Finance

Securities Exemptions for Employee Stock Options (Rule 701)

By Amy Riedel   Once a growing startup begins to take on employees and advisors, one of its first considerations is incentivizing key team members or key advisers with equity.  Often, these are awards in the form of options or grants. A stock option gives the holder the ability to buy stock at an agreed …

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Equity Crowdfunding in Washington: The New Frontier in Venture Capital?  

By Amy W. Riedel As many of you may know, Washington State’s governor, Jay Inslee, signed the Washington State Jobs Act on March 28, 2014.  Our very own Peter J. Smith blogged about this development last spring. By enabling crowdfunding on the state level, Washington State is providing a more immediate solution for entrepreneurs and …

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Equity Crowdfunding (almost) Available in Washington State!

By Peter J. Smith On April 5, 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law.  Among other provisions, the JOBS Act aimed to permit unaccredited investors (think the average Joe) an opportunity to invest a limited amount of capital in businesses.  Without the JOBS Act, it is nearly impossible to raise money from average …

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The 83(b) Election

By Amy Riedel As we begin a new year and leave holiday celebrations behind, I am reminded of a less exciting event signaled by year-end: personal income taxes. For most people, December 31st marks a day of not only celebratory champagne countdowns, but also the end of their tax accounting year. For anyone who has …

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What’s in a State: Choosing where to Incorporate your New Business

By Amy Riedel We have previously discussed how some founders might choose their business structure (here and here) and what organizational documents are necessary for formation depending on entity structure. Once you have decided on what type of entity you want to form, the next question becomes where you want to form it. For many …

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Why Business Can be Good at Solving Social Problems

Business is a tool, its how you use that tool that matters.  Michael Porter, the Harvard Business School Professor in the Ted Talk video below, argues that business can be the tool to solve the world’s greatest problems. We all know the social problems: childhood obesity, poverty, water scarcity, poor healthcare, climate change. Usually, we look …

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The Importance of Understanding Bylaws and Operating Agreements

One of the most common questions coming from start up companies revolves around what corporate governance documents are needed upon formation. Whether you are incorporating as a limited liability company (an “LLC”) or a Corporation, you need to take the time to put together and understand the initial corporate governance for your company, to ensure …

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Capital and Control: The final two considerations for determining legal structure for your Social Enterprise.

You want to make a change with your new business venture and you’re ready to file the necessary paper work to form a legal structure, but what type of legal structure should you form?  Because your idea combines for-profit considerations and nonprofit motives, you’re a little confused about whether you should form a nonprofit, a …

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The Crowdfunding Frontier; How the JOBS Act is like the Wild Wild West

Now that the President has signed the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups (JOBS) Act (the “ACT“), crowdfunding through the various different crowdfunding sites available, will be a legitimate source of equity financing for start-up companies. At its core, crowdfunding means raising small amounts of money from the general public (the crowd); a practice that was virtually …

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