SAFEs: The (Not So) Simple Agreement for (Potential) Future Equity

By Brian Novell and Daniel DeWolf

Historically, most start-up companies were funded either by the offering of equity or by loans in the form of convertible promissory notes. Recently, however, there have been some hybrid instruments created to fund start-ups. Most notably, and quite popular these days, is the use of an instrument called a SAFE. “SAFE” is an acronym for “simple agreement for future equity.”

Tax Court Decision Provides Opportunities for Foreign Investors Investing in the U.S.

BY David Salamon

On July 13, 2017, the U.S. Tax Court issued its opinion in Grecian Magnesite Mining, Industrial & Shipping Co., SA v. Commissioner, in which the Tax Court held that a non-U.S. person who sells an interest in a partnership engaged in a U.S. trade or business generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax, except to the extent such interest is attributable to the non-U.S. person’s share of the partnership’s U.S. real property interest.

The FTC’s Uber Consent Order: A Warning to Fast-Growing Companies

BY Brian H. Lam and Cynthia J. Larose

Recently, Uber agreed to a proposed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent order (“Consent Order”) to settle charges in an FTC complaint (“Complaint”) regarding behavior stemming back to at least 2014. Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen has stressed the implications this has for other companies:

FTC Asked to Investigate Google’s Matching of “Bricks to Clicks”

By Brian Lam & Cynthia Larose

Recently, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) asked the FTC to begin an investigation into a Google program called “Store Sales Management.”  The purpose of Store Sales Management is to allow for the matching goods purchased in physical brick and mortar stores to the clicking of online ads, or as we refer to the practice, “Bricks to Clicks.”

Upcoming NY DFS Cybersecurity Regulations

By Cynthia Larose 

If you are one of the many businesses licensed by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), and cannot avail yourself of the (very) limited exemptions, you must be ready for the first compliance transition date for the stringent DFS cybersecurity regulations – August 28, 2017.

Key Considerations for Adopting Ephemeral Communications Tools

By Adam Lenain and Wynter Deagle

The combination of emerging technologies, information security risks and electronic discovery obligations continues to give rise to questions regarding best practices for adoption of modern ephemeral communication tools in lieu of more traditional forms of communication, particularly in the context of probable or pending litigation. Many businesses now employ various instant messaging systems, and employees routinely send work-related text messages and interact over collaboration applications--some of which enable automatic, or time of life, expiration and deletion of information (referred to as “ephemeral” communication).

Opportunity Foreclosed: The International Entrepreneur Parole Rule May Die Before it Gets Out of the Gate

By Susan J. Cohen

The U.S. and worldwide entrepreneur community had been looking forward to July 17th with great anticipation.  This was supposed to be the effective date of the new International Entrepreneur Parole immigration regulation.  This refreshing and innovative immigration option for foreign entrepreneurs would solve an enormous problem in the U.S. immigration system: the non-existence of a visa for start-ups founded by or being driven by talented foreign nationals.  Yet on July 11, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on its desire to rescind the rule.

7 Step Process for Creating a Fundtable Startup

In this discussion between Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, and Jeremy Glaser, partner and co-head of the Emerging Company and Venture Capital practice at Mintz Levin, we discuss the seven step process of creating a fundable startup found in Mr. Henry's book, PLAN COMMIT WIN: 90 Days to Creating a Fundable Startup.

Insurtech: Adapting to a New Way of Looking at Insurance

By Heidi Lawson

Fabric, BenRevo and many other life- and healthrelated insurtech startups are entering the insurance marketplace. I often have the pleasure of discussing ideas and proposed apps or platforms, and I can’t help but be impressed by their creativity and innovation. Their focus is on the consumer, and their aim is to make access to a suite of insurance products easier, faster and more customized to each customer.

The Gig Economy, Independent Contractors, and New York Law

By Kaitlin Fox

The gig economy (on-demand work) is a disruptive factor in many industries, including the housing market (Airbnb, Homeaway), transportation services (Uber, Lyft, Juno, Via), delivery services (Postmates, Caviar, Instacart), and beauty services (Glamsquad, The Glam App). Time Magazine conducted a study which revealed that more than 90 million U.S. adults have participated in the gig economy, with at least 45 million U.S. adults earning income as a provider ofThe Gig Economy, Independent Contractors, and New York Law such goods or services.