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This post in the purchase and sale of a business series discusses employees and employment matters to consider when purchasing (or selling) a business.

One of the most important parts of a business is the people doing the day-to-day work. When looking into purchasing a business, it’s important to identify and understand the needs and rights of key employees, review existing employment agreements, and consider any employment related successor liability issues that may come up as part of the transaction. We’re continuing our series on the Purchase and Sale of a Business by highlighting important employee related considerations when purchasing a business.

Identifying (and Locking Up) Key Employees

Does the business you’re purchasing rely heavily on a few key employees? Especially for service-based businesses that rely heavily on relationships, these key employees can be one of the most valuable assets for the business. Making sure you…

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Locking up Key Employees

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This post discusses five key securities-related issues for merger and acquisition transactions.

In business acquisitions, and especially in business acquisitions structured as stock purchases, there are a number of securities issues you’ll want to be on the lookout for. For the purposes of this post, you can think of a security as the stock or other equity interest in a company like an option or warrant. (You can check out this post for a more detailed discussion of what a security is.) Below I’ve listed 5 key securities-related due diligence issues for you to consider when purchasing a business.

We’ll start with the two key issues that are important for acquisitions of both stock and assets; we’ll finish with three key issues that primarily affect stock acquisitions:

Issues for acquisitions of either stock or assets

Two issues are of…

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M&A Securities Issues

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Today’s post highlights three simple questions buyers should consider to protect intellectual property rights when purchasing a business .

When purchasing a business, buyers often overlook one important part of the purchase: formally transferring the seller’s intellectual property rights to the buyer. The most common IP rights include copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Today’s post highlights three simple questions buyers should ask before purchasing a business.

Can you and do you want to transfer the business’ trademarks?

In most purchases, trademarks will be easily assignable from the seller to the buyer. However, in some situations even if the trademarks are assignable, you may not want to acquire them. For example, if the business’ logo infringes on trademark rights of another business, then you wouldn’t want to transfer ownership of the logo and risk being held liable for trademark infringement once…

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Non-disclosure agreement

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Once you nail down the terms of the business acquisition in a letter of intent, it's time to begin drafting a business purchase and sale agreement.

Once you’ve nailed down the terms of the acquisition (usually in a letter of intent), it is time to begin putting the terms into a formal agreement usually referred to as a business “purchase and sale agreement.” This agreement will spell out the seller’s and buyer’s rights and responsibilities with respect to the transaction. We’re continuing our series on the Purchase and Sale of a Business by highlighting some of the major considerations when putting together the business purchase and sale agreement for your acquisition.

Structure of the Sale: What assets and liabilities are included?

As we discussed in a prior post in this Purchase and Sale of a Business series, you’ll need to sort out whether the sale will be an…

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Business Purchase and Sale -Stock sale v. asset sale

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We’re continuing our series on the purchase and sale of a business with a look into intellectual property considerations when purchasing a business.

We’re continuing our series on the purchase and sale of a business with a look into intellectual property considerations when purchasing a business. Intellectual property is a large part of many companies’ value. Failing to sort out potential restrictions on the use and further development of a company’s IP may leave the buyer with a significantly less valuable company than it anticipated. Below are some of the major intellectual property considerations to have in mind when you purchase a business:

Ownership of and Right to Use the IP

The first hurdle, and perhaps the most important consideration when reviewing a target company’s intellectual property rights, is confirming that it owns, or at least has a valid license for, all of the key…

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Intellectual Property hurdles

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In this news roundup we discuss the FCC's "broadband" definition update (more interesting than it sounds), startup fundraising, securities laws, and more...

FCC Updates Broadband Definition

The FCC voted to raise the minimum thresholds needed to meet the definition of broadband. Internet service providers now must provide download speeds of at least 25Mbs and upload speeds of at least 3Mbps to call their services “broadband.” The previous standard was 4Mbps for download speed and 1Mbps for upload speed.

While this sounds pretty innocuous, the new definition may have some interesting consequences.

A little background: In 1996 Congress mandated that the FCC report on whether broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, and Congress defined broadband as high-quality capability that allows users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video.

The first and most obvious consequence of the…

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Internet

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In this news roundup we look at startups' fundraising, mergers and acquisitions, a commercial lease horror story, ride sharing regulations, and more

Here’s a collection of the most interesting legal and business news we found this week:

Ride Sharing

One of the big issues facing Uber has to do with the fact that auto insurance policies for individual drivers generally don’t cover damages from commercial activity, including ride-sharing through applications like Uber and Lyft. In Colorado, USAA and Farmers are now offering ridesharing insurance. Colorado is a natural testing ground for these new types of policies, as Colorado became one of the first states to explicitly authorize ridesharing services in 2014.

Startups & Funding

The big news of the day is Box’s IPO. After a shaky ride through the IPO process, Box’s IPO appears to be an initial success. It is a home run for its…

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Google Loon

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In an effort to streamline converting one business entity to another, Washington passed Senate Bill 5999 (the corporate entity conversion bill).

In an effort to streamline the process of converting one business entity to another business entity (e.g. converting your LLC into a corporation), Washington legislators recently passed Senate Bill 5999. Sponsored by Senators Pederson, O’Ban, Kline, and Rain, the bill amends Washington’s Limited Liability Company Act and the Business Corporation Act to allow conversions between Washington LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships. The bill also allows entities formed in another state to convert into Washington LLCs and corporations.

The bill was signed into law by Governor Inslee on March 27, 2014, and will become law in early July 2014. The bill will be incorporated into the Revised Code of Washington, and the updated RCW should be available online as early as July…

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Merging lane

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This post discusses business valuation, including the methods for valuing your business for a sale, merger, acquisition, divorce, or exit.

Entrepreneurs and business owners will generally need to value their business on many occasions during the course of a career. Whether part of a seed investment round, follow-on series investment round, merger or acquisition, partnership or owner dispute, or a partnership or ownership dissolution, you will likely need to fix a value to your business at least once.

Behavioral study indicates that people tend to value that which they are selling higher than they would value the same thing if they were buying. This means that most of the time, and especially when the valuation is forced, the number the buyer proposes and the number the seller will accept are far apart. So you often see business owners and entrepreneurs turning to…

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Business Valuation - Bean Counting

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This week's news roundup discusses Seattle startup Mindbloom, Microsoft reading email to help FBI build trade secret case, and Time Warner CEO's huge pay.

Former Microsoft Employee Arrested for Stealing Trade Secrets

A former Microsoft software architect, Alex A. Kibkalo, was arrested in Bellevue this week on federal charges cased on the allegation that he unlawfully passed proprietary information, including unreleased Windows 8 code, to an anonymous blogger. But Microsoft failed to maintain momentum as the victim in the case when it was criticized for the method by which it uncovered the crime it ultimately turned over to the FBI.  Microsoft was approached by a source who had been asked by the blogger to help interpret the misappropriated proprietary data, and the source disclosed that the blogger used a Microsoft account. Per the Microsoft terms of service, Microsoft decided it had the right to read the…

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Time Warner Golden Parachute