Corporate Bribery: Best Practices for Company Compliance

Corporate Bribery: Best Practices for Company Compliance

As we get deeper into the 21st century, more and more American companies are pursuing the revenue growth offered by global markets. Around the world, new markets are emerging as the middle class of countries is wielding its discretionary income to demand a wider array of products and services. However, just as there is great…

Fair Debt Collection Practices: Minnesota Law

Fair Debt Collection Practices: Minnesota Law

Fair Debt Collection Act Federal laws regulate how companies can collect debts from consumers. The laws are specifically targeted towards consumers – they do not include debts for businesses. Collectors are limited in how they can contact you to collect debts too. They cannot harass you or intimidate you while trying to collect on a…

Minnesota Women-Owned Businesses: Successes, Challenges, and Policy Concerns

Minnesota Women-Owned Businesses: Successes, Challenges, and Policy Concerns

Minnesota Small Business Successes Small businesses in Minnesota are thriving. Just recently, the state was ranked number one nationally for a rate of small business ownership. Women are enjoying a healthy business climate as well. The same report ranked Minnesota number two nationally for the rate of businesses owned by women. The statistics are impressive. Minnesota has…

Legal Services for Company Leaders

Legal Services for Company Leaders

To some, “leadership” may seem like a touchy-feely term used to stroke egos of CEOs, business owners, and organization managers. If you lead a team or organization, you know the truth: your leadership position requires you to constantly respond to new challenges, learn new concepts quickly to adapt to unexpected circumstances, and remain focused on…

Is A Term Sheet Legally Binding?

Is A Term Sheet Legally Binding?

It Depends. Usually terms sheets are not legally binding, but it depends on the actual content of the document in question. Terms sheets vary considerably, but generally term sheets based off of U.S. law tend to fall into four different categories: 1) “The Parties Agree as Follows” Some term sheets begin by stating “the parties agree as follows”…

Debt or Equity? New Guidance Helps You Decide

Debt or Equity? New Guidance Helps You Decide

Corporations can generally deduct interest on debts for federal tax purposes. A valid obligation exists if the parties intended to create a debt, and the debt is enforceable and unconditional. In contrast, a capital contribution is a direct or indirect contribution of cash or other property to the capital of a business entity. Generally, a…

Business Tax Trends: Joint Committee on Taxation Report

Business Tax Trends: Joint Committee on Taxation Report

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) is a nonpartisan Congressional committee that, among other things, assists in the analysis and drafting of proposed federal tax legislation and prepares reports that interpret newly enacted federal tax legislation. The JCT recently issued the Overview of the Federal Tax System as in Effect for 2016. Here are the…

The Uniform Commercial Code: What It Means to Your Business

The Uniform Commercial Code: What It Means to Your Business

Decades ago, many businesses engaged in transactions with other entities in the same geographic area. Then came the Internet and other electronic devices that allow business to be easily conducted with a just a few clicks. Today’s companies are likely engaged in transactions with entities in other states. You need to comply with the UCC…

Warranties: Legal Guarantees You Need to Understand

Warranties: Legal Guarantees You Need to Understand

If you’re in the business of selling or manufacturing products, then you’re in the business of offering warranties — whether you realize it or not. Basically, a warranty is a guarantee that an item is of a certain quality or has certain attributes. Offering written warranties makes good business sense. They help assure customers that…

Communication Is Critical During Mergers and Acquisitions

Communication Is Critical During Mergers and Acquisitions

Keeping Everyone In the Loop Want to enter a market quickly, expand market share, or acquire and established brand? The first phrase that comes to mind is mergers & acquisitions. That can be a quick way of accomplishing your company’s goals. But mergers are often difficult – a frequently used term is the dance of the elephants…

A Key Partner in Your Business is Disabled: Now What?

A Key Partner in Your Business is Disabled: Now What?

Succession planning is one of the basic responsibilities of the business owner. After all, the owner’s family, partners, shareholders, suppliers, vendors, and in many cases, employees and their families all rely on the business’s continued viability as a going concern, to a greater or lesser degree. And of course, for the owner’s family, that dependency…

If a Partner Dies: Ensure the Survival and Success of a Business

If a Partner Dies: Ensure the Survival and Success of a Business

Example Consider this scenario: Two business partners have been friends since high school. After going to college, and spending a few years in the workforce, the two friends come back together and start a manufacturing business as equal partners. After a tough first couple of years, they finally get a couple of big breaks, and…

Military Leave: Employers Need to Know Your Duties

Military Leave: Employers Need to Know Your Duties

Question What obligations do I have when employees are in the Guard and Reserves? Answer Like most employers you probably find burdensome the unlimited time and duration of military leaves. But if you terminate employees who can’t keep regular hours because of their military obligations, you’ll find yourself in legal trouble. Most likely, a court…

IRS: Classifying Benefit Corporation Charitable Donations as Business Expenses

IRS: Classifying Benefit Corporation Charitable Donations as Business Expenses

In a General Information Letter dated June 2, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that a benefit corporation can deduct contributions to charities as business expenses when the payments are for institutional or goodwill advertising to keep the corporation’s name before the public. Benefit corporations now have a tax advantage over an average C Corporation since…

Report Predicts Record Contributions on Giving Tuesday

Report Predicts Record Contributions on Giving Tuesday

November 29, 2016, is Giving Tuesday. Never heard of it? Known on social media as #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has grown into one of the biggest fundraising drives for the not-for-profit industry. Similar to Cyber Monday, it’s a day when charities encourage people to make year-end donations using their computers and mobile devices. Blackbaud,…

How Consumer Protection Laws Affect Your Business

How Consumer Protection Laws Affect Your Business

In the “good old days,” owners of honestly-run businesses had little reason to fear the law. “Caveat emptor” or let the buyer beware was the norm. Contract laws, particularly those involving warranties, provided consumers with the ability to sue under some circumstances, but it was relatively easy for companies to avoid the long arm of…

Year-End Tax Strategies for Small Businesses

Year-End Tax Strategies for Small Businesses

It’s not too late to take steps to significantly reduce your 2016 business income tax bill and lay the groundwork for tax savings in future years. Here’s a summary of some of the most effective year-end tax-saving moves for small businesses under the existing Internal Revenue Code. After President Obama hands over the baton to…

Should My Financial Planner and My Estate Planning Attorney Work Together?

Should My Financial Planner and My Estate Planning Attorney Work Together?

For the most part, there is no reason why anyone needs to know the details regarding your estate plan or your financial plan. The exception to this general rule though is that your financial planner and your estate planning attorney should have at least a basic understanding of what each one is doing. Your financial…

Donald Trump: Six Ways the 45th President Will Impact Small Businesses

Donald Trump: Six Ways the 45th President Will Impact Small Businesses

Markets dislike uncertainty. America experienced more than its fair share of uncertainty on the election when Donald Trump shocked the pundits by upending their polls and predictions and winning the presidential election. Not surprisingly the markets quaked; as the results came in, Dow futures plunged and at one point were down almost 800 points. They…

S Corporations Explained

S Corporations Explained

What are the basics of an S Corporation? An S corporation (S corp for short) is a type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. An S corp…

Setting Reasonable Expectations for Family Business Succession

Setting Reasonable Expectations for Family Business Succession

What is family business succession planning? Succession planning involves decisions and planning regarding the transfer of the entrepreneur role. During this process, the entrepreneur determines if, when, how, and to whom they want to transfer the enterprise and for how much. In order to engage in succession planning, the entrepreneur must want to transfer either…

Raising Money:  The SEC Adopts New Rules That Help Entrepreneurs Raise Money

Raising Money: The SEC Adopts New Rules That Help Entrepreneurs Raise Money

SEC Adopts Final Rules In a refreshing twist of pace from its rule making with Regulation Crowdfunding, the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) did something right and updated its rules regarding how companies can raise money through intrastate and small offerings.  In large part, the changes are intended to make it easier to use state based securities…

What Private Companies Need to Know About the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

What Private Companies Need to Know About the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”)? The most sweeping corporate governance reforms and changes to the federal securities law in over 70 years. Enacted July 30, 2002. In response to widely publicized corporate scandals that occurred at some of the largest and best known public companies. Immediately following the enactment public companies began…

Can a Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Lose its Status?

Can a Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Lose its Status?

Yes. A public benefit corporation can lose its status as a public benefit corporation in three ways: termination, revocation, or dissolution. Termination Under the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Act, there are two ways a public benefit corporation can terminate its public benefit corporation status: by amendment or by transaction. Additionally, a court may order termination…