When you start a business, one of the first things you will need is an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will make sure that the federal government can tax you immediately to prevent any future headaches with the IRS. The quickest and easiest way to request an EIN is through the IRS website’s online portal.
One of the most important means to maximize your company’s value is by using a strong and defensible trademark to brand your business. It is critical to have clean and defensible intellectual property rights to protect and maximize the value of your business. What goes into a strong and defensible trademark?
Knowing the type of entity you want to form for your business is the first step, next you need to decide where to organize the business. Thankfully, this question does not take as long to discuss. There are two popular answers to this question: the state where you live, or Delaware.
Growing up, we are taught to write we are reminded to mind our “p’s and q’s.” We are taught this so we don’t mix up things that happen to look alike. Similarly, just because a corporation and an LLC are both entities that offer some protection against personal liability to its owners, does not mean we should treat them the same. Remember that, like q and p, different entities should be used very differently—this is “puite imqortant” to understand. Then, as we start to consider taxation structuring to the entity, the distinction becomes more and more interesting.
In Lewis Carroll’s story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice encounters the Cheshire Cat at a forked road. Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which road she should take. The Cheshire Cat responds by asking Alice where she wants to go, but Alice doesn’t know. Then it doesn’t matter which road you take, answers the Cheshire Cat. The same goes for business planning. If you don’t know where you want to go, then how you plan and structure your business really doesn’t matter.
Tim Ferriss, the author of 4 Hour Work Week fame, introduced me to the concept of "lifestyle design" as it relates to business planning. This concept drastically changed the way I thought about the design of my law firm and the businesses I have started. I began to think about the effect the type, structure, and plan of a business has on the life of the founder.
My children’s school has adopted the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as mantras for instilling leadership principles in the students. While visiting the school for a parent-teacher night recently, one poster hanging on the school's wall grabbed my attention. It was the 2nd of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: "Begin with the End in Mind." Although it may not seem significant to the legal implication of starting a business, beginning with the end in mind, is crucial. Understanding where we want to end up, and when, should determine what legal structure to choose for the business.
In this case, the Utah Court of Appeals was asked to review whether a trial court erred in approving two applications that requested to change the points of diversion and use of water for a planned nuclear power plant. The Court held that in order to determine if there was unappropriated water available they would not look at a sum of all approved appropriated water, but instead would look at the total amount of water currently being used for a beneficial purpose. The Court affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that unappropriated water existed, the new appropriations would not have an unreasonable effect on environment, and that the project was not overly speculative.
The Utah Supreme Court was posed the question of whether expectation damages are available in a breach of oil and gas lease case. Although, the court had never before dealt with the specific question of how expectation damages are to be measured for the breach of an oil and gas lease, the answer is a familiar one because under Utah law, the court generally treats leases like other contracts.
How you structure your workforce will greatly impact the value and strength of your company and understanding the difference between an employee and an independent contractor will help you understand the proper workforce model for your startup. Also understanding the issues involved may help you to avoid costly mistakes that could cost you a lot by not having the proper contracts in place to protect your intellectual property ownership and rights. A misstep here could be massive.
A trade secret is a process or technology (the gears and inner workings of your business) that a business uses to derive economic benefit that is not know or easily discovered by others who could use it for economic benefit that are kept secret by reasonable efforts.