When you decide to launch your startup near NYC, your attention is focused on creating the perfect product, hiring the best employees, and finding office space in just the right location. Legal issues are the last thing on your mind, but without proper attention, these can lead to costly litigation later. These are some of the worst legal mistakes startups make in New York and how you can avoid them.
Choosing the Wrong Legal Structure for your Startup
Choosing the right legal structure for your New York startup will benefit you for the lifetime of your business. Consult with an experienced startup attorney at the Law Office of Elliott J. Brown to determine if an S Corp, C Corp, Limited Liability Company, or Limited Liability Partnership fits your startup’s goals, best. Each option has different liability protection and tax structures, and the right legal structure protects your personal assets from your business liabilities.
Failing to Understand Employment Laws
Good employees can be a great asset for your startup, but failing to understand federal and state employment laws can lead to costly litigation later. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but, as of December 31, 2018, New York state minimum wage is $11.10 per hour and $12 per hour on Long Island and in Westchester County. If your startup is in New York City, the minimum wage is $13.50 per hour if you have ten or fewer employees, or $15 per hour if you have 11 or more employees.
Additionally, all non-exempt employees in New York must be paid at one and one-half times their regular hourly wage for any time worked above 40 hours per week. You do not have to pay overtime if they work more than eight hours in one workday, or if they work on a Saturday or Sunday.
Losing the Rights to Your Startup’s IP
Your Intellectual Property (IP) is your startup’s most valuable asset. Some of your best ideas may have been sketched out on a napkin while bouncing theories off your friends, but these ideas are easily stolen without proper protection. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents protect your ideas from infringement. The Law Office of Elliott J. Brown can assist you in filing for copyright and trademark protection and can refer you to an experienced patent attorney.
Additionally, your startup needs a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect your trade secrets. This prevents former employees from taking your ideas to your competitors.
Protecting Your Startup near NYC
The Law Office of Elliott J. Brown is dedicated to providing your New York startup with the best legal protection from the very beginning. We offer cost-effective startup legal services that are both personal and flexible. Available services include company formation; IP protection; foundation contracts (including NDAs); and advising on regulatory matters.
Quality legal representation means that you can focus less on startup legal matters and more on the day-to-day running of your business. Call the Law Office of Elliott J. Brown today at (732) 490-8200 or contact us online to learn how we can help your startup avoid costly legal mistakes.