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Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups

As a landlord, can I terminate a commercial lease due to an unfit lessee?

As a landlord, you have the right to carve out certain pre-conditions to leasing your premises—such as a clean criminal background check or a credit check. If you did not carve out these... (more)

How do I ensure payment on a job that's already completed?

Excuses, excuses. Your client is exhibiting all the classic signs of being a deadbeat: having no complaints about the job, but using all possible stalling tactics. Unfortunately, it seems... (more)

Can I collect unemployment from my former employer if I now own my own business?

Generally, the act of becoming self-employed precludes you from obtaining unemployment benefits. This begins from the date you formed your company precisely because you are now employed--even if... (more)

What can I do if my former employer is claiming I was fired and is now withholding my final paycheck?

Did you quit or were you fired? Your query mentions both, and it affects your ability to collect unemployment insurance. Also, your rights can be affected by whether the company followed the proper... (more)

What Is the Easiest Way to Legally Protect My Business?

So wise to recognize that your energies are better spent creating your content than handling the details of protecting it. Leave the "protecting" to the professionals (attorneys). You... (more)

Should I invest money to try to protect my invention idea?

Being first to market does not always guarantee that you'll have the leverage you're seeking. Especially if you spend all of your money on getting to market and have none left over to fend off... (more)

What are the minority shareholders' rights when a company transfers its shares to another company?

Whether you have any rights to protest or challenge the fairness of this transaction can depend on the terms on which the original stock was offered to you. International laws don't necessarily... (more)

What legal documents must I submit to withdraw as a shareholder of an S Corp?

Generally, when you leave a company, the tax returns (for the year you depart) should reflect that your ownership was only for a partial year--and that any tax liability should be prorated. The... (more)

What's the proper way to release a subcontractor?

When you part company with a contractor, it's sound practice to put the termination in writing. That way, there's a clear date for determining when the contractor's work stopped. It's also an... (more)

Is it legal to buy items, piece them together and resell them as a completely different product?

Any time you create something that depends on the preexisting work of someone else, you need to tread v-e-r-y carefully. Other people's products may be protected by intellectual property laws, such... (more)

What's the difference between an S Corp and C Corp?

There are several important differences between S Corps and C Corps. First of all, the entities are taxed differently. And, an S Corp has restrictions on the number and identity of its... (more)

Which is best for us: an LLC or incorporation?

If both you and your husband are owning (in addition to running) the business then yes, it's time you looked into a new business form. Both LLCs and corporations will provide you with a limited... (more)

What are the consequences for terminating an executive officer in a firm that has accepted TARP funds?

A firm that has received TARP funds is certainly within its rights to terminate an executive officer, as long as there's a sound business rationale behind the decision. However, just as TARP... (more)

After filing bankruptcy, what does it mean when the trustee files a motion requesting denial of exemptions?

In a bankruptcy matter, the trustee has the right (and the responsibility) to review the bankruptcy petition--ensuring that the rights of the debtor (you) and the rights of creditors are fairly... (more)

Do I need permission from my customers to post photos on my website of projects I've completed at their homes?

The law is rather lenient about your rights to take photos, but less so with how you can use and publish the photos you've taken. Generally, if you are using photos for a commercial purpose... (more)

When my employees get sales commission in the middle of the month, can I hold off the payment until regular payroll?

This is an interesting question as many real estate agents are normally treated as independent contractors and not employees with a salary. Before I provide a recommendation, I am wondering if... (more)

How do I terminate my lease when there has been damage to the property from a natural disaster?

Commercial leases usually specify how long you have to wait before you (the tenant) can terminate the lease without penalty due to circumstances (like flood, fire, etc.) that render the space... (more)

What are my rights as the minority shareholder who is being laid off by majority shareholder?

The rights of a minority shareholder depend on a number of considerations: 1. The terms of your shareholder’s agreement 2. Your state’s law 3. whether the minority shareholder is being bought... (more)

As the founder of a non-profit business can I have a lifetime employment agreement?

It would be wonderful to have lifetime job security, wouldn't it? But that's not possible with a not-for-profit organization. Why? Because not-for-profits are governed by a board of directors who... (more)

Can I name my business the same name as an existing business in another state?

Because business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, the fact that a company in another state has the same name as yours is usually not a cause for concern. However, you are right... (more)
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