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17 OctCan I File For a Trademark When I Launch My Business?

Some entrepreneurs believe that one of the legal issues they must address when they launch their business is to register their trademark. However, what they often don’t realize is that, at the beginning of their business, they have no trademark to register. Unlike copyright, which is acquired when a work is fixed into tangible form […]

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10 OctNLRB Clarifies Its Independent Contractor Test

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a ruling in a case involving the employment classification of FedEx delivery drivers, ruling that the drivers were employees, not independent contractors. The most important piece of the NLRB’s ruling was the role of the factor of “entrepreneurial opportunity for gain or loss” in conjunction with the other […]

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07 OctWorking With a Founder Team Before You Incorporate? Perhaps You Should Consider a Founders’ Agreement.

Incorporation or LLC formation generally requires that the relationship among the founders be formally resolved and committed to paper — things like equity splits, operational roles, IP ownership, dispute resolution mechanism, and founder exit procedures are covered by incorporation/formation documents such as operating agreements, stock purchase agreements, and/or shareholders’ agreements. But many founder teams wait […]

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30 SepMaking Sure Your Company Owns Its Social Media Presence

I’ve previously described the trouble some companies have gotten in when they utilized social media presences for their companies that were created by employees off-the-clock, by freelancers, or even by persons unconnected to the company (later acquired or endorsed by the company). When the company attempts to take control over the account and kick out […]

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26 SepIs Rule 506 General Solicitation a Bust?

A recent Forbes article pointed out that the Rule 506(c) exemption authorized by the JOBS Act has been less utilized than initially predicted. Rule 506(c) permits companies to make a general (public) solicitation of securities being sold in a private offering under Regulation D. The catch with Rule 506(c) is that all sales must be […]

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23 SepShould You Have Liquidated Damages Clauses In Your Contracts?

In all likelihood, you’ve agreed to a contract that includes a clause to the effect of “In the event of a breach by Party A, the parties agree that Party B shall be entitled to damages in the amount of $10,000”. This is what is known as a liquidated damages clause. Liquidated damages are a […]

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12 SepClosing Down Your Startup

Sometimes, entrepreneurs have to close down their company. Of course, it’s not really apparent how this is accomplished from a legal perspective — that is, how to formally close the corporation or LLC. Legally closing down a business occurs in three phases: 1) the company dissolves; 2) the company winds up its affairs; 3) the […]

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05 SepLeaving Your Job to Start a Company? Make Sure You Don’t Hit These Tripwires On the Way Out

If you’re leaving your 9-to-5 job to launch your own startup, and especially if you’re in the white-collar or tech sectors and your startup is in the same industry or uses similar technology as your current job, you will likely need to worry about employment agreements you may have signed that include restrictive covenants. Such […]

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02 SepI Have a Corporation, But What’s a “Secretary” and What Are “Minutes”?

If you have a corporation for your startup, you’ve hopefully elected or appointed officers, and one of those officers is the corporation’s secretary. It is the secretary’s job to keep the corporate records, such as the corporation’s articles of incorporation and bylaws, and to keep minutes and records of the corporation’s meetings. “Wait,” you interject, […]

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29 AugCreating and Protecting Trademarks

I’ve previously discussed many times what trademarks — which also include service marks (marks that identify a service rather than a product) and trade dress (the packaging or look of a product or service — think of the design, colors, and even uniforms, in every McDonald’s restaurant) — do. Although they are a right held […]

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