Presentations at MEDA on Business Law Basics and Contracts

I do pro bono volunteer legal work with the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights – Legal Services for Entrepreneurs program, which provides free legal services to low-income individuals and immigrants that are starting businesses. It’s a terrific program, and I really enjoy working with new entrepreneurs to help them establish their businesses.

I’ll be giving two workshops in Spanish at the Mission Economic Development Agency over the next few weeks. The workshops are intended to help immigrant entrepreneurs understand basic legal issues affecting their business. [Read more…]

Startup Visas Are a Great Idea!

Congress is currently considering a bill that would provide 75,000 visas to persons who currently hold H-1B or F-1 student visas who have started businesses with investment of at least $100,000 and that employ at least 2 other people within a year and at least five in the following three years.

The bill, the Immigration Innovation Act, received support from President Obama in his State of the Union speech. [Read more…]

A Tale of Two Incorporations

I filed an incorporation mid-December, and just received the acceptance notice from the State of California today, nearly two months later. I could have gotten it back sooner, but we had some time and wanted to avoid the $500-1000 expedite fees charged by the California Secretary of State.

But that seems to be the new normal here in California: If you want to form a business, it will take two months to do so, unless you pay an expedite fee on top of your regular fees and taxes. [Read more…]

Should We Raise Capital Through Equity Crowdfunding?

Lots of people are excited by the potential for equity crowdfunding ever since the federal government passed the JOBS Act. Many new businesses are popping up to exploit the new model, and there is a lot of buzz about equity crowdfunding these days. Of course, it is still not legal yet, and won’t be until the SEC finishes writing the rules. But I still hear the same question over and over: Should my company raise capital through equity crowdfunding? Unfortunately, in the case of most startups I don’t think it makes sense. Here’s why: [Read more…]

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all clients, colleagues and friends!

New Global Entrepreneurs

My trip to Colombia was an opportunity for reflection on the new model of emerging companies: products and companies born in one part of the world that gain traction and investment with relocation to Silicon Valley.  Generally speaking, in the past few years we have seen a number of entrepreneurs choose to take a very deliberate strategy in attempting to build a global company:

  1. Develop a product and gain some traction in their country of origin.
  2. Incorporate a company in Delaware, contribute the IP to the new company.
  3. Move business HQ to San Francisco Bay Area to seek investors, partners and customers, all the while participating in Silicon Valley’s unique startup culture. Meanwhile, the company’s development team remains in the country of origin, which reduces development costs and  provides competitive advantages to the business. [Read more…]

Presentations in Medellin, Colombia

Next week I’ll be in Medellin, Colombia attending the Outsource 2 Latin America & Caribbean conference and meeting with clients and partners.

I’ll be giving a talk at Espacio, the new co-working space in Medellin on Dec. 6th at 6p. I’ll be presenting on “Preparing to Seek Capital from Silicon Valley Investors.”

If you are in Medellin for the conference, come on by!

How Entrepreneurs Can Save on Legal Bills

VentureBeat has a terrific article up today on how entrepreneurs are saving tens of thousands on legal bills. Their suggestions:

  • Use smaller firms, solo practitioners, and virtual services;
  • get it done right the first time; and
  • take care of legal stuff sooner than later. [Read more…]

Sole proprietorships and partnerships

To close out my series on business entities, here is a brief look at sole proprietorships and partnerships.

[Read more…]

Limited Liability Company – LLC

What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

The LLC is a relatively new form of business entity offered by most US jurisdictions that aims to provide the separate entity and limited liability benefits of a corporation while preserving the pass-through tax benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship. In addition, it offers more flexibility in management than a corporation does.

[Read more…]