Funding for Startups: Seed Financing
Most entrepreneurs are constantly looking for money to support their small businesses. Startups have three major options for funding: self-funding; loans; equity. In this article, we discuss seed financing, when owners give up equity in their small businesses in exchange for funding from third parties. Article discusses Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs), convertible notes and preferred shares.
- Published in Business formation and startups, Securities, Small business investing
DOJ Provides Guidance on Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs
The DOJ on June 1, 2020 issued a revision to its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. The new DOJ Guidance provides companies general principles and elements to consider when designing, implementing, and updating their compliance policies and procedures. The DOJ explains that the purpose of the new guidance is to assist prosecutors in making informed decisions whether and to what extent the company’s compliance program was effective at the time of the offense, and is effective at the time of a charging decision or resolution. Prosecutors can then use the guidance to determine the appropriate (1) form of any resolution or prosecution; (2) monetary penalty, if any; and (3) compliance obligations contained in any corporate criminal resolution.
- Published in Corporate compliance
Foreign Investment in the U.S.
If you own a foreign company and are thinking of opening up for business in the United States then you should read this article. Despite the challenges, foreign businesses continue to flock to the United States. This article gives an overview of the major decisions that foreign businesses must make as they explore entering the U.S. market. They usually set up a subsidiary not a branch, and confront issues of where to form the new entity. They consider issues dealing with tax, immigration, CFIUS reviews, corporate structure and other issues as they enter the U.S. market.
Paycheck Protection Program: Brother, Can you Spare $349 Billion
The small business of all stripes cheered when the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act provides some relief to small businesses through providing economic injury disaster loans; easing payments on current SBA loans; and then the Mother lode, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP provides huge incentives to small businesses to keep workers on their payroll. There are undoubtedly many government programs in which the bureaucratic obstacles overwhelm the efficacy of the program. The PPP loan program does not appear to be one of them, although the jury is still out. Nevertheless, all small businesses should apply for a PPP loan as soon as possible.
- Published in Business transactions, Government contracting, Small business attorney
Coronavirus and Small Businesses: Contract Issues
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the pandemic of a lifetime. Until a few days ago, everything looked normal. The extreme low tide lured everyone out onto the dry cove to collect seashells as the beachgoers glance up to see the impending tsunami on the horizon heading straight for them. The government seems utterly unprepared. How has this affected small business clients? In short, the coronavirus will be devastating for small businesses. This blog outlines some of the major legal issues affecting small business clients as the tsunami is about to rocket onshore.
Corporate Law for Startups
If you spend the time and expense to incorporate your small business, then you should make sure you observe the corporate formalities. There are many reasons for observing corporate formalities. The most important reason is that if you don’t, you are leaving yourself open to someone trying to “pierce the corporate veil”—getting at your personal assets for the liabilities of the corporation. This blog describes the corporate formalities for a small business.
- Published in Business formation and startups, Corporations, Small business attorney
Fiduciary Duties 101
You may have heard about fiduciary duties, something about loyalty and care, but truth be known, you have no idea what that all means. Let’s set the scene. Your startup company is up and running. You have consulted with your startup lawyer about forming the company as a limited liability company. What duties do you owe to those who have invested in the company. They are after all part owners and have invested their hard-earned money into your company. You talk with your startup lawyer and he or she explains that you owe the owners a fiduciary duty—fiduciary what, you ask? If you violate these fiduciary duties, you may be personally liable. Well, that should get your attention. This article discusses what a fiduciary duty is and who it is applied to.
- Published in Business disputes and litigation, Business formation and startups, Limited liabilty company, News & Resources, Small business investing
Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs
Formulating policies and procedures is a critical step in building your business. These policies and procedures may be found in an employment manual or a compliance program. Every business and especially those doing business overseas should have an anti-corruption compliance program. This article provides an overview of anti-corruption compliance programs. Anti-corruption programs are quickly becoming part of the compliance landscape for U.S. companies, regardless of size and even those who have little foreign activity.
- Published in Corporate compliance, International business transactions
Business Acquisitions in US: CFIUS Reviews Expanding
If you are a foreign company and have loads of money to purchase a U.S. business, the U.S. has generally welcomed your foreign cash. But there are limits regarding the kinds of businesses foreign companies are allowed to acquire. This article provides an overview of The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and its role in reviewing transactions in which a foreign company is buying an interest in a U.S. company. The number of transactions that have to comply with CIFIUS’s notice requirements has increased significantly in recent years and the trend is expected to continue.
Sanctions Against Russia: Secondary Sanctions
You are a business in the United States, and you are about to do business with a Russian company. Caution! Let’s say you find out that your erstwhile business partner is on the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List). Or you find out that your foreign business partner is owned by an individual or company on the SDN List. You need to consult with a sanctions attorney. This article reviews some of the options you have available to you and discusses possible consequences if you are caught violating the sanctions regime.
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