The New Way We Work: Protecting Against the Legal Risks of Telecommuting

It is more likely than not that you have allowed one or more of your employees to work from home, either on a sporadic or regular basis. If not, you may face the challenge soon. The advent of the internet, cloud computing, environmental and community impact incentives, economic efficiency and the realities of our daily lives have made telecommuting extremely commonplace and attractive to many businesses. However, even as telecommuting becomes a widely-accepted method of completing work, many employers have . . . Read More

The Dangers of Operating An LLC Without an Operating Agreement

What could possibly go wrong if you and your fellow limited liability company owners decide to operate your LLC without an operating agreement? Lots of things, many of which could cause you significant financial pain and mental distress. Many business partners who form an LLC decide not to develop and adopt an operating agreement for their LLC because the state in which they are forming their LLC has an LLC Act that provides default provisions absent a written agreement. Thinking . . . Read More

Good News for Offerors who Provide Unique Low-cost Solutions to the Government

The author and playwright Clare Boothe Luce, known for her feline wit, is famously supposed to have said “No good deed goes unpunished.” While that remark may have had validity that in the 1930s New York café society, it should have no place in federal contracting. To that end, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently issued an important opinion that, in effect, reminds the government contracting community that offerors who provide unique low-cost solutions to the Government should not be . . . 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

Once 8(a) Competitive, Not Always 8(a) Competitive

Unlike other sole source authorities for small business programs, such as that recently granted to the WOSB program via the 2015 NDAA, a recent decision from GAO confirms that the sole source authority given to the 8(a) program has very few limits, especially with regard to Tribally-owned entities or Alaska Native Corporations. In the case of Agency Management Concepts, Inc., B-411206 (April 21, 2015), the Department of State (“DOS”) sought to sole source a contract for lock services to a . . . Read More

The Trade Agreements Act: An Unknown Compliance Issue for Small Businesses

Small businesses often enter into government contracts unaware of all the laws and regulations that may apply when selling to the government. One of the laws that is often overlooked is the Trade Agreement Act (TAA). Under the TAA, certain products that are sold to the U.S. Government must originate either in the United States or in one of the countries with which the United States has a special trade agreement. Because of the TAA, small businesses selling goods to . . . 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

The CVE Reverification Process is Not as Simple as Advertised For Veteran-Owned Firms

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans First Contracting Program continues to attract more and more veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs).   Indeed, the ability to gain access to VA contracts set aside for VOSBs and SDVOSBs remains an incredibly popular tool among small businesses in the veteran contracting community. Much to the dismay of many potentially eligible firms, the process of applying to the VA, Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) to be verified . . . Read More

Qui Tam Actions on the Rise, but they Fall Short When the DOJ Does Not Intervene

By Ambi Biggs The number of qui tam actions–lawsuits brought by whistleblowers on behalf of the United States–has increased in recent years, more than doubling from 2003 to 2013. The primary federal statute under which qui tam actions can be brought is the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq. Under the FCA, anyone who knowingly presents a false or fraudulent claim to the government for payment or approval or knowingly makes or uses a false record . . . Read More