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Raising Money from Family and Friends

Corporations, LLCs, & Partnerships

Raising Money from Family and Friends

Long before banks are willing to loan money, often when you first have an idea, you raise money from friends and family to start your business venture. Many a long-term successful venture begins this way, with an equipment budget gifted from grandma and supplies expenses from your dad in exchange for a little ownership. Even on slightly larger scales, this is one of the most common ways businesses raise their initial capital. After all, if your friends and family won’t give you money and assistance, you’re unlikely to get it from investors you don’t know or banks that just want... READ MORE

Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace

The U.S. has a number of anti-discrimination and harassment laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against employees based on a number of factors including age, disability, race, sex, pregnancy, and citizenship. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: Amended in 1991 to allow victims to recover damages, sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment.” This includes when a person in authority is demanding sexual favors from a subordinate and when sexual comments or jokes create a hostile... READ MORE

California Proposes New Law Aimed at Closing Gender Pay Gap

Across the country, the gender pay gap debate wages and California, despite our tough fair pay laws, is no exception to this rule. Recently, two new laws, one which passed and one which didn’t, aimed to help close and better document this pay gap. According to the census bureau, the average working woman is earning only 86 cents per dollar earned by a man. While stride are being taken to close this gender pay gap, we’re clearly not there yet. The first law, AB 168, bars a prospective employer from asking about previous salary. The goal is to prevent historic... READ MORE

Understanding the Business Duty of Care

Owners and managers of a business have a number of different duties, enshrined in law, to the business. These duties are designed to protect other owners and the business itself from a single owner. One important duty to understand is the duty of care. This duty places responsibility on each decision maker to use reasonable care when dealing with others and in doing business transactions. Some examples of how the duty of care applies to a business: Property: Businesses that own property have a duty of care to customers who come onto their property. Customers, for example, must be treated... READ MORE

A sole proprietorship is the most common form of business structure. A sole proprietor fully owns and manages the daily operations of the business. He can sell the business at his or her sole discretion. In contrast to other business forms, a sole proprietorship is among the least cumbersome of business structures.  It has few compliance and regulatory obligations, minimal legal costs in the formation stage and very few formal maintenance obligations. Due to its low startup costs and bureaucratic simplicity, new owners of small businesses may be persuaded to start a sole proprietorship. However, there are several significant drawbacks... READ MORE

When starting a business, serious consideration should be given to forming a limited liability company (LLC). While the key advantage, as its title suggests, is the protection of owners from incurring personal liability for the debts and liabilities of the business, there are several other features that make LLCs a preferred structure for your business. LLC owners may also choose their tax treatment, are subject to less onerous compliance requirements and have increased flexibility. Limited liability. The members of the LLC are not personally liable for the debts of the business. In the event of a judgment, members can lose... READ MORE

This is the first of a three-part series discussing legal steps an entrepreneur, business owner or professional should take when starting and growing a business. Many people believe that entrepreneurs are turning this economy around. We work with entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals on a daily basis. Many of them are glass-half-full kind of people. That being said, too many bright, enterprising individuals do not fully recognize the impact a lawsuit can have on their business and their family. It is vital for people starting and growing their business to do everything they can to protect themselves and their family... READ MORE

A corporation has more formal requirements than an LLC, but can provide your company with tax benefits that an LLC cannot. Deciding to incorporate your business should be done with the guidance of an attorney, as you will need more than just a completed Articles of Incorporation form to achieve the benefits of this decision. There are two types of corporations: “C” and “S”, with identical non-tax benefits. The difference, then, lies within the taxation of these corporations. By creating a “C” corporation, your company will become a completely separate taxable entity from the shareholders, with the corporation retaining all... READ MORE