July 2015

The Phantom Income Issue

When starting a new business, the question that every new venture faces is how to fund the operations of the business. Often times, one person agrees to contribute money, while the other person agrees to contribute services. This can lead to an issue known as “phantom income.”  Presently, the tax code places a value on capital contributed to a business, but not labor or “sweat equity” (the future services a partner in the business will perform for the business).

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Incontestable Trademarks

Federal trademark registration provides certain protections to businesses and other registrants who use and own trademarks and service marks to promote their goods and services. These protections are strengthened when a trademark becomes “incontestable” five years after its registration. Once a mark becomes incontestable, its validity cannot be challenged on a variety of grounds which often haunt other marks not deemed incontestable. Incontestable marks are immune to certain challenges, including that the mark is primarily merely descriptive and that it lacks secondary meaning.

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Put the “Self” Back into Self-Employed

Recent data available from the Census Bureau suggests that almost 11,000 Humboldt County residents identify as self-employed.  If you own and operate your own business, you’ve likely had occasion to consider California’s employment laws.  There is a great local resource for employers in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.  The Northcoast Employer’s Advisory Council meets regularly, typically in Eureka, to discuss the state of the law and help employers keep up to date on information.  You can visit the website here.       

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California's New Sick Leave Law Now in Effect

As of July 1, 2015, California’s new sick leave law is in effect.  At this time, Humboldt County employers need a written policy that specifically caps sick leave, or they will be subject to the required statutory accrual rate of one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked.
 
For more background on the sick leave law, see our earlier post http://janssenlaw.com/blog/remember-what-ails-you-0.
 

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Humboldt Needs to Be Ready for AB 266

Janssen Malloy LLP represents a number of local wine and craft beer businesses and has become familiar with the regulatory and licensing rules that must be followed in order for businesses to comply with the law and succeed.  Those rules and regulations have not applied to the marijuana industry in California.  But comprehensive marijuana regulation was a matter of time in California.  The time may be now.  

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