Trademarks, Copyrights and Registered Marks: Corporate Website Housekeeping

By Kimi Murakami Among all of the other areas of your business that you need to keep in order, don’t forget your website. Your website is the company’s digital store front to all of your customers and the public. Protecting it is paramount to protecting your brand. Below is a checklist of issues to keep in mind in order to more fully protect valuable company assets. Have you trademarked your business name and logo?  If not, are you using the . . . Read More

Should You Be an LLC or S Corp?

The answer is it depends, as a business owner, on what your goals and objectives are. Both LLCs and S corporations are tax efficient. LLCs and S corporations are both pass-through entities; meaning, generally speaking, the entity itself is not subject to taxation. Rather, the profits and losses flow through to the owners, who either pay taxes on the profits or get to use the losses to offset income. Both LLCs and S corporations protect the owners and management against . . . Read More

Tax-Exempt Parent Companies with For-Profit Subsidiaries

By Kimi Murakami Recently, tax-exempt organizations have inquired whether it was legally permissible to establish a for-profit subsidiary to perform profitable work developed by the non-profit parent. The answer is yes. Like for-profit corporate entities, non-profit organizations are formed at the state level similar to forming for-profit corporate entities. To become tax exempt, once the corporate entity is recognized by the state, it must apply to the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status such as the commonly known charitable organization under . . . Read More

Protecting an LLC From A Wayward Member While Maintaining SBA Eligibility

By Ambi Biggs When creating a limited liability company (“LLC”), members are often so concerned with getting the company established–and anticipating problems that may arise with third parties, be it suppliers or customers–that they fail to consider what will happen if issues arise among the members themselves. This is a mistake.   Usurpation of corporate opportunities, the misuse of company assets and a breach of fiduciary duties are just some of the most common issues that can arise among LLC . . . Read More

Does Your Employee Incentive Plan Create an Early Pay-Out and Exit for Key Employees at the Owners’ Expense?

Business owners have at their disposal a variety of employee incentive compensation tools to attract and retain talent. In terms of employee incentive plan design, business owners work to strike a balance between “carrots”–rewards to employees–and “sticks”–measures to protect the company’s downside if the employee fails to deliver value. What should a properly-designed employee incentive plan do? Generally speaking, a well-crafted employee incentive plan will incentivize key employees to drive value and build the company; and in exchange be rewarded . . . Read More

In a Business Owners Agreement, Should All Owners Be Equal?

Good business planning involves owners of the company developing and entering into a shareholders agreement, operating agreement or partnership agreement (owners agreement). A good owners agreement will allow the owners to plan and prepare upfront for disruptive events in the company’s business life cycle, whether good or bad. And, as part of putting together an owners’ agreement, one of the fundamental questions owners need to resolve is whether all owners should have equal rights. The answer is it depends—in some . . . Read More

Cybersecurity Monday: Who Is Shopping for Your Data?

At this time of year, everyone is shopping for a good bargain. And with “Cyber Monday,” the internet has become the place to go for the best deals. The shift to online and cloud-based information systems and data storage has also opened up a new market for online shopping, trafficked by hackers and other cyber criminals who want to take or corrupt your company’s personal, proprietary, and other sensitive information.   Many small businesses believe that they are not likely . . . Read More

Don’t Slip Up: The “Boilerplate” Provisions of Your Contracts Deserve Equal Attention

Webster’s dictionary offers the following as an alternative definition of the term boilerplate: “tightly packed, icy snow.” No one would knowingly pay little heed to such a potentially treacherous condition, yet every day in contract negotiation parties devote the vast majority of their efforts to the business terms, while glossing over the “boilerplate” provisions. Oftentimes, the assumption is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”—that is, those standard (read: boilerplate) terms you used in past contracts will work just as . . . Read More

Business Entity Alphabet Soup – GP, LP, JV, LLC, C, S, QSSS – What do they mean?

By Kimi Murakami As government contractors, the business universe is likely filled with familiar acronyms. However, one may not be as familiar with the meaning behind the alphabet letters that comprise the different business entities in the corporate world. Choosing the form of legal entity for your company was most likely a threshold issue for starting your business. By forming a company, you can shield yourself from liabilities that will arise by the business. Whether just starting out or if . . . Read More

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Implementing the New Tangible Property Regulations

By Eric Fletcher, Principal with Thompson Greenspon Over the last several years, the IRS has published a series of regulations and rulings that dramatically change how taxpayers must account for the costs of acquiring, repairing, improving and even disposing of tangible property. These new rules represent some of the most significant changes in tax law since the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and they must be adopted no later than the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2014. . . . Read More