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Most Recent Questions in Legal Basics For Startups

When should an employer notify employees that it is not funding a SEP IRA?

Generally, an employer who has properly established a SEP plan must furnish an annual statement to each employee participating in the SEP that shows the amount contributed to his or her SEP-IRA for... (more)

How should we structure a private investment group looking to move into other investments beyond the capital markets?

First things first. Consult with an attorney and an accountant experienced in the creation and representation of private investment funds. Do that to get familiar with the issues you'll be... (more)

How do I close an incorporated business that never got off the ground?

The proper way to close a business is to file a certificate of dissolution with your secretary of state. There will be other papers you need to file in order to confirm that you don't owe any back... (more)

Why is it important to have a resale license in the surplus and salvage business?

Generally, any time you sell goods to someone else you have the obligation to charge sales tax, and to remit the amount collected to the state sales tax authorities. Failure to do so can land you... (more)

We are in the process of selling our C Corporation. What kind of insurance policy can I get to make a stock purchase attractive to our buyer?

Generally, when a buyer purchases your company stock (and presumably, this is a purchase for all of the outstanding and issued shares), the buyer is purchasing all of the rights and obligations... (more)

Do I need a license to start a roadside vegetable stand, selling items from my garden?

A number of states prohibit the sale of any agricultural products without a license. Contact your local government to see whether it has those restrictions and, if so, how to apply for a license.... (more)

How would I dissolve a partnership that's not "legally" a partnership?

Although you didn't file a partnership certificate, your partner did contribute money and you did sign a partnership agreement. So technically, you do have a partnership on your hands. What you're... (more)

Would it be legal to sell replicas at a retail store?

Anytime you sell something based upon the design or likeness of, or created by, someone else, you run into thorny legal issues. "Replica" is often code for "counterfeit,"... (more)

Can I get in trouble for doing jobs under the table, even though I'm underage?

Just because you're a teenager, don't assume your income isn't taxable. And the IRS doesn’t look kindly upon people who don't pay their taxes and don't file properly. "Teenage... (more)

If I have an idea for what I believe is a new product, how do I check for previous patents?

The most efficient use of your time and funds is to consult with a patent attorney about the process. You could search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database (it has a helpful tutorial) if... (more)

I have not yet started my business. Can I receive money from investors at this point?

Tread very carefully when playing with other people's money. It's not clear whether your business idea involves reinvesting your investors' money (certainly done through hedge funds and other... (more)

Is a signed work order an acknowledgment of indebtedess?

A signed work order is not necessarily an acknowledgement of indebtedness. The person or company signing the work order simply reflects both sides' agreement about the work that will be performed.... (more)

Is it legal to sell another company's products if the product is already available on the market?

You do not need a license to use the other company's mixes unless you intend to advertise your products using the other company’s name. For example, if you were to use Quaker Oats' oatmeal mix in... (more)

Can I use a rented mailbox address as my legal business address?

Many states do not permit you to use a PO Box as your legal street address, so you’d have to check with your local county clerk (where you would file your DBA form). They want to know that there... (more)

What kind of financial reports are minimally required of an LLC, and how often should they be made available to the partners?

Minimally, LLCs are required to file annual tax returns and the members (owners) of an LLC would receive a copy of Form K-1, which is an information return that needs to be filed. However, other... (more)

I'm being evicted from a commercial space. How can I avoid paying the balance of the lease term?

Unfortunately, commercial leases are very hard to get out of--much more so than residential leases. If the lease is with your company alone (that is, a corporation or LLC), and you have no... (more)

How do I register a company in the U.S., where I am a citizen, to export products from India to West Africa (Ghana)?

Registering a company in the United States involves the same process as registering a company that has a domestic purpose. First, you’ll want to speak with an attorney and an accountant who... (more)

What steps do I need to take to purchase a business name from my uncle?

The best place to start the process of buying an asset of another company (be it the name, customer list, inventory or any other item) is with an attorney. You'll want to be very clear about what... (more)

I want to give private swim lessons in my pool for the summer. How do I limit my liability?

You may run into several obstacles trying to give swimming lessons in your pool. First of all, it's a commercial activity, and your home/neighborhood zoning may not permit that kind of activity. (more)

As a teen attempting to start a company online, will I have to file a tax return?

As a teen attempting to start a company, you have more pressing issues than whether to file a tax return (and the answer is: If you're in business, yes, you have to file, even to declare a loss).... (more)
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