Law and Taxes

Sales taxes heading toward Internet businesses

The tax man is coming to your Internet store. Sooner than you think. Today, 13 January 2009, New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten dismissed a lawsuit brought by Amazon.com challenging New York State’s right to collect sales tax from out-of-state Internet retailers. With most states cash-strapped and facing decreased revenues from existing sources,...


You Need a Lawyer

Allow me to give you some advice on something I learned the hard way: If you’re starting a business, establish a relationship with a lawyer. Do as I say, not as I did (when I started Palo Alto Software). I confess. By nature I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person and bit of a hermit, too....


eBay fined for selling fake goods

The continuing struggle over protecting copyright, preventing product and intellectual property piracy, and illegal sales on the Internet has intensified this week. “A French court on Monday ordered online auctioneer eBay to pay nearly 40 million euros ($63 million) in damages to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury goods,…” reported AFP. In addition, the court...


Attribution and the need to cite your sources

Last week saw the thrust and parry of dueling keyboards as [a mainstream media consortium] took umbrage with the blogosphere, and bloggers’ frequent quotations from the [mmc]’s posted stories. There were demands for the take-down of various blog pages, and attempts to collect fees-per-word of quotes, as well as rapier-like witty ripostes. You can read...


What You Forget About Lawyers

Among the questions I get all the time are those from people trying to start a business without dealing with lawyers. I know, in our culture we all hear lots of bad stories, we tell lawyer jokes and we think about those hourly rates of hundreds of dollars, so we avoid the attorneys. For a...


What? Wait for a Patent? No, Please!

This is from my ask-the-experts work at Entrepreneur.com. I’m putting the text below, for searching purposes, but you can see the visual here: Question: A year ago I developed a software-based idea and have recently patented it. Currently it’s at the patent-pending stage, but I don’t know how to proceed from here. I’ve researched, but...


Nonprofit Corporation Basics

All sorts of groups, from artists and musicians to people active in education, health, and community services wish to operate as nonprofit (or not-for-profit) corporations. Often the reason for doing this is simple — nonprofit status is usually a requirement for obtaining funds from government agencies and private foundations. Obtaining grants, however, is not the...


Plan for Changes in LLC Ownership with Buy-Sell Provisions

Many, if not most, LLC owners overlook a critical element of their operating agreement that can save them both money and angst: buy-sell provisions. When you create buy-sell, or buyout, provisions for your operating agreement, you and your co-owners can prepare for events that have been the downfall of more than a few successful small...


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