Employees v. Independent Contractors – Uber and Lyft

Posted on: November 9, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

On November 2, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that rideshare companies Uber and Lyft will pay a combined $328 million to settle claims that the companies cheated its drivers out of pay and benefits. The settlements resolve a multi-year investigation by James’ office into the companies that found that, from 2014 to 2017, Uber deducted sales taxes and Black Car Fund fees from its drivers’ wages when those taxes and fees are meant to be paid by passengers. The company also misrepresented the deductions made to drivers’ wages in its terms of service by telling drivers it would only deduct its commission from the drivers’ fare, rather than his or her pay. Uber also told its drivers they were “entitled to charge [the passenger] for any tolls, taxes or fees incurred,” though no method was ever provided to do so in the app. Lyft engaged in similar practices…

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Nussbaum and SCORE

Posted on: November 2, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Acknowledging that the process of creating and starting a business is daunting, Greensboro houses one of the largest State-designated small business incubators in North Carolina. Established in 1987, the Nussbaum Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit catering to entrepreneurs and young businesses that provides office spaces, meeting and manufacturing spaces, and business coaching through a partnership with SCORE. As of 2012, businesses associated with the Nussbaum Center have generated $100 million, and 78% of graduates are still in operation today. The Nussbaum Center has made a name for itself and its associated businesses in North Carolina and Greensboro in particular, creating a central space for businesses to get support. You can learn more about the Nussbaum Center at https://nussbaumcfe.com/. SCORE NC Piedmont Triad, an organization located at the Nussbaum Center, is a team of volunteer business mentors who dedicate time to aiding entrepreneurs interested in starting small businesses or growing existing…

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What to expect from the Corporate Transparency Act effective January 1, 2024?

Posted on: October 27, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

The Corporate Transparency Act, passed in 2021, introduced significant changes related to  the disclosure of corporate ownership meant to enhance transparency and combat illicit activity such as money laundering and tax fraud. The effective date for the Act is quickly approaching and will be enforced starting January 1, 2024. In the past, entities could bypass disclosing their information by retaining a third party to act a registered agent. Now, certain corporations and LLCs will need to report information about their beneficial owners. What does this look like for the small business owners and entrepreneurs that are looking into filing a new entity with the Secretary of State? This act will affect reporting companies. “Reporting Companies” are those that are created by filing with the Secretary of State, such as Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Limited Partnerships, and Business Trusts. These entities, starting January 1, 2024, will…

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Private Inurement, Private Benefit, and Why it Matters

Posted on: October 19, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

A common question among entrepreneurs is whether it is possible to operate a for-profit business with one or more non-profit arms. While such business plans may be the product of good intentions, there are a couple legal concepts to keep in mind as potential drawbacks of such a business structure: private inurement and private benefit. Private Inurement refers to circumstances in which the earnings, assets, or resources of a non-profit organization benefit, or are used for the personal gain of, individuals or entities that have a close relationship with the organization such as its founders, board members, officers, or employees (typically called “insiders”). Issues arise when these assets or resources are transferred to or used by insiders for purposes unrelated to the non-profit’s stated tax-exempt purpose. Private Benefit, a much broader rule, prohibits tax-exempt organizations from using assets to benefit the interest of any private individual, business, or non-charitable entity….

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AI and IP

Posted on: October 13, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

With the use of artificial intelligence increasing rapidly, it raises many questions in the legal world of intellectual property. Does AI generated work have copyright protection? Who owns the work? Does it infringe on others? While there have been lawsuits surrounding the issue, the courts and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have not had much of an opportunity to tackle the issue of whether legislation is needed to clarify the Copyright Act to include language surrounding generative AI. Currently under the Copyright Act, protection applies only to works created by human beings. With AI being able to create many different things such as code, images, and even entire websites, questions around AI being used to create copyrightable work is becoming a big question that needs to be answered. As of now, the courts have not decided whether AI authored works will be entitled to this protection nor…

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So you have an idea and want to start a business?

Posted on: September 28, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Trying to navigate the massive amounts of information available can be extremely overwhelming.  Here are a few things you may want to contemplate when considering starting a business. To start, creating a business plan and selecting the location in which you plan to run your business are helpful. Different jurisdictions have different laws that regulate your new business. It is most common to choose the state in which you will be primarily conducting business. Next, creating a mission statement and goals as to what the business wishes to accomplish are important in creating your personal “brand”. It also allows for you to share your vision for the business, your purpose in creating the business, and lastly the core values that your business holds and that guide the decision-making. One of the most important steps is to decide on the type of business structure you wish to create. Depending on which…

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Meet Kaylee Faw, Elliott Millner, and Andrew Slaughter, Fall 2023 SBEC Student Attorneys!

Posted on: September 21, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

  Hi! My name is Kaylee Faw and I am currently a 3L at Elon University School of Law. I am originally from Trinity, North Carolina. In 2020, I received a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Outside of law school, I am a lover of literature and all things sports – go Heels! In my time at Elon Law I have completed a residency-in-practice and summer internship at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, served as a research assistant for the North Carolina Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, and completed various research projects alongside my professors. I am also a proud member of the Elon Law Moot Court Board, and currently serve as the Managing Editor for We the People – Elon Law’s Constitutional Law Journal. I am most interested in transactional practice in business or corporate law. I am thrilled to be working…

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Meet Aubrey May and Fran Nebel – Fall 2023 Small Business Clinic Student Attorneys!

Posted on: September 13, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Hi! My name is Francine Nebel, and I am a 3L at Elon University School of Law.  I grew up in South Florida but have lived in Tennessee, and Georgia as well.  I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University majoring in Political Science and Leadership. While at Elon Law, I have been apart of Elon’s Inaugural Constitutional Law Journal as a Notes & Comments Editor, served as an Academic Fellow, am a member of  the Business Law Association and participated in the Innocence Project. In the Future I would like to work within Real Estate Transactions and other areas of Business Law. I am very excited to be a part of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Clinic this Trimester, especially because of the great real world experience it offers.  The clinic does such a great job of offering meaningful services to the local community and businesses alike.   My name…

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Meet Kree Small and Morgan Ashmore: Fall 2023 SBEC Student Attorneys!

Posted on: September 8, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

Hi! My name is Kree Small. I am a 3L here at Elon University School of Law. I’m from Tappahannock, Virginia. I graduated from the University of Mary Washington where I studied Political Science. After law school, I plan to work in corporate law, focusing mainly in the contract area. While at Elon, I have worked as a Law Library Clerk, Admissions Ambassador, and Themis Bar Representative. I have had the opportunity to do my residency-in-practice at the Office of General Counsel and Institutional Integrity at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and over the summer, intern for a Biotechnology company in their contract department. I am excited to be working as a Student Attorney at the Small Business and Entrepreneur Clinic during my final semester at Elon to allow me to gain the practical experience necessary to work in the business-related field while being able to help the community…

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The Corporate Transparency Act and Beneficial Ownership Reporting

Posted on: June 30, 2023 | By: Business Clinic | Filed under: Client Alert

“I don’t want to use my personal address.” – common words heard by any attorney or legal intern that helps individuals form entities. Not disclosing one’s actual address has allowed for additional privacy and peace of mind for the common business owner. And for the longest time, this has been an understandable request where privacy becomes less and less common. However, beginning in 2024 a new reporting requirement will come into effect under the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) https://www.federalregister.gov/citation/87-FR-59591. Providing Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) will require small business owners no choice but to report their complete current residential street address, along with their date of birth, full legal name, and unique identification number. The CTA was implemented to fight money laundering. By reporting this information, Congress hopes to weed out anyone who could contribute to money laundering or anyone who gives money to terrorist organizations. The reporting is to be…

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