Corporate Transparency Act Imposes New Federal Reporting Requirements on Most U.S. Companies

By Banking and Financial Services, Business

Beginning in January 2024, most privately-owned companies formed or registered in the United States must start reporting the names of their “Beneficial Owners” to the U.S. Treasury Department. This reporting requirement is imposed by the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), a 2020 federal law, and the Treasury Department expects it to apply to more than 32 million U.S. companies in its first year.[1] The CTA is part of the federal government’s fight against money laundering, which often entails the rapid formation of U.S. shell companies and the transfer of illegal funds between them. Read More

10 Tips for Creating Enforceable Online Software Agreements

By Business, Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

For providers of Software-as-a-Service applications, an online agreement with the product’s users is critical. Whether called a Terms of Use, End User License Agreement (EULA) or some other name, the agreement gives providers a host of benefits. It can reduce liability in the event of a lawsuit, secure intellectual property rights that providers need from users, help providers comply with privacy laws and more. Read More

The Corporate Transparency Act: An Overview for Financial Institutions

By Banking and Financial Services, Business

This article surveys the implications of a new federal statute, the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), for financial institutions and their business customers. The CTA will soon require most private companies in the United States to report the names of their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. This new structure will supplement the reporting that banks and other financial institutions currently do under FinCEN’s Customer Due Diligence Rule (“CDD Rule”). Read More

Non-Fungible Tokens Make First Appearances in U.S. Courts

By Blockchain & Digital Assets, Business, Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

Nearly one year after they became a household term, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have begun to make their first appearances in American court decisions. These early cases involve two of America’s best-known names in media: recording artist Jay-Z and Playboy. While many legal questions about NFTs remain, these first decisions suggest that courts will apply traditional legal principles to at least some of the issues these tokens raise. Read More

When Should a Tech Startup Form a Company?

By Business, Intellectual Property, Software & Startups

Before a technology startup becomes a company, it spends a period of time as simply a project. The founding team is usually one or two individuals building and testing products as they try to validate a demand for them in the market. At some point, founders ask themselves: when is it time to turn this project into a company?

This article tackles that question with respect to a particular type of business venture, which is a growth-oriented tech startup. By this, we mean an organization whose products incorporate intellectual property (I.P.) and which seeks to scale quickly after confirming product-market fit. Read More

A Legal Checklist for Early-Stage Tech Companies

By Business, Intellectual Property, Privacy, Software & Startups, Start-Up and Entrepreneurship Law

Download the Legal Checklist for Early-Stage Tech Companies

In a tech company’s early days, it’s easy for the founders to make legal missteps.  Most mistakes are unintentional and result from a lack of knowledge or legal budget rather than bad intent. Nonetheless, it’s critical to remedy them as the company moves forward.  Failure to do so can place the company in breach of its business-to-business contracts; it can create uncertainty about the company’s ownership of its intellectual property; and it can create a host of operational risks.  It can also kill or devalue outside investment deals when investors discover these problems in their due diligence. Read More

Reopening the State and Your Business – A Resource Guide

By Business, Coronavirus

UPDATED MAY 22, 2020

When and how you may reopen your business after the COVID-19 shutdown is a question that initially will be answered by federal and State government, and then by individual business owners and managers.  For example, Maine Governor Janet Mills has set out a four-stage program for when Maine businesses may reopen with specific checklists for each business to follow, but whether to reopen on that schedule or later is up to each business owner or manager. Read More