Category Archives: Startup

A “Patent Troll Lawsuit” Landed In My Lap! Now What!?

patent troll lawyerThey’re baaaaaaaaaccccck. Patent troll lawsuits, that is — and they’re targeting small businesses. If one lands in your lap, stay calm and don’t rush to pay; the plaintiff may be a troll, and you may not be at all liable.

Patent Troll Lawsuit: They’re Calculating You’ll Just Pay Without Exploring The Validity Of The Claim

Naturally, it’s intimidating to get an official-looking, accusation-strewn letter, from a complete unknown, demanding that you fork over $1,000 per employee or face a protracted lawsuit. In fact, it can be so nerve-wracking that many smaller companies opt to pay without researching the issue, which is what many patent trolls count on.

Unfortunately, additional troubles may lurk around small businesses that appease. Why? Well, “trolling” companies and their lawyers tend to know each other and share information. So, parties that just pay up, wind up with more questionable lawsuits landing in their laps.

Why do Patent Trolls Target Small Businesses?

For years, patent assertion entities made money by suing large corporations across the country.

However, things changed in May 2017 when the Supreme Court ruled that claimants could only sue companies for patent infringement in their state, which made things more difficult for assertion entities to carry on business as usual. So, they went hunting for new targets — smaller companies and startups.

Patent Troll Lawsuit: It Can Happen to You

Lately, patent trolls seem to be spawning exponentially. If you’re stung, some options:

Has A Patent Troll Targeted You?

Is someone trying to sue you for patent infringement? Gordon Law Group helps entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses with so-called “patent troll” lawsuits. Succinctly stated: We know how to shake them; and under the right circumstances, patent trolls can be forced to pay your legal fees!

Get in touch today to see how we can help you fight back against a patent troll. Consultations are free.

New Illinois Business Laws Help Startups and SMBs

Illinois business lawyerAre you a small- or medium-sized business owner in Illinois? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring entrepreneur in search of funding? Whichever the case, here’s the good news: A handful of state and federal laws will most likely save you money moving forward — and present new opportunities.

Below is a breakdown of the 2018 laws poised to help Illinois businesses prosper.

New Illinois Business Law: The “Fee Slashing” SB 867

It used to cost between $500 and $750 to register an LLC in Illinois. SB 867 slashed those fees to $39 and $59. Referred to as “a new day,” legislators hope the cut costs will provide a break to existing businesses and encourage new ones.

Excerpt from new Illinois business law, SB 867 (2018):

Amends the Limited Liability Company Act. Reduces the fee collected by the Secretary of State for the filing of articles of organization, applications for admission, and restated articles of organization from $500 to $39 and reduces those fees in connection with a limited liability company with ability to establish series from $750 to $59. Effective immediately.

New Illinois Business Law: The “Investment Credit” SB 2012

Looking to secure funds for your startup? Well, thanks to SB 2012, investors may be more willing to bet on you. The new statute doubles the allowable angel investment credit, taking it from $10,000 to $20,000.

Excerpt from new Illinois business law, SB 2012 (2018)

Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act. Makes the following changes with respect to the angel investment credit: (1) provides that the credit applies for taxable years ending on or before December 31, 2021 (currently, December 31, 2016); (2) increases the maximum aggregate amount of the angel investment credit from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000; (3) defines “investment” as equity, Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) Agreements, and convertible notes; (4) provides that each qualified new business venture must renew its registration on an annual basis; (5) provides that, for taxable years ending on or after December 31, 2017, applicants for the credit must make a minimum investment of $10,000 in a qualified new business venture (currently, there is no minimum investment requirement).

New Illinois Business Law: Startup Funding For Public Aid Recipients

Do you have a super business idea, but think you can’t secure funding because of public assistance? Think again! HB 736 establishes a startup grant program for people receiving aid. So, get those business plans ready!

Excerpt from new Illinois business law, HB 736 (2018)

Requires the Department of Human Services to establish a small business grant program for public aid recipients who are interested in developing a new start-up business. Requires grant applicants to submit an initial business plan or proposal to the Department that clearly articulates the viability of the new start-up business and how the grant money will be used to develop the business. Provides that the Department shall use such application materials to determine an applicant’s eligibility under the program, the grant amount to be awarded, if applicable, and the number of grants an eligible applicant will receive under the program.

We Help SMBs in Chicago, Across The Country, And Around The World

Gordon Law Group helps businesses prosper. Based in Illinois, we work with brick-and-mortar and online companies in Illinois, across the country, and internationally. To learn more about our firm, please start here. If you’ve got questions for an Illinois business lawyer, please get in touch. Consultations are free, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

Four Reasons To Work With A Chicago Startup Lawyer

Chicago startup lawyer

Want to pave the best path for your new business? Hire a Chicago startup lawyer who can foster growth and limit liabilities.

Requirements vary from business to business, but below we’ve compiled some general examples of how startup lawyers can make your business life easier — and ultimately more profitable.

#1 Reason to Use a Chicago Startup Lawyer: Formation Expertise Can Save You Money and Headaches

Do you need a lawyer to register a sole-proprietorship? Sure, you can probably handle the paperwork for that. But, are you sure a sole proprietorship will save you the most come tax time?  A startup lawyer will walk you through options and draw a map that will get you where you want to be quicker &mdash and with more money to grow.

Moreover, if a venture involves one or more partners or investors, it’s best to have an experienced third party outline equity rights and other important foundational elements.

A startup lawyer can also determine the best place to incorporate and most beneficial corporate structure.

#2 Reason to Use a Chicago Startup Lawyer: Investors and Seed Funding

If you’re courting investors, let a lawyer steer the ship. Regulatory standards must be observed; failure to do so can summon crushing fines. Besides, when negotiating, venture capitalists safeguard their best interests. In other, (blunt), words: If you don’t want to be pwned, find an experienced Chicago startup lawyer who can relentlessly represent your needs and wants.

Investment documents can be tricky — and they typically favor investors.  Without precautions, the agreement you sign to get your business off the ground could ultimately become the document that squeezes you out.  Lawyers negotiate term sheets all the time and know the traps. We’ll make sure you get a fair shake and a solid deal.

#3 Reason to Use a Chicago Startup Lawyer: Intellectual Property Protection

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights exist to protect your products, your ideas, and your profits.  This can cover everything from your brand name to package design elements.  Intellectual property is your business’ greatest asset — and registering it increases its value. Plus, investors favor candidates that do things properly and thoroughly.

If your business is generating intellectual property, find yourself a startup lawyer.

#4 Reason to Use a Chicago Startup Lawyer: Employees

While the creation of an employee agreement may not be difficult, making changes to it down the road may be.  Most startups rely on contractors, and it’s imperative to outline parameters for said contractors? Do they get a stake in the company? Are they allowed to share the information? You get the point.

There are myriad reasons to enlist a Chicago startup lawyer.  Using online services for simple tasks may work, but they will not offer alternative advice that could make all the difference down the road.

Connect With A Chicago Startup Lawyer

Gordon Law Group has been working with Chicago startups — and others across the country — for years. We’re experienced, efficient, and personable. There’s a reason our clients stay with us through every business growth stage.

If you’re a startup in need of counsel, let’s talk. We know all the tricks, tips, and tactics to make sure your venture starts off on the right foot — and stays on a profitable path.

Should Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Startups Be Eyeing Belarus?

Belarus cryptocurrency tax advantages
Belarus wants to become a cryptocurrency hub. Would it work for your startup?

Belarus’ looooooooooong-time president, Alexander Lukashenko, is re-branding himself as a pioneering cryptocurrency politician. Lukashenko, who has retained power in the former Soviet enclave for over 24 years, declared that “Belarus will become the first government in the world that opens wide opportunities for the use of blockchain technology.” Vsevolod Yanchevsky, one of the country’s tech luminaries, is also sold on the idea, raving in a recent interview, “Belarus will be one of the best jurisdictions in the world for cryptocurrencies and blockchain.”

Belarus to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Startups: Incorporate Here and We’ll Wave Your Taxes

So, what is Lukashenko’s plan to transform Belarus into a digital currency kingdom? Easy:

Lukashenko seems confident in the vision, optimistically opining: “We have every chance of becoming a regional center in this area.”

Visions of ICOs are also dancing in the leader’s head, and his government is already contemplating ways to thwart would-be crypto criminals, including capital requirements and smart contract standards.

Could Belarus’ Cryptocurrency Dreams Become Reality?

Does Belarus have a shot at turning this idea into reality?

It does.

Over the past decade, several of the post-Soviet states have made significant technological strides. Especially Belarus; it’s home to World of Tanks, the phone messaging system Viber, and EPAM Systems. Alphabet — Google’s holding company — has even snatched up several Belarus startups.

Praise established, Belarus’ plan could also hit some roadblocks, due to conflicting statutes and the current global political climate.

Legal Options For Cryptocurrency Companies

Is your blockchain or cryptocurrency business at a crossroads? Trying to decide where, what, when, and how?

Our digital currency legal team can help. We’ll figure out everything from the best place to incorporate, ICO particulars, and even the ideal tax reporting plan.

Gordon Law Group maintains Internet law, tax, accounting, and cryptocurrency divisions — making us an ideal choice for exchanges, wallets, established fintech businesses, and blockchain startups.

Get in touch today to begin the conversation.

Article Sources

Kudrytski, A. (2017, December 22). Europe’s last dictator wants to be its cryptocurrency king. Retrieved January 31, 2018, from http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/europes-last-dictator-wants-to-be-its-cryptocurrency-king-20171222-h09m14.html

Nevis LLC Regulations Strengthen Asset Protection For Principals

Lawyer to incorporate US companies in NevisU.S. citizens can establish limited liability companies in Nevis.

In July 2015, the Nevis Assembly amended an ordinance, and in doing so improved the asset protection benefits of a Nevis LLC.

Nevis LLC Management

A single member can now hold all interests in a limited liability company, and owners of Nevis LLCs maintain control over all corporate assets. Additionally, single-member LLCs file IRS Form 8832 to qualify as “disregarded entityies” which don’t affect U.S. income tax calculations. The icing on the cake: Nevis doesn’t have any accounting, reporting, or auditing requirements for earned off-island income.

Charging Orders

The single-member management involves “charging orders,” which disallows creditors to force liquidation or seize the interests of liable parties. Creditors can only receive future distributions.

Furthermore, no adverse tax consequences will befall U.S. citizens who transfer assets to offshore single-member LLCs. Plus, U.S. creditors must solicit a Nevis court to enforce and collect judgments.

Overall, the new legislation limits fraudulent transfer claims and makes it more difficult for creditors to get their hands on Nevis LLC assets. Additionally, corporations can start new ventures without being hindered by creditors.

Nevis LLC Law Change Amendment

Foreign Judgments Not Automatically Enforced

To execute a judgment in Nevis, the creditor must first retain a Nevis attorney, who under local rules may not work on a contingency basis. That means the creditor is paying legal fees from day 1. The creditor must also post a cash bond to cover any costs incurred by potential counterclaims. Nevis is also a “loser-pays” jurisdiction; the prevailing party is generally entitled to have its legal fees reimbursed by the loser.

“charging order” Only Available Creditor Action

Creditors only have the right to future distributions made from the business to the liable member. They can’t interfere in the business or foreclose on the ownership interest. Nevis doesn’t have a winding-up mechanism for LLCs, making the charging order the only way creditors can recover assets from a Nevis LLC.

Named Defendants Limited To LLCs

A judge can dismiss lawsuits against a Nevis LLC that also names members or managers as defendants. This procedural requirement makes it more challenging to attack member interests.

Membership interest Trumps fraudulent conveyance

Under Nevis law, transferring assets to an LLC is not considered fraudulent conveyance even for single-member corporations. As long as the transferor receives a corresponding equivalent membership interest in the LLC, it’s all good.

Enhanced burden of proof For Creditors

For a creditor to prevail in a fraudulent conveyance claim, local law requires proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Frivolous Litigation Protections

In the unlikely event that a Nevis court deems a money or property transfer fraudulent, creditors can only collect actual damages, not punitive ones.

Connect With A Business Law Attorney

The Gordon Law Group works with startups and established corporations on everything from jurisdictional optimization to contract negotiations, tax positioning to litigatory representation.

If you’re curious about establishing an LLC in Nevis — or if you have any other business law questions — give us a ring.

To learn more about our business law firm, start here. If you’re ready to speak with someone about your situation, get in touch.