Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation
To help your startup succeed with as few internal complications as possible, founders should make having a set of robust corporate Bylaws a priority from the beginning. In this post, we take a look at what Bylaws are, what they do, and why your startup needs to have them in place (hint: it's the law in Arizona). What are Bylaws? While it's tempting to believe that corporate Bylaws are only for large, faceless, mega-corporations, as opposed to your lean, development-stage startup, nothing could be further from the truth. Any company (of whatever size) that chooses the corporate form through which to conduct its business should really have a well-crafted set of Bylaws in place. In a nutshell, a corporation's Bylaws are the internal guidelines that deal with how your corporation…
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My Business Name Changed. How Do I Notify The IRS?

My Business Name Changed. How Do I Notify The IRS?

Business Formation, Entity Formation, Start-Up, Trademark
While rare, it is not uncommon for startups and even more established business to change their name. When this occurs, how does your business notify the IRS of a change in its business name? Recently, a startup client which had incorporated under a prior name before hiring our Phoenix law firm ended up deciding to re-brand themselves under a new name. Turns out the old name was either used by (and even Federally registered as a trademark by other parties) and, as such, didn't stand the best chance of being registrable or, at a minimum, carried a good amount of legal risk with it. So they changed their name and decided to re-brand. Problem was, they already had a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) assigned to them in connection with…
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Do I Need to Register My Out-of-State Corporation?

Do I Need to Register My Out-of-State Corporation?

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation, Foreign Corporation
If you're an Arizona-based startup that is actually incorporated in another State (for example, Delaware), do you have to register your foreign corporation in order to transact business here in Arizona? This question is more common than you might think in my Phoenix technology startup law practice. Earlier this month, I met with a cloud middleware outfit that had originally formed as a corporation in a state back east. Their U.S., Canada, and Mexico operations had been relocated here to the metro Phoenix area for several months. During our meeting, I asked the client's officer if they had registered to transact business here in Arizona. After a puzzled look amongst themselves, they admitted to me that they hadn't. Like I said before, this occurs more often than I like to…
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Where Can I Get My Arizona Business License?

Where Can I Get My Arizona Business License?

Business Formation, Corporations, Licensing
There are occasions when I'll get a call from a new (or aspiring) business owner who calls or e-mails me saying, "I need to get an Arizona business license". This statement is normally followed up by some variation of, "Can your firm help us with this?" These questions are based largely on a number of (understandable, yet incorrect) assumptions: First, that their business even requires a license to begin with; second, that such a license is given out by some central licensing authority here in Arizona, and, lastly, that there is a one-size-fits-all business license for every type of business out there. While one or more of these assumptions might be true in other 49 States, this is not the case here in Arizona. Generally speaking, Arizona handles business licensing…
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My Foreign Company’s Name Conflicts with An Existing Arizona One. Now What?

My Foreign Company’s Name Conflicts with An Existing Arizona One. Now What?

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation, Foreign LLC, Limited Liability Company
Our law firm's startup clients are often formed as a limited liability company (LLC) (or for-profit corporation) in another state but have either relocated to, or now conduct their operations in, Arizona. In an earlier post, I discussed the requirement of registering your foreign entity with the Arizona Corporation Commission if you were initially formed in another jurisdiction but are nonetheless deemed to be "transacting business" here in Arizona. However, there are times when the name of your foreign-chartered entity also happens to be the same as an existing trade name or entity already registered here in Arizona. Adoption of A Fictitious Name In this situation, as part of your application you will have to have your foreign entity adopt a fictitious name (also known as a "d/b/a" or "assumed"…
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