Protecting Yourself from Internet Business Partners

As Internet lawyer, I represent some ecommerce businesses that are owned by multiple individuals or other business entities. However, as a practical matter it rarely makes sense to co-own an Internet startup with anyone else (except a spouse if you have one). Whether it’s a true partnership, corporation, or a limited liability company, having more than one partner* is generally a recipe for disaster. Why? The primary problem with multiple Internet business owners Because individuals are unique, it’s almost impossible to find two who are 100% on the same page, have the same commitment and the same goals for a new ecommerce company. Even the motives tend to be very different. For example, one person sees the Internet startup as an escape from long hours at a hated job. Another is looking to create the next Google with the expectation of working 100+ hours per week to get there. One […]

5 Quick Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Website

Now is a great time to make sure you’ve got the right legal paperwork in place to protect your website before the holiday season begins. Here are five important tasks you can take care of fairly quickly. 1. Entity Check. Make sure your business entity is in good standing in the state where you formed it. You’d be surprised at how many Internet business owners have to clean up a mess after the fact when their corporation or limited liability company disappears because of a missed report filing deadline or a late corporate franchise tax payment. 2. Services Contracts Check. If you’ve got anyone that’s providing services to your Internet business as an independent contractor, confirm you’ve got written agreements in place that make this relationship clear. This reduces your risk of getting hit with unemployment or workers compensation claims by a services provider claiming to be an employee. In […]

Richard Branson: The Secret of His Success

Social media is abuzz today with Sir Richard Branson’s decision to let Virgin Group’s salaried employees take as much time off as they want. There are undoubtedly thousands of ecommerce company executives right now planning to copy Branson’s new HR policy. After all, if it works for the British billionaire, surely the policy will benefit your business too. Right? You are not Richard Branson This may be a good deal for Branson and/or his employees. That doesn’t mean it will work for your company. Richard Branson’s business is not your business…and you are not him. What might work for him doesn’t necessarily work for you and your employees. You are not Warren Buffett You see the same type of mistaken assumption when it comes to other billionaires like Warren Buffett. There are hordes of investors trying to copy Buffett’s strategies and tactics. Yet they are not Buffett and they lack […]