Have you ever thought about the agreements that you use in dealing with your partners, co-workers, customers and suppliers?  Most of the agreements we use are “boilerplate” agreements, with only a few terms left open for negotiation.  Usually, the party drafting the agreement is considered to have the superior bargaining position and presents the agreement to the other side with a “take it or leave it” attitude. This type of agreement often creates conscious or unconscious feelings of animosity between the parties, which can cause the relationship to break down... Read The Rest →


The “living trust” described in this article is a revocable living trust. It is sometimes referred to as a revocable inter vivos trust, or a grantor trust. A living trust may be amended or revoked by the person creating it (commonly known as a “trustor,” “grantor” or “settlor”), at any time during the trustor’s lifetime, as long as the trustor is competent. A trust is a written legal agreement between the individual creating the trust and the person or institution named to manage the assets held in the trust (the... Read The Rest →


In early October, California Governor Jerry Brown signd a variety of important employment and labor-related statutes. Although Gov. Brown vetoed several additional anti-employer measures, this year marks a turning point for employers with workforces in California. It is anticipated that the 2012 legislative session will yield additional proposals that will impose new and probably onerous obligations on employers. The following are the most significant of the measures signed by Governor Brown in 2011.       “Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011” Creates New Wage Disclosure Requirements and New Penalties for Underpayment... Read The Rest →


How do you know whether a corporation or LLC is right for your business?             Let’s assume that you’ve concluded it would be advantageous to operate your small business through an entity that limits the personal liability of all the owners – even if following this strategy involves a bit more paperwork, complexity and possible expense.  You have two main choices – either a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC).  Which is better?  There’s no answer to this question that applies to every business.  Nevertheless, some general principals may... Read The Rest →


S corporations are similar to LLCs in that they provide owners with limited liability protection while offering the tax structure of a partnership. Many entrepreneurs have two goals when choosing a structure for their business: protecting their personal assets for business claims (limited liability) and having business profits taxed on their individual tax returns. Not long ago, an S corporation was the only choice for these business owners. In the last few years, however, the popularity of S corporations has decreased as limited liability companies (LLCs) have largely replaced them.... Read The Rest →


How Corporations Are Taxed It pays to learn the ups and downs of corporate taxation before you start your business. Corporations are taxed differently than other business structures: A corporation is the only type of business that must pay its own income taxes on profits.  In contrast, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are not taxed on business profits; instead, the profits “pass through” the business to their owners, who report business income or losses on their personal tax returns. Understanding Corporate Taxation Because a corporation is a... Read The Rest →


DOES YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY COMPLY WITH THE LAW? Another social media report by the NLRB offers needed guidance for employer policies The National Labor Relations Board released its second Social Media Report in January of this year providing the General Counsel’s analysis of 14 challenged employer social media policies. On May 30, 2012 the Board released another Report reviewing seven additional employer policies. The new Social Media Report, in its’ entirety (all 24 pages), is attached to this article. The Report reviews specific language contained in social media policies... Read The Rest →


  Reminder: written and signed commission agreements are required by January 1, 2013 It is time to think about that to-do list for year end. One item on that list for all California employers should be to make sure you have updated, accurate, and signed commission agreements on file. Last year AB 1396 was passed, requiring that any employer who pays commissions to employees must have a written contract setting forth “the method by which the commissions shall be computed and paid.” The employer must give a copy of the... Read The Rest →


A recently-passed piece of California legislation that will impact employers is the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 (WTPA), which takes effect January 1, 2012. This law adds a new section to the California Labor Code  (Labor Code Section 2810.5). The WTPA requires that employers provide written notice to employees at the time of hiring regarding: 1) rates of pay and the basis for compensation, including whether the rates involve payment per hour, per shift, per day, per week, or by salary, piece, commission, “or otherwise”; 2) any credits or... Read The Rest →