Traditionally, a new or expanding business could seek capital from borrowing money or seeking more traditional investors. In today’s digital age, Crowdfunding has become a viable source for new or expanding businesses seeking funds. According to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), “Crowdfunding generally refers to a financing method in which money is raised through soliciting relatively small individual investments or contributions from a large number of people.” 

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You may have read or heard about the “Panama Papers” and thought it was simply an example of Vladimir Putin’s money laundering. While it is true that the reporting to date primarily details the efforts of foreign public officials and wealthy individuals to hide their assets, the outcry may affect the protections of Nevada’s Limited Liability Companies (LLCs).

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Any amount of time listening to a radio, watching television or searching for business law websites will lead you to an advertisement for Legal Zoom. A cursory review of Legal Zoom’s website may be enough to tell you how it differs from a real lawyer who provides real legal advice. The disclaimer on the bottom of the website states:

Communications between you and LegalZoom are protected by our Privacy Policy but not by the attorney-client privilege or as work product. LegalZoom provides access to independent attorneys and self-help services at your specific direction. We are not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. We cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies

So the question becomes, when you are looking to start, grow or protect a business, would you utilize the services of a company that essentially disclaims any ability to provide you with legal services?  Further review of the Legal Zoom website will tell you that for $23.99 per month you can have access to a “real” attorney. For that fixed fee, you will get, “… unlimited 30-minute consultations on new business and personal legal matters for one low monthly rate.”  When I first started practicing law, I received the sage advice concerning legal fees, “You get what you pay for.”

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In 1985, Aretha Franklin released one of her best selling albums.  The title track was Who’s Zooming Who – an upbeat song about the push and pull of pursing a new relationship.  To their core, business relationships are simply that – relationships.  How should you decide whether a person is the right person to become a business partner?  In addition to delving into your business partner’s characteristics, the question requires a glance in the mirror to see what you, truly, bring to the table.

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As you may be aware, the 2015 Nevada Legislature and Governor Sandoval created a new gross receipts tax that affects Nevada businesses. The tax has commonly been referred to as the “Commerce Tax” and will impact all Nevada businesses. Although the tax will only be due on gross receipts that exceed $4,000,000, all Nevada businesses will be required to report to the State. This may seem like old news, but as with all things, the devil is in the details. You have the ability to have your voice heard and have the State take your business concerns into account as the details are being created.

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