Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 7 2014: Seattle Startups Invest and Expand; Bitcoin Regulation and Hacking; Seattle Business’ Trademarks and Parody

Seattle Startups Win Investment and Expand

Seattle based Frontdesk, a startup that makes business management and payment processing solutions for service based businesses, raised $4 million dollars in a Series A investment round that included venture capital firms Floodgate and Second Avenue Partners, as well as storied Seattle based entrepreneur Richard Barton. The company plans to use the money to expand.

Seattle based startup Tableau also announced expansion plans and are setting up more offices just down the street from ours in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The maker of data visualization software is taking over a gym and there is no word yet whether they will leave the basketball and squash courts.

Bitcoin Faces Regulatory and Hacking Challenges

Bitcoin users faced an assault on two fronts this...

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Business Startup

Consideration and Enforceable Contracts

Consideration is a bargained-for exchange of something of legal value. “Something of legal value” ranges from a promise to do something or refrain from doing something, an action, or the creation, modification or destruction of a legal relationship. All enforceable contracts must have consideration.

For an example, Abel is need of a loan. Baker promises to lend Abel $1000 if Abel promises to return the $1000 along with $100 in interest. Abel agrees. This is consideration: Baker has promised to loan Abel $1000 as the price for receiving Baker’s $1100 in return and Abel has promised to give Baker $1100 in return for Baker’s promise of a $1000 loan.

In contrast, a promise to make a gift is not enforceable, because there...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 6 2014: Secret Apps and Insider Trading; Microsoft’s Path Forward; Paper and the Importance of Registering Trademarks

Rising “Secret” Apps Could Affect Securities Laws Regarding Insider Trading

Apps that allow users to send anonymous and semi-anonymous messages may cause trouble for securities regulators looking to avoid the type of insider trading that has recently been in the news with the SAC saga. The app “Secret” was launched recently, and Silicon Valley startup rumors and more than occasional passive-aggressiveness seem to be among the most shared “secrets”. While some of the rumors were debunked, including the rumor that Evernote was going to be acquired, others, including that Google is planning to buy Squarespace, have yet to be debunked.

These anonymous sharing apps, including Snapchat, Whisper, Secret, among others, have varying degrees of anonymity, especially given recent data breaches, but the potential...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 5 2014: Washington State Advances Crowdfunding; Microsoft CEO Search Nearing End; Bay Area’s Tough Week

States, Including Washington, Take the Lead on Equity Crowdfunding through Intrastate Offerings

It has been widely reported that states are taking the lead on advancing legislation that gives startups access to capital through equity crowd funding. And this week Washington state joined the leaders as the crowdfunding exemption bill HB 2023 advanced through the Washington state house of representatives. The bill is designed to provide an intrastate exemption to Washington’s rules for certain smaller deals, which would allow some of the promise of Title III of the Jobs Act to be realized for intrastate offerings. The bill must still move through the senate, and if it does, Washington would join Wisconsin, Georgia, and Kansas in passing crowdfunding legislation.

Microsoft to Name New CEO

Microsoft announced that it will meet this weekend to decide...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 4 2014: Seattle Startups Acquired; Candy Crush and Pinterest’s Trademark Battles Continue; Supreme Court, Congress, and Patents

Seattle Startups Sparq and Scout Acquired; Scout’s Board Sued

The Seattle Times announced Wednesday that “San Franciscans came to Seattle for a football game and left with a couple of startups.”

First, the online marketing startup Sparq was acquired by Yahoo and Sparq said it will discontinue its services. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but given that Sparq had raised only $1.7 million so far in several small financing rounds, the deal was relatively inexpensive for Yahoo.

Then, the same day, it was announced that San Francisco based revenue management company ServiceSource acquired Seattle area cloud-based analytics company Scout for $32 million in cash. Scout’s celebration of the deal is likely subdued as last week a group of Series A...

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Business Startup

How to Collect What Your Business is Owed and Avoid Legal Disputes

One of the first conflicts that often comes with any new business, and one conflict that is ongoing for nearly every business, is how to collect what the business is owed. A proper collections process will help you get paid more often and more quickly, and it creates a solid record to give you more leverage when you do find your business in a dispute. If you properly design your collections process, it will help ensure you get paid.

To prevent accounts receivable problems, you’ll need to understand where the problems come from. Here are general descriptions of the most common collections issues: 

You aren’t sufficiently clear in your agreement, so your customers dispute the amount owed or the date the...

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Business Startup

Guns in the Workplace: Managing Your Business’ Risk

The debate over firearm regulation is as old as firearms themselves. Recently, the debate has been brought to the forefront because of the actions of mentally ill people in Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., and Arizona, among other places. But how does firearm regulation affect you day to day as a business owner or employee in Washington? That is, what should you know about guns in the workplace?

What can your employees do lawfully with their guns?

Business owners and employees are subject to the general carry laws in Washington. These gun laws allow a person to open-carry (visible in a holster) in most places or conceal a pistol while in that person’s fixed place of business without a concealed pistol license (“CPL”)....

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 3 2014: Net Neutrality Gutted; Google Buys Nest; “First World Problem Delegation” Platforms Exec and Handybook; Retailer Data Security Woes Continue

Net Neutrality Under Pressure after Court Ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an opinion this week that substantially undermines net neutrality. The ruling essentially said that Verizon Communications was exempt from treatment as a common carrier, and thus free to restrict use on the networks it owns. The argument for net neutrality generally is that it protects consumers and small businesses, since it prevents companies from slowing service to sites who don’t pay a toll to the providers. This is especially important since internet service providers have come to look a lot like monopolies in some places. The general argument against net neutrality is that it is inefficient, stifles innovation, and prevents companies from exercising control over the networks their investors...

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Business Startup

When is a Parent Company Liable for the Acts of a Subsidiary?

Imagine you went out of your way to create a corporate structure that would minimize risk. You divided up your corporate assets into different subsidiary entities so that they could not all be reached by a single creditor. Now, one of your subsidiaries is being sued, your parent entity has also been named in the lawsuit, and you’re wondering to what extent the parent entity’s assets–including its ownership of all the other subsidiaries–are at risk.

The Basic Rule–Parent Corporation not Liable for Acts of Subsidiaries

The basic rule is that parent corporations will not be liable for acts of their subsidiaries. This default rule is the reason so many conglomerates are structured as a hierarchy of parent and subsidiary corporations. The Supreme...

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Business Startup

Back to the Basics: Choosing the Right Entity For Your New Business: Part 1: Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships

There are many considerations when you start a business: refining your products and services, developing your sales and marketing strategies to attract customers, securing a lease, and hiring employees. Because it can directly affect the other aspects of your business formation, one of the most important first steps in forming a business is organizing the business using the proper legal entity. To help you understand the issues and help you choose the right type of entity for your new business, we will discuss the various business types, including their pros and cons. Today’s post will cover sole proprietorships and partnerships, our next post will cover LLCs and corporations, and our final post will consider limited liability partnerships.

The Sole Proprietor A sole...

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