Starting a Nonprofit Organization in New York

Nonprofits are businesses that made it their mission to give away all of their profits to a particular cause, rather than enrich the owners of the business.  Starting a nonprofit organization is in many ways like starting any other small business in New York.  But there are additional steps required in order to get the desired status of "tax exempt" from the IRS, which...

Read More

Five Common Employment Law Hazards for Start-Ups

Five Common Employment Law Hazards for Start-Ups by Michael L. Rosen | Foley Hoag LLP.

Read More

A List of Must Have Startup Agreements

Having all the right kind of contracts in place at the beginning of a business venture manages expectations and prevents conflicts with your business partners, customers, vendors, lessors…you get the idea.   Thus, I present you with a list of the most commonly needed agreements for any business startup: Shareholder Agreement or Operating Agreement If you are in a business with more...

Read More

DIY Incorporation Kits by Stephen L. Nelson

I am a big believer in bootstrapping and DIY, especially when it comes to starting a business. One, you don't have much money to waste, and two, knowledge is power.  Thus, before you pay some incorporation service to essentially operate a fax machine for you, you may as well do it yourself all the way and learn a lot by doing it.  While you could hire a lawyer to do it for a...

Read More

NY S Corporations v. LLCs

Many small business owners end up deciding between a New York S corporation and a New York limited liability company (LLC) when choosing a formal legal structure for their New York business. Both entities offer limited liability and a startup friendly tax treatment. But which entity is right for your small business? The following are some frequently asked questions with respect to the two...

Read More

What licenses do I need to start an Online Business? [updated April 2012]

An online business is no different from any other business when it comes to licenses and permits.  Depending on the type of business you conduct, online or offline, you may need certain permits and licenses from three different authorities: the Federal Government, your State Government or your local authorities. Federal Government permits and licenses are rarely necessary, except for...

Read More

How to use Special Terms in your LLC’s Name

As you may know, there are naming rules (Section 204 NY limited liability company law) when it comes to choosing a name for your LLC.  Most  names are o.k. if not already taken by somebody else, but some terms are tricky and require special dispensation. For example, try filing articles of organization for this LLC:  "Life Exchange, LLC".  You will get a nice letter...

Read More

Professionals starting a Corporation or Limited Liability Company in New York

A professional cannot form a regular corporation or limited liability company to sell his or her professional services.  This is well known about lawyers and doctors, but it is also true for nurses, psychologists, and any other profession designated in Title 8 of the education law. These professions have to form a special kind of corporation or LLC, a so called professional corporation or a...

Read More

An Artist goes into Business

A reader of my blog had the following questions which I am happy to address in a legal information kind of way.  (Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, nor is there an attorney-client relationship between me and the reader or anybody else reading this.) “I have a degree in art. I am unable to find a full-time job, so I am thinking of doing freelance work to pay my bills.” Good...

Read More

I am starting a Business – What can I do to minimize Risk and Sleep through the Night?

If you have ever started a business, you know what it is like to wake up in the middle of the night and be worried sick.  Being in business exposes you to a lot of risk.  The key is to plan for risk and minimize it where possible, so that you can find the sleep you need to succeed. Here are the ten most common strategies to minimize risk when operating a business: 1.  Forming a...

Read More