Finding an Efficient New York Business Lawyer for your NY Business

We here at IPG obtain numerous emails and calls from potential clients in search of a New York business lawyer to act as part-time general counsel.  The majority of these intakes come from referrals from present clients, referrals from other lawyers and some trickle in via this New York Law Blog and the Korean Law Blog. From our contacts, we believe that many smaller businesses in New York are having serious difficulties in finding attorneys in New York that are NY business savvy, have the ability to efficiently work for the client and/or have an inability to handle the specific issues the client is dealing with. This dismal situation seems to stem, primarily, from the high cost of top-notch legal services in NY and the lack of many top-notch New York lawyers working in the startup and growing business space.  This reality is, only, partially true.  Many great lawyers work

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New York Age Discrimination Protection Basics

As part of our ongoing series of posts intended to familiarize you with New York and Federal laws you must follow if you are running a business in New York, it is important to understand the way the New York law protects employees from age discrimination. Age discrimination is, in short, when an employer makes employment or management decisions based on an employee’s age and not on his or her job performance, skills or qualifications. Employees are protected via multiple layers of laws and administrative bodies.  Employees may be able to file an age discrimination suit at the U.S. federal, New York State and New York City level. Scope of New York Discrimination Claims New York age discrimination causes of action are not limited to hiring and firing. Claims for age discrimination can be based on age bias within the workplace (like passing over employees for promotion); failure to provide

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New York Non-Compete Agreements

The validity of a non-compete agreement in New York is measured in light of relevant principles and the particular facts and circumstances surrounding your business. Non-compete clauses are commonly found in employment agreements across many industries regardless of size or products / services offered. Non-compete agreements impose restrictions on future employment of employees.  The validity of a specific non-compete clause is taken on a case-by-case basis via courts in New York.  New York courts shall, generally, consider what is reasonable.  Those non-compete agreements that are considered “reasonable” are agreements with: The non-compete clause is no broader than is required to protect the NY business’s legitimate business interests; The non-compete clause does not unduly burden the employee; The non-compete clause does not injure the public; The non-compete clause is not for an unreasonable duration of time; and The non-compete clause has a reasonable and limited geographic scope. If an employee to a

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Good New York Lawyers Beats Goliath Everyday In New York Courts

It can be daunting to think about suing anyone, let alone a huge department store like Macy’s. The same Macy’s that brings us Santa Claus and the opening of the holiday season with their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade televised nationally.  The same Macy’s with department stores all over the United States.  However, big guys can be beat in New York courts with the assistance of proactive, aggressive and nuanced New York lawyers. Now imagine if you are an immigrant with little command of English that was injured when you slipped and fell on a wet floor that Macy’s negligently failed to warn you about.  Your life has been flipped upside down. You are in constant pain from your injuries, you lost your job and your mental outlook is in a downward spiral of fighting depression and anxiety. Because of all this the plaintiff was going through and the language barrier,

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Negotiating New York Royalty Agreements

When negotiating the use of your intellectual property, patent or process in exchange for royalties, these three basic tips are key when commencing negotiating New York royalty agreements and royalty agreements throughout most of the world. This week, we discussed some lessons learned from the recent news that the famed Broadway troupe Blue Man Group was sued over a dispute over royalties brought by a composer as an example of how not to handle setting up a royalty agreement. Here, we’ll discuss factors to keep in mind while negotiating a royalty agreements so you can (hopefully) avoid issues. Words Matter – as do Nuanced Agreements Definitions, requirements and terms do not always mean what you think they mean. That is why you should include a section defining material terms in your agreement. These definitions can be crucial, and must be discussed with your attorneys so that the final document is clear and

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Registering Your New York Nonprofit For Fundraising Purpopses

If your New York nonprofit is fundraising in New York, then you may likely need to register with the New York Attorney General’s office. Before soliciting contributions from individuals, foundations, corporations or government agencies within New York, a New York nonprofit must register with the NY Attorney General’s General Charities Bureau, unless it falls within one of the many exceptions: Exceptions to the New York Nonprofit Filing Requirements Religious organizations or other organizations with a religious purpose (i.e., a religious school); Educational institutions that solicit contributions only from alumni, the student body, faculty, trustees and their families, and other educational organizations that report to or are chartered by the Board of Regents of the State University of New York are exempt; PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations); Fraternal, patriotic, social or alumni membership organizations that limit their solicitations to its membership; Law enforcement support groups, veterans organizations, and volunteer firefighter/volunteer ambulance service organizations; Any

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Starting a New York Restaurant? New York Restaurant Law

Starting a restaurant in New York involves significant consideration of New York state and local health and safety regulations.  Because restaurants and eateries are all about serving food, New York subjects restaurants to significant regulations regarding food health and safety. The New York State Department of Health has many regulations for food service establishments, including coverage of: employee cleanliness issues; employee hand washing and food handling; employee health issues, such as prohibition from working if they have certain illnesses; washing of fruits and vegetables; reheating and thawing food; cleaning and sanitizing utensils; and garbage storage and disposal. The NYS Department of Health has a guide and other resources that can help you ensure you are meeting regulatory requirements. In addition, if your restaurant is in New York City, there are additional handbooks containing local guidelines that you must follow, including how to obtain a New York City Food Handler’s License.  New

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New York Non-Compete & Confidentiality Agreements

Business in New York can be highly competitive, and relies, in part, upon a business’s ability to protect valuable information disclosed to current and past employees. Many NY companies feel that implementing non-compete agreements and other contractual obligations will encourage employee retention overall and protect information should an employee leave. It is important for New York businesses to understand, however, that there are restrictions to when and how non-compete agreements can be enforced. Traditionally, non-compete agreements in New York are used in companies and industries involving sensitive proprietary information and/or trade secrets. Non-compete agreements are commonly found across many industries regardless of size or products or services offered. They can take many forms depending on the information to be protected, including confidentiality agreements (prohibiting use or revealing information) and non-solicitation agreements (prohibiting approaching customers, poaching employees or contacting vendors). New York Courts consider the enforcement of a specific non-compete agreement

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New York Reverse Mergers Basics

If you are looking to take your New York private business public, consider the benefits and drawbacks of a New York reverse merger.  Often executives and owners of successful New York businesses may wish to capitalize on that success by making shares of the business’s stock available to the public. Having a public company provides additional benefits to businesses, including expansion of business dealings and attracting highly talented hires with offers of stock options.  However, of course risks abound. In a reverse merger in New York, investors of a privately-held company acquire a majority of the shares of a publicly-held “shell company,” which is then merged with the privately-held company.  To consummate the deal, the private company trades shares with a public shell in exchange for the shell company’s stock, transforming the acquiring private company into a public company. An advantage of undertaking a reverse merger is the comparative ease

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New York Divorce: Residency Requirements and Permissible Grounds for Divorce in NY

Prior to filing for a divorce in New York, you must meet the residency requirement as outlined in New York’s Domestic Relations Law, and you must have a legally acceptable ground for the divorce in New York. Domestic Relations Law § 230 outlines the residency requirement that parties seeking a New York divorce must meet to legally pursue a divorce in New York. There are a few ways parties can meet the residency requirement: Either you or your spouse have been living in New York State continuously for at least two years before the divorce litigation is commenced; Either you or your spouse have been living in New York State continuously for at least one year before the divorce case is commenced; and you were married in New York State, or you lived in New York State as a married couple, or the grounds for your divorce happened in New

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Drafting a New York Prenuptial Agreement

In light of the impending divorce of superstar couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, now is a good time to become re-acquainted with what a prenuptial agreement is and what can and cannot be included in a New York prenuptial agreement. A New York prenuptial agreement is: a contract between future spouses; that discloses assets and income of the parties; and details key choices of the parties during marriage, after death, after disability and after divorce or separation. In New York, a prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable so long as it protects both spouses (not patently unfair) and it was entered into with full and fair disclosure of all assets. New York also requires that a New York prenuptial agreement be executed much in the same way a deed is signed and recorded, with the parties being required to have, in most cases, separate New York attorneys. A NY prenuptial

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NLRB Judge Rules Chipotle Is Liable For Labor Violation For Enforcing “Unlawful” Social Media Policy

This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Chipotle Mexican Grill had an “unlawful” social media policy that violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). According to published reports which detail the facts of this particular case, the dispute stems from charges filed on the worker’s behalf by the Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee regarding Chipotle’s social media policy and allegations that the employee was wrongfully terminated. Apparently, Chipotle sought to enforce an “oudated” social media policy that was not lawful under the NLRA. This policy had already been replaced, but supervisors sought to enforce the older policy against an employee who made postings on Twitter criticizing his employer about adverse working conditions. Since the outdated policy is what prompted Chipotle to act, the NLRB found that Chipotle was liable for violations that occurred resulting from enforcing that improper policy.   According to the NLRB’s website, the NLRA protects the

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COBRA Basics for New York Businesses

To conclude our series on federal laws that every small business owner must know, we discuss an employer’s obligation to provide health insurance under New York law.(For other stories in this series, you can read our posts about best practices to avoid age discrimination, New York’s new laws involving family and medical leave and federal and state protection of employees with disabilities.) Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), employees and their families are protected should they lose employer-sponsored health benefits. In general, most employers with 20 or more “employees” sponsoring health plans on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year must offer each “qualified beneficiary” who would otherwise lose coverage under the plan because of a “qualifying event” an opportunity to elect continuation of the coverage received immediately before the qualifying event. The definition written above can seem complicated at first because it contains

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Proven Negotiation Tactics For New York Small Businesses

When you are running your own business in New York, you must become a skilled negotiator.  New York can be a tough place and many sharks abound. In its simplest form, negotiation means a discussion between parties looking to reach an agreement. While the concept is easy to understand, the process of negotiation is as much art as it is science. As a start on your road to becoming a good negotiator, here are some basics to think about before beginning the negotiating process. Know Your Worth Many people feel that the hardest thing to learn is their own self-worth. You and your business have much to offer – know that you are good enough to ask for the money you want! If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect to convince someone else to believe in you or your business? Understand Your Worth Information is power. Know

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Protect Your NY Company’s Confidential Information

Every NY business keeps confidential information that it must protect from three common occurrences in the course of operations: Accidental Disclosure The most common way a NY business will lose protection of confidential information is through accidental disclosure. This is most likely because NY businesses fail to outline to employees, independent contractors, consultants and service providers what information must remain confidential. Failure to Create Confidentiality Agreements & Non-Compete Agreements Sometimes, a NY business may identify the confidential information that it will need to offer to an employee, independent contractor, consultant or service provider, but not take any additional steps to preserve that confidentiality. If and when that confidentiality is breached, the NY business is left with little to no legal recourse, in most cases, until the business has a confidentiality agreement. Theft by Ex-Employees Some employees who leave a NY business may be tempted to make a copy of confidential

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Are NYC Rent-Controlled Tenants Using AirBnB Breaching Their Leases?

AirBnB may be an answer to homeowners and property owners looking to supplement income, but if you are a New York City landlord of a rent-controlled property – beware!  Your tenants may be breaking the law!  For the uninitiated, AirBnB is an online marketplace where prospective guests look for a bed to stay in from hosts listing spare rooms and properties for short term rentals.  They operate very much like a hotel where guests stay in the host’s property for a fee. In New York City, landlords and property managers have been cracking down on tenants seeking to get in on the AirBnB action by subletting out their space for amounts exceeding their subsidized rent, in clear violation of the New York Landlord-Tenant Law.  Recent decisions shed some light on why AirBnB, though seeing a growth in popularity, are facing many legal issues when the hosts is not the property owner.

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A Good Business Plan May Turn your New York Startup Into Dollars

Recently, we wrote about the two main tools available to small businesses to stir interest in and investment in your business – the business plan and the private placement memorandum.  While this blog is, mainly, for New York businesses, the following article can apply to business throughout the world. A business plan is a document created by businesses with a few goals in mind.  It should introduce your business idea, describe the fundamentals of your business and provide financial data to show potential investors that your business idea may be profitable. A business plan canentice potential investors or simply be a road map for yourself to chart the course of your business.  For now, let’s focus on how to use a business plan to raise money for your start-up. If you want your business plan to be attractive to investors, it must be a more persuasive document than a simple

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New York Business Plans or Private Placement Memorandum? An Introduction

(Editor’s Note – This introductory article is the first in a series of blog posts that will explore how small businesses in New York can look to grow through outside investment. While these articles are instructive in nature, we always urge that you consult an attorney before making any decisions! We here at IPG stand ready to help, so please contact us!) Everyone who goes into business believes they can succeed if they have the capital. If only you had the capital to take off.  But how do you get from point A to point B?   And how do you get your hands on that sweet investment capital that you so desperately need.  There are two tools out there that can be used to stir interest and attract investment. A business plan is a document that describes the fundamentals of your business idea and provides financial data to show

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Beating Summary Judgment in a New York Court: NY Litigation Basics

Here is a perfect example of how a skilled and proactive New York attorney can use proactive strategy to resolve a dispute in a New York court.  When you have more than one potential defendants, you can pit one against the other to maximize your position and prevail in a summary judgment motion and prevail in reaching a settlement for your client.  The following issue involves a motor vehicle accident, however, the same strategy may be used to prevail in business disputes in New York. My client, a front seat passenger in a motor vehicle, did not have a complete memory of the incident.  All he knew was that he was injured in a car accident, thus, his testimony was not able to collaborate the story of the driver in the car she was in or the driver of the other car.   My client was sitting in the front seat of

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