Company “Branding” and the Benefits of Federal Trademark Registration

By Susan Neuberger Weller

Selecting and protecting your “brand” should begin from the very moment a business is in the process of being formed, whether that business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or some other type of entity. It makes no difference whether the entity is a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, and the size of the entity is also irrelevant. Your “brand” is your public facing identity by which you will be known and through which your reputation will be developed. The goodwill you develop in your “brand” will be one of the most important and valuable assets you own.

Is a Series LLC Right for Your Business?

By Amy Burkhoff

The Series limited liability company (the “Series LLC”) is more nuanced than an ordinary limited liability company, and for the right user, it provides flexibility that will streamline administration better than other alternative entities. Although there are some risks and uncertainties relating to the Series LLC, as discussed further below, the Series LLC is a useful tool to create a series of limited liability companies in a single vehicle, preserving limited liability and reducing the administrative expenses necessary to organize different lines of business or manage different properties.

InsureTech Connect 2017 Panel Discussion: Maximizing Profits via Products and Alternative Business Model Innovation

By Heidi A. Lawson

After being in the insurance industry for several decades in a variety of roles, I frequently get asked which insurtechs I think are going to be successful. In sum, I believe the insurtechs best positioned for success are those that are unlocking entirely new markets, thinking past the standard producer model, adding additional revenue streams, and utilizing distribution channels that allow them to efficiently reach more customers. Here are some of the topics our panel discussion focused on at InsureTech Connect 2017.       

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.