Free Enterprise - FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

Free Enterprise - The FindLaw Small Business Law Blog

There might be fewer cooks in the kitchen at a startup, but that doesn't mean divvying up the equity pie is any easier. Sure, you could say everyone in the room gets an equal share, but did everyone really contribute equally up to now? And will they in the future?

So how do you allocate equity based on a team member's actual contributions, rather than their anticipated ones? Luckily, some smart folks have been after this question for a while, and come up with a dynamic equity split system. So how does it work?

3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Business Safe From Data Breaches

Even if you aren't doing business online, it would be hard to find a business today that doesn't rely on the Internet or exist on the web in some form. As such, cyber security is an increasing concern for businesses and individuals.

The cost from a data loss could be high indeed and you do need to be paying attention to a number of security issues. Here are three simple tips, reported by CIO, to help you to ensure your business's electronic safety.

Chances are, you already have lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender employees. And whether you're aware of that or not, you should at least be aware of the federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on someone's gender or sexual orientation.

But knowing the law and adhering to it can be two different things, and having the right anti-discrimination policies in place is just the start. Here are five things you need to know about LGBT discrimination in the workplace:

Contract Advice for the Self-Employed

If you are self-employed you've probably already discovered that there is a lot to do and you could use some help with basic contract issues. Maybe sometimes you imagine that if you had a legal team, everything would be easier.

That might be true. But there are quite a few things you can do on your own -- and times when it is right to decide not to do much. Knowing the difference will make your working life easier. Here are a few tips on what problems to handle, how to handle them, and how to figure out when a problem is too big to handle independently.

Tips to Keep Personal and Business Finances Separate

Having a small business is great because it lets you be the boss. But being the boss means having more responsibility and there are a lot of things you must decide when you are in charge. One of the most important is a method for financial management.

As much as your business may feel like your whole life, you do need to separate your personal finances from those of the business and keep the boundaries strict. The first step to financial health in both of these aspects of your existence, business and personal life, is not mixing. Let's look at the ABCs of keeping your business organized.

Let's face it, when you were getting your company started, you probably weren't thinking about how your days with it would end. And even some serial entrepreneurs haven't perfected their exit strategies. In some cases, it can be hard to say goodbye to the business you built; in other cases, it seems impossible to extricate yourself from your partners.

Either way, having an exit strategy can not only help your leave your small business efficiently and on good terms, it can ensure your business keeps going after you're on to the next thing.

3 Tips to Avoid Small Business Bankruptcy

The last thing you imagined doing when you started your business is going bankrupt. Obviously, you were aiming much higher, and you're a survivor, and you would like to avoid making this particular dreaded declaration.

So what can you do? Let's take a look at what exactly bankruptcy is and three steps you can take to avoid it.

What Is Bankruptcy?

There are multiple types of bankruptcies, and you may be familiar with the terms associated with the most common of them, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. But generally speaking bankruptcy is a federal court procedure that helps consumers and businesses to either liquidate or reorganize, clear debts, and pay off creditors.

Getting the money to start your small business is never easy. Or maybe you need cash to expand or take advantage of a new market or idea. Either way, you might be seeing the success of GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter campaigns and wondering if crowdfunding is the way to go.

Before you begin your crowdfunding campaign (or if you've already started), consider these legal ins and outs of crowdfunding for small business:

It's not enough just to offer someone a great job, or even just great pay. Employees in this market are looking at their careers more holistically, and seeking benefits beyond pay and the possibility for advancement. So how do you attract talent and keep your employees happy?

There are some standard benefits that you could increase or extend. And there are some not-so-standard benefits that your small business might think about implementing. Here are five that are sure to keep your employees working hard on your projects, rather than on their resumes:

Risky Business: Evolution of Marijuana Laws Still Uncertain

The cannabiz is set to boom ... although it is difficult to say when that will happen with states taking very different approaches to marijuana cultivation and consumption. This week, California's San Francisco Bay Area residents will encounter "the nation's first multichannel marketing campaign for [artisanal] pot," reports Mother Jones. Meanwhile medical marijuana was just approved for very limited use in Philadelphia.

All businesses involve risk, and often the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. The marijuana business is no different -- entering the thicket now means more confusion and possible losses but also likely more eventual opportunity for reward. Whether it's worth doing depends on you, your state, and the landscape of its marijuana regulation.