How Many Shares Should My Startup Authorize when Forming?

How Many Shares Should My Startup Authorize when Forming?

Business Formation, Corporations, Start-Up, Stock Options
Historical Stock Securities by pictavio via Pixabay As a Phoenix attorney that has represented a number of local and out of state startups, I can tell you that one of the Top 10 questions I get is some variation of, “How many shares should the startup company authorize at formation?” How many shares is my Startup required to authorize? First off, at least here in Arizona where I practice at least, there is no law or regulation that requires a startup to have a minimum or maximum number of shares that need to be authorized or to founders or set aside in an equity incentive program. With that said, there are practical and operational limits, which we explore in this post. Typically, with technology-oriented startups at least, I recommend that…
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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 totally uncommon for our startup and even more established business clients to change their name. When this occurs, how does your business notify the IRS of a change in its business name? Ben here: Thank you for viewing one of our more popular posts but understand that it is only for general informational purposes. To be totally clear, I am not a tax attorney or CPA, and this is NOT tax advice. Our Phoenix law firm focuses on startup businesses, e-commerce, and software and technology transactions. You should always consult with your CPA or qualified tax advisor with regard to any matters of taxation, tax planning, and tax liability as they apply to your specific situation. Why would a company change its name? Recently, a…
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Do I Need to Register My Out-of-State Corporation in Arizona?

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

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation, Foreign Corporation
If you're an Arizona startup that is actually incorporated in another state (e.g., Delaware), chances are by now you've heard that you may have to register to do business here in the State, even though you are already incorporated in a different state. In this post, we examine whether and when you must register your out-of-state corporation in Arizona. Operating in Arizona but incorporated elsewhere? This question is far more common than it might seem in our Phoenix startup law practice. For example, earlier this month I met with representatives of a middleware outfit that had originally formed as a corporation in a state back East. However, their U.S., Canada, and Mexico operations had just recently relocated to the metro Phoenix area. During our meeting, I asked if they had…
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How to Get an Arizona Business License

How to Get an 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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