What Up, B? Is a Benefit Corporation Right for Your Startup?

What Up, B? Is a Benefit Corporation Right for Your Startup?

B Corporation, Corporations
It's hard to believe that five years have past since Arizona allowed new businesses to form as "B" corporations here in our State.  While the bulk of my work with startup companies still involves more traditional corporations and LLCs, lately I've witnessed an uptick in interest from startup founders asking about organizing as a B corp.  I believe this trend will continue as the appetite for ethical corporate governance and good corporate citizenship continues to grow.  So what is a B corporation anyway? The B Corporation: What It Is and Is Not For those that don't know, the "B" in B corporation stands for "benefit" (or, more specifically under Arizona Revised Statutes §10-2402, a "general public benefit").   Think of these entities as (with apologies to the late President Bush)…
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What Is My Liability as A Startup Co-Founder?

What Is My Liability as A Startup Co-Founder?

Contracts, Corporations, Start-Up
The forming and launching of a startup is an exciting, possibly life altering event.  However, if you and your fellow co-founders are not careful to take certain precautions, being a co-founder has potential to be life altering in a negative way.   In this post, we'll talk about an oft-posed question I get as a Phoenix startup company attorney: What is my liability as a co-founder of a startup? Ways Your Startup Could Be Liable When I talk to startup clients about their liability concerns, I find it helps to break the universe of potential liability into two main camps: tort and contractual.  Note: I will save a potentially large---but no less serious---third category of corporate tax, payroll tax, and pension liabilities for another day/blog post. In its most basic…
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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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