Loan Applications: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Loan Applications: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Need a loan to start or expand your business? Nearly a decade after the financial crisis of 2008, many banks remain hesitant about loaning money to start-ups and small business owners. Stricter lending policies often make applying for financing a nerve-wracking and time-consuming process. Here are some ways to give your loan application a leg…

Laws to Empower our 21st Century Entrepreneurial Society

Laws to Empower our 21st Century Entrepreneurial Society

Over thirty years ago, Peter Drucker famously argued for a shift toward an entrepreneurial society, one where “executives in all institutions…make innovation and entrepreneurship a normal, ongoing everyday activity.” As Julian Birkinshaw recently noted, we have come a long way towards realizing Drucker’s vision. There has been a boom in startups, a huge proliferation in the number…

Escaping the Credit Crunch: Using Government Incentives to Finance Biomass Production

Escaping the Credit Crunch: Using Government Incentives to Finance Biomass Production

With winter approaching and the credit crunch still bearing down on us, many might be inclined to ignore biomass projects right now. But there is good news and reason for hope. A veritable alphabet soup of government funding programs exist that can help you get your project off the ground. These programs include: USDA Biorefinery…

Legal Issues for Biomass Thermal Offtake Contracts

Legal Issues for Biomass Thermal Offtake Contracts

Originally published in Biomass Magazine, February 6, 2015 Biomass thermal projects are becoming increasingly popular and it is important to make sure that they are done correctly. Project financiers, be they equity partners or bankers, will require carefully thought-out contracts that will enable the project to get paid and address potential problems. One of the most important…

How are SSDI and SSI Different?

How are SSDI and SSI Different?

Both SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) are benefits programs for the disabled and both are managed by the Social Security Administration.  But the eligibility requirements for each program are very different.  One of the main differences is that SSDI is available only to workers who have earned enough work credits…

Zerorez v. U.S. Olympic Committee – Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss

Zerorez v. U.S. Olympic Committee – Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA HSK LLC (d/b/a ZEROREZ) Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE Defendant. Case No.: 16-civ-02641 -WMW-KMM MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS Shari L. J. Aberle #0306551 DORSEY &WHITNEY LLP 50 South Sixth Street Suite 1500 Minneapolis, MN 55402   Susan A. Smith (D.C….

Fast-Casual Chain Restaurants: Cashing in on the Trend

Fast-Casual Chain Restaurants: Cashing in on the Trend

We all know of national restaurant chains. The fast-food side of the sector includes McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. The sit-down side also includes household names like Applebee’s, Olive Garden, and Chili’s. But where do emergent chains such as Chipotle, Noodles & Company, and Five Guys Burgers & Fries fit in? Are they considered fast-food or sit-down restaurants?…

Dealing With Your State Corporation Commission

Dealing With Your State Corporation Commission

No matter what type of business you’re in, sooner or later you have to deal with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) or Secretary of State. These offices handle the formalities of setting up and maintaining a business, whether it’s a partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other entity. Purpose – The SCC regulates business and…

Obtaining Investors without Registering with the SEC

Obtaining Investors without Registering with the SEC

There comes a time when many businesses need to raise money to take advantage of growth opportunities. Perhaps your small profitable company or promising start-up wants to attract investors. Do you have to register with the SEC? It depends. You may be able to qualify for one of several exemptions from federal registration requirements under…

DOJ Blocked from Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Businesses

DOJ Blocked from Prosecuting Medical Marijuana Businesses

Good news for medicinal marijuana industry both in Minnesota and nationwide. Earlier this month the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that as long as medical marijuana businesses are compliant with relevant state laws, federal prosecutors can no longer pursue cases against them. The court sided in favor of the defendants in ten…

Business Law – Business Sale: Who Owns Professional Goodwill?

Business Law – Business Sale: Who Owns Professional Goodwill?

When a professional corporation sells its assets or liquidates, one important tax issue is whether the corporation or the shareholder-employees own any appreciated professional goodwill (with a fair market value in excess of tax basis). For tax purposes, goodwill is an intangible asset. It represents the value of a trade or business based on expected…

Understanding the Benefits of S Corporations

Understanding the Benefits of S Corporations

Whether you’re setting up a new company or you’ve been in business for years, you need to evaluate which legal structure is best for your enterprise. Be Reasonable Dividend distributions avoid payroll taxes so it’s generally advantageous to take as much income as possible in the form of dividends, rather than compensation. But the law…

Think You Don’t Need a Written Contract? Think Again

Think You Don’t Need a Written Contract? Think Again

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Yet many business owners and executives still enter into handshake deals. The Basic Elements of a Contract In order for a contract to be legally binding, it must have three elements: An offer, acceptance, and consideration. Here’s a simplified…

How can an Artist make a Living in the Modern Economy?

How can an Artist make a Living in the Modern Economy?

As the film Florence Foster Jenkins, the true story of a rich heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera star, highlights: money really helps artists, good or bad, become stars.  The more relevant question for today’s young musicians and artists revolves around: how does art, and those who produce it, actually make a living in the modern…

Anticipate Future Possibilities with a Shareholders Agreement

Anticipate Future Possibilities with a Shareholders Agreement

A shareholders agreement drafted for a privately held company details the rights and obligations of the shareholders. It not only provides guiding principles for running the business today, it lays out the ground rules of what to do if one of the shareholders dies, becomes disabled — or one party wants to dissolve the business….

Are You Properly Maintaining Business Records and Keeping Minutes?

Are You Properly Maintaining Business Records and Keeping Minutes?

When it comes to running a business, you have to make sure that you keep proper books and records pursuant to your state’s law. During meetings with directors and shareholders, you may be required to record corporate minutes. Otherwise, you could be in violation of the law. Seven Steps to Help Properly Keep Minutes. 1….

Sell Products or Services on the Internet? Better Know About Collecting Sales Taxes

Sell Products or Services on the Internet? Better Know About Collecting Sales Taxes

Do you own a company or are interested in starting a company selling products or services over the Internet? It is extremely important to understand the laws pertaining to the collection of sales taxes. Sales Tax versus Use Tax States with a sales tax generally have a companion tax for purchases made outside the state….

Like Food? Love Community? Start a Public Benefit Corporation

Like Food? Love Community? Start a Public Benefit Corporation

Foodie Craze Over the last few years, an undeniable “foodie” craze has swept the nation. From trendy restaurants to local ingredients to coop grocery stores, people seem to be paying more attention to their food then ever before. But there is an underlying phenomenon to this food-centric trend. People are not just paying more attention to their…

Be Aware of the Stakeholders in Your Business – Or You May Regret It

Be Aware of the Stakeholders in Your Business – Or You May Regret It

In the good old days, business owners believed that as long as they served their customers effectively and made sure that their stock maintained or increased its value, all was taken care of. However, it’s now part of the norm that business owners not only have to please their customers and shareholders but also be…

The Role of Small Business in Addressing the Racial Wealth Divide

The Role of Small Business in Addressing the Racial Wealth Divide

Racial Wealth Divide Amidst a bitter presidential election cycle, income inequality has been garnering much more media coverage. Recently, David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, delved into the issue from an economic and racial perspective. The topic at hand was a new report looking at America’s wealth gap which found that with current public policies,…

Export-Import Bank Still Dealing with Political Opposition

Export-Import Bank Still Dealing with Political Opposition

Politically Controversial Many U.S. exporters are familiar with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM Bank”), an independent federal agency that facilitates U.S. exports through private export financing (such as export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, and guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers). However, operation of the EXIM Bank continues to be a…

Minnesota Attorney Registration & Attorney Search

Minnesota Attorney Registration & Attorney Search

This page provides an overview of the key information related to Minnesota attorney registration and searching official databases of Minnesota attorneys. Minnesota Attorney Registration Minnesota attorney registration is handled by the Minnesota Lawyer Registration Office, a branch of the Minnesota Courts: Minnesota Lawyer Registration Office Minnesota Judicial Center 25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr….

Can Corporations Use Arbitration Clauses to Avoid Class Actions?

Can Corporations Use Arbitration Clauses to Avoid Class Actions?

Here is an interesting development in the law involving companies using arbitration contract provisions to avoid small claims that could only be affordable to litigate in a class action. This article begins by explaining that arbitration clauses often amount to waiving the right to sue, under circumstances where class actions are the only affordable option,…

The Use of Benefit Corporations by Charitable Organizations

The Use of Benefit Corporations by Charitable Organizations

Introduction For years nonprofit organizations exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (charitable organizations) have dabbled (or sometimes more than dabbled) with profit-generating activities. Mixing for-profit and nonprofit, taxable and tax-exempt entities successfully requires more than a passing knowledge of business structures, governance structures, and tax. Now that the benefit corporation…

Minnesota Medical Cannabis: One Year Later

Minnesota Medical Cannabis: One Year Later

Minnesota’s medical cannabis program began distributing medical cannabis to registered patients on July 1, 2015. Cannabis Manufacturers The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) registered two medical cannabis manufacturers on December 1, 2014. They are responsible for the cultivation, production, and distribution of medical cannabis in the state. The manufacturers are Minnesota Medical Solutions, LLC and…

Advisory: Be Cautious and Vigilant Hiring In-Home Caregivers

Advisory: Be Cautious and Vigilant Hiring In-Home Caregivers

A recent case provides a cautionary tale on why family members must be on guard against people who might cozy up to elderly relatives and surreptitiously and illegally siphon off money. The U.S. Tax Court recently agreed with the IRS that a caregiver owed tax on a staggering sum of unreported income earned as the…