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8 Entrepreneurship Legal Issues Relating to New Ventures: Protecting Your Reputation, Your Assets, and Your Ideas.

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Presentation on theme: "8 Entrepreneurship Legal Issues Relating to New Ventures: Protecting Your Reputation, Your Assets, and Your Ideas."— Presentation transcript:

1 8 Entrepreneurship Legal Issues Relating to New Ventures: Protecting Your Reputation, Your Assets, and Your Ideas

2 1-2 “No civilization…would have been possible without a framework of stability….Foremost among the stabilizing factors, more enduring than customs, manners and traditions, are the legal systems that regulate our life in the world and our daily affairs with each other.” --Hannah Arendt

3 1-3 Legal Issues with Former Employers Noncompete agreement Nondisclosure agreement Failure to observe can result in –Lawsuits –Damaged reputation

4 1-4 Founders Agreement Legal document indicating division of ownership among founders as well as financial and legal claims Buyback clause “Trust everybody, but cut the cards.”

5 1-5 Sole Proprietorship One company, one owner Nearly three-quarters of all businesses Require only license(s) to open Low costs involved Owner has total control

6 1-6 Disadvantages of Sole Proprietorship Unlimited personal liability Owner represents sum total of management resources No shares to sell to investors Financial institutions may be reluctant to assume risk of a loan

7 1-7 Partnerships Association of two or more people who co- own a business for the purpose of making a profit Terms are spelled out in a partnership agreement or subject to the Uniform Partnership Act

8 1-8 Partnership Advantages Easy and inexpensive to establish High level of flexibility Partners bring complementary skills Pool of financial resources is expanded Income or losses are passed through to partners

9 1-9 Partnership Disadvantages Unlimited liability Difficult to continue if one partner is unable to participate Can’t sell shares; may experience difficulties raising capital

10 1-10 Limited Partnerships General partners –Manage the business –Have unlimited liability Limited partners –Invest but forego right to manage –Share in the profits according to the limited partnership agreement –Have limited liability

11 1-11 Limited Liability Partnership All partners are limited partners Limited liability for debts and legal actions Individuals pay taxes

12 1-12 “Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” --Ambrose Pierce

13 1-13 Corporation Separate legal entity apart from owners May engage in business, make contracts, own property, pay taxes, and sue and be sued “An artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of the law.” (Supreme Court, 1819)

14 1-14 Establishing a Corporation Registration Articles of incorporation Shareholders elect directors Directors appoint corporate officers

15 1-15 Advantages of Corporations Limited liability for stockholders Ability to attract capital Continue beyond lives of founders Shares are transferable Liquidity can be very high

16 1-16 Disadvantages of Corporations Complex and expensive to start Profits subject to double taxation Subject to legal and financial requirements –Record and report decisions and financial data –Hold annual meetings –Consult with board –File reports with SEC

17 1-17 The S Corporation All profits and losses are passed through to shareholders If assets that have appreciated in value are sold, there is no tax to the corporation Especially advantageous for ventures showing large losses

18 1-18 Limited Liability Company Cross between a corporation and a partnership Income flows through to owners who pay taxes as individuals Can only offer two of the following: –Limited liability –Continuity of life –Free transferability of interests –Centralized management

19 1-19 Professional Corporation Preferred by many professionals All shareholders are protected from malpractice lawsuits filed against the PC or any shareholders

20 1-20 Business Contracts Promises that are enforceable by law Contract law—body of laws designed to assure that parties entering into contracts comply with their provisions

21 1-21 Contracts In Writing Sale of real estate Paying someone else’s debt Contracts that require longer than one year to perform Contracts that involve the sale of goods with a value of $500 or more

22 1-22 Elements of a Contract Legality—intended to accomplish a legal purpose Agreement—includes a legitimate offer and acceptance Consideration—some of value must be exchanged Capacity—persons must have capacity to enter into agreement

23 1-23 Obligations Under Contracts Breach of contract may result in Compensatory damages Specific performance

24 1-24 Legal Issues and the Internet Domain names Electronic Signatures in Global and International Commerce Act Digital signatures

25 1-25 Franchising A system of distribution in which legally independent business owners (franchisees) pay fees and royalties to a parent company (franchisor) in return for the right to Use its trademark Sell its products or services Use the business model

26 1-26 Types of Franchising Product and tradename franchising—allows sale of products under franchisor’s name and trademark Business format franchising—provides franchisee with a complete business system

27 1-27 Benefits of Franchising Training and support Standardized products and services National advertising Buying power Financial assistance Site selection and territorial protection Proven business model

28 1-28 Drawbacks of Franchising Fees and royalties Enforced standardization Restricted freedom over purchasing and product lines Poor training programs Market saturation

29 1-29 Intellectual Property New ventures are better at new product development Crucial to protect new ideas for products and services

30 1-30 Intellectual Property Protection Patents Trademarks Copyrights Trade secrets First-mover advantage Complementary assets

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