September 14, 2015

Operating Agreements and a Member’s Bankruptcy – Part 1

One of the primary reasons to operate your business as a limited liability company is to limit your exposure to the company’s liabilities.  A related issue that is often overlooked is understanding the extent to which a limited liability company can be liable for the liabilities of a bankrupt co-owner.  For example, if Walter and […]
August 6, 2015

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property law is designed to support innovation.  This is done by striking a balance between rewarding the creators of intellectual property and creating a large public domain from which future creators can draw.  The extent of intellectual property protections provided to a creator depend upon the nature of the intellectual property created.  In general, the […]
July 8, 2015

Begin with the End in Mind – The Benefits of Buy-Sell Agreements

In his seminal book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey advises his readers to “Begin with the End in Mind.”  This advice holds true when you are working on a business plan for a new company – you should always include an exit strategy addressing how the business will continue (or dissolve) […]
June 25, 2015

Keeping Your Trade Secrets A Secret (Part II)

The previous blog post outlined some of the legal protections afforded to trade secrets.  However, in order for information to qualify as a trade secret under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (which Georgia and 46 other states have adopted), the information must be “subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances in order to […]
June 18, 2015

Keeping Your Trade Secrets A Secret (Part I)

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for allegedly hacking the Houston Astros’ player personnel database.   This story illustrates some of the ways in which trade secrets are protected under the law. A trade secret is any information which (i) derives economic value from not […]
June 11, 2015

Trademark Law 101

What is a trademark? A trademark is any name, symbol or device used in commerce to identify and distinguish goods or services. A trademark can be a word, a slogan, an image or even a design or a sound. Examples include the word “McDonald’s”, the slogan “What’s in Your Wallet”, the Nike swoosh, the design […]
June 5, 2015

What’s in a Name? How to Avoid Trademark Disputes.

When my wife and I were expecting our first son, we came up with a list of potential names, debated the pros and cons of each name and then decided on one we both liked.  Similarly, entrepreneurs think long and hard in order to choose a perfect name for their start-ups.  There is a crucial […]
May 20, 2015

Georgia Tax Credits for Small Businesses

Hypepotamus (a great source for news about the Atlanta tech scene) posted a good article yesterday about five Georgia tax credits. These credits are under-utilized due to the fact that many tax professionals are unaware of their existence. In particular, the Job Tax Credit and the Retraining Tax Credit can be an unexpected boon for […]
October 17, 2014

Flipping Burgers and Non-Competes

The Huffington Post reported earlier this week that Jimmy Johns, the purveyor of “gourmet” sandwiches, requires all of its delivery drivers to sign a non-compete agreement stating that the employee cannot work for another business which derives 10% of its revenue from selling sandwiches that is located within three miles of any Jimmy John’s restaurant […]
July 19, 2014

IRS Introduces New Streamlined Filing Procedures for Most Charities

Effective as of this month, the IRS has approved a new, shorter application form to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) status. The new form replaces the old, 26-page long application with a three page form.  Most organizations with gross receipts less than $50,000 and assets less than $250,000 are eligible to file the new […]
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