Um…with a pen?
Seriously, though. It sounds simple, but you should consider the implications of how you sign documents on behalf of your company. As a business owner you have a split personality. In any situation, you will be either Jane Doe The Individual or Jane Doe The Business Owner. Before you sign something that involves your company, think about the role you’re playing. If you simply sign your name, the party on the other side, namely a creditor, will try to pierce the corporate veil and come after your personal assets.
As a simple yet effective way of helping prove you are consistently treating your company as a separate legal entity, you should sign documents binding the company like this:
Jane Doe, as [Title] of [Company, Entity
Continue reading How Do I Sign Company Documents?
No, it doesn’t involve a safety pin or have anything to do with a wedding. This is one of those often-used yet rarely-explained phrases that every small business owner should understand.
If formed and managed properly, corporations and LLCs are treated as legal entities separate from their owners. This is why we business lawyers are constantly nagging sole proprietors to form a legal entity. Doing so allows the business owner to protect his or her personal assets from lawsuits against the company. Without a legal entity, a sole proprietor’s home, bank accounts, cars, etc. can be lost in court. The formal legal entity, such as a corporation or LLC, provides a “veil” of protection between the company’s assets and those of the business owner.
But it’s not enough just
Continue reading What Does “Pierce the Corporate Veil” Mean?
I often speak with business owners who are ready to hire workers. While this is a big step for a small business, many owners believe they can avoid paying employment taxes simply by calling these workers independent contractors. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but calling them independent contractors does not necessarily make them independent contractors. This issue is particularly important now, because the IRS is cracking down on companies who aren’t paying taxes on workers that are actually employees.
How do you determine whether your worker is an independent contractor or an employee? One word: control. If the employer has it, the worker is an employee. If the employer doesn’t, the worker is more likely an independent contractor. The IRS considers three aspects of the employer/worker
Continue reading Hiring: Employee or Independent Contractor?
Last week I was on the panel for a continuing legal education class at the UNLV Boyd School of Law called “How to Start a Law Practice.” The audience was comprised of law students, recent graduates, and licensed attorneys. We had a good turnout either because of widespread layoffs in the legal profession or because all the lawyers had just received notice of a shortage in their CLE credits for the year. I’m going to suspend reality for the purpose of this article and assume everyone was truly interested in the topic and not just the CLE credits.
The five lawyers on the panel represented a diverse mix. On one end of the spectrum was the alum who, in four years, built a solo practice into an eight attorney personal injury
Continue reading Lawyers Are Business Owners Too
Last Christmas I asked for, and received, a bread machine. Like I did with my Barbie Dreamhouse at 5 years old, I tore into the packaging and briefly read the directions. I furiously unpacked the machine and set about measuring the ingredients before the wrapping paper hit the floor. I pushed a few buttons and stood back. It took a good eight hours for that first loaf to emerge, and another ten minutes for me to surgically remove the metal paddle from the middle of the loaf. No problem, no one will notice…until I cut into the middle of the loaf where it looks like something had gnawed its way out the bottom. Okay, let’s try another loaf. Paddle made its way into the middle again. Same with loaves 3,
Continue reading Homemade Bread Recipe – I did it!
What is it?
“Owners’ Agreement” is a general term that can refer to any document that addresses issues like owners’ rights, compensation systems, succession planning, management roles, and shareholder disputes.
Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t everyone looking to start a business already have an idea of what they want to do? Not necessarily.
Head to your nearest bookstore, grab the October/November 2009 issue of Business Week’s Small Biz, and read “Beyond Eureka” by Amy Barrett p40. This is, by far, one of the most informative and inspirational articles I’ve read on entrepreneurship. If you have an innate entrepreneurial spirit that compels you to seek independence and creativity in your work, but haven’t quite nailed down a business idea, this article will take you through five steps to channel your creative juices and get the money flowing.
Step 1: Set the Stage
Ask yourself “who is my ideal customer?” You can’t market to the world, so narrow your focus.
Continue reading An Entrepreneur without a Business Idea
You should. I’m sure you expect that kind of response from a lawyer, but it’s vitally important to not only read, but understand, every document that bears your signature.
This rule is especially important when dealing with commercial leases, which are almost always written in favor of the landlord and have some pretty strict expectations of the tenant. One client who was facing eviction had signed a personal guarantee for her business lease two years ago and didn’t realize it this year when I reviewed the agreement. The client was also shocked to hear that she was required to give the landlord six months’ notice to terminate the lease. We’ve learned very recently that the economic climate can drastically change in six months and this particular client is likely to
Continue reading Do You Read Everything You Sign?
I have no idea how I managed to score a place on this list, but I did. It may be old news, but I’m still riding the wave!
Check it out on the Glass Hammer!
Under Title 7 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, every entity doing business in the state of Nevada, with few exceptions, is required to maintain a state business license. These licenses were previously issued by the Nevada Department of Taxation, but as of October 1, 2009, the process will be handled by the Secretary of State’s office.
Your state business license costs $200 and must be renewed annually. Even if you qualify for one of the exemptions, you must still submit the license application, without payment. Failure to do so may result in your business being listed as “In Default” on the Secretary of State’s website.
More information can be found here: http://www.nvsos.gov/
For questions, please call my office at (702) 485-1200.