Law and Taxes

Intellectual Property is a Jungle Thicket

Darren Dahl brought back some bad memories with his A Small-Business Guide to Intellectual Property in The New York Times last week. Not that his story is off base, either: He seems to have things pretty much straight. Even so, he may be way too optimistic. Out here in the real world, from my experience...


10 Tips for Dealing with Startup Stock Options

Stock options can be wondrous things. They can also be smoke and mirrors, or a pea under a whole bunch of walnut shells. So here are some points to keep in mind, whether you’re the founder offering options to your startup employees, or the employee being offered the options. The classic stock option is an...


True Story: The Name Game. Disaster Story

Once upon a time (1997) there was a friendly Internet programming company in Portland, Ore., named “emedia.” My company, Palo Alto Software in Eugene, Ore., was a client. Emedia hosted our sites for a while, helped us get started with Cold Fusion and gave us advice about getting our software available for immediate download online....


Social Networking Is Not Private

A couple weeks ago Tim Berry posted about how social media is actually publishing, and if you publish, you are not private, and how people you might not want to read your posts, such as employers, licensing boards, etc., may do just that. Here is another example of how what you put up on the...


A Scary True Story About Startups and Payroll Taxes

Many years ago, while I was working for Larry Wells at Creative Strategies International, one of our clients asked me to be president of his startup robotics company. For very little money. For some stock and a seat on the board of directors. I was flattered. And I was young. And the company was one of those...


Your Investment Strategy Might be Illegal

I get asked frequently what’s the deal with friends and family, as in funding your startup with people who aren’t sophisticated investors as defined by securities and exchange laws. What that means, in a nutshell, is that it can be illegal to take money in exchange for stock from someone who doesn’t have the income...


Two Strikes, You’re Out

Let’s just say that six years ago, when you started your own company, your former employer sued you. And that two years ago you, had to sue a partner to get him out of the business. If that’s true, and you’re the innocent victim, then even so, when talking to investors, be quiet about it....


Eight Easy Things To Do Before You Form Your Company

Today we have a guest post from one of partners, The Company Corporation. Incorporating or forming an LLC is a fast, affordable and easy process. It benefits the business owner by protecting personal and family assets from the risks and debts of the business. Here are eight easy things business owners can do to make...


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