Did you know about these recent changes to California corporate law?

Here are some recent changes in California corporate law that might affect small business owners:

  • Remote shareholder meetings: California law now allows for shareholder meetings to be held remotely, as long as certain requirements are met. This is a change from the previous law, which required shareholder meetings to be held in person. This change could make it easier for small business owners to hold shareholder meetings, especially if their shareholders are located in different parts of the state or the country.
  • Increased penalties for wage theft: California has increased the penalties for wage theft. This means that businesses that violate wage and hour laws could face larger fines and penalties. This change could encourage businesses to comply with wage and hour laws, which could benefit small business owners who are trying to compete fairly.
  • New requirements for franchise agreements: California has enacted new requirements for franchise agreements. These requirements are designed to protect franchisees from unfair or deceptive practices. This change could benefit small business owners who are considering buying a franchise, as it could help them to make an informed decision.

It is important for small business owners to be aware of these changes in California corporate law. By understanding these changes, small business owners can make sure that they are complying with the law and protecting their interests.

Here are some additional resources that small business owners may find helpful:

  • California Secretary of State: The California Secretary of State website has information on a variety of corporate law topics, including how to form a corporation, file annual reports, and register a fictitious business name.
  • California Chamber of Commerce: The California Chamber of Commerce website has information on a variety of business topics, including corporate law, taxes, and regulations.
  • Small Business Development Center: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network provides free and confidential counseling and training to small businesses. SBDCs can help small business owners with a variety of issues, including corporate law, marketing, and financing.

If you have any questions on how these laws may affect your business, please give us a call.

Will AI eliminate the need for corporate attorneys?

It is unlikely that AI will completely eliminate the need for corporate attorneys, as many corporate transactions require complex critical analysis and problem-solving skills. However, AI is likely to have a significant impact on the legal profession.

AI is already being used in a variety of ways in the legal industry, including:

  • Legal research: AI can be used to quickly and efficiently research legal precedent and case law.
  • Document drafting: AI can be used to draft legal documents, such as contracts and agreements.
  • Dispute resolution: AI can be used to mediate and resolve disputes between parties.
  • Compliance: AI can be used to help businesses comply with complex regulations.

It is important to note that AI is not a replacement for human judgment and expertise. AI can be a valuable tool, but it is not a substitute for the human touch. Corporate attorneys will still be needed to provide legal advice, counsel, and representation. However, AI is likely to change the way that corporate attorneys work, and it is important for corporate attorneys to be prepared for these changes.

Here are some of the ways that AI is likely to impact the legal profession:

  • Increased efficiency: AI can automate many of the tasks that are currently performed by lawyers, such as research, drafting, and document review. This can free up lawyers to focus on more complex and strategic work.
  • Improved accuracy: AI can help lawyers to identify and correct errors in legal documents and research. This can help to ensure that clients receive the best possible representation.
  • Reduced costs: AI can help to reduce the cost of legal services by automating tasks that are currently performed by lawyers. This can make legal services more affordable for businesses and individuals.

Overall, AI is likely to have a positive impact on the legal profession. However, it is important for lawyers to be prepared for the changes that AI will bring. By embracing AI and using it to their advantage, lawyers can continue to provide valuable services to their clients.

What are the first steps to incorporate my business in California?

Incorporating your business in California is a relatively straightforward process. However, there are a few key steps that you need to take in order to ensure that your incorporation is successful.

Step 1: Choose a business name

The first step in incorporating your business is to choose a business name. Your business name must be unique and distinguishable from other businesses in California. You can check the availability of a business name by searching the California Secretary of State’s business name database.

Step 2: Choose a registered agent

A registered agent is a person or business that is authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of your corporation. You must designate a registered agent in California when you file your Articles of Incorporation. We at WINTER LLP provide registered agent services.

Step 3: File your Articles of Incorporation

Your Articles of Incorporation are the legal documents that create your corporation. You can file your Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State’s office.

Step 4: Hold an organizational meeting

After you have filed your Articles of Incorporation, you need to hold an organizational meeting of your corporation. At this meeting, you will need to elect your initial directors and officers, adopt your corporate bylaws, and issue shares of stock.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If your corporation will have employees, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply for an EIN online or by mail.

Step 6: Open a business bank account

It is important to open a separate business bank account for your corporation. This will help you keep your personal and business finances separate.

Step 7: Obtain business licenses and permits

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits. You can find information about business licenses and permits on the website of your local city or county government.

Step 8: Get insurance

It is important to get insurance for your business. This will protect you from financial losses in the event of an accident or lawsuit.

Step 9: Market your business

Once you have incorporated your business, you need to start marketing it. This will help you attract customers and grow your business.

Incorporating your business in California can be a great way to protect your personal assets and grow your business. By following these steps, you can ensure that your incorporation is successful. If you need any help or guidance incorporating your business, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney at WINTER LLP.

What is the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship?

When starting a business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what type of business structure to choose. There are many different options available, but two of the most popular are the limited liability company (LLC) and the sole proprietorship.

So, what’s the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship? And which one is right for your business?

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by one person. It’s the simplest and most common business structure in the United States. To form a sole proprietorship, you don’t need to file any paperwork with the government. You can simply start doing business under your own name.

As a sole proprietor, you have complete control over your business. You make all the decisions, and you’re responsible for all the profits and losses. You also have unlimited liability, which means that you’re personally liable for any debts or lawsuits that the business incurs.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is a hybrid business structure that combines the limited liability of a corporation with the tax benefits of a sole proprietorship. To form an LLC, you’ll need to file paperwork with your state government. The requirements vary from state to state, but you’ll typically need to file articles of organization and pay a filing fee.

As an LLC owner, you have limited liability, which means that your personal assets are protected from business debts and lawsuits. You also have some flexibility in how you’re taxed. You can choose to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, a partnership, or a disregarded entity.

Which One is Right for You?

So, which business structure is right for you? It depends on your individual circumstances and needs.

If you’re a solo entrepreneur who wants to keep things simple and don’t need the liability protection of an LLC, then a sole proprietorship may be a good option for you.

If you’re starting a business with partners, or if you want the liability protection of an LLC, then an LLC may be a better choice.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which business structure is right for you is to schedule a call with an attorney at WINTER LLP. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that’s best for your business.