SEC Regulation D – Private Offerings: NY Startup Law

Start-ups in New York looking for investment capital should consider the classification of investors that can and cannot partake in private offerings.  Under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation D, an organization may issue a private offering of stock to raise funds without officially registering to “go public.” We discussed the nature of Regulation D offerings, which are also called “private placements” in an earlier blog post. Only certain types of investors may participate in a Regulation D offering.  To understand why the SEC encourages certain kinds of investors over others, it is important to understand the different types of investors in the market: Accredited Investor: This is defined as an individual that has earned US$200,000 or more on an annual basis for the past two out of the three years and is likely to make that same amount this year. Alternatively, an accredited investor can fail to meet the income threshold,

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Successor Liability Pitfalls in New York

When buying or selling a New York business or any of a business’s assets under NY law, potential successor liability of the buyer is of primary concern.  New York Successor Liability Law is complex and the following is, only, intended as a brief overview of the matter. Successor liability in New York is liability that the buyer of a New York company’s assets may have for the liabilities of the seller of those assets performed prior to the purchase.  Essentially, a buyer would be compelled to pay off debt that the seller accumulated prior to completion of the transaction. The general rule in New York is that the buyer of company assets does not assume and is not liable for the seller’s liabilities unless otherwise expressly stated in the asset purchase agreement.  However, exceptions exist. New York Successor Liability Exception to General Rule Express or Implied Assumption by Buyer. This exception

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U.S. Patents for New York businesses

The common types of U.S. patents that are available to innovative New York entrepreneurs seeking to protect their  intellectual property falls into three common categories based on the type of invention in question: design, utility and plant patents. Utility patents are chiefly concerned with how an invention functions.  A utility patent may be applied to a wide range of unique and innovative new products or processes. It prevents others from manufacturing, selling, using or distributing your invention.  Utility patents last for 20 years running from the date that the patent application was filed.  In addition to the initial patent filing fees, inventors must submit maintenance fees throughout the life of the patent in order to keep the patent’s protection. Design patents are any enhancement or adornment applied to an existing item or the design for a new product. It protects the aesthetic appearance and can be issued for the appearance, design,

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New NLRB Labor Rules Negatively Impact U.S. Franchises

Revised federal rules from the National Labor Relations Board that give employees more leverage in settling workplace disputes are negatively impacting franchisors and franchisees, leaving them with higher costs and forcing them to scale back plans for future expansion. The new policy adopted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadens the circumstances in which two businesses can be deemed as employers of the same pool of workers. This means trouble for fast-food, construction and other industries reliant on contract workers and employees of franchisees, who will now be exposed to increased labor disputes before the NLRB, which adjudicates workplace disputes and oversees union-organizing. The intention behind the NLRB’s revision is to ensure workers can unionize and collectively bargain with businesses that help control their fates.  As things stand now, the NLRB will review “test cases” in the franchising industry to further define what critics have called a vague and

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Protecting and Capitalizing on your Intellectual Property: IP Law Basics

All businesses, including New York businesses, must take steps to protect their trademarks, brands and other IP. Our international lawyers work throughout Asia and North America and have seen too many issues because of not implementing an IP Protection Strategy, not registering IP, not understanding the domestic value of IP and not considering the global value and differences in foreign law to U.S. law. Here is what we recommend you must do, at a minimum, to secure your IP: Form an IP Audit Team.  Form a team to audit your intellectual property – trademarks, service marks, books, manuals, patents, etc. – to determine what assets you have and what needs to be protected. Your attorney should head, or at least, assist this team. Register your Intellectual Property.  Protect your trademarks by registering them with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office), which will provide your business, logos, symbols legal

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Vital Business Agreements Before Starting a Business in New York: NY Startup Basics

The following is a list of the basic business agreements that we advise prior to operating a New York business. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and some types of NY companies require specialized business agreements that are unique to the specific industry. Basic New York Corporate Agreements Operating/Shareholder Agreement Employee Agreements Consulting/Independent Contractor Agreements Confidentiality Agreement Terms of Use/Privacy Policy for Website Vendor Agreements License Agreements Service & Sales Agreement Intellectual Property Agreement Lease Agreement Joint Venture Agreement/Shareholder Agreements Sean Hayes Known for his street-smart advice & proactive advocacy. Sean works with senior retired judges, senior officials and leading attorneys in contentious and transactional matters. First non-Korean lawyer (NY) to work at Korean Courts and one of the first non-Korean law professors. Rated a top lawyer by major rating agencies. www.ipglegal.com (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this

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New York S Corp vs. LLC Basics: Choosing your Corporate Entity in New York

Many of our New York law firm clients considering establishing a business entity in New York, often, are conflicted whether they should choose to establish a New York S Corporation (“S Corp”) or a New York limited liability company (“LLC”).  Choosing whether to establish as a New York S Corporation or an LLC is, often, an important decision for a New York company and its shareholders/members, thus, don’t take this choice for granted and consider the pros and cons with New York business-savvy attorney. The following may help initiate the conversation with your New York attorney.  If you are doing a deal with a non-American company or individual make sure to hire an international lawyer with experience working on transnational deals.  Additionally, these corporate forms are, generally, not available for professional corporations (i.e. law firms). NY S Corporation Basics An NY S Corporation is a Pass-Through Entity meaning that each

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New York Partnership & Joint Venture Due Diligence Checklist

We, regretfully, see too many New York, New Jersey and Connecticut companies entering into business relationships with foreign nationals & corporations with little foresight.  Often cultural and divergent business ethics leads to immediate issues.  The following Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Checklist is intended as a guide to vetting a prospective partner/joint venture for business in New York.  The list is not exhaustive and an experienced New York attorney is, normally, necessary to join your due diligence team.  This list is, also, useful for those doing being with New York companies and individuals, but was specifically tailored based on experience with Asian companies.  Please don’t chase an opportunity without considering the risks.  The cost is, likely, less than you think and risks are, likely, greater than you imagine. This New York-Focused Merger & Acquisition Due Diligence Checklist is not a substitute for retaining a New York attorney to assist with your New

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