The Washington Secretary of State recently announced that changes are coming for annual report notices from the business licensing service. Beginning in June, corporations and LLCs will receive annual report notices and most business license renewal forms will be replaced with a letter that instructs the business to file its annual renewal online. In some cases a paper form will still be needed, in which case there will be instructions in the renewal letter on how to obtain the necessary paper form through an automated phone system.

The goal is to increase annual filings online and to streamline the renewal process. It’s a positive step towards automating the renewal process and making filing requirements less onerous for businesses in Washington. You can check out…

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A few recent high profile trademark disputes making the news have brought to light again the importance of protecting your business’ trademarks and other IP. Specifically, these stories highlight the need to register your trademarks and draft carefully negotiated terms in any licensing agreements your business enters into.

Tully’s May Lose Right to Use of “Tully’s”

The Seattle Times reported that Keurig Green Mountain has sued Global Baristas, the Seattle investor group that bought Tully’s and saved it from bankruptcy, to prevent Tully’s from using the trademark “Tully’s” in its name. Keurig is arguing that Global Baristas has violated its licensing agreements by selling coffee from another local firm (Dillanos) without Keurig’s permission. Keurig claims that Tully’s owes Keurig $469,000.

In a statement last month,…

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As a small business owner, it is imperative that you understand regulations surrounding your employees’ rights and any restrictions on your authority as an employer. Recent changes to Washington’s social media laws may affect how you gather and use information from your employees. Specifically, RCW 49.44.200 limits employers’ ability to access employee social networking accounts. The statute provides for new regulations that make it more difficult for employers to monitor employees and applicants’ personal social networking activity.

What You Cannot Do

Under the new law, it is unlawful for an employer to “request, require, or otherwise coerce an employee or applicant to disclose login information for the employee’s or applicant’s personal social networking account.” You probably noticed that the statute makes reference to personal social…

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Ryan Hogaboam recently wrote on the iVLG blog about what you should know about voluntary, administrative, and judicial dissolution. Dissolution is the process of winding down your business and dissolving the legal entity that is your business. Below I’ve highlighted some key points from Ryan’s post:

Dissolution in Washington

In Washington, closely-held corporations can be dissolved in three different ways: by the shareholders or directors (voluntarily), by the Secretary of State (administratively), or by the courts (judicially):

Voluntarily: By the Shareholders

In order to voluntarily dissolve a corporation, the corporation’s board of directors may ask the shareholders to vote on dissolving the company. Washington’s statutes require two-thirds of the shareholders to approve dissolution for it occur. Following the vote, the company must file Articles…

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