Friday, April 16, 2004

I GOT YOUR ENTERPRISE SOLUTION RIGHT HERE Is this a joke? Here's a story, no doubt cribbed from a press release, that describes the company "Smart OnlineĀ®" as "a leader in web-delivered business-critical software for small businesses." Does that say anything at all that has any meaning? Does it say nothing more than you have to download our software, which we think is useful for small business? Is it networking software, word processing, accounting, billing, credit card processing, presentation, database, business world cliche generator? Who knows. You'd think if you were issuing a press release about something wonderful you'd done, you wouldn't mind being clear about what your great product is. Oh well. To many silly cliches in software speak, while we legal types have been trying out plain English for a few years now. And we like it.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

LLC OR S-CORP? DON'T LOOK TO ONLINE ADVICE I don't know if this article is wrong because it is simplified for mass consumption or because it is legal advice being rendered by the alphabet soup author, who's a "CMA CFM CBM". Anyway, if you want to know what's the best entity for you, hire a lawyer.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMPLE CORPORATE DOCUMENTATION Here's a good example of how important corporate documention is. No, I'm not talking about bookingkeeping, but simple things like stock certificates. No one wants to pay lawyers to get these things done right at start-up, then we are three years down the road, the perfect buyer has arrived, and it turns out you don't even know who owns the company. Or maybe, one of the guys has forgotten to pay the company's taxes, so you're thinking that it's pretty cool that you don't really own any of the Company. But then, we discover that you got a K-1 on the company's losses in a prior tax year.

Now, you've got a lot of corporate clean up to take care before you can get that big fat check from the buyer. And God help you if the buyer wants a legal opinion on the company. And God help you if you've been telling some other government agency that your ownership is different than what you've been telling the IRS.

Lesson here: Do it right from the get-go! And pay a lawyer to do it, or you could be in a world of pain later or have tax liabilities that you didn't expect.