Articles Tagged with California Corporate Attorney

AdobeStock_250195228-300x192In September 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 979, also known as AB 979, in an effort to increase the diversity of the board of directors of publicly traded corporations headquartered in California. Corporations that meet the criteria must have at least one director from an underrepresented community by the end of this year.

In addition, the new law imposes strict reporting requirements to ensure that publicly traded companies comply with AB 979 and other diversity laws.

What is Assembly Bill 979?

LLC-300x297As a business owner, one of the first decisions you will make is to choose a business entity type. California recognizes many different types of business entities. Each comes with both benefits and limitations, so it is important to work with an experienced California business lawyer to be sure that you select the business entity type that is right for your unique business. The right business entity type can give you flexibility in running your business, confer tax benefits, and ensure that your new business is run as effectively as possible. Learn more about the flexibility – and limitations – of LLCs and corporations in California.

Flexibility Of LLCs Versus Corporations

Many business owners are familiar with the benefits of an LLC. Because the company is created with limited liability, owners can not generally be held personally liable for debts of the business so long as they continue to meet LLC legal requirements. This means that the business owner’s liability is usually limited to whatever funds are invested in the business. Entrepreneurs are usually familiar with these benefits and instinctively want to form an LLC to avail themselves of these benefits. But an LLC is not the only business entity you can form. In some cases, a corporation might give your business greater flexibility to raise funds and conduct business.

AdobeStock_279104502-300x200Capitalizing any new company can be a complicated matter. If too much equity is given away, founders can lose control of their own ideas and innovations. On the other hand, if not enough capital is raised, the business could be more likely to fail due to a lack of critical resources. Consult with an experienced California startup lawyer before structuring the capitalization of any new business.

What Is Dual Class of Share Structure?

One popular method of selling equity in the early phases of a business is to create two separate classes of shares of equity. A dual-class structure gives disproportionate voting control to one class of shareholders (usually “Class A” shareholders). Thus, founders can retain control of their companies by selling stock to a concentrated voting block of owners whose judgment is trusted. Other shares can be sold to Class B shareholders, who still provide the capital that is critical to a company’s success, but whose voting rights are limited. This allows founders to retain control over the management and overall direction of the company.

AdobeStock_312736469-300x200There are many ways to capitalize a new business. Angel financing, venture capital, and private equity are popular methods of raising capital, but it is important for business owners to understand the difference. These different methods are appropriate at different stages of your business life cycle. Successful entrepreneurs know when and how to use them effectively. 

Stages of the Business Life Cycle

Before a business starts any operations or has a single customer, it will need startup capital. It is at this beginning when angel financing (or “seed investors”) comes in. These initial investments of “seed money” allow entrepreneurs to take their initial idea and turn it into reality. The earliest phase of the business cycle, however, is also the riskiest. There is a high chance that angel financiers will lose their entire investment. But angel financing typically has the highest returns on investment to compensate for this risk.

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Many companies conduct business in California without having incorporated under the laws of this state. While this is entirely lawful, it does expose such businesses to civil liability. This risk can be mitigated by filing a Certificate of Qualification. This process enables a foreign corporation to operate in California with the protection of California corporate laws. An experienced California corporate attorney can help your business determine whether filing a Certificate of Qualification is appropriate for your business. An experienced California Corporate  attorney can also help entrepreneurs determine which state they should incorporate their business in.

What is the Difference Between a Foreign and Domestic Corporation?

In California, a domestic corporation is one that has incorporated under the laws of California. A foreign corporation is one which has incorporated under the laws of another state.  As is common in business, many foreign corporations do business in California. This can expose the business to liability under California law. Any business which “reaches into” California for the purpose of doing business is subject to the jurisdiction of California courts over that transaction. Thus, a foreign company which does business in California may find itself subject to the jurisdiction of the California courts, but without the protection of California corporate laws.

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Hedge funds are defined as a limited partnership of investors that use high risk methods to realize large capital gains. Without an applicable exemption, the hedge fund must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and meet complex, ongoing filing and disclosure requirements. However, depending on investor qualifications, the hedge fund can avoid being defined as an investment company if its participants are either accredited investors or qualified purchasers. Thus. hedge fund managers should consult with an experienced California corporate attorney in order to ensure that their hedge fund practices are in compliance with existing law and regulatory mandates.

The Difference Between an Accredited Investor and a Qualified Purchaser

An accredited investor is an individual who satisfies SEC requirements for income, net worth, asset size, government status, and/or professional experience. In other words, an accredited investor is financially savvy, and because of this , he or she has less need for the protections offered by mandatory regulatory disclosures. Thus, an investment advisor or group working with an accredited investor can be exempt from certain mandatory disclosures. A qualified purchaser is similar to an accredited investor, but requires a higher net worth requirement as defined by the United States Code.