As your small business grows, you may enter new markets, including expanding your company internationally. If you do expand into international markets, you may look to hire independent contractors in a foreign country. When hiring an independent contractor in another country, it is important to understand some of the key considerations before you move forward with the relationship. Today’s post highlights a few key considerations when hiring an independent contractor abroad.

Know the Rules

Before you enter into any new market, you should become familiar with the regulations that will impact your business. When it comes to hiring an independent contractor, you should become familiar with the various employment and tax regulations that will be triggered by your new hire. Different countries…

Read More

Washington state continues its effort to be one of the more corporate-friendly states by passing a bill that streamlines the process of converting one business entity to another. Senate Bill 5999, which was signed into law by Governor Inslee on March 27, 2014, amends Washington’s Limited Liability Company Act and the Business Corporation Act to allow conversions of Washington LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships. What’s more is that the bill also allows entites formed in another state (“foreign entities”) to convert into Washington LLCs and corporations.

The bill is set to be incorporated in the Revised Code of Washington in early July 2014. Stay tuned for the updated RCWs!

Why Would You Convert Your Business Entity?

Depending on your type of business and…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More