More than Meets the Eye: Maintaining your S-Corp

After one starts a small business, he or she usually chooses to operate it as a corporation. If one doesn’t do this, the business is operated as an individual, and the owner’s personal assets are not shielded from business creditors. However, in order to maintain S-Corp status (a business’ corporation status), one must do more than just file articles of incorporation. The process may seem overwhelming, but one’s attorney will be present for the entire process. Essentially, a small business must keep their files with the State up to date, maintain Shareholders and establish corporate documentation. Here are the required […]

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Do you really own your app?

Are you developing a new app, but using someone else to write the code? A “work for hire” contract isn’t enough. Make sure you get an assignment of ownership from your developer. This is to avoid “phantom founders” that later may come back to get a piece of the app.   Are you developing an app? If you are, by taking a few simple precautions early in the development cycle—ideally before you start development—to make sure that you own the app, you could avoid major headaches later. For example, you could find yourself in the situation where someone whom you […]

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Let’s Put It In A Box

Fear, intimidation, uncertainty … This was just a sampling of what was experienced in law school and the subsequent practice of law in the years after. It takes time to get your legal legs under you. Did you have a father, mother, or other close family member available to show you how it’s done? Me neither. So there I went, along with many others, cutting my teeth and reinventing the wheel with late nights and early mornings at the firm. Traveling through small towns and taking depositions. Continuing to buy into the fear and uncertainty. Sigh. Reading and writingFifteen years […]

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FLSA Changes Are Here!

Changes to the FLSA – White Collar Exemption The U.S. Department of Labor’s long-anticipated “Final Rule,” regarding changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was finally issued on May 18, 2016.  It updates the federal white collar overtime exemptions by raising the minimum salary required to qualify as an exempt employee to $47,476 per year.  The Final Rule becomes effective December 1, 2016. What has changed?  — By way of background, under prior regulations, employees needed to meet certain job duties tests and receive wages of at least $455 per week, or $23,660 annually, on a salaried basis to […]

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Are you ready? — Wage and Hour Changes

Will I have to start paying overtime soon?   Astute employers are reviewing available options to mitigate the potential economic impact of the imminent release of new federal Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations. The Department of Labor estimates that average annualized direct employer costs could total between $239.6 and $255.3 million per year. If you’ve been out of the loop and are wondering why this is such a controversial issue, here’s a quick rundown: In June 2015, the DOL announced that it had proposed a rule to increase the required minimum salary for most Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) […]

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Franchise?

What is a franchise business? What does a good franchise agreement look like? Most likely, you have driven by many franchises in your own town or city. Examples of well-known franchise business models include Subway, UPS, McDonalds, and H & R Block. In the United States, there are franchise business opportunities available across a wide variety of industries. Franchises are an extremely common way of doing business. In a franchise, the owners, or “franchisors”, sell the rights to their business logo, name, and model to a third party operator called “franchisees”. The franchisee must first pay an initial franchise fee for the […]

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What is a franchise business and what does a good franchise agreement look like?

Most likely, you have driven by many franchises in your own town or city. Examples of well-known franchise business models include Subway, UPS, McDonalds, and H & R Block. In the United States, there are franchise business opportunities available across a wide variety of industries. Franchises are an extremely common way of doing business.   In a franchise, the owners, or “franchisors”, sell the rights to their business logo, name, and model to a third party operator called “franchisees”. The franchisee must first pay an initial franchise fee for the rights to the business, equpiment and the training required by a […]

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Buying A Business?

Once you and your business buyer negotiate the fine points of a deal, it’s time to schedule the sale closing. A few easy steps will help you lay out what you need to do in advance, during, and immediately following the big day. Step 1. Prepare for Closing Day Here’s a chart outlining pre-closing day tasks. Work with your broker, if you’re using one, and your attorney and accountant to confirm and take the steps necessary in your particular closing. Once each step is taken, review the closing-day materials with the buyer to ensure advance agreement for a smooth closing. […]

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Arbitration vs. Litigation

Should I include an arbitration clause in my contracts?  Here are several factors you should consider when deciding whether to incorporate a mandatory arbitration clause into that contract you are drafting. 1.  Price Arbitration is not necessarily less expensive than litigation; instead, the opposite may be true. Not only is the cost of instituting arbitration more expensive than filing a complaint in court, the parties also must pay the fees of the private arbitration panel, which can include as many as three high-priced lawyers or retired judges. Thus, in a low-dollar dispute, arbitration may be financially impractical. That being said, […]

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Crowd Funding and JOBS Act

I’ve been hearing about this “JOBS” act President Obama signed into law … what does that law do? The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act, is a law intended to encourage funding of United States small businesses by easing various securities regulations.  It passed with bipartisan support, and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 5, 2012.  “The JOBS Act” is also sometimes used informally to refer to Titles II and III of the legislation, which are the two most important pieces to much of the equity crowdfunding and startup community.  Title II went into […]

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