lawyer you come across. Your research needs to be done well, because you’ll have to pay dearly if you don’t do it.

A specialty lawyer may cost more, but in the long run, it will probably cost you less. If your lawyer is not a specialist, he will have to spend a lot of time on research. That time comes right out of your pocket.

Remember that you are in charge; however, you must pay attention to the information your lawyer shares. That’s what you’re paying for. Do not be scared to say something if you’re unhappy with things they say. The lawyer will want to get you the best outcome, but they are balancing many different clients at once.

If you are not completely comfortable with an attorney, keep on looking for someone else. This also goes for their fee structure. Stay away from signing over blank checks to lawyers, especially ones you do not know well. Legal fees can easily spiral into the stratosphere, so get an estimate so you know how to plan.

TIP! If you are accused of a serious crime, the first thing that you should do is to hire a lawyer. Be sure that you avoid filings by yourself, which may result in problem where you break the law.

Get recommendations from businesses for a good business lawyer. Business people who regularly deal with lawyers probably have better information about them than others would. For instance, if you’re into small business law, talk to an estate broker, banker, accountant, etc. This group of people may be able to provide better information than an impersonal bar association.

Keep track of all of the interactions you and your attorney have. Take note of the day, time, fees paid and anything else that was discussed. This will help you handle any problems that can arise later such as unexpectedly big fees or fees that you can’t comprehend.

Lawyers have been a necessity in civilized society for a very long time. They offer a service, so if you need them, they can assist you. Let what you have learned here get you the lawyer that you need who can do what you need them to do for you, and have great luck winning your case!

The Best Lawyer Tips Can Be Found Below

When people discover that they need a lawyer, they are usually clueless as to how to begin searching. There are so many to choose from, how can one whittle down the list? Read the article below to learn all that you need to look for in a good lawyer.

You always need to be researching a lawyer’s history prior to hiring them. Having a license to practice law does not signify that he is good at it. Be sure that you find out what his track record is like so you can feel confident of his ability to do a good job for you.

TIP! Never hire the very first lawyer that is found when you’re trying to locate one. Be sure to research thoroughly, because lots can be at stake.

If you have been accused in a major crime, you need to find a lawyer immediately. Be sure that you avoid filings by yourself, which may result in problem where you break the law. Lawyers are specially trained for cases like yours, so do not hesitate to trust them.

Be sure that you can always contact your lawyer. Many people feel that it is difficult to stay in touch with lawyers. You don’t want to be left pondering the what if’s just because your lawyer is out golfing.

Don’t play “Pin the Tail on the Lawyer” with the aid of the Yellow pages. Blindly choosing a lawyer is never a good idea. Some lawyers recommended by real estate agents have lost licenses due to malpractice. You need to be careful when making this decision.

TIP! You should know that your lawyer cannot reveal what you tell him in confidence. So if you tell them you’re guilty, your company’s secret recipe or your wife’s age, they can’t tell a soul.

Be careful with lawyers who require large retainers in order to take your case on. If your lawyer requests a large retainer, make sure you know what this is paying for. Try to find lawyers who offer a small retainer, so that you do not have to break the bank with your legal counsel.

Lawyer referral services are an excellent tool. They help you find the best lawyers. They carefully screen according to qualifications and credentials. Some others tend to include any lawyer with the requisite level of liability insurance. To select the right referral service, you must understand the service’s selection criteria.

Find the lawyer who is best for your situation is likely to take some time. Take all the time you need to do some research on different lawyers instead of hiring the first professional you find. Use the information provided in this article to help you locate a good lawyer who puts your interests ahead of anything else.

Tips For Keeping Your Children From Having To Testify At A Divorce Proceeding

Do you need a lawyer to represent you? Thankfully, this article contains excellent tips on the process of selecting a lawyer. Continue reading to learn ideas on selecting the attorney who has the best chance of winning your case.

Do not hire the first lawyer you see. Research thoroughly. If you don’t, you may regret it. You should ask people you know if they can recommend a good lawyer.

TIP! Be certain every lawyer you interview provides you with a list of fees. Legal help can be cheap or wildly expensive, depending on the lawyer, and you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Don’t hire a lawyer who comes to you. This is typically a scam where lawyers are simply looking for money. Really study up and choose a lawyer that’s right for you.

Hiring a specialty lawyer may cost you more up front, but it may cost you less later on. The average lawyer will need to spend much more time researching the law pertaining to your case than one who is already familiar with that are of the law, resulting in less hourly fees.

You need to touch base with your lawyer on a specific schedule. Sometimes, an attorney will get hired and not be heard from for awhile. Establishing a schedule early on will help you avoid these type of problems.

TIP! You have to be able to easily get in contact with your lawyer. Many people find that the attorney they hire is unresponsive.

Although you should always be mindful of any advice provided by your lawyer, understand that this person works for you, not the other way around. Do not be scared to say something if you’re unhappy with things they say. A good lawyer should put your interests first, but understand that your lawyer likely has many other cases in addition to yours.

Talk to your inner circle before you do the research on your own. There could easily be a reputable and fair attorney that has helped one of your friends or family members in the past. This can really save you a lot of stress and money down the road.

If you are not completely comfortable with your attorney, keep looking. If you do not like the way the lawyer will bill you, move on. Don’t sign blank checks for retainers. The lawyer you choose should be upfront about their fees and the time they will spend on your case.

TIP! When searching for a lawyer who specializes in business, try getting recommendations from businesses. Business people who regularly deal with lawyers probably have better information about them than others would.

Keep in mind that lawyers cannot work miracles. If you see a lawyer talk about how he is certain to win your case, it is likely that he is a liar and you should avoid him. There are no guarantees when it comes to the law, so do not fall for a lawyer that claims he always wins.

If your general lawyer isn’t enough for your current case, ask him or her for another lawyer referral. Every lawyer has a field of specialty, and your lawyer is a great resource for finding a great lawyer that can help you with your specific case. Your lawyer will help you out since he will want you to be satisfied.

You will be able to find a lawyer easier since you are more educated about them. It will much simpler to find the lawyer for your needs with the above tips in mind. You will likely benefit greatly from putting this information into practice.

Advice For Gathering Information For An Auto Injury Case

Do you need a lawyer? Keep in mind that just because a lawyer is licensed and has many certifications does not necessarily mean they are the best lawyer for your case. This article will help you find the right lawyer for your individual situation. You won’t be sorry.

Do not go with the first lawyer you happen to find in the phone book or on the web. Be sure to research thoroughly, because lots can be at stake. Getting referrals from friends and family members can really point you in the direction of a great lawyer.

TIP! You really do not want to pick the first lawyer you come across. You might get bad results if you do not take the time to do some research.

When looking through the Yellow Pages, you should never go with the first lawyer you see. This is one choice you need to get right. You may even find that you’ve hired a lawyer without a valid license or one who has been sued for malpractice. Do some research on the professional they recommend.

Before spending hours researching yourself, check with people you know and trust. Friends and family may know of someone who really cared about their case and will show you the same respect. Referrals are a good way to find a lawyer but keep in mind that your friends’ advice might not be a good idea if they have not dealt with similar issues.

Business recommendations can be very effective when retaining a lawyer. They may be able to share the name of a great attorney they had success with in the past. Small businesses should refer to bankers for advice. They will surely be able to tell you about a good lawyer.

TIP! Before you sign up for a lawyer’s services, find out about his or her past. Just because a lawyer is a lawyer doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do.

Make sure your attorney has won other cases similar to yours before you sign a contract. The fact that a lawyer advertises that his specialty is arguing cases like yours will not guarantee he will win your case. If you’re unable to quickly find the information you need online, ask the lawyer himself for it.

As this article already stated, no one lawyer works well for everyone’s legal needs. Understanding the different types of specialties that lawyers have can make it a lot easier to find one that will really meet your needs. Take the above advice to heart, and you’ll make a wise choice.

Critical Tips On The Process Of Finding Good Lawyers

There are lots of reasons you may need a lawyer. When it’s your first time, it can be tough. How can one keep it all under control? Follow the tips presented here to prepare yourself for dealing with attorneys.

Talk to people you know about lawyers they trust. By speaking with friends, neighbors and family, you may be able to get a great suggestion on a lawyer that successfully dealt with a case of theirs. This can be very beneficial and also take the work off of you.

TIP! Get a list of fees for any lawyer you’re thinking about. The charges widely vary from lawyer to lawyer, so you need to know what is in store.

Your lawyer you hire should be one you trust. This is especially important when retaining an attorney for financial matters. Many lawyers ask for blank checks or retainer fees. You must be able to trust them with your wallet. Keep your guard up at all times.

Speak with your lawyer constantly to get the inside scoop on what is going on. If your case has deadlines attached to it, then you must provide your lawyer with anything that is needed. This will help you in the long run.

Overworked lawyers cut corners, and that includes your case. Just come out and ask him or her if they can spend time on your case. They must be honest with regards to their schedule so you’re able to find an attorney that has enough time.

TIP! Find a lawyer who will accept a retainer from you, if something bad were to happen. This way you are not under pressure, but rather can take your time finding a lawyer that you can trust.

It will be easier to work with your lawyer if you get along well. If you don’t feel comfortable with your lawyer, you won’t have a good client-lawyer relationship. You must trust your gut feelings when selecting a lawyer who is easy to work with.

If you want to reduce your costs, see if there are tasks you can perform to avoid fees. You may be able to help by preparing the court paperwork for your case yourself. See if any documents need to be picked up from the courthouse, and volunteer to do this instead of your lawyer.

If you need a specialized lawyer, find out if your general lawyer knows anyone. Keep in mind that each lawyer specialized in one type of legal problem and it is best to get a referral from your lawyer for a lawyer who has extensive experience with the kind of issue you are dealing with. You are likely to get the best advice from a lawyer that is interested in helping you out.

TIP! Think of what your problem really is before looking for a lawyer. Are you 100 percent sure that you require the services of an attorney? For example, a lawyer is needed if you’re charged with an offense, have a lawsuit coming up or if you’re in a divorce.

Do your homework before filing claims, such as your claim for worker’s compensation. All the states vary with their paperwork and filing deadlines. Do not deal with Worker’s Compensation as you would other legal matter, as it is different. It has different rules that must be followed.

Use the power of the Internet to find the right lawyer. Just about every professional has a website these days, lawyers included. First, examine their website to guarantee that they are professional. If the site seems amateurish, that may be a red flag that the lawyer is inexperienced as well.

You should be prepared for exactly what occurs when you do hire an attorney. You have to remember what you have read when searching for a lawyer. It is good advice which will guarantee a smoother process.